Meet the Artists
The Presnyakov Brothers are writers, playwrights, directors, producers, actors. The sons of an Iranian mother and a Russian father, Oleg was born in 1969 and Vladimir in 1974.
Both brothers graduated from the same school: M. Gorky Urals State University in Yekaterinburg, Siberia.
Until recently, they were both also on the faculty of that same university: Oleg in literary theory and philology, and Vladimir in literary theory and psychology.
Together, the two founded the university’s Youth Theatre, "Theatre under the name of Christina Orbakeite",an organization committed to producing experimental theatre work.
Oleg and Vladimir also write in tandem; all their plays are presented and published under their chosen joint name: The Presnyakov Brothers.
Students of language, the Presnyakov brothers are praised in Russia for their attention to natural-sounding speech, dialogue that sounds “overheard on the street.” Their cool, sardonic wit enlivens their plays, and together, they create bitter and funny examinations of life in a post-Soviet Russian culture.
"Since their first play appeared in Russia's capital city, the Brothers Presnyakov have become "something of a trademark," wrote the local English-language daily, The Moscow Times, in a review last year(2004)."- The International Herald Tribune,Theater: The everyday facets of 'Terrorism'
Will Frears was born and raised in North London, and has lived in the United States since 1990. A renowned director, scriptwriter and author, Mr. Frears had his professional debut in 2003 at the Actor’s Theater of Louisville, where he directed the Pulitzer Prize finalist, Omnium Gatherum. The play—about a post-9/11 dinner party—was praised by The New Yorker’s drama critic John Lahr, as “a wow beginning” for the young director. Since this production, Mr. Frears has gone on to direct a wide range of plays and films in theaters across the States. His most recent directorial project was the 2012 production of Build, an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award-recipient, at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
Mr. Frears has directed nearly two dozen plays since his debut at the Actor’s Theater, many of them acclaimed productions in premier Off Broadway theaters. Working in collaboration with some of contemporary theater’s most daring, well-regarded playwrights, Mr. Frears has directed productions of Year Zero (Second Stage Uptown), Still Life (MCC), Rainbow Kiss (The Play Company), The Water’s Edge (Second Stage), Pen (Playwrights Horizons, Terrorism (The New Group/The Play Company), Omnium Gatherum (Variety Arts), Where We’re Born and God Hates the Irish (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), Get What You Need (Atlantic 453) and Kid-Simple (Summer Play Festival). Mr. Frears’ regional productions include Some Lovers at the Old Globe Theater, The Pillowman at George Street Playhouse, Hay Fever and The Price at Baltimore CenterStage, and Sleuth at the Bay Street Theater. Mr. Frears has also been a frequent participant in the Williamstown Theatre Festival, where he directed Romeo & Juliet, Bus Stop, The Water’s Edge and A Servant of Two Masters. He is a recipient of the Boris Sagal and Bill Foeller directing fellowships.
Will Frears has also directed several films, including Coach, Beloved and All Saint’s Day. (Winner, Best Narrative Short at the Savannah Film Festival). His films have screened at many Festivals, including Tribeca, Palm Springs, Morelia, Savannah, the Hamptons, Sarasota and Newport Beach.
A proud high school drop-out, Mr. Frears went on to receive his undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College, where he currently serves on the faculty. He received his MFA from the Yale School of Drama.
He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and children.
Sasha Dugdale (Translator) is a poet and translator. Notebook was her first collection of poems, published by Carcanet/Oxford Poets, and she won a Gregory Award for poems from this collection. Her translations of Russian poetry are published by Bloodaxe Books and she is currently working on translations of poems by Elena Shvarts. In 2005 she received a Stephen Spender Award for translations of Shvarts. She has translated around twenty contemporary Russian plays, including Plasticine which received an Evening Standard 'Most Promising Playwright' Award, and Playing the Victim by the Presnyakov Bros. She is a consultant to the Royal Court Theatre in London on Russian contemporary drama.
Adam Alexi-Malle (Actor) Adam's participation in this co-production reunites him with theater companies in both his past and present: earlier this season, he appeared in the Play Company's successful production of the American premiere of Sakharam Binder, which marked his return to the New York stage after his success in the original Broadway cast of the Tony Award-winning musical Titanic and The New Group's production of the American premiere of Mike Leigh's Goose-Pimples, for which he earned both Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle Award nominations. Film: Bowfinger, The Man Who Wasn't There (Joel and Ethan Coen) and Hidalgo, with television appearances on the series "24", "Alias", "The West Wing", and "The Sopranos". An equally accomplished classical violinist and pianist, Adam continues to perform as a soloist and chamber musician in concerts worldwide.
