(HERE Artist Residency Program)

CasablancaBox Sara Farrington & Reid Farrington

Show Description

CasablancaBox lifts the veil of the eponymous classic film to reimagine the stories behind the legends. Rife with glamour, war, censorship, sexism, racism, addiction and the refugee crisis of 1940s Hollywood, CasablancaBox is madcap and affecting, moving and political, romantic and relevant. With an intricately woven multi-narrative script by Sara Farrington and elaborate original video score by director Reid Farrington, this new theatrical work is a transformative “making of” tribute to the movie you thought you knew. Performance runs 90 minutes. Employing simple wooden canvas flats, period costumes and 17 performers playing over two dozen characters, CasablancaBox toggles between high-tech and low-tech, transporting audiences to a bustling 1940s movie set. This backlot drama, inspired by a roving camera style, delves into myriad stories behind the iconic film Casablanca – stories of risk, sacrifice, brilliance and chance – in an exploration into the accidental nature of great art, through a contemporary lens.


Written by Sara Farrington

Directed by Reid Farrington



April 5-29, 2017

FEATURING: Roger Casey*, Kevin R. Free*, Catherine Gowl*, Lynn Guerra*, Annemarie Hagenaars, Gabriel Hernandez I*, Rob Hille*, Zac Hoogendyk*, Toussaint Jeanlouis*, Ahmad Maksoud*, Matt McGloin*, Adam Patterson*, Stephanie Regina*, Gabriella Rhodeen, Kyle Stockburger, Jon Swain* and Erin Treadway*;

with Set/Video Design by Reid Farrington, Lighting Design by Laura Mroczkowski, Video Engineering by John Erickson, Choreography by Laura K. Nicoll, Additional Direction by Marina McClure, Sound Engineering by Travis Wright, Stage Management by Alex B. West* and Dramaturgy by Peter McCabe

*Appears courtesy of Actor's Equity Association

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Artist Bio

SARA FARRINGTON (Playwright): Sara is a New York based playwright, MFA from Brooklyn College with Mac Wellman. She is a current HARP Artist at HERE Arts Center to create CasablancaBox, which tells the story of Casablanca through the making of Casablanca (April 2017 @ HERE). Recent plays include: Cosmicomics (The Flea, upcoming), Leisure, Labor, Lust (The Mount, ongoing), The Return (Metropolitan Museum of Art), Near Vicksburg (Incubator Arts Project, Walkerspace, Foxy Films, The Wild Project), Requiem For Black Marie (Incubator Arts Project, Foxy Films, Stella Adler Studios), Mickey & Sage (Incubator Arts Project, Foxy Films, Great Plains Theater Conference, NTI @ O'Neill Center, ShelterBelt Theater, Omaha, NE.) Sara is currently working on a piece inspired by Sinclair Lewis' Main Street. Sara's work has been supported by The Venturous Fund, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Axe-Houghton Foundation and The Arch & Bruce Brown Foundation. She is a MacDowell Colony fellow, grad of Connecticut College and NTI @ The Eugene O'Neill Center, worked at The Wooster Group and acted at The Jean Cocteau Rep. Mickey & Sage is published by Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. Sara is an avid reader, runner and history lover. She and husband Reid Farrington live in Maplewood, NJ and have two little boys, Jack & Levi. For more,www.ladyfarrington.com.

Reid Farrington (Director) Reid is a theater director, new media artist and stage designer. Recent work: CasablancaBox (HARP Commission from HERE Arts Center, 2017), The Return, about the accidental destruction and assembly of Tullio Lombardo's Adam (commissioned by and performed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015) Tyson vs. Ali, a hybrid theater sports event (PS 122 Coil Festival 2014), Reid Farrington’s A Christmas Carol, which mixed live performers with video projected characters from 35 different film versions of the Dickens’ classic tale (Abrons Art Center in 2011 & 2012), The Passion Project, based on the film The Passion of Joan of Arc (PS/K2 festival in Copenhagen, Denmark 2007, w/ subsequent productions at 3LD, and tours to Budapest, Vancouver and Regina, SK), Gin & “It”, based on Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (Wexner Center for the Arts, 2010). His work has bee supported by NYSCA, NYFA, Jerome, ETC, Franklin Furnace, Greenwall. From 2001 – 2008, Reid was a technical artist for The Wooster Group where he designed video and created hardware and software systems for the integration of video and sound for six of the company’s productions: To You, the Birdie!; Brace Up!; Poor Theater; House/Lights; WHO’S YOUR DADA?! and Hamlet. He has toured his work and five Wooster productions to Copenhagen, Moscow, Paris, Berlin, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Melbourne, Brussels, Athens, Vancouver, Budapest and Columbus, OH. Reid has held creative residencies at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, the 3LD Art & Technology Center and Abrons Art Center. By day, he works as Audio Visual Manager at The Whitney Museum. He and wife and playwright Sara Farrington have two boys, Jack and Levi. For more on Reid, www.reidfarrington.com


“It is a beautiful, eloquent, powerful and uncomfortable play. Riveting and challenging…. There is no over-explanation in Near Vicksburg. Ms. Farrington acts as both writer and director this time, and she eloquently succeeds as both. It is the quietest, most unsettling play I have had to grapple with in a long time…It’s a challenge to direct a piece where so many of the moments have to be painted. But, oh, if done with the specificity of this production, it feels like poetry…English is my second language, but I finally found an example of what American’s like to call waiting with “baited breath” because I was indeed baited and like much of Sara Farrington’s play I was left breathless.”
— Montserrat Mendez, NYTheatreNow.com
“What's so intriguing about Requiem for Black Marie is that playwright Sara Farrington, in imagining the way Bertolt Brecht might have manipulated and plagiarized from his lovers/collaborators, does whatever she damn well pleases. The play straddles history, relationships, expressionistic flourish, and a decent amount of lit-fan reference, all with a fluid theatrical control of the story. In her program note, Farrington asserts that these are only "imagined versions" of the past, and there's little doubt that such freedom inspired the show's wonderfully broad and varied structure. ”
— Stephen Cedars, NYTheatre.com
“What a breath of fresh air this play is! Farrington’s shrewd touch and her performers' acumen (Farrington wrote the play expressly for Frederick and Mallon, veterans of her work) provide children-played-by adults that read as real. This understated tack saves the play from melodrama, happily squandering the many opportunities to spin the play in the style of a Lifetime drama when broaching some darker subjects. This play does not trade in sentiment; this play traffics in humor. And when it does it, it does it very well. For those in the market for a gleeful night in the theatre Mickey & Sage is a must.”
— PJ Grisar, NYTheatre.com
“This four-scene, 60-minute piece lays bare the way that the minor differences that kids note about their playmates' home lives take on greater weight and power as childhood ends. ”
— Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice
“Listening to two kids talking smack during forced backyard playdates can be pretty funny. They mangle adult language they’re trying to ape, and what it all means. But there’s a disturbing undercurrent to “Mickey & Sage.” Comedy leavens the underlying painful circumstances, as filtered through the minds of youngsters trying to make sense of it all — or just to survive emotionally and physically.”
— Bob Fischbach, Omaha World-Herald
“Mickey & Sage is a highly-felt new drama, centering on a pair of adolescents on the brink, and the broken, searching adults who surround them. It is written with charming naturalism by Sara Farrington, and directed by the author with spirit and verve.”
— Sherri Kronfeld, New York Theater Review

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