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Piven Theatre Workshop opens its 2012-13 season with the American premiere of “Tusk Tusk” which tells the explosive story of London siblings left to fend for themselves after their bipolar mother goes missing.

Written by Polly Stenham, the youngest playwright to ever have a work premiere at Britain’s Royal Court Theatre, the production runs Sept. 8 to Oct. 7 at the workshop at 927 Noyes St. in Evanston.

Piven’s artistic director, Jennifer Green, will direct Tusk Tusk, which features a cast of young actors largely new to the Chicago theatre scene.

“With ‘Tusk Tusk,’ we are combining incredibly authentic young voices in a piece of drama that is startlingly relevant for the community,” Green says. “With young people facing a world of upheaval and change, it’s crucial that stories like these, about resilience in the face of adversity, are available to them.”

“Tusk Tusk” features Bryce Lunsky (Eliot), Olivia Cygan (Maggie), Gabriel Stern (Finn), Austin Moore (Cassie), Joanne Underwood (Katie), and Jeff McLane (Roland/Man).

Playwright Polly Stenham joined the Royal Court’s Young Writers Programme and started writing her debut play, “That Face,” at age 19.

It received critical acclaim and Stenham won several awards, including the 2007 Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, 2007 Theatrical Management Association Award for Best New Play, and 2008 Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright. In 2008 THAT FACE transferred to the West End and Polly has been commissioned by the UK Film Council to adapt it for the screen.

“Tusk Tusk,” her second play, sold out the Royal Court in 2009. Polly is currently working on a new commission, “No Quarter,” for the Royal Court. She is also working on two film projects – one, an adaptation of “Tusk Tusk” for Film4/Origin Pictures, and the other a project titled “Dope Girls,” directed by Adam Smith, also with Film4.

Director Jennifer Green has been a part of the Piven community for almost twenty years. Beginning as a student of Byrne and Joyce Piven, Jennifer became part of the workshop faculty in 1993
teaching theatre games, improvisation, story theatre and scene study to both young people and adults and since 1997, she has also been an adapter and director with Piven’s acclaimed Young People’s Company.

She has directed more than a dozen professional productions at Piven and other theaters.

Tickets are available online and at the theater box office.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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