Ben Randle

THEATRE DIRECTOR

World Premiere of 'Sagittarius Ponderosa' by MJ Kaufman

As part of its 15/16 season, New Conservatory Theatre Center will present the world premiere of Sagittarius Ponderosa, the award-winning new play by MJ Kaufman, to be directed by NCTC Artistic Associate Ben Randle.

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Sagittarius Ponderosa won the 2013 Global Age Project at Aurora Theatre Company, as well as The Kilroys The List 2015, a list made by a group of LA playwrights and producers marking the top most-recommended new plays by female and trans* authors.

Press notes describe the play: "Archer (still Angela to his family) returns home to the forests of eastern Oregon to care for his dying father. At night under the oldest Ponderosa Pine, he meets a stranger who knows the history of the forests. In this powerful and whimsical new play, what first appears expected expands to reveal the connections between the roots beneath our feet, the stars in the sky, and the mysteries of the human heart."

The production's design team includes Scenic & Lighting Design by Christian Mejia, Costume Design by Miriam Lewis, and Prop Design by Adeline Smith. Additional design team and casting yet to be announced.

MJ Kaufman is a playwright whose work has been seen at the Huntington Theatre, New York Theater Workshop, Yale School of Drama, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Aurora Theater, Crowded Fire, Fresh Ink Theatre, New Harmony Project and performed in Russian in Moscow.  They have received awards and commissions from the Program for Women in Theater, the Playwrights Foundation, the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, Young Playwrights Inc., and the Huntington Theatre, where they are also a playwriting fellow. MJ received the 2013 ASCAP Cole Porter Prize in Playwriting, the 2013 Global Age Project Prize, and the 2010 Jane Chambers Prize in Feminist Theatre. MJ is currently a member of the Clubbed Thumb Emerging Writers Group, The Falcons, an Audrey Resident at New Georges and a Resident Artist at The Drama League. Originally from Portland, Oregon, MJ attended Wesleyan University and recently received an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama.

Tickets on sale now on NCTC's website.