Jennifer Lim, Dominic Rains and Andrea Negrete Set for Sam Chanse’s THE OPPORTUNITIES OF EXTINCTION at Cherry Lane, March 28 – April 7

Sam Chanse
Sam Chanse
Sam Chanse

Cherry Lane Theatre’s Mentor Project is presenting Sam Chanse’s THE OPPORTUNITIES OF EXTINCTION at Cherry Lane (38 Commerce St.) from March 28 – April 7, 2018. Ms. Chanse is mentored by recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts playwriting fellowship and the Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright Award, Migdalia Cruz.

Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, the cast of THE OPPORTUNITIES OF EXTINCTION features Jennifer Lim (Broadway: Chinglish (Theater World Award, IASNY Trophy for Excellence & Drama Desk Nom), Dominic Rains (TV: “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night) and Andrea Negrete (NYC: Hissifit).

In THE OPPORTUNITIES OF EXTINCTION, Mel and Arjun embark on a last-minute camping trip to take refuge from the brewing storm of their lives. Georgia is studying the impact of climate change on the imperiled Joshua tree. Navigating a world in crisis, what does it mean to survive in the face of annihilation?

This is the 20th season of MENTOR PROJECT, which annually pairs new playwrights with seasoned writers for a season of play development, casting, rehearsals and a fully-staged production.

THE OPPORTUNITIES OF EXTINCTION’s creative team includes Raul Abrego (Scenic Design),Loren Shaw (Costume Design), Seth Reiser (Lighting Design), Lee Kinney (Sound Design),Nicole Van Denburg (Casting Director), Carrie Mossman (Properties), and Bob Brownell(Production Stage Manager).

THE OPPORTUNITIES OF EXTINCTION plays March 28 – April 7, 2018, Tuesday – Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 3pm & 7pm, Sunday at 5pm. Single ticket $25, available at / or by calling Ovationtix at 866-811-4111, or in person at the box office during box office hours.

Cherry Lane Theatre’s Mentor Project is thrilled to announce a new partnership with the School of Drama at The New School, College of Performing Arts as a means of expanding Mentor Project’s mission, which seeks to widen the professional experience and exposure of emerging artists. To this end, Cherry Lane will present afternoon readings to the public of works by the graduating class of The New School’s MFA program in playwriting. Readings of plays mentored byLisa D’Amour, Halley Feiffer, and Martyna Majok will be presented April 3rd – 6th at 3pm, upon the set of Mentor Project’s production of The Opportunities of Extinction.

Who’s Who:

One of the most renowned theatres in the country, Cherry Lane Theatre has produced a large succession of plays by leading writers from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Gertrude Stein, Samuel Beckett, Edward Albee and Harold Pinter. Cherry Lane remains devoted to developing and producing new works for the stage through its various programs including the award-winning Mentor Project, which each year pairs established playwrights with emerging writers for a season of dramaturgy, rehearsal, casting and production. Mentor Project recently concluded its 19th season with mentors Lucy Thurber, Stephen Adly Guirgis and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

Angelina Fiordellisi is Founding Artistic Director of Cherry Lane Theatre; Seri Lawrence and Janio Marrero are Co-Artistic Directors, and Diane Alianiello is General Manager.

SAM CHANSE (Playwright) In addition to The Opportunities of Extinction (2017 Kilroys List, Rita Goldberg Playwrights Workshop at the Lark, Ars Nova Out Loud), Sam’s plays include The Other Instinct (Playwrights Realm Writing Fellowship, Lark Playwrights’ Week, O’Neill Semifinalist, 2017 & 2016 Kilroys List Honorable Mention, StageLeft Leapfest), What You Are Now (EST/Sloan commission, Civilians R&D Group), Fruiting Bodies (2015 Kilroys List, Lark Studio Retreat, the Claque, Ma-Yi Labfest), Trigger (Leviathan Lab), and Lydia’s Funeral Video (Kaya Press, San Francisco Arts Commission). She is a resident playwright at New Dramatists, and a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and Ars Nova’s Play Group. A former Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow, Sundance/Ucross Playwright Fellow, MacDowell Fellow, and Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellow at The Lark, she has also received residencies from Djerassi, Tofte Lake Center, and SPACE at Ryder Farm. Commissions include Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan, Ma-Yi/the Flea, Second Generation, Leviathan Lab and the San Francisco Arts Commission. Her work has also been developed with The Civilians R&D Group, The Yale Institute of Musical Theatre, Labyrinth Theater, Ars Nova’s ANT Fest, Bindlestiff Studio, Asian American Theater Company, and the New York International Fringe Festival. more info:

MIGDALIA CRUZ (Mentor) Migdalia’s works have been produced internationally at Ateneo Puertorriqueño (PR), National Theater of Greece (Athens), Foro Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (Mexico City), Vancouver Players (Vancouver, B.C.), the Old Red Lion Theatre (London), Miracle Theatre (Portland, Oregon), and Houston Grand Opera. Her work has been produced in New York City at Playwrights Horizons, Mabou Mines, Classic Stage Company, INTAR, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Monarch Theater, En-Garde Arts, HOME, Shaliko Company, New York Shakespeare Festival’s Festival Latino, Theatre For The New City, and the W.O.W. Cafe. Cruz is the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts playwriting fellowship (in 1991 and 1995), the Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright Award, and Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays. Her over 50 plays include El Grito Del Bronx, Another Part of The House, The Have-little, and SALT.