Alex Draper (Actor) New York: Get What You Need (Atlantic 453), Rose's Dilemma (MTC), Endpapers (Variety Arts), St. Crispin's Day (Rattlestick), The Pitchfork Disney, Waiting for Lefty, Scenes from an Execution, Oedipus, and Golden Boy (Blue Light), Scapin and The Triumph of Love (CSC). Regional: Wilderness of Mirrors (George Street Playhouse), Three Days of Rain (Westport Playhouse), A Fair Country (Huntington), Rocket to the Moon and La Ronde (Williamstown), Arcadia (Arena Stage), The Alchemist (Yale Rep), Three Sisters (McCarter) and Cloud 9 (Berkshire Theatre Festival). Film: Hysterical Blindness, Simply Irresistible, The Photographer, Kalapani and Hard Shell. T.V.: "Sex in the City", "Law and Order", "Law and Order SVU", "Dellaventura", "Suddenly Susan", and "Ed". Alex is a graduate of Middlebury College and the Yale School of Drama.
Laura Esterman (Actor) appeared in Curtains (ensemble Obie) and Cranes at the New Group and loves being back. Off-B'way includes this season's Outward Bound (Keen Co.), last season's Duet, as Sarah Bernhardt, Charles Mee's True Love, The Wax (Playwrights Horizons), Edith Stein (Jewish Rep), Two Rooms and American Clock (Signature), Hold Please, and Marvin's Room, for which she received Outer Critics', Drama Desk, and Obie Awards. Broadway includes I.B.Singer's Teibele and Her Demon and Metamorphosis with M. Baryshnikov. Recent regional includes Ghosts, The Glass Menagerie, and Richard III. Film includes Awakenings, The Doors and a serial killer in the scarcely seen Suspended Animation. TV includes the inevitable "Law and Order."
Anna George (Actor) Off Broadway: Sakharam Binder (The Play Company at 59E59 Theatres), O'Neill's Abortion/The End of the Apurnas (Theatre Row Theatre), Dust (HereArts Theater). Upcoming films: Syriana, David and Layla and Confess. Television credits include "Law and Order: Trial by Jury", "Sex and the City", "The Jury", and "Law and Order: SVU". Anna hold a BA from Wellesley College and her Master's from Columbia University.
Elizabeth Marvel (Actor) Broadway: An American Daughter, Taking Sides, The Seagull. Off-Broadway: A Secondhand Memory (Atlantic Theater Company), Hedda Gabler, Lydie Breeze, Alice In Bed, A Streetcar Named Desire (OBIE Award), Shopping and Fucking, Play Yourself (NYTW), Meshugah (Naked Angels), Therese Raquin (OBIE Award, CSC), Misalliance (OBIE Award, Roundabout), Arts & Leisure (Playwrights Horizons), Troilus and Cressida, King Lear, Silence, Cunning, Exile (NY Shakespeare Festival). Regional: McCarter Theater, Guthrie Theater, American Repertory Theatre, Stratford Theatre Festival. Film & TV: The Dying Gaul, 10 Hundred Kings, "The District" (series regular), "Homicide," "New York Undercover," "A Will of Their Own." Training: Juilliard.
Daniel Oreskes (Actor) is pleased to return to The New Group where he was seen last John Patrick Shanley's Cellini (Second Stage) and Missing Marissa (Primary Stages), Doug season in Roar. Broadway credits: Electra, Aida, The Song of Jacob Zulu. Off-Broadway: Theatre), and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, Henry IV, Henry V, Troílíus and Cressida, Richard II, Wright's Quills, Liz Egloff's The Devils (N.Y. Theatre Workshop), The Fourth Sister (Vineyard and Othello (N.Y. Shakespeare Festival). Film: The Thomas Crown Affair, Devil's Advocate, Nowhere to Go but Up, and Warrior Class. T.V.: "The Sopranos", "Third Watch", "N.Y. News", "The High Life", "Law and Order", and "Law and Order: Criminal Intent".
Lola Pashalinski (Actor) Matchmaker (Ford's Theater, Mark Lamos, Director). Broadway: Fortune's Fool. Off-Broadway: Art, Life & Show Biz, Birdseed Bundles, The Wax, Skin of Our Teeth, Dybbuk, Quills, Punch & Judy Get Divorced, Lear, Tempest, Film is Evil/Radio is Good. Regional: Importance of Being Earnest, Firebugs, Romeo and Juliet, The Women, Twelfth Night, Wintertime, Reckless, The Screens. Ridiculous Theatrical Company: Founding Member, Stage Blood, Camille, Bluebeard, Der Ring Gott Farblonjet (OBIE), Corn (OBIE), plus twelve other plays. Additionally, Gertrude & Alice: A Likeness to Loving, written and performed by Lola and her partner Linda Chapman, opened at the Signature in NY, and toured to Britain and theaters and colleges regionally. Lola received an OBIE for her performance as Gertrude. Film & T.V.: K-Pak, Sweet & Lowdown, I Shot Andy Warhol, Godzilla, Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez, "Now and Again", "Molly Dodd" "Equalizer", "One Life to Live" (recurring). She is a recipient of a Fox fellowship, and a grant from Spencer-Cherashore.
