By Heidi Schreck
Directed by Kip Fagan
Originally produced at Playwrights Horizons, New York, NY.
October 17, 2014 through November 30, 2014
About the Premiere Production
Called to a life of religious service, Shelley is the devoted manager of a Bronx soup kitchen, but lately her heart’s not quite in it. Enter Emma: an idealistic but confused young volunteer, whose recklessness pushes Shelley to the breaking point. With keen humor and startling compassion, Heidi Schreck’s play navigates the mystery of faith, the limits of forgiveness, and the pursuit of something resembling joy.
Grand Concourse might be one of the most well-known locations in The Bronx (except perhaps Yankee Stadium). This lofty sounding boulevard was modeled on The Champs Elysee, but meant to be even grander. Yet The Bronx itself, despite gradual improvement, still stands in some people’s minds as a symbol of urban blight. Fittingly, Grand Concourse is set in a soup kitchen run by a progressive, non-habit wearing nun. Blight and idealism meet head on. With tremendous economy, Heidi represents the diverse representatives of this world: the nun, a rainbow-haired young volunteer from Manhattan, a working class cook and an erratic homeless man. Each of these people is exactingly, humanely drawn, and their stories are compelling and surprising and in the process Heidi creates a microcosm of America.
It is an undeniable fact that a lot of the best work on a new play happens in the rehearsal room, especially with a play as deep and ambitious as this one. An extra week of rehearsal will provide Heidi, Kip and the creative team with the opportunity to delve deeply into their characters and the relationships among their characters, to provide Heidi with time to rewrite during the rehearsal process.
Director: Kip Fagan
Set Design: Rachel Hauck
Lighting Design: Matt Frey
Sound Design: Leah Gelpe
Costume Design: Jessica Pabst
Cast: Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Ismenia Mendes, Bobby Moreno, Lee Wilkof
Additional Funders: The Tow Foundation