— Financial Times
“DESCRIBE THE NIGHT IS THAT RARE MUST-SEE IN THE THEATER! With theatrical derring-do, Rajiv peppers his narrative with jaw-dropping coincidences, truth-telling serums, misidentified children, physical seizures & infidelities.”
— Robert Hofler, The Wrap
“A WORK OF MAJOR AMBITION.”
— Jesse Green, The New York Times
“Rajiv Joseph has AN EAR FOR THE HEARTBEAT OF THE MOMENT. Describe the Night is A FASCINATING NEW PLAY about stories, one that begins in historical fact and spins outward, like a fractal pattern with the truth as its seed but SOMETHING GRANDER THAN PLAIN TRUTH IN ITS PROLIFERATION. The filmmaker Werner Herzog might call it “ECSTATIC TRUTH.”
— Sara Holdren, Vulture/New York Magazine
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New York Premiere Play
DESCRIBE THE NIGHT
Written by RAJIV JOSEPH
Directed by GIOVANNA SARDELLI
Linda Gross Theater, 336 West 20th Street
Run time: 2 hours and 45 minutes, including two brief intermissions
Please Note: This production uses haze, herbal cigarettes, and contains live gunshots.
Recommended for mature audiences.
In 1920, the Russian writer Isaac Babel wanders the countryside with the Red Cavalry. Seventy years later, a mysterious KGB agent spies on a woman in Dresden and falls in love. In 2010, an aircraft carrying most of the Polish government crashes in the Russian city of Smolensk. Set in Russia over the course of 90 years, this thrilling and epic new play by Rajiv Joseph (Atlantic’s Guards at the Taj, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) traces the stories of seven men and women connected by history, myth and conspiracy theories.
For access to sold out performances, consider joining the Patron Program with a donation of $1750. Contact Camille Susarchick at 646.216.1088 for more details.
“AN EPIC DRAMA of enormous scope. RICH & FASCINATING, with BRAVURA PERFORMANCES!”
— Steven Suskin, The Huffington Post
“Rajiv Joseph’s WONDERFUL PLAY IS EXQUISITELY ACTED AND DIRECTED WITH A SUPPLE GRACE. It is its own vivid, perfectly paced patchwork of memory, lies, and revelations. Raw confrontation and violence share the same orbit as flashes of magical realism.”
— Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast
“THRILLING! Describe the Night feels like the next frontier!”
— Zachary Stewart, Theatermania
Production photos by Ahron R. Foster.
TINA BENKO (Yevgenia) played Calpurnia in Julius Caesar this summer for The Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park. Recent Broadway credits include Ivo Van Hove’s production of The Crucible and The Cherry Orchard at Roundabout. Off-Broadway includes Scenes from a Marriage at New York Theatre Workshop, Informed Consent at Primary Stages, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at TFANA, Who Left This Fork Here? at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Jackie at The Women’s Project and the New York, Los Angeles and International productions of Toni Morrison’s play Desdemona. TV and Film credits include “Mapplethorpe,” “Hot Air,” The Greatest Showman, “Fair Market Value,” “Blindspot,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “Vinyl” and “Flesh and Bone.”
NADIA BOWERS (Mariya, Mrs. Petrovna). Broadway: The Farnsworth Invention, Doubt, Metamorphoses. Other NYC credits: Recently, Church and State at New World Stages, The Way West by Mona Mansour at Labyrinth. Other NYC theater: Collapse (The Women’s Project), Julius Caesar (Public Theater; NYSF), Wildflower (Second Stage), Dog and Wolf (Watson Arts@59E59), Eyes of the Heart (NAATCO), The Netflix Plays (Ars Nova), Romania. Kiss Me! (The Play Company). Regional: The Farnsworth Invention, Sideways (LaJolla Playhouse), Blood Wedding, Boston Marriage (Guthrie Theater), Circle Mirror Transformation (Huntington Theater), Chapter Two (Bucks County Playhouse), Tartuffe (Westport Country Playhouse) and many others. TV: “Quantico,” “Orange is the New Black,” “The Strain,” “NCIS,” every incarnation of “Law and Order.” Film: (upcoming) Unintended. B.A: Dartmouth College – Sociology/French. M.F.A: Tisch School of the Arts, NYU’s Graduate Acting Program. www.nadiabowers.com
DANNY BURSTEIN (Isaac) is a six-time Tony Award and two-time Grammy Award nominee whose sixteen Broadway credits include: Fiddler on the Roof; Cabaret; The Snow Geese; Golden Boy; Follies; Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown; South Pacific; The Drowsy Chaperone; Saint Joan; The Seagull; Three Men on a Horse; A Little Hotel on the Side; Titanic and Company. Off-Broadway credits include: Bottom in Midsummer…; Talley’s Folly; Mrs. Farnsworth; Psych; All in the Timing; Merrily We Roll Along; Weird Romance and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Film/TV includes: Indignation (directed by James Schamus); The Family Fang (directed by Jason Bateman); Blackhat (directed by Michael Mann); Transamerica; Deception; Affluenza; Nor’easter; The Sounding; “Boardwalk Empire” (directed by Martin Scorsese); “Louie”; “Absolutely Fabulous”; “Law & Order”; “The Good Wife”, etc. In 2014 he made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Frosch in the Jeremy Sams/Douglas Carter Beane production of Die Fledermaus.
