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EPIC Players Showcases Neuro Inclusive Cast In Dog Sees God
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 02:26 pm EDT 07/14/17

Neuro-inclusive cast of the EPIC Players present their inaugural production of
Dog Sees God - Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead
July 27 to August 6 at The Kraine Theatre

EPIC Players is proud to announce their inaugural production of Dog Sees God – Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead written by Bert V. Royal. The limited run plays Thursdays through Sundays at The Kraine Theatre. The play is directed by company member David Bonderoff.

EPIC Players is a newly formed resident theatre company that seeks to use the performing arts as a vehicle to empower artists with developmental disabilities and pioneer increased inclusion within the mainstream arts scene. Artistic Director Aubrie Therrien discusses what drew her to choosing this production for their inaugural production, “We chose Dog Sees God for our first play to mirror the innocence of "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" and also give our actors living with developmental disabilities a chance to explore themes of sexuality, gender and loss-issues they often struggle with--just like everyone else--but are never really given the opportunity to express. Too often these individuals are infantilized based on their differences; we wanted to change that.”

Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead is a dark reimagining of the classic Peanut’s gang during their formative teenage years. The “unauthorized parody” imagines the characters as degenerated teenagers dealing with such issues as teen violence, sexual relations and identity, drug use, and suicide.

The cast features Travis Burbee (Cupids Revenge/Bad Quarto Productions), Ben Dworken (The Tempest/Identity Theater Company), Samantha Elisofon (Starred in Keep the Change which premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival where it won Best Narrative Film, Best New Director, and Samantha was nominated for Best Actress), Bree Klauser (The Moyles Musical/The Hudson Guild Theatre), Isabel Kruse (Wilde Life/Adelaide Fringe, Australia), Christian Patane (Epic Players Member), Gideon Pianko (Wizard of Oz/JCC Manhattan), and Jessica Saul (How I Killed Pistol Rogers/Short Film).

The creative team includes costume design by Patt Ness, set and lighting design by Alexander Michael, sound design by Nathan Gregory, stage management by Shannon Lyver, produced by EPIC Players and Aubrie Therrien, and production manager Talia Eapen.

Tickets are $25.00 for general admission, $20.00 for students/senior/military and are available at www.epicplayersnyc.org - Performances take place at The Kraine Theatre, 85 East 4th Street (between 2nd & 3rd Avenues/Bowery), New York, NY 10003. F to 2nd Avenue, 6 to Bleecker, B/D/M to Broadway Lafayette.

Show dates:
Thursday, July 27 @ 7:00 pm
Friday, July 28 @ 7:00 pm
Saturday, July 29 @ 7:00 pm
Sunday, July 30 @ 2:00 pm
Thursday, August 3rd @ 7:00 pm
Friday, August 4th @ 7:00 pm
Saturday, August 5th @ 7:00 pm
Sunday, August 6th @ 2:00 pm

More info available at www.epicplayersnyc.org

About EPIC Players
The EPIC Players, under the Artistic Direction of Aubrie Therrien, is an inclusive company of neuro-typical and alter-abled actors, directors, designers, educators, and technicians alike; effectively redefining the face of current mainstream theatre. Company members participate in the EPIC performance season and all EPIC skills and development classes.

Funding for this project has been made possible through The Nancy Quinn Fund, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York; A.R.T./New York Creative Space Grant. EPIC Players are artists in residence at The Kraine Theatre/Horse Trade Theatre.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/epicplayersnyc

BIOGRAPHIES

Bert V. Royal, Jr. (Playwright) is an American playwright and screenwriter. In 2004 his play Dog Sees God had its World Premiere at the New York International Fringe Festival at the SoHo Playhouse. The play went on to an Off-Broadway run in 2005 at the Century Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Royal is also the writer of the 2010 film Easy A and the television show Recovery Road (Disney-ABC).

David Bonderoff (Director) is grateful for his experience working with EPIC and excited for his directorial debut, Dog Sees God. He holds certificates in Acting with the Stella Adler Studio and in Improvisation with the UCB Training Center. David can be found performing spontaneous improv comedy shows around NYC and Brooklyn.

Aubrie Therrien is the Executive Artistic Director of the E.P.I.C. Players. Aubrie holds a Master's in Public Health from NYU, a BFA in Performing Arts, and has worked in the non-profit theatre world for the past four years. An actress regionally and in New York City, she has always been drawn to using the arts as a vehicle for societal growth and worked designing play workshops of children’s books for developmentally disabled and neuro-typical youth in Virginia and Kentucky. She is a passionate advocate for the developmentally disabled community and a firm believer in the power of the arts to empower individuals, educate communities and spark social change. Her prior work as a non-profit theatre leader and community advocate has recently earned her the title of New Yorker of the Week with News 1, New York.

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More About the Beliefs, Core Values and Philosophy of EPIC Players:

Persons living with developmental disabilities are often misrepresented and underrepresented in arts employment. Specific to the performing arts community, neuro-typical actors are typically cast to represent characters with or without disabilities, limiting all possible opportunities for actors with developmental disabilities to represent themselves, let alone to represent classic neuro-typical characters.

Additionally, the performing arts is arguably one of the greatest forms of social and behavioral therapy that exists today, with disabled and neuro-typical actors using this tool to boost self-esteem, discover their personal identity and form long-lasting peer relationships.

Unfortunately, this resource has been historically inaccessible to those with disabilities and no significant quantitative studies have ever been successfully performed associating the relationship between positive social growth in persons with disabilities and the arts. The theatre community of New York City offers a plethora of performing arts opportunities in stage and screen; it is time actors with developmental disabilities get their “Big Break”.

EPIC Players seeks to open the doors for these actors and provide them with theatre training for their personal growth, as well as opportunities to have paid performance roles in professionally produced performances in the New York City theatre scene. Unlike the few other performing arts resources for persons living with disabilities, EPIC Players will prepare their actors for a successful and enriching career within the theatre arts by providing them with inclusive experiences working with neuro-typical and differently abled actors, directors, designers and technicians alike; effectively redefining the face of current mainstream theatre.
Link www.epicplayersnyc.org
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