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OCTOBER 8, 2008

Ron Lasko (NYC)
212-505-1700 x. 11

Jeannine Stehlin (LA)


The Circus Theatricals produced play opens in New York October 18, following a critically-acclaimed production in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles, CA October 8, 2008 Award-winning and critically acclaimed theatre company Circus Theatricals announces that playwright Shem Bitterman has won the 2008 Pen USA Literary Award for Drama for his play “HARM’S WAY.” In good company, past winners of the award include Sarah Rule, Luis Alfaro, Donald Freed, and Craig Volk.

Circus Theatricals will present a limited run of Harm’s Way in New York beginning October 18, just off the heels of their critically-acclaimed Los Angeles production. Harm’s Way will play in rotating repertory with, also penned by Bitterman, at the 45 th Street Theatre. Director is Broadway (Nuts) and television (According to Jim, Hanna Montana, Friends) director Steve Zuckerman.

HARM'S WAY tells the tale of a career Army prosecutor who investigates a possible war crime against Iraqi civilians by U.S troops – while at the same time fighting to save his troubled daughter here on American soil. Previews begin October 11 with opening night slated for October 18.

Harm’s Way stars Jack Stehlin (Weeds), Wendy Makkena (Sister Act, Side Man), Eric Pierpoint (Alien Nation), Josh Allen, Ben Bowen and Sarah Foret (Beautiful People). The design team includes Kitty Rose (sets/costumes) and LA Drama Critics Circle nominee Derrick McDaniel (lighting) with original music by Emmy nominated composer Roger Bellon ( Mario Puzo's "The Last Don).

The 18th Annual PEN USA Literary Awards grants literary prizes in ten genres. The winners of the 2008 Literary Awards competition, which honors outstanding works published or produced in 2007 by writers who live west ofthe Mississippi River. It also presents special awards such as the Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented this year to Larry Gelbart, who wrote among other things, Broadway’s ‘ A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’.

The winners of the 2008 Literary Awards competition, which honors outstanding works published or produced in 2007 by writers who live west of the Mississippi River, are: Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcon, HarperCollins (Fiction); The Fragile Edge by Julia Whitty, Houghton Mifflin (Creative Non- Fiction); Poor People by William T. Vollman, Harper Perennial (Research Non-Fiction); 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border by Juan Felipe Herrera , City Lights Publisher (Poetry); Strays by Ron Koertge, Candlewick Press (Children’s Literature); A Season in Hell by Artur Rimbaud, translated by Donald Revell , Omidawn Publishing (Translation); The Test of Their Lives by Jesse Katz , Los Angeles Magazine (Literary Journalism); Harm’s Way by Shem Bitterman , Circus Theatricals (Drama); and The Sopranos: The Second Coming by Terence Winter, HBO (Teleplay).

The 18th Annual PEN USA Literary Awards Festival will be held on Wednesday, December 3, 2008, at the Beverly Hills Hotel. For more information visit

SHEM BITTERMAN is the recipient of the LA Drama Critic's Circle Award for Best New Play for The Job which transferred to Off-Broadway and was published by Samuel French and Smith & Kraus. The film version of The Job (starring Joe Pantoliano and Ron Perlman) is in post-production. Other plays include The Circle (LA Weekly Award nominee and 2005 Pen/West Finalist), Ten Below (starring Kevin Conway and Anthony Edwards; winner of the National Play Award), Peephole (Davie Award); Night-Side (at Actor's Theatre of Louisville, starring Pamela Gien); The Ramp (at South Coast Rep, winner of the California Playwright's Competition); Beijing Legends (Mark Taper Forum, winner of the Fund For New American Plays Award); Self Storage; and Iowa Boys (CBS/FDG New Plays Award).

STEVE ZUCKERMAN directed Nuts by Tom Topor on Broadway which received both Tony and a Drama Desk Award nominations. As Associate Director of New York's WPA theater he directed productions including Steve Metcalf's The Incredibly Famous Willy Rivers, Shem Bitterman's Ten Below and Israel Horovitz's Unexpected Tenderness and North Shore Fish. He directed a filmed version of North Shore Fish for Showtime which starred Mercedes Ruehl, Peter Riegert and Tony Danza. Revivals of Tennessee Williams Vieux Carre and Ibsen's When We Dead Awaken with Kim Hunter received Drama Desk Awards. He has been Director of Play Development at Circle in the Square Theatre and Artistic Director of the Impossible Ragtime Theatre in New York and the Sharon Playhouse. He has directed at the Manhattan Theater Club, Circle Rep and regional theatres including Baltimore's Center Stage, The La Jolla Playhouse and Yale Rep. He has directed over 350 episodes of prime time TV including such shows as "Everybody Loves Raymond", "The Drew Carey Show", "Friends", and "Murphy Brown" for which he received an Humanitas Award. He is currently directing "According to Jim" and "Hanna Montana."

Jack Stehlin (Artistic Director) founded CIRCUS THEATRICALS in New York in 1983. The company's notable NYC productions include Shakespeare's Macbeth Off-

Broadway at the Classic Stage Company and Danton's Death at the Rapp Arts Center. In 1995, the company moved to Los Angeles where they have presented work at venues including the Odyssey Theatre and The Hudson Guild. In 2006, they inaugurated their own venue Circus Theatricals Theatre where the company continues to present world premiere and classic plays. Circus Theatricals is the recipient of the 2007/2008 Los Angeles County Arts Commission Grant. Circus Theatricals has garnered awards and nominations from the LA Drama Critics Circle, Back Stage West, the LA Weekly, LA Stage Alliance Ovations, and Dramalogue.

MAN.GOV and HARM'S WAY run in rotating repertory from October 10 - November 9 For a complete schedule, visit The 45th Street Theater is located at 354 W. 45th Street (between 8th and 9th Aves). Tickets are $18, available at 212-352-3101 or









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