The upcoming world premiere of John J. Caswell, Jr. (Man Cave)'s Wet Brain at Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons has found its stars. Performances will run May 17-June 25 for the new American family drama which puts a twist on the classic genre with dark humor and alien abductions. Presented by Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theater, the work will open June 6.
Starring in the production will be Frankie J. Alvarez (Looking, to the yellow house) as Ron, Ceci Fernández (Men on Boats, Tiny Beautiful Things) as Angelina, Florencia Lozano (Playwrights: Placebo; Rinse, Repeat) as Mona, Julio Monge (Oedipus El Rey, On Your Feet!) as Joe, and Arturo Luis Soria (Ni Mi Madre, The Inheritance) as Ricky.
Wet Brain follows an Arizonan family as they deal with their father's end-stage alcoholism. But, the play takes unexpected turns in its exploration of the permeating effects of addiction. As the father is repeatedly abducted by aliens, the family must travel into outer space. Can they sort through their depths of loss and find closure lightyears away from Earth?
Caswell, Jr.'s semi-autobiographical play will be directed by Dustin Wills (Wolf Play). The creative team will also feature scenic designer Kate Noll, costume designer Haydee Zelideth Antuñano, lighting designer Cha See, co-sound designers Tei Blow and John Gasper, and projections designer Nick Hussong. Kasson Marraquin serves as stage manager.
Discussing the collaboration between himself and the design team, Caswell, Jr. said in a statement, “We had a really open dialogue where script and technical elements were informing one another... We realized we wanted to pull away from any campier genre elements and into a realism interjected by moments of fantastical departure, and to play with the notion that what goes unseen is often scariest.”
Playwrights Horizons Artistic Director Adam Greenfield said, "John J. Caswell, Jr. writes with a very sharp pencil, meticulously crafting an American family play, in the tradition of contemporary drama, only to then explode it open." MCC Theater Artistic Director Will Cantler agreed with the statement, adding, “We love plays that surprise us with the truth of the unexpected.”