Ars Nova presents

Core Values

A play about where Americans live: work.
A new play by Steven Levenson

Directed by Carolyn Cantor


April 23 – May 18, 2013



With the world around him changing at a dizzying pace, the owner of a small travel agency clings to the values he holds most dear: teamwork, loyalty and the incalculable importance of a good trust fall. It takes a weekend staff retreat for him to realize his team-building exercises won’t put off the realities of a rapidly evolving marketplace.



Ars Nova presents

Core Values

A play about where Americans live: work.
A new play by Steven Levenson

Directed by Carolyn Cantor


The New York Times

“Mr. Birney is excellent as ever.


Time Out New York
4 Stars 
Critics Pick

“Steven Levenson’s laugh-out-loud funny, sigh-out-loud sad new play captures the spirit of the age.


“Under Cantor’s superb direction, the four-member cast expertly navigates the play’s tricky terrain, nailing the awkwardly comic movements as well as the underlying sadness in each character’s life.



“A well-observed study of a dysfunctional workplace…watching Core Values, it’s hard to know whether to laugh or shudder. To its credit, you may well do both. 


“Levenson perceptively captures a suffocating workplace vibe, which Carolyn Cantor’s smart direction brings humorously to life.”

Ars Nova presents

Core Values

A play about where Americans live: work.
A new play by Steven Levenson

Directed by Carolyn Cantor





Costume Design EMILY REBHOLZ 
Sound Design M.L. DOGG
Production Stage Manager AMY EHRENBERG 
Stage Manager LAURA KIM 



STEVEN LEVENSON (Playwright) Plays include The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin (upcoming, Roundabout), The Language of Trees (Roundabout Underground), Seven Minutes in Heaven (HERE Arts Center; Emerging America Festival/Huntington Theater Company), Retreat and Girls Day. A graduate of Brown University and the 2010 Artist-in-Residence at Ars Nova, he has received new play commissions from Roundabout, Lincoln Center, MCC, and Ars Nova. Current projects include the book for an original musical with Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. 

CAROLYN CANTOR (Director) New York: The Great God Pan, After the Revolution (Callaway Award); Essential Self Defense (Playwrights Horizons); Regrets and Pumpgirl (MTC); In A Dark Dark House (MCC); The Talls (Second Stage); Something You Did (Primary Stages); Orange Flower Water, Now That’s What I Call A Storm, Living Room in Africa and Stone Cold Dead Serious (Edge Theater).  Regional: The Violet Hour (Old Globe), Rabbit Hole (Geffen, Garland Award), Diary of Anne Frank (Papermill), After the Revolution, Not Waving and King Stag (Williamstown), Vera Laughed and Get What You Need (NYS&F).  Awards/Fellowships: Kanin-Seldes Theatre Hall of Fame Award, Sagal and Foeller Fellowships from Williamstown, Drama League Directing Fellowship and an OBIE Grant for Edge Theater.  She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the mother of Stella and Vivian Korins.



REED BIRNEY (Richard) Roundabout: Picnic, Tigers Be Still, The Dream of the Burning Boy (Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Nomination). Playwrights Horizons: Circle Mirror Transformation (OBIE, Drama Desk Award), A Small Fire (Richard Seff Award). Soho Rep: Uncle Vanya, Blasted (Drama Desk nomination). He is Rep. Donald Blythe on the Netflix series House of Cards. He has also received an OBIE for “Sustained Excellence of Performance.”

PAUL THUREEN (Todd) is a founder and co-Artistic Director of The Debate Society. He has co-written and starred in all of the company’s productions, most recently in Blood Play. As an actor, other performances include Uncle Vanya (Soho Rep), Hostage Song, The Pumpkin Pie Show (PS122), Tango ’til They’re Sore (The Flea), The Description of the World (Theatre de la Jeune Lune), The Odyssey Experience (McCarter) and The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS). He has studied at The National Theater Institute, The Moscow Art Theatre and Vassar College (B.A. in Drama).

SUSAN KELECHI WATSON (Nancy) Broadway: A Naked Girl on the Appian Way(Roundabout). Off-Broadway: The Urban Dictionary Plays, Missed Connections (Ars Nova); The Story (Public Theater); A Raisin in the Sun, Twelfth Night (Westport Country Playhouse). Film: Small, Beautifully Moving Parts (SXSW Film Festival); Tia & Marco (SXSW Film Festival); Blackout (Tribeca Film Festival). Television: recurring role on Louie, Golden Boy, The Good Wife, Private Practice, Numbers, Medium, Law & Order(s), among others. Previous recurring roles include NCIS, Kidnapped and Third Watch. MFA: NYU.  

