The Common Air

“Planes are grounded.  Rumors Fly…” 


THE COMMON AIR confronts the universal anxieties of air travel as six desperate men encounter a monumental airport delay. Planes are grounded. Rumors Fly. The reason is unknown and a spiraling game of “telephone” ensues in an effort to uncover the truth.  The production spotlights technology’s depreciating effects on face to face humanity and the Iraq war’s myriad effects on American culture.  The airport delay–the common bond linking the characters–is rumored to be a result of a terrorist conspiracy. 

Performed by Alex Lyras, THE COMMON AIR features the characters of an Iraqi Cab Driver with a winning reality show idea, an art gallery owner seduced by ancient Greek cave art, a corporate attorney imparting rapid fire, ethically gray advice, a sample stealing DJ named PJ, a sinister philosophy professor mixing logic and irrationality in a west Texas accent, and an Iraqi-American just returned from civil war in Baghdad.   

Lyras & McCaskill have been collaborative partners in the theater for over 11 years.  Their first play, Desperelics, was produced in New York and Los Angeles. Warren Littlefield and NBC commissioned the play for a comedy pilot based on the characters.  Their second effort, Unequalibrium, also ran on both coasts, and was published in Best Plays of 2002 and One on One: The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century.  Their work has received raves from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Variety as well as Backstage West and East. Their drama pilots have been sold to FOX, Brillstein Grey, and Dawn Parouse Productions. In 2007, they produced their first feature film, Mona, written by McCaskill, starring Lyras and produced by both.  Mona won Best Picture at Malibu Film Festival in 2008 and received distribution from John Sloss and Cinetic Media.  Heterosexuals, their second feature project, written and directed by McCaskill, produced by and starring Lyras, just completed post-production. 

ALEX LYRAS was born and raised in New York and has performed on New York stages for over 15 years.  Most recently, he appeared in Showtime's Californication. On screen, he starred in Mike Nichols’ What Planet Are You From? And S.W.A.T.  Lyras’ screenplay ALVA, a drama about Thomas Edison, recently won the Alfred P. Sloan Grant from the Tribeca Film Institute.  He is a member of The Classical Theater Lab and The Writer's Guild west and is a part-time resident of Los Angeles. 

ROBERT McCASKILL is a New York City acting coach and writer. In coaching, he has worked with hundreds of actors including Bernadette Peters, Montel Williams and Michelle Rodriguez. As a sketch writer, he has worked at the West Bank Café Downstairs Theater Bar with comedian Lewis Black and screenwriter Lisa Loomer (Girl Interrupted).  He was an improvisation actor with Chicago City Limits and directed the company for four years.   He is a member of the Writers Guild of America.   

Original score and sound design have been composed by Ken Rich. Mr. Rich has recorded with Lou Reed, Shabba Ranks, Laurie Anderson, Deborah Harry, and David Byrne.  He has written music for HBO, VH1, the NBA and the feature film Whipped starring Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page.  This is his second collaboration with Lyras and McCaskill. 

Having run on Friday nights during the fall, the production now has a full playing schedule.  

Performances of THE COMMON AIR are Wednesdays thru Saturdays at 8PM and Sundays at 4PM. Special added performances are on Tuesday, April 13 at 2PM & 7PM. 

Tickets are $49.50 & $56.50 and available through TeleCharge.com by calling (212) 239-6200.  

Press Contact: Keith Sherman / Daniel Demello, 212.764.7900  Dan@ksa-pr.com


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