Play in the Backyard: tenderly by Ida Esmaeili - Guild Hall

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Play in the Backyard
tenderly by Ida Esmaeili

Event Category:
Thursday, August 20
$50 per Lawn Circle (seats group of 1 or 2)*
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A deeply heartfelt, sharply funny new play. Starring Ida Esmaeili and Nate Janis

Directed by Rebecca Miller Kratzer

When Will’s professor leads him to seek out Alina’s insight for his paper on Iran, he has no idea that he will meet the love of his life. However, Alina’s visa renewal gets denied early in their relationship and they have life-changing choices to make. Emerging playwright Ida Esmaeili’s deeply sincere, sharply funny new play examines whether marriage can be tainted, how immigration considerations can alter the course of families and relationships, and raises questions about the nature of identity and home.

Please note: the actors, Ida and Nate, have been quarantining together, so they are safe sharing the stage together.

*Your purchase of one ticket is for one Lawn Circle, which can sit a party of up to two people. All lawn circles are 6 ft. in diameter and are distanced 6 ft. away from other parties. Please bring your own blankets and/or beach chairs. For more information, visit the Theater FAQ page.

  • Ida Esmaeili

    Ida Esmaeili (Alina / Playwright) is a Swedish-Iranian writer and actor currently based in New York. She graduated from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a BFA in Musical Theatre in 2017, and from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art with a certificate in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries in 2015. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University, under the tutelage of David Henry Hwang, Lynn Nottage, and Charles Mee. She has worked with theatres such as Off the Grid Theatre Company, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Pale Blue Dot Theatre Company, HowlRound, and Boston Playwrights Theatre. Her plays include tenderly, The Fig Tree, GIRLHOOD, Lonely Hearts Club, WAVE; or the moment the earth shook, and for the girls who live in the lake. 

  • Nate Janis

    Nate Janis (Will) is a born-and-bred New Yorker, and a long time resident of Huntting Lane, East Hampton. As an actor and singer, Nate has performed around the world and at venues such as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Recent credits include: Vershinin in Three Sisters (Columbia Stages), Matt in The Fantasticks (Infinity Theatre Company), Casey in The Legend of Georgia McBride (Waterfront Playhouse)Abraham in Bible Stories (Atlantic), and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (White Plains PAC). Training: Yale B.A., William Esper Studio, Columbia M.F.A.  

    Nate is thrilled to performing on the East End for first time since his stage debut at Mulford Farm at the age of 7.

  • Rebecca Miller Kratzer

    Rebecca Miller Kratzer (Director) is a New York-based theater and opera director. Her work, rooted in explorations of ritual, brings the scale and gravitas of opera to theatre, and the intimacy and moment-to-moment truth of theatre to opera, rendering both forms awe-inspiring, relevant, and accessible. Prior to attending Columbia University's MFA directing program under Anne Bogart, Rebecca was the artistic director of the NEMPAC Opera Project in Boston, MA where she produced and directed fully-staged operas in Boston's historic Faneuil Hall. Favorite credits include Cendrillon (Opera del West), Three Sisters (Columbia University), Fidelio (NEMPAC Opera Project), and The Merchant of Venice (Columbia University). Rebecca is also a Directing Fellow at Opera Saratoga, has worked at a variety of theatre companies and arts organizations, and received her BA in Theater Arts from Brandeis University. This summer, she is incredibly grateful to work with Ida Esmaeili, Opera Saratoga, Katie Mitchell, and Whitney White on pre-production and digital work as we embrace and navigate this new normal. 

Event Sponsors

Special thanks to Marty and Michele Cohen, Ben Krupinski Builder, Hollander Design, and Groundworks Landscaping
All Theater Programming supported in part by Marders, Barbara Slifka, and funding from The Ellen and James S. Marcus Endowment for Musical Programming, The Melville Straus Family Endowment, The Schaffner Family Foundation, and with additional support from Brown Harris Stevens, and Lang Insurance.
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