Not Enough Air

The Nora Theatre Company

presents

Not Enough Air

— February 11 thru March 14, Central Square Theater —

Local playwright Masha Obolensky electrifies with Not Enough Air, the riveting story of two women: one on trial for murder, the other a writer determined to tell hre story. Presented by The Nora Theatre Company Not Enough Air plays at Central Square Theater from Thursday, February 11 through Sunday, March 14. The press performance is set for Sunday, February 14 at 2 PM.

In this East Coast Premiere, famed journalist-turned-playwright Sophie Treadwell finds herself drawn into the sensational 1920’s murder trial of Long Island housewife Ruth Snyder (Ruby Rose Fox). Treadwell, played by Anne Gottlieb, is compelled to give voice to Ruth’s story resulting in her landmark expressionist play, Machinal. Directed by Melia Bensussen, Not Enough Air delves into a frenzied world of tabloid murder and media manipulation in which women’s voices struggle to be heard. The play received First Prize in Boston Theatre Works 2005 Unbound Festival and a Jane Chambers Award in 2006. In 2009, it premiered at Chicago’s TimeLine Theatre where it was nominated for 5 Jeff Awards, including Outstanding New Work.

Masha Obolensky is a playwright, director and performer. She has written and directed original performance pieces that have been presented by La Mama E.T.C., New Georges, Here Arts Center, 78th Street Theatre Lab, Access Theatre, and The Director’s Collective. Her 10-minute play Girls Play was selected for the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in January 2010. Not Enough Air is her first full-length play. Masha currently lives in Somerville, teaches at Northeastern University and Middlesex Community College, and is currently pursuing her MFA in playwriting at Boston University.

Melia Bensussen is the recipient of an OBIE Award for Outstanding Direction, and has directed extensively around the country, including at La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Centerstage, Hartford Stage, the New York Shakespeare Festival, Manhattan Class Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and People’s Light and Theatre Company, where she received a Barrymore nomination for Best Direction. Most recently she directed The Taming of the Shrew for Actors’ Shakespeare Project in Cambridge, and in April will direct a production of The Blonde, The Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead at Merrimack Repertory Theatre. She was twice given Directing Awards by the Princess Grace Foundation, USA, including their top honor, the Statuette Award for Sustained Excellence in Directing. Melia is Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Emerson College in Boston.

Anne Gottlieb is thrilled to be back at The Nora Theatre Company where she appeared in the New England Premiere of Crave and the Elliot Norton Award winning production of Betrayal for which she also received the 2004 IRNE Award for Best Actress. Recent appearances include The Goat or Who is Sylvia? at Gloucester Stage Company and The Wrestling Patient which Anne co-created with Kirk Lynn and Katie Pearl. The piece received its world premiere in March 2009 co-produced by her newly formed company, FortyMagnolias Productions, SpeakEasy Stage Company and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. She is a Resident Scholar in collaborative theater at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.

Ruby Rose Fox has recently appeared as Ilse in Zeitgeist Stage’s Spring Awakening, in Macbeth with Actor’s Shakespeare Project, and debuted her one-woman show, Little Legacy, for the palliative care unit at Boston Children’s Hospital. Little Legacy is an ongoing performance using Shakespeare, classical and modern poetry, and her mother’s journal to reveal the inner experience of a grieving child. Ruby’s new one-woman show/one-puppet show, The Other Woman, was performed fall of 2009, with her new theater company, Boston Experimental Theater. Ruby is a BFA acting graduate of Emerson College.

Marianna Bassham, who has acted with many area theaters, most recently in Reckless at SpeakEasy Stage Company and currently in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Actors’ Shakespeare Project; Grant MacDermott, an Emerson College BFA graduate,who appeared in New Repertory Theatre’s Mister Roberts this fall; Craig Mathers,who has worked extensively in local and regional theaters, including in Actors’ Shakepeare Project’s The Taming of the Shrew directed by Melia Bensussen; and Billy Meleady, who has been seen in many productions with The Súgán Theatre Company, as well as with SpeakEasy Stage Company and New Repertory Theatre, round out the acting ensemble.

Returning to The Nora are set designer Eric Levenson (The Sea Horse, Dublin Carol, Smelling a Rat, Stop Kiss); costume designer Gail Astrid Buckley (We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!, Full Gallop, Betrayal, The Countess); and lighting designer John R. Malinowski (The Caretaker, The Cherry Orchard, The Man Who, Crave). Joining The Nora for the first time are sound designer David Remedios, well-known for his work at American Repertory Theater, and props coordinator Natalie Kearns, who has worked on several shows with SpeakEasy Stage Company, among others.

Conversations with special guests, local academics from Harvard University and MIT, and the actors will follow select performances (see list below).

Not Enough Air plays at Central Square Theater, 450 Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, Thursday, February 11 through Sunday, March 14. Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 PM, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM with matinees on Sundays at 2 PM. There will be an additional evening performance on Sunday, February 14 at 7:00 PM. Tickets, priced at $35; $25 for seniors; $20 for students with a valid ID; $15 for student rush (day of performance), can be purchased by calling (866) 811-4111, online at www.centralsquaretheater.org, or at the Central Square Theater box office. For box office hours, group discounts, and more info call (617) 576-9278 x213.

Date Time Talk-in-the-Box Series_________________________

Thurs., Feb. 11 7:30 pm Talkback with a TBA member of the Harvard community.

Fri., Feb. 12 8:00 pm Join the GLBT community for a post-performance reception.

Sat., Feb. 13 8:00 pm Join local young professionals and graduate students for a post-performance reception.

Sun., Feb. 14 2:00 pm Talkback with Shula Reinharz, Director of the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.

Wed., Feb. 17 7:30 pm Talkback with Christopher Capozzola, Associate Professor of History from MIT. He specializes in the political and cultural history of the United States from 1861 to 1945.

Thurs, Feb. 18 7:30 pm Talkback with cast and director.

Fri., Feb. 19 8:00 pm Today’s talk, tomorrow’s theater: Envision future programs with Central Square Theater’s leadership. .

Wed., Feb. 24 7:30 pm Sponsored by University Wine and Harvest Co-op, join us for post- performance wine and cheese tasting.

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About Central Square Theater

At Central Square Theater, a new state-of-the-art community-based theatrical arts facility, audiences will find, under one roof, the distinctive repertoires of two award-winning non-profit professional companies, The Nora Theatre Company and Underground Railway Theater, as well as collaborative projects drawing on their creative synergy. Schools, families and community groups will benefit from outreach and educational programs, and local businesses will enjoy increased foot traffic and new customers. As the first permanent home for these two theater companies, Central Square Theater will be a vibrant hub of theatrical, educational and social activity, where artists and audiences come together to create theater vital to our communities.

The seeds of the Central Square Theater (CST) were sown in 1997, with a partnership between The Nora Theatre Company, Underground Railway Theater, and the Community Development Department of the City of Cambridge, which brokered a relationship with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). MIT constructed the building and provided an extraordinary 20-year lease commitment at under $5 per square foot — a contribution valued at more than $2 million over time.

For more information, please call 617-576-9278 or go to www.centralsquaretheater.org.

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