Playing With Fire

The team that brought you 2010’s heralded site-specific production of Hedda Gabler will present a multi-media version of Strindberg’s Playing with Fire, directed by John Gould Rubin, co-conceived by Shane Bly Killoran and adapted by Royston Coppenger, beginning Friday, August 17 at an exclusive location at 189 Chrystie Street. The Private Theatre’s fiery production will run through Friday, August 24. In keeping with the mission for free theatre access, there will be a limited number of FREE LOTTERY TICKETS distributed for each performance. For more information about the lottery and other details about the production, please visit: To guarantee your entry to this exciting theatrical event, tickets for purchase are available and begin at $25, with special VIP tickets ranging in price from $65 - $175, and a “Private All Access VIP Ticket” for $500.

Playing with Fire is a play about sexual frenzy, illicit coveting, exhibitionism, voyeurism, wife swapping and licentious fantasy. Six characters reside in a household: an incestuous father; an acquiescent mother; a philandering son; the son’s wife, who is sleeping with her father-in-law while tempting her husband’s best friend; and a cousin who pursues the friend and father, all while sleeping with the son. All this frenetic sexual activity will be enacted by an eclectic group of 14 actors and actresses, in a multi-media landscape involving pre-recorded and live-feed video; explosive music from two composers (one from Bristol, UK and one from Hong Kong); high-energy choreography, and a full-scale environmental manipulation of the entire venue. .

CAST INCLUDES: Matthew Boyce, Solonje Burns, Chris Devlin, Stephen Dexter, Alexa Erbach, Jason Gray, Talya Hernandez-Ritter, Mark Noonan, David Rysdahl, Casey Shane, Haleigh Spasojevich, Sarah Stephens, Sarah Wharton.

The creative team includes: Bronwen Carson (choreography), Andreea Mincic (set and costume design), Isabella F. Byrd (lighting design), Andy Cohen (sound design), Kwan-Fai Lam (composer and music director), Sam Kidel (additional composer), Ian Brownell (video design / editing and technical direction), Raj Kottamasu (video design / vision mixing), Megan Abell (camera op), Shane Lacoss (camera op) and Terhi Lintukangas (camera op).

Playing with Fire

Based on the play by August Strindberg; Adapted by Royston Coppenger
Co-conceived by Shane Bly Killoran
Directed by John Gould Rubin

Playing with Fire is playing at 189 Chrystie Street

The limited run will take place: Friday, August 17th, Saturday, August 18th,

Thursday, August 23rd and Friday, August 24th

Tickets are $25, $65, $175 (special VIP tickets), and a “Private All Access VIP Ticket” for $500. Tickets can be purchased by visiting:

Doors Open at 7PM

Playing with Fire begins at 8:30PM

Running time 60 minutes no intermission

You’ve got nothing to lose but your inhibitions!

For more information on the production and the FREE LOTTERY visit

Who’s Who:

John Gould Rubin (director) Artistic Director The Private Theatre, was Co-Artistic and Executive Director of LAByrinth Theater Company for which he directed the premieres of Philip Roth in Khartoum; Penalties & Interest (both as part of Public/LAB at The Public Theater); STopless; The Trail of Her Inner Thigh (by Erin Cressida Wilson); John Patrick Shanley's A Winter Party; (and co-created and directed:) Dreaming in Tongues; and Mémoire. He recently directed a NYC site-specific production of Hedda Gabler, which sold out in under two minutes once announced by The New York Times; and directed In The Daylight, by Tony Glazer Off Broadway; co-created and directed The Erotica Project for the NYSF; directed The Land of Little Horses, by Rebecca Gilman for Stella Adler Studios, Trial By Water for Ma-Yi, A Taste of Honey at Playwrights Horizons; Blood in the Sink at Urban Stages; both A Matter Of Choice and NAMI for Partial Comfort Productions; EST’s and Naked Angel’s Marathons; The Fartiste for the NY Fringe Festival (Best Musical.) He wrote (and played Ivan Boesky in) The Predators' Ball (collaborating with Karole Armitage and David Salle) for the Teatro Comunale in Florence, Italy, and at BAM's Next Wave Festival. He recently directed his first film, Almost Home for Trigger Street Independent, which appeared at The Berkshire Film Festival. As a Producer, For LAByrinth he produced Our Lady of 121st Street (and it’s commercial production Off-Broadway), and Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train at Center Stage/NY; Off-Broadway (two Drama Desk noms.); at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival (Fringe First Award); at The Donmar Warehouse; and at The Arts Theatre on the West End in London (Olivier Award nom.) Mr. Rubin produced a tour of Macbeth with Stephen Dillane playing all the roles at the Almeida Theater in London, the Sydney Theater in Australia and New Zealand. As an actor, Mr. Rubin appeared at The Public in The Sacrifices and has appeared at Second Stage in John Patrick Shanley's play, Cellini, on B’way opposite Glenn Close and Gene Hackman in Death and The Maiden, under Mike Nichol's direction; in the title role of Moliere's Don Juan, at The Mark Taper Forum in L.A. under the direction of Travis Preston, for which he received the DramaLogue Award in Acting; as Jacques in John Tillinger's production of As You Like It; in Martin Crimp’s adaptation of The Misanthrope, with Uma Thurman and Roger Rees; as well as in the lead role of Mr. Crimp’s Play With Repeats, with Francis McDormand. Mr. Rubin's Film appearances include the Spanish film by Juanma Bajo Ulloa, Frágil, The Out-of-Towners, Three Men and a Baby and Dead Again. Television appearances include New York News, Good Advice, Law & Order (all versions, many times) and The Story Behind the Story.

