Award Winning "Balm in Gilead" opens the NWSA Theater Season

Louise O. Gerrits Theater. From October 5 through 14, 2012.

altNew World School of the Arts launches its theatre season with Lanford Wilson’s 1965 award-winning play ‘Balm in Gilead.’ The edgy production will be the launching pad for a dynamic NWSA theater season and will feature a special pre-event reception to recognize Joseph Adler, Producing Artistic Director at GableStage at the Biltmore, for his steadfast commitment and support to New World School of the Arts. Adler will also receive recognition just before the first show in the Louise O. Gerrits Theater.

Directed by NWSA faculty member Gail Garrisan, Balm in Gilead highlights the talents of 28 New World School of the Arts college and five high school students, along with guest artist Rayner G. Garranchan, a 2011 graduate from the NWSA college program.

Inspired by his own experience living among the less fortunate in the city of New York, Lanford Wilson was in his mid 20’s when he wrote Balm in Gilead. He was a young playwright from Missouri, now in New York City sharing a small apartment with two roommates. It was during this time that he sought refuge away from the confines of his four walls by frequenting Pan Diner, a diner located in a less than desirable area where the underbelly of the city came together to share their lives. While these were unfamiliar people to Wilson, who came from the Midwest, their daily interaction offered him a window to their world and helped him realize that these were human beings with a past, a present and a future. By sharing their hopes and broken dreams, this riffraff of the city transformed the way in which Wilson viewed society.

Director Garrisan offers a snippet of what to expect, “Wilson holds up the mirror. In the reflection: desperation, filth, pain and also compassion and empathy. They dream, they grasp, and fall and hope and…they stop dreaming. At the time, the style of the play was considered to be experimental. It is non-linear, repetitive, not even clear – real not real.  It was very unsettling to some. That didn’t matter to Wilson. Life isn’t tidy! It is unsettling. Show it! And he did.”

The six-day schedule begins on Friday, October 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Louise O. Gerrits Theater in downtown Miami. Additional performances will be on October 6, 12, and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 7 and 14 at 2:00 p.m. General admission is $12, students and seniors $5. Tickets can be purchased online at

Louise O. Gerrits Theater
25 NE 2nd Street, 8th Floor
Miami, FL 33132

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