ERIN WILHELMI (Eliot) is so excited to work with Ars Nova for the first time! Credits include: The Great God Pan at Playwrights Horizons, The Girl From Nashville with EBE Ensemble. Film/TV: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The English Teacher, Disconnect, Gossip Girl. BFA from the University of Evansville. 



LAUREN HELPERN (Scenic Design) Ars Nova:  Now Circa Then, At Least It’s Pink and Traveling at the Speed of Enlightenment.  Selected NYC: 4000 Miles (Lortel Award), Disgraced, Bad Jews, Bethany, Hit the Wall, Chimichangas and Zoloft, The Amish Project, and Bug (OBIE Award). Selected Regional:  Blue Man Group/Live at Luxor (Eddy Award), Theater J, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, City Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre and Anchorage Opera. Partner in the design firm Luce Group. 

EMILY REBHOLZ (Costume Design) Ars Nova: boom, Jollyship the Whiz-Bang. Recent NY: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (LCT/Broadway); The Last Five Years, Lonely, I’m Not, Bachelorette (Second Stage); The Call (Playwrights Horizon); The MadridClose Up Space (MTC); Slowgirl (Lincoln Center); What Rhymes With America (Atlantic); Into The Woods (Shakespeare in the Park); Carrie (MCC); Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Public Theater/Broadway). Additional designs have been seen at The Labyrinth, Lincoln Center, Roundabout, Rattlestick, The Atlantic, Opera St. Louis, The Old Globe, A.R.T, Williamstown, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Westport Playhouse.

TRACI KLAINER POLIMENI (Lighting Design) Ars Nova productions: Now Circa Then and 2 Girls For 5 Bucks. NY theatre credits include: The Asphalt Kiss (Drama Desk nomination), Broadway production of Prune Danish starring Jackie Mason, Four (Lucille Lortel nomination). Regional theatre credits include: Hartford Stage, Two River Theater Company, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Capital Repertory, and City Theatre. Traci is a partner in the design firm Luce Group specializing in architectural, exhibit and event lighting design.

M.L. DOGG (Sound Design) Public Theater, Debate Society, Milwaukee Rep., Second Stage, New York Stage And Film, Playwrights Horizons, Waterwell Productions, Nicholas Ward Productions, Huntington Theatre Company, Roundabout Theatre Company, Pearl Theatre Company, Shelby Company, Scott Sanders Productions, Boise Contemporary Theater, The Living Room For Artists, Inc., Stillpoint Productions, 13P, Two River Theater Co., Epic Theatre Ensemble, Women’s Project, Theatre B, Clubbed Thumb, Shakespeare & Company, Monster(less) Actors Inc., among others. IRNE, IT, and Drama Desk nominee, fringeNYC award.

AMY EHRENBERG (Production Stage Manager) The Debate Society: The Snow Hen, The Eaten Heart, A Thought About Raya, You’re Welcome, Buddy Cop 2, Blood Play. Sundance Institute Theatre Labs: MASS MoCA, Sundance Resort, White Oak, Banff Centre. Broadway: The Ride Down Mt. Morgan. NYC: Hostage Song (Kraine); The Harlequin Studies (Signature); Vienna: Lusthaus Revisited (NYTW); The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told (Minetta Lane); The Dying Gaul (Vineyard). Film: A.D.; Next Life; P.M.; Christine. 1403.

LAURA KIM (Stage Manager) The Netflix Plays; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 (Ars Nova); Bouncing Back: The Resilient Plays (The 52nd Street Project); As Wide As I Can See (At Hand Theatre Company); uncle tom: deconstructed (The Conciliation Project, performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival).

SASH BISCHOFF (Assistant Director) Broadway: How to Succeed (AD), Always… Patsy Cline (AD). National Tours: Shrek (Associate Director). Assisting credits include: All in The Timing (Primary Stages); The Mound Builders (Signature); An Early History of Fire (New Group); Chimichangas and Zoloft (Atlantic); February House (NYSAF). 2012 Chautauqua Directing Fellow, 2011 SDC Traube Fellow.  Princeton University.

CAPARELLIOTIS CASTING (Casting) Selected Broadway: The Trip to Bountiful, Orphans, Grace, Dead Accounts, The Other Place, Seminar, The Columnist, Stick Fly, Good People, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, The House of Blue Leaves, Fences, Lend Me A Tenor, Royal Family. Also: MTC, Second Stage, Atlantic, LCT3, Ars Nova, Old Globe 2012/13 season, Goodman, Arena, Ford’s and Williamstown Theatre Festival (3 seasons). Film/television: Steel Magnolias (Sony for Lifetime) and HairBrained (with Brendan Fraser).