Alleyway Theatre kicks off the second half of its season with a fantastical new drama about the power of human connection. THE ALEPH COMPLEX, by Deborah Yarchun, is the latest recipient of Alleyway’s Maxim Mazumdar New Play Award. The new play is directed by Robyn Lee Horn and will begin previews February 10, with an opening night set for February 15. Playwright Yarchun will be featured in conversation with Horn following Pay What You Can Previews on February 12 and 14.
ABOUT THE PLAY (Full)
To save herself from her chronically incessant thoughts, Nicky converts them into sounds so she can fall asleep to the sound of rain. This works until, during a bout of crippling social anxiety at college, a thought about her mother turns into a vicious storm. Nicky outruns the storm all the way home, where she returns to her old job at the Container Store and to Mom… who hasn’t left the apartment in five years. While searching for self-help books at the Last Borders Bookstore on the Planet, she meets Borders Guy, the Last Borders Employee on the Planet, who introduces her to the mysterious Aleph, a Borges-inspired point of overwhelming omniscience he guards in the back of the store. Through a chain of “self-help” both comic and poignant, Nicky, her mother, and Borders Guy struggle to smash down the walls that enclose their lives.
ABOUT THE PLAY (Short)
Nick and her mom search for life’s answers in the backroom of the last chain-bookstore on the planet. It’s a charming, funny and magical fairytale play for mothers, daughters, and anyone who has searched for the perfect how-to book for dummies.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Directed by Robyn Lee Horn, THE ALEPH COMPLEX features designs by Lynne Koscielniak (scenic), Aaron Bowersox (lighting), Caitlin McLeod (costumes and puppets), and Hudson Waldrop (sound). Technical Direction is by Emma Schimminger with stage management by Kim Neiss. The cast features Caroline Kolasny, Sara Kow-Falcone, and Josh Wilde.
ABOUT THE AWARD
The Maxim Mazumdar International New Play Competition was founded in 1989 in memory of Canadian actor and playwright Maxim Mazumdar (1952-1988). Mazumdar’s many contributions to the early growth of Alleyway Theatre were artistically invaluable and instrumental in shaping a continuing relationship with Canadian theatre. The previous recipient of the Award was BERSERKER by Bruce Walsh. The next recipient will be announced this spring.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Deborah Yarchun’s plays have been produced and/or developed at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Centenary Stage Company, The Civilians’ R&D Group, Capital Rep, The New Harmony Project, Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, Amphibian Stage Productions, The Great Plains Theater Conference, Jewish Ensemble Theater, The Playwrights’ Center, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, TheatreSquared’s Arkansas New Play Festival, the William Inge Center for the Arts, Jewish Plays Project, the Minnesota Fringe, Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, Northern Stage, the Philadelphia Fringe, The Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival, Playwrights Horizons’ Peter Jay Sharp Theater by Young Playwrights Inc., Williams Street Rep, and at theaters and universities across the United States and in Canada.
Deborah’s honors include two Jerome Fellowships at The Playwrights’ Center, a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellowship, an EST/Sloan Commission, Dartmouth’s Neukom Literary Arts Award for Playwriting, The Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, the Kernodle New Play Award, the Richard Maibaum Playwriting Award, and Women in the Arts & Media Coalition’s Collaboration Award. Her play GREAT WHITE was an Honorable Mention for the Relentless Award and her play ATLAS, THE LONELY GIBBON was a finalist for the 2021 National Playwrights Conference. Deborah is a 2021-2024 Core Writer at The Playwrights’ Center and a New Georges Affiliated Artist. She earned her M.F.A. from the University of Iowa where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow.
Her latest play THE CALM BEFORE had a NYC reading this month starring Krysta Rodriguez (The Collaboration, Into the Woods) and Michael Gaston (Lucky Guy) and was directed by Jessica Blank (Coal Country, The Exonerated).
PERFORMANCES AND TICKETS
February 10 – March 4, 2023
Pay What You Can Previews
- February 10, 11, 14 @ 7:30
- February 12 @ 2:00
- Feb 12 and 14 will be followed by a conversation with the playwright and director
- Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Performances continue Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30, with a matinee on Saturday February 25 at 3:30pm, and a special Monday performance on February 20 at 7:30pm
Tickets: $42 regular, $30 student/under 30. Online anytime at ALLEYWAY.COM or available in-person one hour prior to each performance. Call 716-852-2600 for information