The Private Theatre: (producer) The Private Theatre is a not-for-profit collective committed to celebrating the private experience on the public stage, challenging the way audiences experience theatre. We forge theatrical collaborations across various cultures, aesthetics and disciplines in order to embrace the artistic impulse wherever we find it. The Private Theatre endeavors to stage raw, intimate and evocative productions of both new and classical work that explore the human condition and illuminate the thoughts most often left unspoken. Founded in 1980 by Artistic Director John Gould Rubin, The Private Theatre has been committed to the production of both new and classical theatrical works throughout its history. The company has a tradition of employing non-traditional theatrical conventions and of staging productions in unexpected venues. The Private Theatre’s past productions include: Our Father by Michael Stephens (1982): Philoctetes by Heiner Muller (1983): The Maids by Jean Genet (1985): An Unseen Energy Swallows Space by Travis Preston (1985): The Last American in Paris (1987): Jesus Hopped The A Train by Stephen Adly Guirgis (2000): The Fartiste by Charlie Schulman and Michael Roberts (2006): Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen (2010):

Royston Coppenger (Adapter) contributed the autobiographical piece "Ghost/King" to John Gould Rubin's 1968 for the Labyrinth Theater's Barn Series in 2009, and prepared a new English version of Hedda Gabler for a a site-specific production in a New York City townhouse in 2010, also directed by John Gould Rubin. His award-winning translations of Bernard-Marie Koltès' plays Roberto Zucco, In the Loneliness of the Cottonfields and Key West have been produced across the United States. Additional original plays and performance pieces staged in New York include Hopper, Moses, The Killer Inside Me, and The Last American In Paris/Le Dernier Americain à Paris (with John Gould Rubin and Travis Preston). Royston Coppenger's extensive New York directing credits include Orpheus in the Underworld and The Tender Land for the Bronx Opera, The Great White Hope and Fahrenheit 451 for the Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival, and the world premieres of Carne Ross' The Fox and Stevan Arbona's Saturn's Children. His ongoing series of short films Das Kapital: The Movie have been shown at Anthology Film Archives and Oakland International Film Festival. Royston Coppenger holds a Doctor of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama. He is currently Professor of Drama at Hofstra University.

Shane Bly Killoran (Co-conceiver/Dramaturg) Shane received her B.F.A in Acting from New York University with a heavy concentration in Women’s Studies. After acting for several years in New York and Los Angeles, she realized she enjoyed the rehearsal process far more than performing. This realization took her to England and the University of London where she pursued her post-graduate work in Performance Studies and continued on as a Doctoral candidate focusing primarily in devised performance and representations of sexuality onstage. Upon her return from London, she is focusing full time on writing and taking her place at The Private Theatre as Literary Manager and Resident Dramaturg.

