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INDEPENDENCE by Lee Blessing: A Female-Fueled Project To Open At Alchemical Theatre Laboratory

by BWW News Desk Mar. 6, 2018  

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A powerful female-fueled project, INDEPENDENCE is the story of a family divided against itself.

"The more we act like a normal, happy family, the better the chance we'll become one someday." - Kess, INDEPENDENCE

Coming to Alchemical Theatre Laboratory on March 16th-26th, Lee Blessing's INDEPENDENCE is an exciting women-led production that dives into the world of a mother, her three daughters, and all the misconnections that occur between them. Co-Directed by Tony Award and Drama Desk-nominated actress Elizabeth A. Davis, and Srda Vasiljevic (Bway: Deaf West's Spring Awakening, Mothers & Sons).

Featuring award-winning playwright and actress Susan Ferrara*, Erica Knight*, Teryn Gray, and Paige Felger.

Produced by Erica Knight, Teryn Gray, and Paige Felger. Associate Produced by Maggie Snyder.

Welcome to Independence, Iowa - the lifelong home of Evelyn Briggs, and generations' worth of familial misconnections. Evelyn's oldest daughter, Kess, a university professor, has long since decided to cut her family ties, but has come home at the sudden request of her sister; Jo, an incurable romantic, is unexpectedly pregnant and has become increasingly worried about Evelyn's mental health; while Sherry, salty-tongued and proudly amoral, wants only to finish high school so she can leave home for good. The sisters struggle to meet the expectations of their demanding mother, while the fight to pursue their individual aspirations for life and love test the bounds of family loyalty.

After their paths crossed during an acting class, Erica Knight (Kess), Teryn Gray (Jo), and Paige Felger (Sherry) found that Lee Blessing's characters deeply resonated with them-and they set out to produce a reading of INDEPENDENCE at Shetler Studios in Summer 2017. Along with themselves, the reading also starred Susan Ferrara (Evelyn), and was directed by Elizabeth A. Davis. With an overwhelmingly positive response, and still feeling a need to share these characters' voices with a wider audience, Erica, Teryn, and Paige moved to put the show on its feet and present a fully staged production. After running a successful Indiegogo campaign and curating a women-powered musical fundraising event-along with the help of Associate Producer Maggie Snyder, INDEPENDENCE is gearing up for a 10 show run at Alchemical Theatre Laboratory from March 16th-26th.

"I'm so proud of the women in this production. I see more and more women in this industry that are saying, if i want to tell a story, it is my responsibility to find a way to tell it. I don't have to sit back and wait for somebody to tell me whether or not i get to do what I love to do. I think that is important and very freeing, as we need these voices more than ever" - Elizabeth A. Davis, Co-Director

Alchemical Theatre Laboratory, Studio A

104 W 14th St, 3rd Floor, NYC

PREVIEWS: Friday March 16th at 8pm, Saturday March 17th at 3pm & 8pm, Sunday March 18th at 7pm, Monday March 19th at 7pm

PERFORMANCES:  Wednesday March 21st at 7pm (Opening Night), Saturday March 24th at 8pm, Sunday March 25th at 2pm & 7pm, Monday March 26th at 7pm

INDEPENDENCE runs 1 hour 55 minutes with a 10 minute intermission.

To purchase tickets, go to: OR

Or, find us on TodayTix!

35 and Under : $18.00

General Admission: $20.00

*Denotes member of Actor's Equity



Photo Flash: INDEPENDENCE: THE PLAY By Lee Blessing Comes to Alchemical Theatre Laboratory

by BWW News Desk Mar. 20, 2018  

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After a successful weekend of preview performances, INDEPENDENCE opens on March 21st at 7pm and has additional performances on March 24th at 8pmMarch 25th at 2pm & 7pm, and March 26th at 7pm. All performances are at Alchemical Theatre Laboratory (104 W 14th St, 3rd Floor)

Co-Directed by: Tony Award and Drama Desk-nominated actress Elizabeth A. Davis, and Srda Vasiljevic (Bway: Deaf West's Spring Awakening, Mothers & Sons).

Susan Ferrara* as EVELYN
Erica Knight* as KESS
Teryn Gray as JO
Paige Felger as SHERRY

Produced by Erica Knight, Teryn Gray, and Paige Felger. Associate Produced by Maggie Snyder.

Assistant Director: Chelsea Drumel
Production Stage Manager: Lizzy Emanuel*
Assistant Stage Manager: Myra Lamphier

INDEPENDENCE runs 1 hour 55 minutes including a 10 minute intermission. 

To purchase tickets, go to:
Or, find us on TodayTix or TDF! Tickets are also available at the door! 
Students w/ valid ID: $10.00
35 and Under: $18.00
General Admission: $20.00

Instagram: @independencenyc
Facebook: Independence: The Play
Ticketing issues or any questions about the production, please email

INDEPENDENCE is an Equity Approved Showcase.
*Denotes member of Actor's Equity

Photos by Jorge Camargo

Sherry (Paige Felger), Evelyn (Susan Ferrara), and Kess (Erica Knight)
Jo (Teryn Gray) and Evelyn (Susan Ferrara)
Evelyn (Susan Ferrara) and Kess (Erica Knight)
Kess (Erica Knight)
Sherry (Paige Felger)
Sherry (Paige Felger), Kess (Erica Knight) and Jo (Teryn Gray)
Jo (Teryn Gray), Sherry (Paige Felger), Evelyn (Susan Ferrara) and Kess (Erica Knight)


Lee Blessing's INDEPENDENCE in Manhattan

Artwork by: Amanda Gay