THE ARS NOVA PRODUCTION OF

SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS

By Bess Wohl

Directed by Rachel Chavkin

 

March 10 – April 25, 2015

 

 

ABOUT THE SHOW  

In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat. As these strangers confront internal demons both profound and absurd, their vows of silence collide with the achingly human need to connect. Filled with awkward and insightful humor, this unique and compassionate new play asks how we address life’s biggest questions when words fail us.

 

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OFF-BROADWAY TRANSFER:
THE PERSHING SQUARE SIGNATURE CENTER
July 3 – Oct. 9, 2016 

 

NATIONAL TOUR:
LONG WHARF THEATRE | New Haven, CT
August 30 – September 24, 2017

AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATRE | San Francisco, CA
October 11 – December 10, 2017

BROAD STAGE | Santa Monica, CA
January 11 – 28, 2018

AT&T PERFORMING ARTS CENTER | Dallas, TX
January 31 – February 4, 2018

ARSHT CENTER | Miami, FL
February 16 – March 4, 2018

PHILADELPHIA THEATRE COMPANY | Philadelphia, PA
March 13 – April 1, 2018

 

 

THE ARS NOVA PRODUCTION OF

SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS

By Bess Wohl

Directed by Rachel Chavkin

 

 

TIME OUT NEW YORK

4 STARS
CRITICS PICK

Bess Wohl’s luminous new play is as entertaining as it is transcendent.” 
 

NEW YORK TIMES

CRITICS PICK

“A half-dozen troubled souls find that enforced silence doesn’t necessarily bring inner peace in Small Mouth Sounds, an enchanting new play by Bess Wohl. As funny as it is, uh, quietly moving, Ms. Wohl’s play is also a model of ingenuity. Both the humor and the pathos spring mostly from wordless interaction, which is testimony to Ms. Wohl’s intrepid writing, to the superb acting and to the precise work of director, Rachel Chavkin. Ms. Wohl’s play makes a wonderful case for how eloquently silence can speak.”
 

VARIETY

“Flawless. Shattering.”
 

NEW YORK POST

“Silence speaks louder than words in evocative Small Mouth Sounds. A wonderful, perceptive new play.”
 

VILLAGE VOICE

“Most of human experience is measured in small mouth sounds: breathing, chewing, moaning, sobbing, laughing. Revealing all the inarticulate longings and unexpressed feelings words conceal, Small Mouth Sounds returns us to the world with more attentive ears.”
 

OUTER CIRCLE CRITICS AWARD WINNER

John Gassner Playwrighting Award
 

LUCILLE LORTEL AWARD NOMINATION

Outstanding Sound Design – Stowe Nelson
 

DRAMA LEAGUE NOMINATION

Distinguished Performance Award – Marcia DeBonis
 

OFF-BROADWAY ALLIANCE NOMINATION

Best New Play

THE ARS NOVA PRODUCTION OF

SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS

By Bess Wohl

Directed by Rachel Chavkin

 

 

 

THE TEAM

Scenic Design LAURA JELLINEK
Costume Design TILLY GRIMES
Lighting Design MIKE INWOOD
Sound Design STOWE NELSON
Projection Design ANDREW SCHNEIDER
Prop Design NOAH MEASE
Production Stage Manager JAMES STEELE

 

 

ABOUT THE CAST

JESSICA ALMASY (Alicia) NY Theater: Great Lakes (New Georges/Women’s Project), War Lesbian (harunalee), Toshiki Okada’s Enjoy (Play Company). Film: Unconscious, Noise. TV: Law & Order: SVU “Avatar,” and a campaign as spokesperson for Friendly’s Ice Cream. She is the recipient of two Audie Awards, a Golden Voice Award and several Golden Earphones for her audiobook narrations, including NY Times Bestseller, Orphan Train. Her new play, Tiger Tiger (on the Nature of Violence), is commissioned to premiere in November 2015 at Dixon Place. Founding member: the TEAM/ wook taut majesty. BFA: NYU. MFA: Brooklyn College.

