(WEST ORANGE, NJ) -- Luna Stage will launch 2019 with the World Premiere of Christina Gorman’s cyber-security romance Roan @ The Gates , directed by Michelle Tattenbaum. An exploration of internet privacy and the risks of whistleblowing, this suspenseful new play examines the cost of doing the right thing. The production runs from January 31 to February 24.
Inspired by a shadowy photograph of Edward Snowden's girlfriend, Roan @ The Gates is a fictional investigation into cyber-security. Roan is a data analyst for the NSA, and her wife, Nat, is a lawyer committed to human rights advocacy. When their personal life collides with national security, it launches a beautiful, high-stakes adventure that illuminates the cost of secrecy.
“Roan @ The Gates springs from my alarm at the rapid pace at which our supposedly private online data is being swept up and catalogued by individuals, companies, and governments,” says playwright Christina Gorman. “Now that virtually everything about ourselves exists in electronic form, is the battle already lost? Is the very notion of privacy gone for good?”
Michelle Tattenbaum, the play’s director, adds “We’re all inhabiting two worlds at once. Living two lives at once. We're living our tangible, physical lives, in our homes, with our loved ones, and then we are living a virtual life that is hidden from us, the life of all the data points we accumulate and disseminate by our actions. And this play tells the story of a couple whose tangible, physical life is devoured by their life of data and computing.”
Gorman is fascinated by whistleblowers. “What are the personal consequences of making such a radical gesture? What happens not only to the idealistic individual, but to the loved ones who are forced to live with the aftermath? And, in the end, is the action of a whistleblower selfless…or selfish?”
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Luna’s new Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith chose the play for her inaugural season because “Roan @ The Gates inspires us to look at our own relationships to moral choices, and ask ‘What matters to me enough that I would risk everything to do what is right? What is the moral breaking point for me?’ These questions are terrifying but vital.”
Roan @ The Gates is the third play in Luna’s 2019-2020 season, which centers around the question of how we bridge cultural divides. Each play is set in at least two locations (Roan takes place in Washington D.C. and Russia) and grapples with contemporary human connection and communication. Earlier this season Luna produced J. Stephen Brantley’s Pirira, set simultaneously in the African nation of Malawi and midtown Manhattan, and Camilo Almonacid’s The Assignment, an interview-inspired piece exploring gun violence and reconciliation. Coming in April is Gabriel Jason Dean’s Heartland, set in Nebraska and Afghanistan, which explores family, loss, and love.
Tickets are $16-39, and are available at LunaStage.org/Roan or by calling 973 395 5551. A limited number of premium Opening Night tickets are available for $59, including the post-show party with cast and creative team.
Christina Gorman’s plays include Fidelis (The Public Theater); American Myth (American Blues Theater, Theatre Artists Studio, winner of TCG Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award); On the Outs (Ensemble Studio Theater); Split Wide Open (NYC Summer Play Festival), and she is currently at work on her new play Shiver, about a woman obsessed with recovering her partner’s body from the death zone of Mount Everest. Gorman is an inaugural member of The Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, a former New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, Ensemble Studio Theatre New Voices Fellow, Stella Adler Studios Harold Clurman Playwright-in-Residence, and Women’s Project Playwright Lab member. She is an Artistic Affiliate at American Blues Theater. She is published by Samuel French.
Michelle Tattenbaum most recently directed Peter and the Starcatcher at Cape Fear Regional Theatre. Previous projects with Itamar Moses include the world premiere of the musical Nobody Loves You at the Old Globe (San Diego Theatre Critics Circle nomination: Best Director) and the NY premiere at Second Stage;Love/Stories (World Premiere, The Flea) and The Four of Us (LA Premiere, Firefly: Theater & Films). Ms. Estrada by the Q Brothers Collective (World Premiere) at the Flea, where she is an Associate Artist. Member: SDC. Two-time Drama League Directing Fellow.
Ari Laura Kreith recently directed Luna’s production of Pirira. She is also the founder and Artistic Director of Theatre 167, where she conceived and directedThe Jackson Heights Trilogy — three full-length plays collaboratively written by 18 playwrights featuring 37 actors in 93 roles in 14 languages. NYC World Premieres: Mourning Sun (Theatre 167/Uganda), Pirira, Tina Howe’s Singing Beach. European premiere: Adam Guettel’s Myths and Hymns. Immersive, site-specific: Queens Museum, NY Transit Museum; touring excerpts of Marina Budhos’ novel Watched. Commissions: New Ohio; Queens Theatre. LPTW Lucille Lortel Visionary Award; NYIT Caffe Cino Fellowship. BA: Yale, MFA: UC Davis, Member: SDC.
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