Renaissance Theaterworks Produces New Work as Rolling World Premiere

Developed in 2017 through Renaissance Theaterworks’ Br!NK New Play Development Series, ANNIE JUMP AND THE LIBRARY OF HEAVEN is the first Br!NK new work to be fully produced on the RTW stage.

ANNIE JUMP AND THE LIBRARY OF HEAVEN by Reina Hardy runs March 29 – April 21, 2019 at Renaissance Theaterworks. This production will launch the play’s National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere.

Milwaukee, Wis. (February 27, 2019) – Renaissance Theaterworks (RTW) will round out its 26th Season themed, “She Blinded Me With Science,” this Spring with Reina Hardy’s newly developed, science-fiction play, ANNIE JUMP AND THE LIBRARY OF HEAVEN. Renaissance Theaterworks’ production of ANNIE JUMP AND THE LIBRARY OF HEAVEN was developed in 2017 through RTW’s Br!NK New Play Development Series, and is the first stop on the National New Play Network’s Rolling World Premiere. Directed by Pam Kriger, this production will feature local artists, Reese Parish, Rachael Zientek, Karen Estrada, Jonathan Gillard Daly, and Jarrod Langwinski. ‘ANNIE JUMP’ runs March 29 – April 21, 2019 in the Studio Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center (158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, Wis.).

SYNOPSIS
Annie Jump is a lonely, 13-year-old “science genius” living in Strawberry, Kansas. Althea is an intergalactic supercomputer manifesting as a mean girl with really great hair. Althea’s here to help Annie take humanity from the earth to the stars, but being the “Chosen One” isn’t all glory. What is Althea hiding? And what will Annie have to sacrifice to fulfill her destiny? A play for everyone about finding your place in the universe, and intelligent life in your neighborhood.

Tickets for ANNIE JUMP AND THE LIBRARY OF HEAVEN are currently on sale through the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office (158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, Wis., (414) 291-7800 or www.r-t-w.com). For more information, visit www.r-t-w.com/annie-jump.

Br!NK NEW PLAY DEVELOPMENT & THE NATIONAL NEW PLAY NETWORK
In 2014, Renaissance Theaterworks held it’s first Br!NK New Play Festival to develop and advance the work of Midwestern women playwrights. Through Br!NK each year, RTW selects two scripts, inviting those playwrights to spend a week in residency with a team of artists dedicated to analyzing the play’s themes, characters, and plot from every angle. Following the workshop week, the plays are presented as staged-readings where the public can give feedback.
To elevate the pressures of having a finished product after the Br!NK workshop week, RTW’s main goal with Br!NK is to have the playwright walk away with something they feel is better than what they came in with; to support the needs of the playwright. Now heading into the sixth year with the 2019 Br!NK New Play Festival scheduled for September 7-9, RTW is ecstatic to mount the first full production of a Br!NK play during its 2018 – 2019 mainstage season with Reina Hardy’s ANNIE JUMP AND THE LIBRARY OF HEAVEN.

Renaissance Theaterworks’ Artistic Director, Suzan Fete shares, “Since our goals aren’t based around producing the play, we’ve found that the process has been quite rewarding for the playwrights.” Hardy was selected to receive the Br!NK Award for ANNIE JUMP AND THE LIBRARY OF HEAVEN back in 2017. “In Reina’s case, it just so happened that her script was already in a great spot and that she had clear objectives coming into the workshop week.”

Another unique aspect of Br!NK is the playwright’s opportunity to bounce ideas around and hear their play out loud from a group of artists. “Having a full cast, director, and dramaturg all focused on improving the script is a resource most playwrights don’t have access to when writing and editing a new work,” says Fete. “Br!NK really helped refine the story in a very collaborative and safe space. During the 2017 Br!NK New Play Festival, ‘ANNIE JUMP’ was well received by audiences, so when it came time to choose our season that was already skewing towards a science theme, it seemed like a perfect fit.”

