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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Luna Stage Launches “Short & Show” with Midnights on Screen Followed by Pirira on Stage

Pirira-Poster

Luna offers two gripping works in its first double feature this weekend. Luna will screen the recently-released short film, Midnights, then the new play, Pirira, followed by a post-show conversation with the screen and stage directors.

West Orange, NJ (October 16, 2018) – Luna Stage’s newest program, Short & Show, joins the screening of a short film with a MainStage Luna production. In a distinctive Luna move, the theater company is offering a double bill of two works of art in two different disciplines: the showing of a thrilling new short film, Midnights, directed by NJ-based Alvaro Donado, and Pirira on the MainStage. Midnights was filmed on location in nearby Paterson, and this screening will be its West Orange premiere. Both works of art deal with decent people in dangerous situations who, against the odds, attempt to do the right thing. Luna’s Short & Show will be Friday, October 19 (Midnights at 7:15pm, Pirira at 8pm) and Sunday, October 21 (Midnights at 2:15pm, Pirira at 3pm).

Luna Stage kicked off its 2018-19 Season with J.Stephen Brantley’s award-winning play Pirira, directed by Luna’s new Artistic Director Ari Laura Kreith. Amidst an outbreak of riots in Malawi, we meet American aid worker Jack and MBA auditor Ericka who are forced to take shelter in the storage room of Jack’s struggling NGO. Meanwhile, half a world away, Malawian college student Gilbert and his gay co-worker Chad begin another day in the back room of a Manhattan florist. The shadows of HIV, poverty, drought, and gender-based violence cloak the lives of these four young people.

In Midnights, it’s rookie police officer Veronica Duran’s first night on the job in a gritty city where there is a mutual distrust between the community and police, and the department is overwhelmed with calls and undermined by cutbacks. A local prostitute is hospitalized after a brutal alleyway assault; Duran suspects someone else close to the victim may be out there in need of help, and she finds herself out on a limb. Cynical veteran Officer Vogel thinks the case is already a waste of their time. The unknown assailant is gone and his witness won’t talk. At odds with her superiors, young Officer Duran must discover the true nature of her calling if she is to navigate the blurred lines between right and wrong. The screenplay for Midnights is by Mark Tenn and is set in historic Paterson, NJ, close by Luna located in West Orange.

Filmmaker Alvaro Donado will chat with audiences following the Friday screening of his film. There will also be a post-show conversation with Donado and Luna Stage Artistic Director and Pirira Stage Director Ari Laura Kreith after the Friday performance of the play. Luna will re-screen the film at 2:15pm on Sunday, October 21, before the 3pm matinee performance of Pirira. Watch the trailer at www.midnightsfilm.com.

Pirira explores the challenges of international aid across interpersonal borders, and asks how we bridge seemingly impossible cultural divides. The cast includes John P. Keller, Kevis Hillocks, Naja Selby-Morton and David Gow. Pirira is inspired, in part, by Brantley’s experiences as a writer for Madonna’s NGO Raising Malawi and also by William Kamkwamba’s autobiographical The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. Pirira runs Thursday-Sunday through October 28. Tickets are on sale now at www.lunastage.org/pirira.

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