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Acclaimed novelist Michael Redhill’s play GOODNESS, winner of the 2006 Carol Tambor’s Best of Edinburgh Award, receives US premiere at Performance Space 122 in March
New York, New York January 29, 2007—The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation and Performance Space 122 are thrilled to announce the US premiere of critically-acclaimed novelist Michael Redhill’s play GOODNESS. From the award-winning Canadian theatre company Volcano, and directed by the company’s founding Artistic Director Ross Manson, GOODNESS begins performances on Thursday, March 1 for a limited engagement through Sunday, March 11 at Performance Space 122 (150 First Avenue, at East 9th Street). Opening Night is Friday, March 2 at 8 PM. The performance schedule is Tuesday – Friday at 8 PM; Saturday at 3 PM and 8 PM; and Sunday at 3 PM. For tickets, which are $25 ($10 for Performance Space 122 members), call Theatermania at 212-352-3101 or visit www.theatermania.com.
Winner of both the 2006 Carol Tambor’s Best of Edinburgh Award, the top honor at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and a Scotsman Fringe First award (the oldest award at the Fringe) GOODNESS is a multi-layered exploration of genocide accompanied by a lush sound-scape of choral music from around the world.
In a series of time-shifting tales-within-tales, with actors stepping in and out of roles, award-winning playwright and novelist Michael Redhill explores what it means to tell, or even know, the truth, and who is able to tell the truth to another.
The story begins with the playwright – a character in his own play – paying a brief visit to Poland to explore the loss of his family in the Holocaust. He finds out nothing, and blames the Poles. He moves on to England, where he stumbles across the story of a much more recent genocide. He meets Althea – sole survivor of a family murdered in another country, now living in hiding. Years after the killings, she was hired as a prison guard, to watch over the man thought to have orchestrated the genocide. The play takes us back to this moment. The war criminal’s memory has been claimed by Alzheimer’s. With no memory, is he still guilty? Or is he faking the disease to escape punishment? How do those around him decide to act? It’s a good story. Gripping. Michael steals it for a play.
In dealing with genocide, GOODNESS suggests a moral continuum that begins with writing, and ends with watching. What is the responsibility of a play? What is the responsibility of an audience? And, as the play itself asks: “Why do good people rush to do evil?”
From Pinochet to Saddam Hussein, from Yugoslavia to Sudan, GOODNESS resonates deeply with the world of the present moment.
GOODNESS certainly resonated with Carol Tambor, founder of the Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation and creator of Carol Tambor’s Best of Edinburgh Award. “GOODNESS is a remarkable play, and Michael Redhill is an astounding writer. It reminds us that we cannot forget past evils, nor can we be quick to judge,” explains Ms. Tambor. “I was awestruck from the moment the play began. I knew I had stumbled on something quite extraordinary.”
Scotsman critic Joyce MacMillan agreed, calling GOODNESS “a series of beautifully orchestrated performances from its six-strong cast, an inspired, light touch use of traditional sung laments from African and central Europe, and an eloquent, free-flowing abstract production by Ross Manson.”
The cast features Victor Ertmanis, Lili Francks, Tara Hughes, Jack Nicholsen, Gord Rand and Amy Rutherford. The creative team includes: Music Direction by Brenna MacCrimmon, Lighting Design by Rebecca Picherack, Costume Design by Teresa Przybylski and Sound Design by John Gzowski.
Michael Redhill (playwright) is the internationally-acclaimed, award-winning author of the novel Martin Sloane, which the NY Times hailed for its “unbounded intelligence… occasionally a writer comes along who gets real life just right.” The New York Review of Books called it “entrancing…unique and memorably human.” Other work includes Light-Crossing, a collection of poetry, Fidelity, a collection of short fiction. His latest novel Consolation was recently published in the US by Little, Brown and Company.
Ross Manson (director) is an actor, director, and translator, and the founding Artistic Director of Volcano (“The best independent theatre company in Toronto” – NOW Magazine). Ross has directed 18 shows for Volcano, which have earned 27 Dora nominations, 7 wins, 2 Governor General award nominations, the Amnesty International Freedom of Speech Award shortlist (Edinburgh Festival Fring), the NOW Peoples Choice Award, a Chalmers National Play Award, and now an Edinburgh Fringe First award, and the Carol Tambor “Best of Edinburgh” award. Ross has twice been nominated for a Dora award in Directing, and is the winner of both a Harold award in Toronto (for a sustained contribution to the arts community), and a KM Hunter Award for excellence in the theatre arts.
About Carol Tambor’s Best of Edinburgh Award:
Carol Tambor’s Best of Edinburgh Award builds a bridge between New York City and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. Created by Carol Tambor through her Theatrical Foundation in 2004, the inaugural award winners (Sister’s, Such Devoted Sisters and Rosebud: The Lives of Orson Welles) were given a four-day producer’s showcase in New York City. This showcase resulted in both shows being picked up for productions in the US and Canada.
In 2005, The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation and Performance Space 122 became presenting partners for Carol Tambor’s Best of Edinburgh, with the critically acclaimed NYC premiere of Andrew Dawson’s Absence and Presence, which the New York Times called “astonishing, and almost unbearably moving.”
The partnership between these two organizations fully realizes the original intention and spirit of the Foundation and the award. Both The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation and Performance Space 122 are committed to providing an exceptional and increasingly rare opportunity for new international work that would not otherwise be able to travel to New York to do so.
To be eligible for Carol Tambor’s Best of Edinburgh, the production must be an original work, never seen in New York City, and have received a 4-star or 5-star review from The Scotsman, Scotland’s foremost daily newspaper. The committee that chose GOODNESS as the 2006 winner was comprised of Carol Tambor and members of her Foundation, along with the Scotsman’s Arts Writers Joyce MacMillan, Jackie McGlone and Mark Fisher, and Performance Space 122 Artistic Director Vallejo Gantner.
Carol Tambor’s Best of Edinburgh Award is announced during The Scotsman’s final awards ceremony, which is broadcast by the BBC. The Award is considered the top prize at the Edinburgh Fringe because it gives something new to Festival participants – a next step for their careers: a New York premiere for their production. The prize pays all expenses, including transportation for the cast, crew and props to and from New York, visa expenses, the cast and crew’s stay in New York, publicity and theatre expenses. The Foundation makes this award with no commercial interest in the play, for current or future production.
The Carol Tambor Theatrical Foundation was established to bring excellent dramatic work to the New York audience. The mission is to support artists in their desire to be seen and produced.
Founded in 1979, Performance Space 122 is dedicated to supporting and presenting artists whose work challenges the traditional boundaries of dance, theatre, music, and performance. Committed to exploring innovative form as well as material, P.S. 122 is steadfast in its search for pioneering artists from a diversity of cultures and points of view.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world, has been ongoing since 1947. Fringe 2006 featured over 28,014 performances of 1,867 shows in 261 different venues throughout Edinburgh. The 2005 Festival sold more than 1,338,550 tickets during its 3 weeks, the third consecutive year the Fringe sailed past the one million ticket barrier. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has served as a launching pad for the careers of renowned stars such as Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Jude Law and Eddie Izzard as well as renowned playwrights like Tom Stoppard.
Carol Tambor publishes a monthly newsletter, which announces worthy shows coming to New York, along with occasional information about London theatre and, of course, the Edinburgh Fringe.