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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Too Funny To Fail: Dark Comedy about Financial Crash Premiers in Jersey City

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Subprime – a dark comedy about the personal consequences of the financial crisis – has its world premier in Jersey City next week.

Written by Beck Lee – a veteran publicist well known in New York theater circles – and directed by Jason Jacobs of  Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and a Master Teaching Artist with Roundabout Theatre –Subprime will be featured in a limited four-show engagement at JCTC’s Merseles Studios, 339 Newark Avenue,  June 8- 10.  

Subprime is set in the summer of 2008 when hints of an impending financial meltdown were being felt but studiously ignored.  Subprime introduces us to the Crocker-Kellys and the Swensons, two couples from the well-to-do Linden Hills neighborhood in Minneapolis. On a NYC vacation they cannot afford,  during the course of an evening of relaxation in their hotel, the scope of their denial about the state of their finances, their marriages and even their identities comes into sharp focus.

During the play’s development process – which included a handful of high-profile staged readings – Subprime was called the next God of Carnage by the theatre blog, On Stage: “If you think you might at all be interested in watching the next ‘God of Carnage’ … then you owe it to yourself to give ‘Subprime’ a look ... It’s a show that’s going to get talked about, so I’m going to start talking now.”

JCTC presents thematic series of theatre, performances, readings and visual arts on a topic global in scope yet relevant to the community. Subprime brings a comedic and human dimension to one of the most severe economic disruptions in recent history, the financial crisis that closed out the first decade of the new century and was followed by what is now known as the Great Recession.

“Subprime is hilarious,” said Olga Levina, Artistic Director, JCTC. “It’s also honest and  thought provoking. Sometimes it seems we’ve forgotten what led to the financial crash and often ignore how it changed our lives. There’s no better time than now to remind people of both the financial collapse and how decisions made by politicians, financial institutions and corporations  can impact society.”

Because Jersey City is just across the river from New York City, Lee calls the World Premiere of Subprime at Merseles Studios one of the most convenient first runs a new play can hope for. “This is an Out-Of-Town tryout that couldn’t be closer to home, only a PATH train away,” said Lee. “I’m excited this project  is being launched at JCTC, a growing performing arts center, which includes White Eagle Hall and the intimate  black box theater at Merseles Studios, in a very charming, old part of Jersey City.”  

"I am thrilled Lee's wickedly funny play will be presented by JCTC as part of the Disruption series,” said Jacobs. “Working with the team at JCTC is a great opportunity for us to explore this new work on its feet, in an artistically supportive environment. As a New York based director, I look forward to sharing this play with the Jersey City audience and seeing how they receive this new work."

Subprime Cast: Taylor C. Hays, John Long, Laris Macario, Sarah Street and Jennifer Laine Williams.  The production design team includes Reid Thompson (set), Lawrence Schober (sound), Eric Marciano (projections).  Marcus Watson is the fight choreographer, and Gahlia Eden is the production stage manager.


June 8/7:30 pm-10:00pm / Merseles Studios
(Doors open at 7:00)
June 9/8:00pm-10:00pm / Merseles Studios
(Doors open at 7:30)
June 10/3:00pm – 5:00pm/ Merseles Studios
(Doors open at 2:30)
8:00pm-10:00pm / Merseles Studios
(Doors open at 7:30)

Jersey City Theater Center
Merseles Studios
339 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 795-5386

$25 General Admission ($18 Students & Senior Citizens, with valid ID)

To purchase tickets, visit >

Beck Lee – writer/producer, publicist –founded Media Blitz, LLC -- a marketing and public relations firm working with both non-profits and commercial interests in theater, film and  music – in 1996. Media Blitz’s clients include Off-Broadway's My Son the Waiter, A Jewish Tragedy; New Yiddish Rep: Waiting for Godot, Death of a Salesman and God of Vengeance. Lee has recently returned to playwriting with new works including the comic drama God Save the Human Cannonball, and the contemporary farce, Smartphones for Dummies, and the new dark comedy Subprime. A native New Yorker, Lee was educated at the Lycée Français de New York and Wesleyan University.

Jason Jacobs – identified as a “Person of the Year” by in 2007 – is a New York-based director, writer, and teaching artist. Recent productions include a critically-acclaimed run of Jeremy Lawrence’s Lavender Songs (Bistro Award Winner/TOSOS and Pangea), Bald Diva! (GLAAD Media Nomination) The Tempest, i google myself (GLAAD Nomination) and co-directed I Claudius and Live Other. As a guest director at Long Island University (CW Post) he directed Machinal, Marat/Sade, As You Like It, BatBoy: The Musical and Big Love. His original musical Miss Blanche Tells It All will be presented at the New York Musical Festival in July 2017.

Funding for Disruption & Subprime was made possible by generous support from the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs/Tourism Development, Thomas A. DeGise, Hudson County Executive and the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

Disruption  & Subprime was also made possible through the generosity of Ben LoPiccolo Development Group, JCTC’s Board of Directors, private donors and local Jersey City businesses.

Jersey City Theater Center, Inc. (JCTC) manages programming at Merseles Studios and White Eagle Hall, JCTC is a nonprofit, 501c3 arts organization committed to inspiring conversations about the important topics of our times through innovative and progressive performing and visual arts that embrace the diversity of Jersey City, bringing its community closer together and enhancing its quality of life. >

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