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August 31, 2006



Performances will begin October 5 at the
Dorothy Strelsin Theatre in the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex
Officially Opens October 8

(New York) August 18, 2006—Visible Theatre (Krista Smith, Artistic Director) will present a re-mounting of Sam Forman’s new play “KRANKENHAUS BLUES,” directed by Donna Mitchell, at the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre, part of the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex, 312 West 36th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues.) Performances will begin on October 5 and the official opening performance will be Sunday, October 8 at 3:00 p.m. Performances will run through Sunday, November 5.

“KRANKENHAUS BLUES” is a frightening and funny play about disability issues, genocide, and the grim realities of show business. A playwright, an actress and a clown are locked in a Nazi asylum for reasons beyond their comprehension. Moving effortlessly between 1930’s Berlin and present day New York City, the characters make great efforts to connect with each other as they confront their existentially bleak surroundings. Artistic Director Smith says: “’KRANKENHAUS BLUES,” for me, is about the disconnect that we often feel in today’s society regarding horrific events and our struggle to connect to our own humanity.

Sam Forman is the lyricist and co-book author for the musical I Sing! which has been produced off-Broadway and in theaters throughout the world. (A recording from The York Theater Concert Cast of I Sing! is available in stores on the Jay Records label.) Sam’s other plays and musicals include: The Grille Room (Cherry Lane Mentor Project 2005); Quarterlife (Workshop at The Ford Center, dir. Mark Brokaw); Fringical! (Ars Nova, NYC; American Theatre of Actors, New York Musical Festival 2004); The Quiet Game (Hangar Theater, Ithaca NY); Please Stop Talking (The Cherry Lane, NYC); Hunter For Hunter Green (Singularity Company, NYC); Utica Forever (Chashama, NYC); Schmoozy Togetherness: a kid's play (Manhattan Theater Source, NYC); Narcissus and Goldstein (Pantheon Theater, NYC); Rob (Naked Angels, NYC); Do You Like Me Europe? (Dostotheaterfest, Berlin) Living Arts / I’m In Relationship Hell (Magnetic North). He is currently developing an original television series for AMC, and is the producer of the late night cabaret phenomenon Creation Nation at Ars Nova, NYC.

page 2—Visible Theatre’s “KRANKENHAUS BLUES”
Donna Mitchell’s directing credits include a Los Angeles production of August Strindberg’s The Pelican starring Salome Jens. For that production she also collaborated with Strindberg scholar Anne-Charlotte Harvey on a new translation of the play. In New York she directed Irish playwright Jim Doyle’s play Kevin Barry at the Workshop Theater Company, and was at the helm for Visible’s production of Krankenhaus Blues when it premiered and ran at the Blue Heron Studio Theater in 2005. Her acting credits in theater include playing Martha in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, directed by Arthur Penn and leading roles in New Group productions of Elmer Rice’s The Adding Machine and Brian Friel’s Faith Healer, both directed by Scott Elliott. Her movie roles include parts in: Syriana, Mona Lisa Smile, The Baxter, The Ice Storm, The Rookie, Wet Hot American Summer, and Pollack.

The cast includes: Christine Bruno (Anka, an actress), Bill Green (Bruno, the plawright), Joe Sims (Fritz, a clown) and Angela DeMatteo (as a nurse). Ms. Bruno and Mr. Green are members of the Actors Studio and all four actors are members of the Visible LAB. The set and costume design will be by Kimi Maeda and the lighting design by Paul Jepson. Music will be composed and performed by Helen Yee, with additional song material written by Hannah Hens-Piazza. The production stage manager will be Emily Alexander-Wilmeth.

“Since founding the Visible Theatre in 2000, Krista Smith, an actress, director, and advocate for people with disabilities, has nurtured a range of theatrical projects that are bringing able and disabled bodies together in performance. With a vision directed toward confronting issues of social exclusion and a mission to foster long-term development of provocative theatre art, the Visible Theatre enfolds all bodies in its theatre training, workshops, and new play development. In addition to producing original theatre pieces, the theatre sponsors The True Story Project, a performance collaborative devoted to autobiographical storytelling, and the Visible Lab, a studio for actors, writers, and directors to share work-in-progress…(in Visible’s Krankenhaus Blues) Donna Mitchell’s direction carves out a taut, seventy-minute, mind-bending roller coaster…with swiftly moving episodes, dynamically acted”—Susan Tenneriello, Brooklyn College forthcoming review, Theatre Journal 58:3 (October 2006). .” This fall’s production of Krankenhaus Blues will be dedicated to the memory of playwright John Belluso, a Visible Board member, friend and inspiration for Visible’s mission and work.

The five-week performance schedule (October 5 through November 5) for “KRANKENHAUS BLUES” will be: Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. The official Opening Performance will be Sunday, October 8 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets will be $20.00. The student and senior rate will be $15.00. TDF vouchers will be accepted. The box office number for reservations is Smarttix at 212-868-4444 or For information about Visible Theatre, visit

Posted by Elizabeth Treston