Co-produced by Origin Theatre Company (which specializes in emerging European playwrights) and Stiff Upper Lip (whose bailiwick are daring British plays from London's Fringe), Leaves of Glass plays a limited 4-week engagement at the Peter J. Sharp Theatre, 416 West 42nd Street, on Theater Row. The opening is on Sunday January 18 at 3pm.
On the surface, Steven has everything. A beautiful wife, a successful business, a brand new home. But beneath the glittering veneer lies a monstrous secret ... 'You believe him cos he wraps all the painful stuff in feathers and flowers. Makes it all safe and cosy. You can't feel the broken glass inside.' Leaves of Glass is a rich, complex play about two brothers and the hold that the past and memory has on them. Haunted by the death of his father and a car accident involving a young child, Steve finds his life unraveling and his pregnant wife unable to comprehend his pain and sense of loss. Known for his dark disturbing dramas, Ridley's latest play is a deeply human drama that shifts between elegy for the past and a chilling exploration of the power of loss and grief.
Born in December 1967, Ridley has lived all his life in the East End of London. Apart from his screenplays and adult novels, he also writes for the theatre, paints, exhibits his photographs and writes poetry.
As a child, he was very sick with asthma. "I didn't talk much, so I grew up listening a lot while at home off school. I was in an oxygen tent for a lot of the time and people tended to think it was soundproofed and talked very openly in front of me." He used to hide a tape recorder under his parents' sofa in the living-room, tape them all night, then write up transcripts. Now he eavesdrops professionally, recording conversations on the bus in Bethnal Green.
The visual and verbal clearly synthesise in Ridley's head; as an art-school contemporary of Damien Hirst and the Chapman brothers, he sees himself as a Sensation artist, working in a linguistic medium.
Adapted from www.guardian.co.uk and www.independent.co.uk
About the play
Leaves of Glass had its world premiere in May 2007 in a highly acclaimed production at London's Soho Theatre. The Guardian called it a "crooked fairytale of family life that has a grey banal surface but which is like a shard of glass plunged straight into the heart." Time Out said "Philip Ridley's new play is a kind of dark expressionist encapsulation of the state we're in."
Ludovica Villar-Hauser is a native of Wimbledon, England. She has an international Baccalaureate Degree from Hammersmith and West London College and a combined BA degree in Spanish and Drama from London University and The Central School of Speech and Drama.
Ms. Villar-Hauser’s first professional production was a revival of Long Day’s Journey Into Night at the Arts Theatre in London, which she produced and directed, and subsequently transferred to the Westminster Theatre in the West End.
In 1985 Ms. Villar-Hauser moved to the United States and began pre-production work on the Archbishop’s Ceiling (Arthur Miller) and Margaret and Kit (Shirley Lauro). In addition, she raised the capital to purchase and refurbish The Greenwich Street Theatre in Tribeca, where she presented works by Common Ground Stage and Film Company, The Flock Theatre Company, and Works by Women.
Ms. Villar-Hauser is a member of The League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers and The League of Professional Theatre Women.
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Leaves of Glass, Act 1 Scene 1
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Selection of articles
Official press release
Broadwayworld.com (December 22nd 2008) 'LEAVES OF GLASS' Starring Morton, Elbrick, Villar-Hauser and Kelly Begins Run 1/14
Playbill.com (December 8th 2008) Elbrick, Morton, Villar-Hauser and Kelly Set for U.S. Premiere of Leaves of Glass