Lam Kwan-Fai (Composer) winner of International Composition Completion of Hsu Tsang-houei Prize -3rd prize and 2nd place for the Asian Composer League - Young ComposerAward. After graduating from Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, he awarded full scholarship from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund to complete the Master of Fine Arts in the Composition Program at California Institute of the Arts. Lam's film scores have screened and awarded in different film festivals including The 3rd Fresh Wave Short Film Competition (The Grand Prize), Festival International de Cine de Monterrey (Best Short Fiction Film Award), IndieProducers’ Award 2009 (Best Animation), His works also broadcasted by BBC, PBS, The Chosunilbo and NHK. In 2008, Hong Kong Government and the International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong) invited Lam to be the Music Director of the Musical Theatre Animateur Scheme. Lam is now working closely with Director John Gould Rubin and Emmy Award Nominee film composer Gil Talmi in New York.

Bronwen Carson (Choreographer) Bronwen’s professional career started at 15, when she became the youngest full company member of San Jose Dance Theater.She continued on at 17 with The Cleveland Ballet under Artistic Director, Dennis Nahat. Favorite classical roles include Snow Queen and Arabian in The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Coppelia and Jody White's Accordamento. She performed leading and supporting roles in musicals with AMTSJ, Artistic Dir. Diana Schuster, including The Music Man, starring Dirk Lombard, for which she received a Bay Area Equity Ginny Award for her depiction of Zaneeta Shinn. Additional credits include: Me and My Girl, Kismet, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Will Rogers Follies. After being spotted in an open dance call by film director Randa Haines (director, Children of a Lesser God), she was cast in a supporting role in “Dance With Me”, starring Vaneesa Williams, then went on to dance in a number of National commercials and films including “CenterStage”, Choreographed by Susan Stroman. Bronwen is trained in Meisner, Michael Chekhov and Stanislavski techniques and now utilizes them as a director and choreographer. Bronwen also produces a number of projects each year. Recent projects include The 2010 and 2011 Astaire Awards and The Fall Collection, an annual New Works Festival at The Neighborhood Playhouse. She often works with charitable organizations, producing red carpet benefits for The Helen Sawaya Fund for Breast Cancer Survivors and Angel on a Leash at the Danny Kaye Playhouse. In February 2011, Bronwen founded Sounding Line, a production company focused upon innovation in biomechanics/physics, sound, lighting and costuming while staying deeply rooted in the art of storytelling. Sounding Line produces film and theatre. It’s first full-length production, “49th Street and Other Stories” is slated for a Fall 2012 Off-Broadway premiere. Bronwen was the choreographer of the new musical, “Jack’s Back” which premiered in NYC in May 2012, directed by John Rubin.

Andy Cohen (Sound Designer) has worked extensively as composer, sound designer, and musical director for theater. Recent credits include Black Milk at the 13th St. (Classic Stage Company) Theater, Listen! The River at 59E59 and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, She’s Of A Certain Age off-Broadway at Theatre Row, and several T. Schreiber productions, including Jack’s Back! (musical direction), and Balm in Gilead (NYIT Awards Nominee for Sound Design). Andy has written music or designed sound in such venues as Lincoln Center, Fordham University, The Public Theater, La Mama, and Werdenberg Castle in Switzerland. For more information visit:

Andreea Mincic (Production Designer) is a visual artist working in theatre as a set and costume designer. This is her fourth production with the The Private Theater after designing Hedda Gabler, The Fartiste and In the Daylight. Other companies Andreea collaborates with: Hoi Polloi, The Builders Association, Half Straddle, 31 Down, Nonsense Theater Company, Paper Industry

Ian Brownell (Video Designer/Editor/Technical Director) has been a producer and director of film, video and theater for 24 years and often combines the three mediums. He was co-creator, producer and video director for Faith Soloway's schlock operas Jesus Has Two Mommies, Miss Folk America and The F Word, and director of Boston News Net. Since founding his company, BTI films, in 1988 he has produced and designed video for theatrical productions, corporate trade shows, concerts and comedy shows, and has produced and directed music videos, shorts and documentary films.

Sam Kidel is a young composer working from Bristol (UK). Growing up Sam studied classical piano and guitar to a high standard, and played in a variety of jazz and rock bands, but chose to avoid the narrow horizons of an academic music education. Whilst studying for a degree in Anthropology (he graduated with first class honors), Sam continued to write and perform, composing a wide range of electronic music, much of which has been released by record labels. He has also worked collaboratively with visual artists on installation pieces, and more recently composed the soundtrack to a BBC documentary about the painter and stained-glass artist, Brian Clarke.

Raj Kottamasu (Video Designer/Vision Mixer) is an artist working in video, animation, and now theater. His most recent short film, Amnion, screened at the Queens International Film Festival, The Tank, and the Noua Gallery in Bucharest.