Jim Carroll's Basketball Diaries Gets Workshop Treatment on Stage

The Godlight Theatre Company is going to bring Jim Carroll’s Basketball Diaries to the stage. Performances will begin July 15 and end July 27. Mr. Carroll—considered the "poet laureate of New York City punk"—wrote Basketball Diaries when he was just 12 years old in 1963. "Influenced by the Cold War, the war in Vietnam, the race riots in New York City and New York City’s counter-culture movement, BASKETBALL DIARIES chronicles a turning point in American culture and is now considered a classic piece of literature," according to the press release, which is pasted below.

59E59 Theaters (Elysabeth Kleinhans, Artistic Director; Peter Tear, Executive Producer) welcomes the return of Godlight Theatre Company with a two-week workshop production of Jim Carroll’s BASKETBALL DIARIES, adapted for the stage by Matt Pelfrey and directed by Joe Tantalo. BASKETBALL DIARIES will have workshop performances from Tuesday, July 15 through Sunday, July 27. The performance schedule is Tuesday – Saturday at 8:15 PM and Sunday at
3:15 PM and 7:15 PM. Single tickets are $18 ($12.60 for 59E59
Members) and are available by calling Ticket Central at 212-279-4200 or online at www.ticketcentral.com. For more information visit www.59E59.org .

Matt Pelfrey adapts for the stage Jim Carroll’s remarkable book of a key period in American culture. Set in New York City, starting in 1963, Jim is an all-star basketball player at an elite catholic school leading a double life—experimenting with drugs and getting hooked, hustling gay men to support a heroin addiction, and becoming a poet and a future rock singer.

The cast features Aaron Paternoster as Jim Carroll with Katherine Boynton, Deanna McGovern, Alex Pappas, Nick Paglino, John Porto, Mike Roche, Michael Shimkin, Arthur Solomon and Sam Whitten.

Two-time Drama Desk Award-nominee Maruti Evans is the production designer. Original music and sound design by Andrew Recinos. Fight choreography by Josh Renfree.

BASKETBALL DIARIES was commissioned by Godlight Theatre Company under an exclusive arrangement with the Betsy Lerner Agency to adapt Jim Carroll’s book for the stage as a World Premiere.

Matt Pelfrey (adaptation) is an award winning, critically acclaimed playwright and teacher. His plays include An Impending Rupture of the Belly, Cockroach Nation, Terminus Americana, Honkies with Attitude, Gore Hounds, Drive Angry, FrEAk StORm, Jerry Springer is God, Monkey and A Feast of Famine. They have been produced in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and South Africa by such companies as the Actors Theater of Louisville (Humana Festival ’99), Furious Theatre Company, Roadworks, American Theater of Actors, (Mostly) Harmless Theater Company, Moving Arts, Hexagon Theatre and the Lodestone Theatre Ensemble. He is the recipient of the Heideman Award (National Ten- Minute Play Award) for his play Drive Angry, which was subsequently produced at the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Mr. Pelfrey recently won a Back Stage Garland Award for playwriting. He has been nominated for an American Critics New Play Award, LA Weekly Playwriting Award and a Los Angeles Ovation Award. In 2001 Mr. Pelfrey was a finalist for the Julliard Playwrights Program. Jerry Springer is God and Drive Angry are published by Samuel French and Smith & Kraus. Cockroach Nation, Terminus Americana and Gore Hounds are published by Original Works Publishing. An Impending Rupture of the Belly is published by Broadway Play Publishing. Matt received his BA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State and his MFA from UCLA, where he currently teaches undergraduate playwriting. He is writer-in-residence at Furious Theatre Company.

Joe Tantalo (director) has been the Artistic Director of Godlight Theatre Company since 1994. Directing highlights include: Waiting on the Z Train (NY Premiere by UK Playwright Sean Tyler), The Manchurian Candidate, The House of Yes, Poor Superman (NY Premiere and 2001 NYCFringe Award Winner), The Exhibition: The Life of John Merrick, and Labor Day: A Community Struggle with AIDS (World Premiere with AIDS Project USA/Long Wharf Theatre and Contra Sida), among others. At
59E59 Theaters: Slaughterhouse 5, Blindness, Fahrenheit 451 and A Clockwork Orange. Ensemble Studio Theatre: Only We Who Guard The Mystery Shall Be Unhappy, Curious George Goes to Class, The Adventures of Ashman, and others. International: Fahrenheit 451 (2006 Edinburgh Festival Fringe), A Clockwork Orange (2005 Edinburgh Festival Fringe).
Mr. Tantalo has been trained at the Shakespeare Theatre, The Circle in the Square, the Kennedy Center, and Southern Connecticut State University.

 

Jim Carroll's Basketball Diaries Gets Workshop Treatment on Stage