New York Premiere
One Year Lease Theater Company brings the 1973 Battle of the Sexes tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs to the stage in BALLS™, written by Kevin Armento & Bryony Lavery, commissioned and developed by One Year Lease.
Part sport, part disco, all carnival, Balls™ explodes across time, space and genre, fully embracing the circus atmosphere of the original event, and bouncing this most memorable tennis match of all-time off of the cultural debates it ignited around sexism, women-in-sport & equality. With these arguments still ongoing and as heated in our political climate right now as they were then, Balls is arriving at a perfect time!
True to OYL’s physical and high-intensity approach, the production will feature a moment-by-moment, shot-by-shot recreation of the tennis match in real time.
Written by Kevin Armento & Bryony Lavery
Directed by Ianthe Demos & Nick Flint
Movement Direction by Natalie Lomonte
Set Design by Kristen Robinson
Lighting Design by Mike Riggs
Sound Design by Brendan Aanes
Costume Design by Kenisha Kelley
Richard L. Danforth
Cynthia and Ben Guill
Victoria and Alex Lazar
Jane and Dick Schmitt
Alex J Gould
Zakiya Iman Markland
Balls was commissioned and developed by One Year Lease Theater Company and is a Co-Production between One Year Lease Theater Company & Stages Repertory Theatre
"Balls" approaches King's fascinating biography with glee and perspective and a tone
that's both light-hearted and cutting throughout the show. - Wei-Huan Chen
"There is no question, Balls is a production that comes to play. If by play one means throw down (spiritedly and with a sly giggle) on how women have had to fight, and not always win, the battle for gender progress." - Jessica Goldman
"a captivating, visceral spectacle from end to end" / "the physicality of the performance is staggering"
"it’s a thoughtful inventory of where we are and where we came from in terms of gender equality, and the play is just plain fun"
Birth. Movies. Death.
"Balls is an innovative play with the most impressive level of technical precision. It’s rife with humor, poking fun at the very concept of the battle of the sexes. Yet it gets reflective in ways I never expected, offering stark criticism and authentic heartbreak that blurs the lines between the gender wars. It’s poignant, physical, and - dare I say - ballsy." - Meagan Navarro