R.E. Rodgers (Actor) Broadway: Any Given Day. Off-Broadway: Stonewall Jackson's House, Suburbia. Other NY theatre: Hot Keys (Naked Angels, PS 122), D Train (MCC), Something's Rotten In (Naked Angels), Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams (Williamstown). T.V.: played "Robson" on "OZ" (HBO), "Jonny Zero" (Fox), "The Jury" (Fox), "Law and Order": SVU" (NBC), "Law and Order" (NBC), "Perfect Murder", "Perfect Town" (mini series/CBS). Film: Live Free or Die, Bad Boys II, The Thomas Crown Affair, Little Man, Ed's Next Move, School Ties.
David Korins (Scenic Design) selected credits: Blackbird (Hewes design award & Drama Desk nomination), world premiere of Sam Shepard's The God of Hell (Actors Studio), Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) (Daryl Roth & Bob Boyett), Oedipus at Palm Springs (New York Theatre Workshop), Swimming in the Shallows (Second Stage), Yard Gal (MCC), EVE-olution (Cherry Lane), Orange Flower Water, Stone Cold Dead Serious, Now That's What I Call A Storm (Edge Theater), Sides: The Fear is Real (Ma-Yi), Planet Banana (Ars Nova), Falsettos (Huntington), Diary of Anne Frank (Papermill Playhouse), Gompers (Pittsburgh City Theatre), Diva, Christmas In Naples (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Sleuth (Bay Street). Film & TV: Production designer for the HBO Sunday Night series "Family Bonds & Winter Passing" with Will Ferrell & Ed Harris (Focus Features).
Sarah Beers (Costume Designer) Theater: Associate Artist The Civilians: Canard Canard Goose, Gone Missing, Nobody’s Lunch, Paris Commune, The Great Immensity (dir: Steve Cosson), Anne Washburn's The Ladies (Dixon Place, dir.: Anne Kaufman). Spring Awakening Olney Theater, Bus Stop, The Great Immensity, (dir: Steve Cosson) Cabaret (dir: Eric Rosen ) Kansas City Repertory Theater. Women’s Project: Lisa D'amour's The Cataract (dir: Katie Pearl); Terrorism at The New Group/Play Company (dir: Will Frears). Labryinth Theater Company/ Public Theater: The Fairytale Project (dir: Jill DeArmon). St.Scarlet at W.E.T, by Julia Jordon (dir: Chris Messina), A.R. Gurney's O Jerusalem The Flea, (dir: Jim Simpson). Tape, by Stephen Belber Naked Angels (dir: Geoffry Nauffts). Film and TV: HBO's Maria Full of Grace, multi film collaboration with director Jay Craven’s Movies from Marlboro, Blindspot/ NBC, The Walking Dead: World Beyond/AMC, Emmy Award for History Channel series The Men Who Built America.
Marcus Doshi (Lighting Designer) Mr. Doshi's work has been seen with The Civilians, Soho Rep, Synapse, The Court Theatre, the Yale Rep, Geva, Indiana Rep., Dallas Theatre Center, Portland Center Stage, and the California, Great River, Milwaukee & Chicago Shakespeares. Opera with Virginia Opera, Florentine Opera and KU Dept. of Music. Recent international work includes director Peter Sellar's production of The Children of Herakles for the 2004 Wiener Festwochen & the Holland Festival 2004, the India tour of Thresh Company's Strings Unattached, and the Royal University of Fine Arts' (Phnom Penh, Cambodia) Samritechak for the 2003 Bienalle di Venezia. Mr. Doshi is a 2003 recipient of the NEA/TCG CDP. He is a graduate of Wabash College and the Yale University School of Drama.
Bart Fasbender (Sound Design) Recent/current designs: Slag Heap, Women on Fire and 2003 – 2005 Mentor Projects at Cherry Lane; Boozy at The Culture Project (previously at The Ohio); Reasons for Return at Symphony Space and Are We Here Yet at Tribeca PAC for MoCo; Barbara Bush Never Slept Here, Gheri Dosti and William Hoffman's Shoe Palace Murray at Bernie West Theatre for Circle East; Trust at The Kirk and Sakharam Binder at 59E59 for The Play Company; Legal Snarls, Mark Medoff's Same Life Over and Lakawana Rails Radio Plays for TNT in PA, Pen Pals, Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey's Woman of Independent Means and Joanna's Husband and David's Wife at PPT in VA.
“…it takes a subject weighing heavily on all our minds and reduces it to its simplest, most brutal, and often craziest component elements. By and large, it succeeds as both commentary and entertainment.”
“…it nonetheless resonates with a chilling intensity leavened by welcome doses of black humor.”
–New York Post
The Presnyakov Brothers
Adam Alexi-Malle Alex Draper Laura Esterman Anna George Elizabeth Marvel Daniel Oreskes Lola Pashalinski R.E. Rodgers
Carmen I. Abrazado
Harold Clurman Theater 410 West 42nd Street New York, NY A Co-Production with The New Group