Peter Gray’s The Karens to premiere with The Muse Collective, streaming August 13-27

Playwright Peter Gray and Director Michael Alvarez 

The Muse Collective will present the World Premiere of The Karens, a satirical comedy written by Peter Gray (Salem: Post-Mortem) and directed by Michael Alvarez (Underneath the Freeways of Los Angeles with Echo Theatre Company). The show will stream at www.the-muse-collective.comAugust 13-27 with performances every night at 8pm ET/5pm PT and matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm ET/12pm PT. Tickets ($12) are available for advance purchase at www.the-muse-collective.comThe performance will run approximately 100 minutes, with no intermission. 

In high school, being a Karen meant prestige, style, and popularity. Now, a different sort of “Karen” has gone viral: neurotic, entitled women demanding more than their fair share. To save the good Karen name, three former mean girls are ready to reconnect for their most important mission yet: Holding “The Privileged White Women of America” to task. In this wild, delicious, and biting new comedy, follow three unconventional Karens through the haze of Summer 2020. As they tackle the privilege of others with style and flair, will our fabulous trio face their own shortcomings, or sacrifice everything to keep their online personas as flawless as their makeup? 

The cast will feature Morgan Danielle Day (The Hendrix Project at The Public), Felicia Santiago (Last Stop on Market Street with The Atlantic), and LaurenSage Browning (I Could Take a Nap, but Killing Myself Would be More Productive with Vineyard Theatre). 

Peter Gray (Playwright) has studied Buddhism on a North Carolina goat farm, philosophy in the ruins of Socrates’ jail cell, and fairy tales in Copenhagen. His most recent play Salem: Post-Mortem was begun in residence at Monson Arts then broadcast virtually with the Muse Collective in October 2020 to raise money for the Audre Lorde Project. Also with Michael Alvarez, he has developed a theatrical exploration of the Medea myth (Love, Medea) which premiered at The Center at West Park in Manhattan. Peter’s projects and studies have taken him all over the world. In celebration of the centennial of Polish theater director Tadeusz Kantor, he collaborated in the creation of Zero or More Disposable Lessons, a theatrical piece which explored the mechanics of memory, anatomy of oppression, disposability of bodies, and dancing objects. As ensemble member, Peter performed in Zero or More Disposable Lessons at Yale University, Off-Broadway at La MaMa, and at the Cricoteka in Krakow. His work has been recognized by institutions such as the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and d’arts et de reves, and as a 2019 MacDowell Fellow, Peter is creating a series of modern day closet dramas designed to be read aloud at home. He is an upcoming Fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. Raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Peter is a graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and Yale University. Among other writing honors, Peter has received a Howard Nemerov Creative Writing Award for Poetry and a National Gold Key in Short Fiction from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. www.peterwgray.com

Michael Alvarez (Director) Michael’s directorial work has been seen internationally at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the West End, Arcola Theatre, Westminster Library, Royal Academy of Music, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Institute of Contemporary Arts and the British Museum. He was a guest director at the Brighton Festival and the Preglej Na Glas Festival in Lljubjana, Slovenia. In New York, he was recently a director with the prestigious Civilian’s R & D Group, and has developed work with the New York Theatre Workshop, Drama League, Hook and Eye Theatre, New York Musical Theatre Festival, The Center at West Park, and Gallery Players, amongst others. Regionally, he has directed at the Serenbe Playhouse and Hangar Theatre. Most recently, he directed an interactive virtual performance with Echo Theatre in Los Angeles and this summer will be directing a workshop of a new play with Leviathan Lab in New York. Michael is an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, 2017 Drama League Directing Fellow, and was a 2050 Directing Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop. He is also the founder and artistic director of the production company, The Muse Collective. He holds a BA (Hons) from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. www.michael-alvarez.com

The Muse Collective is committed to challenging formal boundaries of performance and visual storytelling by fusing theatre with contemporary visual art, fashion, pop culture, music and dance. We create work that deeply engages our cultural and political zeitgeist by building mythic worlds and fantastical universes, vital expressions of our society’s desires, fears, ambitions and dreams. We celebrate the world around us–spinning stories that touch us beyond the conscious level, digging deep into an expansive and inclusive collective mythology. Muse Collective is committed to diversifying stories, storytellers, forms and approaches to performance by championing new work and the radical re-envisioning of classic work, and by supporting emerging BIPOC artists and those who dare to dream. www.the-muse-collective.com

Published by malinism

Malini is a native New Yorker who has been involved in the arts for her entire life. She's served the theatre in many aspects of which she's very proud – actress, director, producer, stage manager, costume designer, prop designer, theatre reviewer, publicist and most recently writer/monologist. She received her BA in Theatre Arts and English Literature from Baruch College and her MFA in Directing from the Actors Studio Drama School. In 2003, Malini and her husband, Ian, created Black Henna Productions with a handful of innovative artists. Every member of the company collaborates on every piece, either writing, acting, directing, designing, or filling any other role that fit their own personal skills with a commitment to bring new, exciting, and challenging theatre to the world. She is an associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women. Malini received the Woman of Distinction Award for her contribution to Media, Arts and Culture from the City of New York in 2008. She is also a Person of Godspell which ran at Circle in the Square on Broadway from 2011-2012.

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