Bill Murray

The American National Theatre (Sean Cullen, Founder; Mark Rubinsky, President) is proud to present, in association with InViolet Repertory Theater and Urban Stages, a staged reading of Erin Mallon’s Branched, and Robert Emmet Lunney’s For Nina, in association with The Directors Company and Two River Theater Company on Monday, April 30 at Theater Row’s Clurman Theater (410 West 42nd Street). This day of readings follows The ANT’s first presentation Nobody Suspects a Butterfly, by Christine Henry. Branched will be performed at 4:00PM, and For Nina at 7:00PM. Admission is FREE to the public.

Branched, written by Erin Mallon and directed by Tim D. O’Donnell, follows a week in the life of a five-year-old boy whose domestic life is far from normal. After five whole years of being breast fed, Ben suddenly has to step aside for his new baby sister, Beatrice, who may or may not be human. His mother says they have to “support her appearance no matter how humiliating it is,” but that’s hard to do considering Ben’s baby sister has branches for arms and legs. Ben also finds out that his father is having “the sex” with his new kindergarten teacher, and he’s not sure how to tell his mother. As a five-year-old entrepreneur, Ben prides himself on always staying cool under pressure, but this time…he may just burst. Branched was previously presented as a public reading At InViolet Repertory Theater and Urban Stages.

The cast of Branched includes: Jennifer Bowen (Burning Down to Heaven, Sad Sack Sally, Happiest Place On Earth), Mark McCarthy (The Seafarer, The Rivals, Macbeth, As You Like It, Moonlight and Magnolias, The Lion in Winter), Stacey Raymond (Film: Alice In Wonderland, Dive), Dana Brooke (Venecia, Love of a Pig, Nibroc Trilogy, Cricket on the Heart- Backstage West Garland Award).

For Nina, written and directed by Robert Emmet Lunney, tells the tale of movie star Nina Dalton, who returns to the stage in a new play written by her celebrated novelist husband, Brian Bartow. Brian is waging a dual battle against early-stage Alzheimer’s disease and the temptation to rewrite Nina’s part for a young starlet in the play’s film version. Enter Gar Jackson, Nina’s first love, who re-appears after thirty years, with a play of staggering beauty and epic proportions, written especially for Nina. For Nina was previously presented as a public reading at The Directors Company and Two River Theater Company.

The cast includes: Sean Cullen (B’way: South Pacific, Coram Boy, James Joyce’s The Dead ), Xanthe Elbrick (B’way: Coram Boy -Tony nom), Louisa Krause (Film: Martha Marcy May Marlene, King Kelly), Brent Langdon (The Europeans, Couldn't Say), Brian Murray (B’way: The Importance of Being Earnest, Mary Stuart, The Rival, The Crucible - Tony & Drama Desk nom.), Laila Robins (Edward Albee’s The Lady From Dubuque. B’way: Heartbreak House, Frozen).

The American National Theatre’s

Double-Header Day of Stage Reading

Monday, April 30, 2012


Written by Erin Mallon; Directed by Tim D. O’Donnell

Presented by The ANT, in association with InViolet Repertory Theater and Urban Stages

at the Harold Clurman Theater, Theater Row (410 West 42nd Street) at 4:00PM


Written and Directed by Robert Emmet Lunney

Presented by The ANT, in association with The Directors Company and Two River Theater Company

at the Harold Clurman Theater, Theater Row (410 West 42nd Street) at 7:00PM

Reservations please call 323 252 8474 or email

Admission is FREE to the public. Doors open thirty minutes prior to the start of each reading.

Who’s Who:

The American National Theatre’s mission is to identify and present distinguished new American plays and musicals from across the country with their original companies and creative teams at a theatre center in New York. As it showcases a continent-wide company of collaborators, the focus of The American National Theatre is set on that most essential theatre artist—the writer—and on the advancement of the writing of new plays and musicals. With its clearly defined and responsible mission, The American National Theatre will be an active partner in the creative life of New York and the nation. Its plans speak to the cultural, educational, economic, and social needs of both, while creating for Manhattan an institution of international significance. A cultural flagship of the city, The American National Theatre will offer audiences and producers one central location for the best theatre in the United States. Unique in its artistic vision and ambitious in its scope, The American National Theatre is an arts organization for the 21st century. For the first time, our country will celebrate its long and vibrant performing arts tradition with a truly national theatre.

InViolet Repertory Theater was founded by an assembly of actors committed to diversifying our talents into writing, directing, and producing. We choose to empower the actor and emerging writer by providing an artistic haven that will allow us to play, to grow, to learn, and to teach. Through collaboration, we will generate original theater derived from an inviolate sense of truth. We intend to reinforce these aspirations by seeking out relationships with like companies around the city, the country and the world.