As a regional opportunity for women playwrights, Br!NK has opened doors for RTW to further expand the program. Through the Statera National Conference, which RTW brought to Milwaukee in October 2018, RTW continues to foster relationships with larger play development organizations who have helped RTW enhance and refine the Br!NK New Play Development Series. Because of these connections, RTW was able to join the National New Play Network (NNPN) as an Associate Member, one of two theaters in Wisconsin. RTW’s production of ANNIE JUMP AND THE LIBRARY OF HEAVEN will launch the play’s Rolling World Premiere through NNPN. Into the summer of 2020, ‘ANNIE JUMP’ will be produced at Renaissance Theaterworks from March 29-April 21, 2019 (Milwaukee, WI), Rorschach Theatre from April 22-May 19, 2019 (Washington, DC), The Vortex Theatre from April 11-May 2, 2020 (Austin, TX), and Thrown Stone Theatre Company from July 10-26, 2020 (Ridgefield, CT), each with different casts and production teams. More information about the National New Play Network and their Rolling World Premiere Initiative can be found at www.nnpn.org.

ANNIE JUMP AND THE LIBRARY OF HEAVEN
By Reina Hardy

WHEN: March 29 – April 21, 2019
Preview Performances: Friday, March 29 at 7:30 PM & Saturday, March 20 at 4:00 PM
Opening Night Performance: Saturday, March 20 at 8:00 PM
Evenings: Wednesday – Friday, 7:30 PM – select Saturdays, 8:00 PM
Matinees: Saturday 4:00 PM, Sunday 2:00 PM, select Wednesday 1:00 PM

WHERE: Studio Theatre of the Broadway Theatre Center (158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, Wis.)

TICKETS: Single tickets $40 (plus tax and fees), groups (10+), student, and senior discounts are available upon request.
Online at www.r-t-w.com or https://cart.broadwaytheatrecenter.com/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=41469
By phone at (414) 291-7800, Monday – Saturday, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM
In person at the Broadway Theatre Center Box Office, 158 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, Wis. Monday – Saturday, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM or 1 hour before show time.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Reina Hardy is a playwright. Her plays, which usually contain magic and sometimes contain science, have been seen across the country, including at Rorschach Theatre in DC, the Vortex in Austin, and the NNPN National New Play Showcase. She’s a Michener Fellow, winner of the KCACTF TYA Prize, finalist for the Terrence McNally Prize and the recipient of an Interact 20/20 Commission. www.reinahardy.com

ANNIE JUMP ARTISTS
DIRECTOR – Pam Kriger
STAGE MANAGER – Bailey Wegner*
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR – Anthony Lyons
SCENIC & LIGHTING DESIGN – Jason Fassl^
PROPS MASTER – Jordan Stanek
SOUND DESIGN & ORIGINAL COMPOSITION – Josh Schmidt^
COSTUME DESIGN – Misti Bradford^
MOTION DESIGN – John Fischer
ANNIE JUMP – Reese Parish
ALTHEA – Rachael Zientek
DR. JUMP – Jonathan Gillard Daly*
KJ URBANIK – Jarrod Langwinski
MRS. GOMEZ/CHAIRWOMAN/DR. FORD – Karen Estrada
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association
^ Member of United Scenic Artists of America and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees

ABOUT RENAISSANCE THEATERWORKS
Renaissance Theaterworks is Milwaukee’s only professional, nonprofit theater company centered on improving gender parity. The mission of RTW is to create moving theater that connects with our shared sense of being human. We are dedicated to promoting the work of women onstage and off. Renaissance Theaterworks produces thought-provoking, intimate theater in the Studio Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center. For more information, please visit www.r-t-w.com.

Renaissance Theaterworks is a member of the National New Play Network, Theater Wisconsin, Samuel French’s Playwrights Welcome, Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, Visit Milwaukee, and the Historic Third Ward Association. We receive support from the United Performing Arts Fund, Brico Fund, CAMPAC, the Evinrude Foundation, The Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the Richard & Ethel Herzfeld Foundation, Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation, Milwaukee Arts Board, Sempercor Foundation, the Shubert Foundation, the Steigleder Charitable Trust, Wisconsin Arts Board, and private donors and foundations.

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