ZACH GRENIER (Nikolai) returns to the Atlantic Theater Company, where he appeared in Gabriel and Storefront Church. He recently played Willy Loman in Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of Death of a Salesman. A New York stage veteran, he was nominated for a Tony Award for his portrayal of Beethoven in Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations. He appears in the recently released film Crown Heights, as well as many others, including Fight Club, Zodiac and Ride with the Devil. His television career has included a number of series regular and recurring roles, but he is most frequently recognized as David Lee of “The Good Wife.”
REBECCA NAOMI JONES (Urzula) was last at Atlantic in the acclaimed new play Marie and Rosetta. She has performed on Broadway in Significant Other, Hedwig and The Angry Inch, American Idiot and Passing Strange. Other New York work includes Murder Ballad at Manhattan Theatre Club (Lilly Award and Lucille Lortel nomination), Signature Theater’s production of Big Love (Drama League nomination), The Fortress of Solitude (Public Theater), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare in the Park), Wig Out! (Vineyard Theatre), God Bless You Mr. Rosewater (Encores), and the recent Public Works production of As You Like It. Films: Most Likely To Murder, The Big Sick, Ratter, Ordinary World, Passing Strange and the documentary Broadway Idiot. Select TV: “High Maintenance,” “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Limitless,” “Difficult People,” “Blue Bloods.” Solo concerts: Lincoln Center American Songbook, Apollo Cafe. Rebecca holds a BFA in Drama from the North Carolina School of the Arts.
MAX GORDON MOORE (Vova) is pleased to be making his Atlantic Theater Company debut. Broadway: Indecent, Relatively Speaking. Off-Broadway: Man from Nebraska (Second Stage); Indecent (Vineyard); Man and Superman, It’s A Wonderful Life (Irish Rep). Recent: The Master Builder (BAM); Arcadia, The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Yale Rep); Time and the Conways (Old Globe); Constellations (Seattle Rep); Tragedy: A Tragedy (Berkeley Rep); As You Like It, Merchant of Venice, Merry Wives of Windsor, Richard III (California Shakespeare); Pleasure and Pain (Magic Theatre); Bach at Leipzig (ACT Theatre); The Seagull (Cleveland Playhouse). Film/TV: Gods Behaving Badly, “Madam Secretary,” “The Good Wife.” MFA, Yale School of Drama, Hershel Williams Prize in Acting.
STEPHEN STOCKING (Feliks) is thrilled to be making his Atlantic Theater Company debut. Most recently: Gavrilo Princip in the world premiere of Rajiv Joseph’s Archduke directed by Giovanna Sardelli at Center Theatre Group. New York and Regional theater: Describe the Night (Alley Theatre and NYU); Great Expectations (Portland Center Stage); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare Theatre Co., DC and Macau); Every Good Girl Deserves Fun (by Heidi Armbruster); The Casebook of Rudolf H- (NYTW Studio); Dance Dance Revolution (Alex Timbers, Dir.); Romeo & Juliet, Anything Goes (Williamstown). NYU: Desire, Three Sisters, Plenty, Landscape of the Body, The Beaux’ Strategem, Pale Fires. TV: “Z: The Beginning of Everything.” MFA: NYU Grad Acting. stephenstocking.com
RAJIV JOSEPH’s (Playwright) play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and was also awarded a grant for Outstanding New American Play by the National Endowment for the Arts. His play Guards at the Taj was a 2016 Obie Winner for Best New American Play and a 2016 Lucille Lortel Winner for Best Play. His play Archduke received its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Other plays include Gruesome Playground Injuries, The Monster at the Door, Animals Out of Paper, The Lake Effect, The North Pool, and Mr. Wolf. Rajiv has been awarded artistic grants from the Whiting Foundation, United States Artists and the Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. He is a board member of the Lark Play Development Center in New York City, where he develops all his plays. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal and now lives in Brooklyn, New York.
GIOVANNA SARDELLI (Director). With Rajiv Joseph: Los Angeles: Archduke (World Premiere at the Taper, CTG), Guards at the Taj (Geffen Playhouse, 2017 Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play). Off-Broadway World Premieres: Huck & Holden (Cherry Lane); Animals Out of Paper and All This Intimacy (Second Stage); The Leopard and The Fox (AlterEgo). Regional: Mr. Wolf (Cleveland Play House); The Lake Effect (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley); The North Pool (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley World Premiere, Barrington Stage Company). Other Select Off-Broadway World Premieres: Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout); Wildflower (Second Stage); Finks (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Apple Cove (Women’s Project). Other Select Regional: All The Way, The Whipping Man (Cleveland Play House); The Mountaintop, Absalom (Actor’s Theatre of Louisville); Clybourne Park, Lord of the Flies, Muckrakers (Barrington Stage Company); Crimes of the Heart, Velocity of Autumn, Somewhere (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley). Though based in New York, Sardelli is the Director of New Works for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Education: MFA Graduate Acting Program, NYU and graduate of their Director’s Lab.