Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sarasota's Tanner takes 'Amish Project' Off-Broadway

Tanner in "The Amish Project" 
   Sarasota actor Katherine Michelle Tanner is heading to New York with seven of her favorite roles ever.
   Tanner portrays all the characters in "The Amish Project," Jessica Dickey's startling fact-based drama about the massacre of Amish children in a Pennsylvania schoolhouse. 

   She first performed the show at American Stage in St. Petersburg a few years back, then brought the same production, directed by Todd Olson, to a theater in Oklahoma and a performing arts festival in Maryland, before she landed back home with a lauded and popular staging for Banyan Theater in July.
   On Tuesday, Tanner announced that in early October she'll be performing "The Amish Project" at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, a new performance complex in Greenwich Village.
  Tanner's play will be part of the center's grand-opening festival, which also includes appearances by comedian Jim Gaffigan, the New York premiere of a film that stars David Oyewolo and performances by concert pianist Elaine Kwon, among others
   The Sheen Center is funded by the Catholic Church and named for Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. It was at the center of a controversy earlier this year when it canceled an event that was to benefit the National Coalition Against Censorship. The center canceled the event because one of the four new plays that would have been featured was a Neil LaBute work that had a title that center officials perceived as disrespectful to Islam.
   But aside from that incident, which nobody got overly worked up about, the center's been causing some excitement in the downtown New York performing arts world. It has two theaters and an art gallery and a mission to showcase "the true, the good and the beautiful as they have been expressed throughout the ages."

   Tanner will perform "The Amish Project" at 8 p.m. Oct. 1 and 2. Tickets are $10-$35. There's more information at sheencenter.org.

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