FOR THE NEW CITY'S DREAM UP FESTIVAL PRESENTS "KATIE" BY MIGUEL
TORUÑO, DIRECTED BY PENNY TEMPLETON
NEW YORK, August 7 – What are the limits of devotion? "Katie" by Miguel Toruño, a former US Congress ethics attorney, provides a unique examination of the choices we make to help those we love when lines are blurred between the law and what we feel is right. The play's title character is a young woman who is quadriplegic and unable to speak. When she turns 18, her mother must decide how to help her enter adulthood. The play challenges audiences to examine their viewpoints on family, disability and sexual consent while considering the role played by the state in raising our children. Toruño's goal in "Katie" is to provide audiences with a platform to examine the limits of a community's devotion to providing a good life to a loved one and whether, in some circumstances, that devotion should go beyond social norms, taboos, or even the law. The relationships of mother to child, neighbor to friend, and government to citizens clash in ways that have probably never been explored onstage. Penny Templeton directs this world premiere.
In the play, a single mother struggles to raise her quadriplegic, non-communicative daughter, alone but only with the help of three volunteer therapists from her local church: two women and a man. Toruño's legal experience comes through in his precise and informed writing, as he examines the conflict between the family and the state as each seeks to do what is best for a vulnerable young woman. We learn about the struggles of a caregiver and what it's like to come of age as a profoundly disabled woman. The play will force audiences to confront their deeply held beliefs and reconsider their prejudices.
"Katie" is written by Miguel Toruño, and directed by Penny Templeton. "Katie" features Maya Schnaider as the title character, Alixx Schottland as her mother and Justin C. Shilling as the male therapist. The cast also includes Allison Threadgold, Wilma Rivera and Pat Lawrence.
This is the first play by Miguel Toruño, who grew up in California and attended UC Berkeley before coming to New York City to study at St. John's University School of Law. After law school, Toruño served as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan DA's office. He then worked for the Inter-American Development Bank investigating corruption in international government projects. Most recently, Toruño was a senior attorney to the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Ethics. All of these experiences have strongly influenced his approach to playwriting.
Penny Templeton (director) trained with and acted opposite Paul Sorvino in "All The King's Men" at The American Stage Company. She also studied under Wynn Handman, who cast her in "I Stand Before You Naked" by Joyce Carol Oates at The American Place Theatre. Twenty-five years later, Templeton developed and directed a one-woman concept play of "I Stand Before You Naked." She has also directed the Off-Broadway shows "The Rise of Dorothy Hale," "The Ticking Clock," "F Train" and "The Idiot's Guide to Life." She is proprietor of the Penny Templeton Acting Studio and author of "Acting Lions: Unleash Your Craft in Today's Lightning Fast World of Film, Television and Theater." (www.PennyTempletonStudio.com)
For more information, visit the show's website, www.KatieThePlay.com.
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