Urban Stages is an award-winning, not-for-profit Off-Broadway Theatre Company founded in 1984 by current Artistic Director Frances Hill. Over the past 24 years, Urban Stages has produced over 70 productions (mostly world premieres) including Pulitzer Prize Finalist, Eisa Davis’ BULRUSHER (2007), two Drama Desk nominations, an Outer Critic's Circle Award, an Obie nomination, and eight Audelco nominations. Urban Stages’ mission is to discover, nurture and produce exceptional new works by artists of diverse cultural backgrounds. We strive to give authors a venue to address the multi-faceted issues facing our contemporary world. From our open submission policy to our open casting policies, Urban Stages is committed to discovering and developing new professional theatre and theatre artists representing the whole of our society.

The Directors Company is an award-winning, not-for-profit theatre company with an extraordinary record in its mission to develop and produce groundbreaking new plays and musicals initiated and generated by outstanding directorial talent, for the American theatre public. For over twenty-five years, The Directors Company has mentored and supported emerging artists in the development of original theatre works from inception to production, providing artistic and dramaturgical guidance to promising, new theatre artists and their projects. The future of American theatre depends on a regular influx of new works, to which The Directors Company is committed, and the collaborative process we encourage involves not only the playwright and director, but audiences as well, who play a part in the emergence of original works giving voice to contemporary concerns.

Two River Theater Company was founded in 1994 by Joan and Dr. Robert M. Rechnitz and is now under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst. After producing seasons at Monmouth University in West Long Branch and the Algonquin Arts in Manasquan, Bob and Joan Rechnitz led a community effort to build a new, permanent home for the theater in the locale that gave the company its name, the peninsula formed by the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers. In 2005, we opened our state-of-the-art, two-theater complex in Red Bank, which was designed by the renowned architectural firm Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates. We produce an eight-play season of classics and contemporary plays, and new plays and musicals. We also produce readings and workshops throughout each season to support writers and other artists as they work on new plays and musicals, and look with fresh eyes at the classics. These are free and open to the public, giving audiences opportunities to be part of the creative process.
Today, we are noted for the intimacy of our stages, our exceptional productions, innovative education and community programs, and far-reaching vision.

Erin Mallon (Branched Playwright): Erin is one of BACKSTAGE’s “Career Dispatch” columnists for 2012. As an actor, she has originated roles with Ensemble Studio Theater's Youngblood Company, The Drilling Company, Les Freres Corbusier, Mabou Mines, Vital Theater Company and many more. This Summer/Fall, she is thrilled to perform in two beautiful new plays by Sara Farrington: Untitled Play About Bertolt Brecht and His Girlfriends and Boyfriend and Wife at Foxy Films, andMickey and Sage at The Incubator Arts Project. Some of Erin's short plays include: "Good Working with Hands," Baby Fight Club, Invasion at Man Camp, Domesticated and Check-Out. She runs a monthly new play-generating project in Brooklyn, is a proud member of InViolet Rep and a devoted volunteer at The 52nd Street Project. Many thanks to the folks at Last Frontier Theater Conference, InViolet Rep and Urban Stages for the readings, encouragement and support. Branched is Erin’s first full-length play.

Tim D. O'Donnell (Branched Director): NYC: Holy Cows of Credence South Dakota, Puzzle New Plays Festival, Augstine's Confessions, Adam Robebuck Productions, Gallery Players. Beyond: The Rocky Horror Show, The Wedding Singer, The Shape of Things, Side Show, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and others. Educator and teacher North Shore Music Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Boston Children's Theatre, Papermill Playhouse. Currently the General Manager at the Lark Play Development Center. Love to Mike.

Robert Emmet Lunney (For Nina Playwright/Director): Robert Emmet Lunney is a writer/actor/director living in New York City. Robert began writing in 2005. His plays include, For Nina, An Occurrence at Yankee Stadium, and Cannon Beach. His screenplay, When You Wake is a touching father/son story of love and loss, easily confused for a demonic thriller. As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway in Born Yesterday, Mauritius, Deuce, The Graduate, A Doll’s House, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Devil’s Disciple, and The Night of the Iguana; Off-Broadway in Victory: Choices in Reaction, Gary the Thief, Remembering Mr. Maugham, The Europeans, Grace, The Breadwinner and The Dying Gaul among others; and in Regional theater (Long Wharf, McCarter, Seattle Rep). Film work includes Julie and Julia, Imaginary Heroes, and The Flying Scissors. He has had guest-starring roles on “Law & Order” and was a regular on the short-lived CBS series “Feds.” Robert is co-founder of The Barker Project, a loose affiliation of theater artists inspired by the works of contemporary British playwright Howard Barker, and founded on the principle that argument and entertainment need not be mutually exclusive.