Ed Sylvanus Iskandar (Director) is “an alien of extraordinary ability” who tells stories to cultivate community. Ed has directed, commissioned and developed 150+ productions of new works, musicals, classics and immersive experiences globally, most recently the immersive Caughtat Think Tank Gallery (LA Times Critics’ Pick, LA Times Best Theater of 2017, LA Drama Critics Circle nominee for Best Production) and repertory productions of Sojourners* and Her Portmanteau* (NY Times Critics’ Picks, NY Times Best Theater of 2017) at New York Theatre Workshop. Inaugural SDCF Breakout Award recognizing “the ‘rising star’ moment of a director” for Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery* (NAATCO), Sojourners (Playwrights’ Realm) and The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Drama Desk Special Award for “visionary direction” of The Mysteries* (The Flea) and The Golden Dragon^ (PlayCo); NTC Emerging Artist Award; Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Direction of Restoration Comedy* and These Seven Sicknesses* (The Flea). Ed is the Founding Artistic Director of Exit, Pursued By a Bear, an NYC invite-only collective cum theatre speakeasy that has served 12,000 homemade meals over the course of 150 nights of socially immersive theatre, admission free. Ed is honored to be collaborating with Cherry Lane, Migdalia Cruz and the wonderful Sam Chanse. *NY Times Critics’ Picks / TONY Critics’ Pick.




Francis Jue, Ned Eisenberg, Jennifer Lim, Daniel K. Isaac, Jeena Yi, Joe Ngo and Tobias C. Wong Set for Readings at Lauren Yee’s Kesselring Prize Ceremony on November 5

Francis Jue (Larry) in the world premiere of KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Francis Jue (Larry) in the world premiere of KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren
Francis Jue (Larry) in the world premiere of KING OF THE YEES. Photo by Liz Lauren

Actors Francis Jue, Ned Eisenberg, Jennifer Lim, Daniel K. Isaac, Jeena Yi, Joe Ngo and Tobias C. Wong are set for a reading of plays by Lauren Yee when the rising young playwright receives the 2017 Kesselring Prize on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 4 pm at the National Arts Club (15 Gramercy Park South). Ms. Yee earned the Kesselring for her play THE GREAT LEAP, to be produced this season by Denver Center, Seattle Rep and Atlantic Theater Company. The Prize includes a $25,000 award and the opportunity for Ms. Yee to reside for two weeks in the historic clubhouse of the National Arts Club in order to develop her work.

David Henry Hwang - Photo by Lia Chang, and Lauren Yee
David Henry Hwang – Photo by Lia Chang, and Lauren Yee

Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang will present Ms. Yee with the prize at an awards ceremony at the National Arts Club on Sunday, November 5 at 4 p.m. The evening will include readings of select scenes from Ms. Yee’s plays. A gala reception in the NAC parlors and dining room follows the awards presentation. For further information and to reserve seat for the awards ceremony and readings, visit

The readings will feature selections from Yee’s plays KING OF THE YEES, THE GREAT LEAP and CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND.

Also present at the awards presentation as a guest speaker on Sunday: actress Regina Taylor.

Established in 1980 by Charlotte Kesselring – widow of playwright Joseph Kesselring – to honor and support young writers who are not as yet nationally recognized, and provide them with an honorarium and indirect support towards development of their work. Past recipients include Lucas Hnath (now on Broadway with A DOLL’S HOUSE PART 2), Tony Kushner, Anna Deavere Smith, Nicky Silver and last year’s honoree, Lindsey Ferrentino, whose play UGLY LIES THE BONE was produced this year at the National Theatre in London.

Each year, the National Arts Club invites theaters across the country to nominate an emerging playwright for the Kesselring Prize who is poised for a higher national profile through his or her growing body-of-work. Atlantic Theater Company nominated Ms. Yee.

Her previous works include IN A WORD, a finalist for the ATCA/Steinberg Award; THE HATMAKER’S WIFE, which was an Outer Critics Circle nominee for its John Gassner Award for best play by a new American playwright; and KING OF THE YEES, which premiered last season at The Goodman Theatre.

The 2017 Kesselring Prize Jury that selected Ms. Yee consisted of: famed playwright John Guare; Dramaturg of Lincoln Center Theater, Anne Cattaneo; and two-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage. The Kesselring Prize Artistic Director is Michael Parva.

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Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and

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