MARCIA DEBONIS (Joan) NY Theater: Ars Nova, Playwrights Horizons, NYSF, Lincoln Theater Center Lab and numerous productions with the Drama Desk Award-winning theater company, The Barrow Group, of which she is a founding member. Regional: The Huntington Theatre, The Old Globe, The Long Wharf, Berkshire Theatre Festival and Chautauqua Theater Company. Film: upcoming You Must be Joking, That’s What She Said co-starring Anne Heche, Woody Allen’s Whatever Works, Bridewars, 12 & Holding, 13 Going On 30, L.I.E. and many more. TV: Babylon Fields, Homeland, The Big C, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lipstick Jungle (recurring), Rubicon (recurring), Mercy, Law & Order and Spin City, among others. UCLA: BA in Theater Arts.

JOJO GONZALEZ (Teacher) OBIE Award: The Romance Of Magno Rubio (Ma- Yi Theater Company). Recent: Our Town (Long Wharf Theatre). US: Multiple productions at The Public Theater and Long Wharf Theatre. Others: DR2, Culture Project, Queens Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Rep, LA Theatre Center, Laguna Playhouse. International: Thalia Hall (Romania), The Cultural Center of the Philippines (Manila). TV: Babylon Fields, Pan Am, White Collar, Without A Trace, Sopranos, Law & Order: SVU. Film: The Smurfs Movie, A Kiss For Justin, Disoriented.

BRAD HEBERLEE (Ned) Theater: The Vineyard, Soho Rep., Atlantic Theater Company, The Civilians, The Pearl, Yale Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Huntington Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Denver Center, Center Stage Baltimore and Weston Playhouse. Recent Film and Television: Codes Of Conduct, written and directed by Steve McQueen for HBO and Loitering With Intent, directed by Adam Rapp. Brad is an associate artist of The Civilians, a resident actor with The Pearl and a graduate of Yale School of Drama.

SAKINA JAFFREY (Judy) Theater: Rafta Rafta at New Group; Marie and Bruce at The Public; Romeo and Juliet at Williamstown; Phaedra Brittanica at Classic Stage Company. TV: Linda Vasquez on Netflix’s House of Cards; Sheriff Leena Reyes on Sleepy Hollow; Dr. Hickman on Third Watch, Mrs. Suresh on Heroes. Additional roles: Girls, The Daily Show, Madam Secretary, Sex and the City, Law and Order, SVU, Blue Bloods. Film: Raising Helen, Indian In The Cupboard, Nanny Diaries and others.

ERIK LOCHTEFELD (Jan) Broadway: Metamorphoses. NY: Powerhouse (New Ohio), Row After Row (Women’s Project), Tamar of the River (Prospect Theater Co.), Melancholy Play (13P), February House (The Public Theater), But I’m a Cheerleader (NYMF). Regional: Hamlet (Yale Rep), Candide (Goodman, Shakespeare and Huntington Theatre), King Lear (Cal Shakes), The Glass Menagerie, The Pillowman (Berkeley Rep) and work with Long Wharf, The O’Neill, Cincinnati Playhouse, CENTERSTAGE, McCarter, Seattle Rep, Mark Taper Forum, Chicago Shakespeare and Williamstown. TV: All My Children, Third Watch, Law & Order.

BABAK TAFTI (Rodney) Off-Broadway: The North Pool (New York premiere by Rajiv Joseph), Vineyard Theatre; The In-Between, Noor Theatre. Regional: O.P.C. (World Premiere by Eve Ensler), American Repertory Theater; Scorched, A.C.T.; Blood and Gifts, La Jolla Playhouse; The North Pool, Much Ado About Nothing, Barrington Stage Company. TV: Blue Bloods, Nurse Jackie, Orange Is the New Black. M.F.A. Yale School of Drama. This is Babak’s Ars Nova debut.

 

ABOUT THE TEAM

BESS WOHL’s (Playwright) plays have been produced or developed at theaters around the country, including Second Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival and many more. Most recently, her play American Hero premiered at Second Stage. She wrote the book for the original musical Pretty Filthy, which had its world premiere this winter. She is currently at work on a new feature for Disney and has written two features for Paramount Pictures. She has also developed original television pilots for HBO, USA, FOX and the CW. Bess is a graduate of Harvard, and earned her MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

RACHEL CHAVKIN (Director) is a director, writer and Artistic Director of Brooklyn-based experimental ensemble the TEAM. Recent collaborations include Dave Malloy’s Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (Ars Nova); folksinger Anaïs Mitchell’s upcoming Hadestown; and Heather Christian and the TEAM’s Mission Drift (PS122, London’s National Theatre). 2010 and 2013 OBIE Award, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Nominations for Best Direction and 2013 Doris Duke Impact Award Nominee. Rachel is also a 2015-2016 Ars Nova Uncharted Resident.

