"Fans of dance and collage should eat this production up like a banana split, for its delicious execution and its rich, sweet sense of beauty."
Richard Hinojosa, nytheatre.com
"For adventurous audiences looking for a unique evening of theater, it's well worth the price of admission, and a trip to the theater that is arguably the birthplace of Off-Off Broadway."
Frank Episale, offoffonline.com
ABANDON tells the story of Helena— a young woman in crisis, terrified to love. When Helena’s sister, Marguerite, forces her to confront her fear, will she be saved or destroyed?
Matthew Maguire began working theatrically with collage at La MaMa in 1977 with The Seven Deadly Elements, based on the collage novel by Max Ernst. Maguire made his last collage play in 1986 before moving onto more linear, dialogue-based work. With ABANDON, Maguire has merged the two forms into a new hybrid theatrical event: the narrative collage play. He’s offering the play as a gift to Ellen Stewart.
Starring Jeff Barry, Victoire Charles, Alexis McGuinness, Genevieve Odabe, Richard Prioleau, and Michael Ryan, ABANDON features scenic design by Michael Casselli, lighting design by Laura Mroczkowski and costume design by Yuki Kawahisa. Stage Manager is Cassey Kikuchi Kivnick.
MATTHEW MAGUIRE (Playwright, Director) won an OBIE award for acting in 1998. He is a co-artistic director of Creation Production Company, which he founded with Susan Mosakowski. The company has produced forty-seven original works for the stage. His plays, which he often directs, include The Seven Deadly Elements, based on the collage novel by Max Ernst, Eye Figure Fiction, Untitled (The Dark Ages Flat Out), The American Mysteries, The Memory Theatre of Giulio Camillo, Propaganda, Fun City, Visions of Don Juan, The Tower, and its solo version, Babel Stories, a science fiction opera, Chaos, with Michael Gordon, The Window Man, a musical with Bruce Barthol and Greg Pliska, Phaedra, Throwin’ Bones, which began as a collaboration with architects Diller + Scofidio titled Skin at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels. His work also includes the creation with Philip Glass and Molissa Fenley of A Descent into the Maelström for Australia’s Adelaide Festival. His directing projects include Molière and Charpentier’s Le Malade Imaginaire for the Long Beach Opera, Manhattan Theatre Club’s Downtown Uptown Festival, and the Bang on a Can Festival’s Van Gogh Video Opera. He is an active alumnus of New Dramatists, and served as chairman of the Theatre panel of the New York State Council on the Arts. His awards include fellowships from the NEA, the McKnight and Hammerstein Foundations, commissions from the NEA, NYSCA, and Meet the Composer, and an America Award for Playwriting. He received his MFA from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He performed his play, Luscious Music, as a solo at the Architecture Museum of Basel. His recent projects include a new musical with composer Daniel Levy called Laughing Pictures, a play commissioned by Tulane University and the D-Day Museum about the Battle of Midway called A Cliff in the Dark, a chamber piece commissioned by The Dogs of Desire called Flowing in Two, composed by Randall Eng, a new translation of Molière’s Imaginary Invalid, and Faustus/Faustus, an adaptation combining Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus and Stein’s Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights, with music by Greg Pliska. His writing has been published by Sun & Moon Press, Backstage Books/Watson Guptill, Manchester University Press, TheatreForum, Performing Arts Journal, and The Drama Review.
ANDREW INGKAVET (Composer) creates hauntingly beautiful music for films, television, commercials, and theater. His recently collaborated with Maguire on SOSE’s critically acclaimed production The Tower. He is head monk of a collective of composers called 300 Monks who live, work, and play deep in the forests of Brooklyn. Learn more at 300monks.com.
ZBIGNIEW BZYMEK (Video Design) This is Zbigniew's second time working with Creation Production; he worked on Beckett's Embers in 2000. Recently, he has worked extensively with Krystian Lupa. Some of his recent film/video/animation projects for theatre and opera include Mozart's Zauberflöte (Wiener Festwochen) at the Theater an der Wien, Three Sisters at the A.R.T., Solaris at the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, Zaratustra at the Hellenic Festival, and most recently Silence Reigns on the Peaks at the Dramatic Theatre in his native Warsaw.
