Why Hanna's Skirt Won't Stay Down
The Club
October 7 - 16, 2005
Friday & Saturday - 10:00pm
Sunday - 5:30pm
Tickets $15
Playwright: Tom Eyen
Director: George Ferencz

Box office 212.475.7710

LaMaMa Experimental Theatre Club, kicks off its 44th season with the classic Off-Off-Broadway hit "Why Hanna’s Skirt Won’t Stay Down", with original star, Helen Hanft, recreating the role that launched her career. Originally presented at LaMaMa e.t.c. on June 17th, 1965, the play, written by experimental theatre legend, Tom Eyen, has since become a favorite amongst those wanting to experience the virtuosity and brashness of the 1960’s East Village experimental theatre scene. Its’ title character “Hanna” is recognized as an icon representative of all the crudeness, exuberance, decadence and off-the-cuff profundities of the era.

Last year the theatre community began to reopen the pages of that creative era in which Mr. Eyen, and other playwrights such as Leonard Melfi, Paul Foster, Lanford Wilson and Sam Shepard wrote for. The revival production of Why Hanna’s Skirt Won’t Stay Down, is directed by George Ferencz, who received praise last October for his restaging of another classic 1965 hit at LaMaMa e.t.c. Jean-Claude van Itallie’s Motel. For six nights over two weeks, beginning on October 7th, LaMaMa E.T.C offers theatre enthusiasts the opportunity to experience first hand that provocative era.

The story of Why Hanna’s Skirt Won’t Stay Down centers on title character Hanna O’ Brien, a 42nd street porno palace ticket-taker who works the midnight to eight shift who spends her days standing over the breezy hole of a Coney Island Funhouse. On one particular Saturday, Hanna, an older woman, encounters Arizona, a young, gorgeous narcissist who spends his time in front of the mirror maze. The non-linear, narrative play spins into the abstract to create a circular whole, as both characters spiral into a raucous and absurd, introspective journey of their past relationships and lives in Classic Eyen neo-expressionist fashion.

Tom Eyen: (1941 – 1991) playwright, lyricist and director. Tom Eyen and his company Theatre of the Eye (a resident company of LaMaMa e.t.c.) was a seminal contributor to the 1960’s and 70’s Off-Off Broadway movement of the East Village,NYC, playing Café LaMaMa, Café Cino and various downtown alternative theatre spaces. On April 4th, 1970 his controversial ensemble performance art musical, The Dirtiest Show in Town, premiered at LaMaMa e.t.c. Its immediate success led to an Off-Broadway production at the Astor Place Theatre that May. It then moved onto the West End in London. Ten years later, he wrote the hugely successful Broadway hit, Dreamgirls, for which he won a Tony Award for his book and lyrics.

Helen Hanft: Ms. Hanft has appeared in over 23 productions at LaMaMa e.t.c. and 20 at Café Cino. Her experimental career began in 1965, when she met Tom Eyen who cast her in his play “Little Miss Frustrata or The Dirty Little Girl With A Paper Rose Stuck In her Head,” the rest is history. Ms. Hanft then appeared in other Eyen plays; “Why Hanna’s Skirt Won’t Stay Down,” “My Next Husband Will Be A Beauty,” “Sara B. Divine” and “Give My Regards To Off Off Broadway.” Throughout her career, Ms. Hanft has also performed at the Public Theater, Astor Place, Williamstown and the Promenade. She has appeared in over 20 films, including 3 by Woody Allen.

George Ferencz: is a resident director of La MaMa E.T.C. Notable directing credits include the LaMaMa e.t.c. production of Shepard Sets, an Obie-award winning festival of Shepard plays with music by Roach; also the revival productions of Sam Shepard’s Tooth of Crime; Sam Shepard/Patti Smith’s Cowboy Mouth; and Jean Claude van Itallie’s Motel. He has directed the premiere works of over 30 writers including Amiri Baraka, Jimmy Breslin, Estaban Fernandez, Stan Kaplan, Aisha Rachman, Caradet Svich, and Mac Wellman. Mr. Ferencz is also the Literary Curator of LaMaMa’s original experimental new play series, “Experiments 06”, now in its sixth season.

Christopher Zorker: is a member of LaMaMa e.t.c.’s Great Jones Repertory Company. He was an actor in Ms. Ellen Stewart’s original production of Seven Against Thebes, which enjoyed a successful run in the Annex Theatre of LaMaMa e.t.c and a tour of Austria, Croatia and Belgrade. Mr. Zorker has a B.F.A. in Theatre from Auburn University in Alabama.

Production – George Ferencz (Director), Tom Eyen (Playwright).

Design – Gian Marco LoForte (Set), Tim Schellenbaum (Sound), Jeff Tapper (Lighting).

Cast – Helen Hanft (Hanna), Christopher Zorker (Arizona).


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