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POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — A Marine reservist adjusting to life after Iraq, and a Saudi-American searching for the cause of his father's death, come to terms with war, their fathers, and themselves in Geometry of Fire, premiering June 27-July 8, 2007 at Vassar College and New York Stage & Film's 23rd Powerhouse Theater Season.
Geometry of Fire pivots around two characters whose lives ultimately and unexpectedly intersect. Mel (Marshall-Green), the reservist , is reckoning with his Iraq experiences while sharing an apartment with his conscientious objector father (Birney). Tariq (Marek), a Saudi-American, lost his father when he was a young child. He suspects the death was hastened by an abandoned weapons site near his family's home, and confronts the military for answers. Tariq's plight is a subject very familiar to playwright Stephen Belber.
"I grew up in a Washington, DC neighborhood which was later discovered to have been built on a World War I era testing ground for chemical and biological weapons," Belber explained. The irreverent Tariq was also drawn from the playwright's personal experience.
"Tariq was actually inspired by one of my best friends from Washington, DC, a funny, smart guy with one foot firmly planted in American culture, and another in Saudi," Belber said. "Through him, I wanted to present an Arab who was neither an overtly earnest and noble man, nor a maybe-terrorist."
When Mel and Tariq meet at the bar tended by Cynthia (Barron), Tariq's girlfriend, their personal struggles spill out, and their worlds begin to collide.
Evening and matinee performances of Geometry of Fire will be held in the Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College, including special prologue and post-show discussions. Tickets for this mainstage production are $35 (Friday and Saturday evening only) and $30, and can be ordered online at http://powerhouse.vassar.edu, or through the Powerhouse box office at (845) 437-7235 and (845) 437-5599.
About Stephen Belber, Playwright
Stephen Belber's plays include Match (Broadway), McReele (Roundabout), Tape (Naked Angels, NYC/LA/London), A Small, Melodramatic Story (LAByrinth), and One Million Butterflies (Primary Stages). Stephen wrote the screenplay for Tape, directed by Richard Linklater (Sundance; Berlin). He was an Associate Writer (and actor) for The Laramie Project, later made into an HBO movie (Emmy nomination for screenwriting). His TV credits include "Rescue Me" and "Law & Order, SVU" (staff writer). He is currently working on several films, including Drifting Elegant, which was shot last summer.
About Lucie Tiberghien, Director
Recent credits include The Things we know, (a short film which Lucie co-wrote and directed) Hurt Village, by Katori Hall, (BRIC) and the world premieres of A Small Melodramatic Story by Stephen Belber (LAByrinth) and Augusta by Richard Dresser (Contemporary American Theater Festival). Other recent credits: Geometry of Fire, (Sundance), Hoodoo Love, (Katori Hall, Cherry Lane Mentor Project), Air Conditioning (Tommy Smith, Juilliard). Upcoming: Hoodoo Love on the Cherry Lane's main stage in the fall.
About Logan Marshall-Green (Mel)
Off-Broadway: King Lear (Drama League nomination), Pig Farm (Drama League nomination), Dog Sees God (Lortel nomination), Swimming in the Shallows, The Distance from Here (Drama Desk Ensemble award; Lortel nomination), Turn of the Screw. Film/TV: Julie Taymor's upcoming Across the Universe, The Kindness of Strangers, The Great Raid, ABC's new series "Traveler," "The O.C.," "24," "Law & Order," "SVU."
About Piter Marek (Tariq)
"The Grid" - TNT (oppposite Juliana Marguiles, Dylan McDermott), "Law & Order SVU, CI", "The Education of Max Bickford," "The Conan O' Brien Show," "Chappelle's Show," "One Life To Live," "The David Letterman Show," "60 Minutes," Discovery Channel. Off-Broadway: King Lear - Public Theater Arabian Night - Play Co., Chocolate in Heat - Semitic Root. He has also worked with Sundance Lab, Artists Refuse and Resist Network on Imagine: Iraq, a series of plays exploring connections between the people of Iraq, the Middle East, and the West. Second Stage Theater, Desti: Nation America: plays surrounding experiences in Immigrating to America. Member of Semitic Root: A theater initiative dedicated to the bridging of Jewish and Arab peoples.
About Reed Birney (Bob/Chuck)
Reed Birney has been seen this year in the Manhattan Theatre Club's premiere of Charles Busch's Our Leading Lady, and in The Rattlestick Theatre's production of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's Dark Matters, directed by Trip Cullman. Last year he appeared as Tony Blair in David Hare's Stuff Happens at The Public Theater and in Pen by David Marshall Grant at Playwrights Horizons. He won an OBIE for his performance as the mysterious Dr. Sweet in the Off-Broadway smash Bug. He is the recipient of an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance.
About Mia Barron (Cynthia)
Mia Barron recently completed the Broadway run of Tom Stoppard's trilogy The Coast of Utopia at Lincoln Center. Other New York Theatre credits includethe New York premieres of The Pain and the Itch, The World Over, She Stoops to Comedy (all at Playwrights Horizons). Television and film include "Guiding Light," the independentfeature The F Word, the upcoming 27 Dresses, as well as a long running roleas the voice of Molotov on "The Venture Brothers" (Cartoon Network).
Founded in 1985 by Producing Directors Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, and Leslie Urdang, New York Stage and Film (SAF) is a not-for-profit company dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development and production of new works for theater and film.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.