Penguin Rep Theatre Presents New York Premiere of “Let There Be Love”


Penguin Rep Theatre, under the leadership of founding artistic director Joe Brancato and executive director Andrew M. Horn, presents the New York premiere of Let There Be Love by Kwame Kwei-Armah, directed by Maria Mileaf, from September 22 through October 15 in Stony Point, New York.

Says Mr. Brancato, “Let There Be Love is a charming, comic and moving work by one of Britain’s most distinguished playwrights that explores the friendships that form when we allow our similarities to outweigh our differences.”

Gruff, grumpy, and tired of growing old, Alfred is an immigrant who has shut himself off from his family even as he longs for his childhood home in the West Indies. When his headstrong daughter hires a young Polish caregiver to look after him, Alfred finds himself reckoning with his past and awakening to a new sense of hope and love.

“Immigration, family estrangement, race, and sexual identity are just some of the hot issues spicing up this humorous and touching family drama,” says Mr. Horn. “Filled with sumptuous jazz standards that pour forth from Alfred’s beloved record player, Let There Be Love explores what can happen when, at any age, we open our minds to the possibility of change.”

Playwright Kwei-Armah has worked as an actor, a writer for stage and screen, and a musician. He is currently the artistic director of London’s Young Vice Theatre and recently directed The Collaboration starring Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope at MTC and produced Death of a Salesman on Broadway.

Director Maria Mileaf’s extensive credits include Sharon Washington’s Feeding the Dragon and Lee Blessing’s plays Body of Water and Going to St. Ives for Primary Stages, Kira Obolensky’s Lobster Alice at Playwrights Horizons, Wendy Wasserstein’s Third at the Geffen, and Glen Berger’s Underneath the Lintel starring Richard Schiff in London’s West End.

The cast includes: Brian D. Coats (Alfred), who starred in the national tour of August Wilson’s Jitney, in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Two Gentlemen of Verona at the New York Shakespeare Festival, and regionally in Fences and A Raisin in the Sun; Tsebiyah Mishael Derry (Gemma), an actor, singer and poet who has appeared at The Bushwick Starr, Trinity Repertory Company, and People’s Light; and Amanda Kristin Nichols (Maria) whose theatre credits include productions at Bay Street Theatre and Hangar Theatre and television credits include Mr. + Mrs. Smith on Amazon, New Amsterdam and Law & Order: Organized Crime on NBC, and The Sinner on USA.

The production is designed by Christopher Swader and Justin Swader (set), Katherine Roth (costumes), Greg Macpherson (lights), Bart Fasbender (sound), and Buffy Cardoza (props). Michael Palmer is production stage manager.

Performances are scheduled at Penguin’s home facility, a repurposed 1880 barn in historic Stony Point (Rockland County), New York. “The converted barn, circa 1880, has never been more inviting” (The New York Times). Says Mr. Horn, “It’s theatre so close you can feel it, with comfortable upholstered seats and no seat more than 30 feet from the stage.” The theatre is air-conditioned and handicapped accessible, features assistive hearing devices, and has plenty of free parking.

Performances will take place: Thursday evenings at 7:00 p.m. (September 28, October 5, October 12), Friday matinees at 2:00 p.m. (September 22, September 29, October 6), Friday evenings at 7:00 p.m. (September 22, October 13), Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (September 23, September 30, October 7, October 14), and Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. (September 24, October 1, October 8, October 15).

There will be a reception following the performance on Sunday, September 24; a tasting catered by Big Daddy’s Home Plate Barbeque of Haverstraw before the early show on Saturday, September 30; and a discussion following the performance on Friday, October 13.

Individual tickets for mainstage productions are priced at $46. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more and young people (30 and under).

“We hate service charges, facility fees, credit card surcharges, and any kind of additional fee,” says Mr. Horn, “so we don’t charge them!”

To order tickets or for further information, visit Penguin Rep’s website at WWW.PENGUINREP.ORG or call 845-786-2873.

About Penguin Rep Theatre

Penguin Rep Theatre (Penguin Players, Ltd.), based in a converted 1880s barn in historic Stony Point (Rockland County), New York, is a nonprofit professional theatre company now in its 45th year of operation.

Joe Brancato was a high school English and drama teacher in 1977 when he peered into an abandoned 1880s hay barn in Stony Point, New York, and envisioned the space repurposed into a theatre.

More than 40 years later, Penguin Rep – the theatre Brancato started with Francine Newman-McCarthy and runs with executive director Andrew M. Horn -- has grown from a summer theatre to become one of the Hudson Valley’s most enduring cultural institutions, reaching tens of thousands of theatergoers each year at

its home, in New York City and beyond – with its work moving to Off Broadway and to stages across the country and around the world.

Since its founding in 1977, Penguin has presented more than 150 productions – over 100 directed by Brancato himself -- for more than 400,000 people from the lower Hudson Valley and beyond. And Mr. Brancato has brought together accomplished professional actors – David Canary, Michael Cullen, Tim De Kay, Gregg Edelman, Michael Esper, Barbara Feldon, Tovah Feldshuh, Beth Fowler, Deborah Hedwall, Celeste Holm, Richard Kline, Andrew McCarthy, Lizbeth Mackay, Michele Pawk, and Karen Ziemba, among others – to star in new and noteworthy plays by such playwrights as Lee Blessing, Ronald Harwood, Allan Knee, Arthur Laurents, Warren Leight, Jon Marans, William Mastrosimone, Lainie Robertson, James Sherman and Elizabeth Swados.

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