Photo from Alchemy Theatre Company of Manhattan production of THE VIETNAMIZATION OF NEW JERSEY

Media Guide

The Vietnamization of New Jersey

Print Press Release

The Vietnamization of New Jersey (A American Tragedy) by Christopher Durang
Off Broadway at The Beckett Theatre (Theatre Row)
Previews Begin January 12 — Opening January 16, 2007

The Alchemy Theatre Company of Manhattan, Inc presents The Vietnamization of New Jersey (A American Tragedy) by Christopher Durang, Off Broadway at The Beckett (Theatre Row), 410 West 42nd Street. Robert Saxner will direct the 30th anniversary production of the two-act play. Previews begin on January 12, 2007 and the opening will be Tuesday, January 16, 2007 at 8:00 pm.

The Vietnamization of New Jersey (A American Tragedy) is set in a middle-class home in Piscataway, New Jersey, where Ozzie Ann (the mother) and Harry (the father) await the return of their Vietnam veteran son, David, and his native bride, Liat. Also on hand are younger brother Et, a sex-obsessed high school junior who eats corn flakes from his unzipped pants; and Hazel, the irrepressible black maid (originally portrayed by a male performer) who is the real power in the household. When David and Liat arrive they are both blind and she is an ex-hooker (who later turns out to be a displaced orphan named Maureen O’Hara). Thereafter comes suicide, adultery, the feeble intervention of a homosexual priest, and the arrival of a super-patriotic, war-mongering uncle — plus a staccato of outrageous comments by the cynical Hazel.

The Vietnamization Of New Jersey was first presented by the Yale Repertory Theatre, on January 28, 1977, directed by Walt Jones. Christopher Durang’s many plays include the recent Miss Witherspoon at Playwrights Horizons, as well as Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You (Obie Award), A History of the American Film (Tony Nomination), Baby with the Bathwater, The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award, Dramatists Guild Hull Warriner Award) and Betty’s Summer Vacation (Obie Award).

Robert Saxner (Director) is Producing Artistic Director of Alchemy Theatre Company of Manhattan. Directing work includes: New York Premieres of Zayd Dohrn’s Haymarket and Ned Campbell’s Ollie Utz is Free; David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow and Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart (Alchemy Theatre Company); Regional credits include Zayd Dohrn’s Shameless (Red Friday Productions), Martin Jones’ Old Soldiers (Theatre Cooperative), the premieres of Henry Kimmel’s Tinted Window and Paul Mohrbacher’s Samarkand (Atlantis Playmaker’s Festival), John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, James Christie’s Creep, Jean Genet’s The Maids (Actor’s Workshop of Boston), Heiner Muller’s Hamletmachine, Elizabeth Egloff’s The Swan, and Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9 (ART/MXAT’s Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University). Other directing work includes Samuel Beckett’s Catastrophe, Play, and Act Without Words I & II (Moscow Art Theatre School). Acting work includes “Gavrila” in Chekhov’s Ivanov, in which he also served as Assistant Director, starring Debra Winger and Arliss Howard at American Repertory Theatre. Robert has taught at Actor’s Workshop in Boston. He is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. MFA in Directing from Moscow Art Theatre School.

The Alchemy Theatre Company of Manhattan, Inc. exists to produce vivid theatrical productions, devoted to visceral storytelling of contemporary, classical, and new works, and a collaborative approach to artistry, which will resonate with a diverse New York audience. Two of the past acclaimed productions of ATCNY have been the first NYC productions of Speed-the-Plow and The Normal Heart after their original New York premieres. www.alchemytheatre.org.

Performances of the limited engagement through 1/27 are: Tuesday - Friday at 8:00 pm; Saturday at 2:00 & 8:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm. There is a special performance Sunday 1/14 at 7:00 pm and no mat on 1/20. Tickets will be available later through Ticket Central: (212) 279-4200 or www.ticketcentral.com.