NEW YORK CITY — The Sundance Institute Theatre Program today announced it will be workshopping from May 17-29, 2011, PAPER DOLLS, a new play written by the Program’s Producing Artistic Director Philip Himberg and directed by Mark Brokaw. This mini-lab will offer Himberg rehearsal space with actors as well as critiques from Institute alumni Doug Wright (I am My Own Wife) and Jessica Hagedorn (Dogeaters). Himberg has adapted the play from documentary film of the same name by Israeli filmmaker Tomer Heymann. Sundance Institute will utilize space at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
PAPER DOLLS tells the unusual story of five Filipino male nurses who emigrate from Manila to Tel Aviv in 2001. During the day they are private caretakers to orthodox and Chasidic men in the ultra-conservative neighborhood of B’nei Brak, and at night part of a homespun drag queen group, “The Paper Dolls”. Adapted from Tomer Heymann’s award-winning Israeli documentary, PAPER DOLLS looks at these strangers in a strange land, their unique ability to create family far from home and the surprising melding of diverse cultures. The play’s protagonist, a documentary filmmaker, first regards these colorful men as great material for his next movie, but over the course of time, his relationship with them changes his perception of his country, his society and himself.
“When I first happened upon the film at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2006, I was deeply moved by a world I had never seen, and immediately felt the theatricality of the story. After spending time in Israel with the filmmaker and in London meeting the principal subjects of the documentary, Sundance Institute secured an option to adapt and develop the documentary film into a play,” said Sundance Producing Artistic Director, Philip Himberg. “It was my passion for the material that inspired me to write the piece.” The Sundance Institute-supported Lab is under the guidance of director Mark Brokaw and dramaturg Janice Paran, and will inform the structure of the story-telling. It is a closed process mirroring the Institute’s other Lab projects.”
PAPER DOLLS is being developed by the Sundance Institute Theatre Program with ongoing post-Lab support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Casting for this project was by Alan Filderman.
PAPER DOLLS — A play with music by Philip Himberg
Freely adapted from the Israeli documentary Paper Dolls by Tomer Heymann
Directed by Mark Brokaw
Music Direction by Vadim Feichner
Cast: Joan Barber, Yusef Boulov, Ron Domingo, Ben Graney, Francis Jue, Lauren Klein, Telly Leung, Erik Liberman, Orville Mendoza, Jon Rua, Ariel Shafir & Matthew Wilkas
Dramaturg: Janice Paran
Dramaturgy Intern: Rachel Merrill Moss
Stage Manager: Jana Llynn; Assistant Stage Manager: Dan Zittel
Company Manager: Ignacia Delgado
Casting: Alan Filderman