by Lia Chang
AsAmNews Arts and Entertainment Reporter
Alan Muraoka, best known for his role as Alan on Sesame Street, is at the helm of a haunting new world premiere drama, The Report, which opens in the New York International Fringe Festival tonight at the Lynn Redgrave Theater @Culture Project in New York.
Based on the novel by Jessica Francis Kane, The Report is adapted by Martin Casella, whose The Irish Curse earned the Outstanding Playwriting Award in the 2005 FringeNYC and went on to a highly acclaimed Off-Broadway run.
Director Muraoka’s credits include Falsetoland (NAATCO), Karaoke Stories and a sixteen year stint on “Sesame Street”. The production features specialty movement and choreography by Darren Lee.
The Report examines the true, unknown story of the British government’s cover-up of the largest civilian disaster of World War II. On March 3, 1943, 173 people died in London’s Bethnal Green tube station, which served as a bomb shelter during air raids. But not a single bomb was dropped that fateful night. The cause of this tragedy was kept secret for almost 30 years, until a young BBC journalist making a documentary began to uncover what actually took place. As the truth is revealed, we discover how trauma, fear and the paranoia of war impact our very humanity, and how the specter of a single public calamity resonates throughout multiple generations.
Michael Countryman in The Report. Photo by Lia Chang
The Report features Michael Countryman (“Boardwalk Empire,” “The Sopranos,” A Few Good Men, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, The Common Pursuit, You Can Count on Me) along with a company of British, Welsh, Canadian and American actors including Philippa Dawson, Denny Desmarias, Clemmie Evans, Natalie Frost, Jenny Green, Louis Lavoie, James Physick, Sophie Sorensen, Jonathan Stephens, Zoë Watkins, David Wells and Stuart Williams.
Stuart Williams and Michael Countryman in The Report. Photo by Lia Chang
Stuard Williams, Sophie Sorensen and Michael Countryman in The Report. Photo by Lia Chang
Zoe Watkins and Philippa Dawson in The Report. Photo by Lia Chang
Martin Casella’s recent theater credits, in addition to the Off-Broadway and worldwide productions of The Irish Curse, include the award-winning Directions for Restoring the Apparently Dead and Scituate. He is the screenwriter of Tom’s Dad starring Will Ferrell and directed by Lasse Hallstrom, and The Land of Sometimes, an animated British feature film.
Costume designer Brian Hemesath and director Alan Muraoka in rehearsal for The Report at The Lynn Redgrave Theater at the Culture Project. Photo by Lia Chang
Scenic design for The Report is by Lauren Helpern, with costume design by Brian Hemesath, lighting design by Michael O’Connor and sound design by Chris Sassano.
The performance schedule is Saturday August 15 at 3:15 pm, Tuesday August 18 at 9:45 pm, Monday August 24 at 4:30 pm, Thursday August 27 at 4:15 pm and Friday August 28 at 9:00 pm at Venue 13: Lynn Redgrave Theater @Culture Project located at 45 Bleecker Street.
The Report is being presented by Barry Goralnick, Sarahbeth Grossman, Craig Zehms in association with Cutting Hedge Productions. For information & tickets visit www.FringeNYC.org. For more information about THE REPORT, please visit www.TheReportThePlay.com.
Kung Fu director playwright, director Leigh Silverman and assistant director Alan Muraoka at The Pershing Square Signature Center on February 11, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Alan Muraoka (Director) – New York credits include: David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu (Signature Theatre-Assistant Director to Leigh Silverman), Ann Harada: American Songbook (Lincoln Center), Awesomer & Awesomer!!! (Triad Theatre), The King and I (Harbor Lights Theatre Company), Telly Leung: Playlist and What Makes a Man? (54 Below), Who Loves Ya’ Baby? (Laurie Beechman Theatre), Grand Hotel (NYU/Cap 21), Falsettoland (NAATCO), John Tartaglia AD-LIBerty (Joe’s Pub) Karaoke Stories (IMUA Theater Company), Christmas Eve With Christmas Eve 1,2, & 3 (BC/EFA Benefits at the Midtown Theatre) Empty Handed (Musicals Tonight) and cabarets for Tony-nominated actress Stephanie D’Abruzzo and Ann Harada.
Director Alan Muraoka gives Ann Harada notes in dress rehearsal for her Lincoln Center American Songbook debut in February 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Regionally: At the Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma City, he has directed The King and I, Xanadu, Disney’s High School Musical and Disney’s High School Musical 2. Other regional credits include Disney’s High School Musical (MUNY, Casa Mañana), Urinetown (Trinity University), and Associate Director for Up In The Air (Kennedy Center). Television: Alan has directed for “Sesame Street” and for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC.
Harbor Lights Theater Company’s Production of The King and I, directed by Alan Muraoka (November 2012).
Photo by Lia Chang
Mr. Muraoka is a member of the SSDC and an alumni of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. Current projects in development include a musical version of Steven Kluger’s The Last Days Of Summer, an original song cycle of composer Jason Loffredo called Turning The Page. As an actor, Mr. Muraoka has been a cast member of the Emmy-winning television series “Sesame Street” for the past 16 years, where he plays Alan, the proprietor of Hooper’s Store. Mr. Muraoka is a graduate of UCLA, where he received the Carol Burnett Musical Comedy Award for performance. He was also the 2004 recipient of the APEX Inspiration Award and the FCC’s 2007 Role Model of the Year Award opportunity. www.alanmuraoka.net
Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.