MICHAEL CASSELLI (Scenic Design). Design credits include Tight Right White (Dir. Reza Abdoh), Pastoralia (Dir. Yehuda Duenyas, PS 122), Major Bang (Dir. Paul Lazar/Foundry Theatre, St. Ann's Warehouse), A Parsifal (Dir. John Jahnke, PS 122), Sweet Nothings for My Neurosurgeon (Dir. Yehuda Duenyas, The Flea).
LAURA MROCZKOWSKI (Lighting Design) Laura Mroczkowski is currently the Lighting Director for Big Dance Theater as well as the Associate Production Manager at New York Theatre Workshop. She is also working on 365 days/365 plays written by Suzan-Lori Parks with her company Blank-the-Dog. Laura has had the opportunity to work with, Dumb Type, Los Angeles Opera, Peter Sellars, Saint Joseph's Ballet, Carter Tuti, and Donna Uchizono.
YUKI KAWAHISA (Costume Design) is an actor/writer/performance artist from Japan. She loves theatre and believes in the power and magic of it. She is very happy to have this opportunity to work with these wonderful creators. Most recently she designed the costumes for Michael Ryan’s eveningland.
CASSEY KIKUCHI KIVNICK (Stage Manager) has been Assistant to the Choreographer for A Chorus Line (2006 Broadway Revival) and The King and I (National Tour). Most recently she stage managed Romeo and Juliet. She is a graduate of Macalester College.
BOSKO BLAGOJEVIC (Assistant Video Designer) is a Brooklyn-based artist who works with media art, art on paper, and performance. His role as assistant video designer for this production is his first collaborative work for the theatre.
GENEVIEVE ODABE (Marguerite) has been performing in New York City for 6 years. A Fordham University graduate, she has been seen in Molière's Imaginary Invalid as Angelique, Churchill's Top Girls, The Room Off Broadway and a bunch of independent films. Star of the independent feature Brooklyn Knights, Ms. Odabe eagerly awaits the film's distribution to video next year.
VICTOIRE CHARLES (Kaline) New York: Meet John Doe (Dodger Stages/NAMF); Laughing Pictures (Flea Theatre); and Down From The Flatbottom (The Mint/Absolute Theatre Company).Regional: The Trojan Women (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare Theatre, DC). MFA from NYU’s Graduate Acting Program.
STEPHEN SOSNOWSKI (Production Manager) most recently produced The 25th Anniversary Production of Martin Sherman's BENT at The Schapiro Theatre in NYC. The former Director of Events for The TONY Awards, Mr. Sosnowski now handles account services for Broadway's THE COLOR PURPLE and THE VERTICAL HOUR at the theatrical advertising agency, SpotCo. He holds a B.A. from Fordham at Lincoln Center and a Master's from Columbia University.
MICHAEL KEVIN RYAN (Sewell) has appeared in Matthew Maguire's The Memory Theatre of Guilio Camillo (La Mama ETC, The Brooklyn Anchorage), Visions of Don Juan (Suny Purchase) and The Tower (Here). Recent credits include Susan Mosakowksi's Nighttown (The Flea) and The Making of Eugenie Doe (The Ohio Theater) as well as directing The Duchess of Malfi and an original dance/theater work, eveningland, at The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute where he teaches.
JEFF BARRY (Axel). New York: Savior and 5,4,3,2, One. Regional: Les Liaisons Dangereuses (The Huntington), Of Girl and Wolf (The Guthrie), The Glass Menagerie (Dorset Theatre Festival). Film & TV: Pandora, Ash, Samuel, "Upright Citizens Brigade". Training: Fordham at Lincoln Center, Yale School of Drama.
ALEXIS McGUINNESS (Helena) recently received her MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama. In addition, she has trained at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN, the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and has a BA in Theater from Dartmouth College.
RICHARD PRIOLEAU (Max) recently appeared in the American premier of Igor Bauersima’s norway.today (The Chopin/ Thalatta! Theatre International, Chicago), Finnish (Roger Smith Arts/ Thalatta!, NYC), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Primary Stages, NYC) and the independent short ,The Assassin of St. Nicholas Avenue. Training: Fordham University at Lincoln Center.