LAURA JELLINEK (Scenic Design) Ars Nova: The Debate Society’s JACUZZI. Theater: The Nether (MCC); Your Mother’s Copy… (Playwrights Horizons); The Village Bike (MCC); multiple projects with Daniel Fish, The Debate Society and The Mad Ones. Opera: Dialogues of the Carmelites and Owen Wingrave (Opera Philadelphia); The Cunning Little Vixen (Juilliard); Messiah (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra); Orlando Paladino (Manhattan School of Music). Upcoming projects at Boston Lyric Opera and Bard Summerscape. 2013 OBIE for Sustained Excellence in Set Design. MFA: NYU.

TILLY GRIMES (Costume Design) has worked with Ars Nova, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Westport Country Playhouse, Trinity Repertory Company, Two River Theater, Boston Lyric Opera, La MaMa, Clubbed Thumb, New World Stages, New Georges, Cherry Lane Theater, The Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute. Awards: the Balsamo Grant for Emerging Immigrant Artists, the Irish Arts Design Award and Irish Times Theatre Award. Tilly is also co-artistic director of London/Parisian Theatre Company ‘SavageCharm’ and teaching artist at Brown University. MFA: NYU Tisch.

MIKE INWOOD (Lighting Design) Recent credits: Those Lost Boys (Ars Nova); What Happened to Bill Viola? (ANTFest); HIR (Magic Theatre); The Essential Straight and Narrow, Samuel and Alasdair…, The Tremendous Tremendous (Mad Ones/New Ohio); 16 Words or Less (Clubbed Thumb); Trevor (Lesser America); La Traviata (Boston Lyric Opera). Lighting Designer, 2013 and 2014 Macy’s Holiday Windows (NYC). Awards: 2010 Emmy (NBC Sports). Upcoming: ANDY: A Popera (Bearded Ladies/Opera Philadelphia). MikeInwood.com

STOWE NELSON (Sound Design) specializes in new and devised work. Recent New York credits include: Verité (LCT3); The Wayside Motor Inn (Signature Theatre); Buyer & Cellar (Barrow Street Theatre); 16 Words or Less (Clubbed Thumb); Our New Girl (Atlantic). As a company member of the Mad Ones, he has designed sound for The Essential Straight & Narrow, The Tremendous Tremendous and Samuel & Alasdair (NY IT Award, Drama Desk Nomination). More info: Wingspace.com/Stowe

ANDREW SCHNEIDER (Projection Design) creates and performs solo performance works, large-scale dance works, builds interactive electronic art works and installations and was a Wooster Group company member (video/performer) from 2007-2014. Andrew’s original performance work in NYC includes YouAreNowhere as part of PS122’s 2015 COIL festival), Field (2014), Tidal (2013) curated by Laurie Anderson as part of the River to River festival; Wow+Flutter (2010) at The Chocolate Factory Theater among others. More at AndrewJS.com.

NOAH MEASE (Prop Design) Recent props credits include JACUZZI, Charlatan and Eager to Lose (Ars Nova); An Octoroon (TFANA, Soho Rep.); The Nether (MCC); Ars Nova’s Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 (Kazino); and Blood Play (Bushwick Starr, The Public). TV: Billy & Billie (DirecTV); Billy on the Street (Funny or Die.) Playwriting credits include Republic (Hoi Polloi, JACK) and The Silo (ANT Fest, with Matt Carney). BA: Middlebury College, Spanish & Theater.

JAMES STEELE (Production Stage Manager) Broadway: Mrs. Warren’s Profession (Roundabout); One Man, Two Guvnors. Off-Broadway: By The Water (Ars Nova/MTC); Pageant The Musical (SAS); TAIL SPIN; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 (Ars Nova/Kazino); Chalk Farm (ThickSkin); My Name is Asher Lev (Westside Theatre); An Iliad (NYTW); The Tribute Artist, Motherhood Out Loud (Primary Stages); The Divine Sister (DTRM). Thanks to Rachel, Bess and Elizabeth. Love to Mom and Gram.