Final Week to see Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa in Abingdon Theatre Co.’s New York Premiere of Philip Dawkins’ THE GENTLEMAN CALLER at Cherry Lane through May 26

Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Lia Chang

It’s your final week to see Daniel K. Isaac (Showtime’s “Billions”) as William Inge and Juan Francisco Villa (Oedipus El Rey) as Tennessee Williams in Abingdon Theatre Company’s NY premiere of The Gentleman Caller by Philip Dawkins (Charm, Le Switch, The Homosexuals). Directed by Tony Speciale (Unnatural Acts,The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey), the limited engagement runs through May 26 at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, NYC) in Greenwich Village. Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Maria BaranovaPerformances are Mondays at 7PM, Tuesdays – Saturdays at 8PM, with matinees Saturday at 3PM. Tickets are $65 and available at abingdontheatre.org or by calling 212-352-3101. Premium seating is available. For more information about The Gentleman Caller, season subscriptions and group bookings visit abingdontheatre.org or call 212-868-2055. $25 tickets with Caller25 code.

Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

Although now regarded as two of history’s finest American playwrights, back in 1944, William Inge and Tennessee Williams hadn’t yet experienced anything close to success. The Gentleman Caller takes us back in time, before the Chicago premiere of The Glass Menagerie. Inge, a dissatisfied newspaper critic, invites Williams to his St. Louis apartment for an interview. This sexy, fraught rendezvous sparks a relationship, which radically alters the course of their lives and the American Theatre.

Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

The Gentleman Caller features a scenic design by Sara C. Walsh (Queen of the Night), costume design byHunter Kaczorowski (The Dork Knight), lighting design by Zach Blane (Too Much, Too Much, Too Many), and sound design and original music by Christian Frederickson (Antigone, Trojan Women).

Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa and Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa and Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa and Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa and Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa and Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa and Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa, playwright Philip Dawkins, Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa, playwright Philip Dawkins, Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa, playwright Philip Dawkins, Daniel K. Isaac, director Tony Speciale Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa, playwright Philip Dawkins, Daniel K. Isaac, director Tony Speciale Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Juan Francisco Villa and Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Lia Chang
Juan Francisco Villa and Daniel K. Isaac Photo Credit: Lia Chang
Philip Dawkins, Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Lia Chang
Philip Dawkins, Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa. Photo Credit: Lia Chang

Inside THE GENTLEMAN CALLER’S Opening Night Party with Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa 

Up Close and Personal with Daniel K. Isaac – William Inge in Abingdon Theatre’s Production of THE GENTLEMAN CALLER by Philip Dawkins, May 5 – 26 

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Elizabeth Canavan, Florencia Lozano and David Zayas Star in LAByrinth Theater Company’s World Premiere of DEVIL OF CHOICE by Maggie Bofill, May 23 – June 9

Florencia Lozano, Elizabeth Canavan and David Zayas

LAByrinth Theater Company (Artistic Director John Ortiz) is presenting the World Premiere of Devil of Choice by LAB Member Maggie Bofill (Winners, Drawn and Quartered). Previews begin Wednesday, May 23, and will run through Saturday, June 9, 2018, at The Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, New York, NY 10014). Opening night is Monday, May 28, 2018. Tickets are available for $20 each and can be purchased online.

Florencia Lozano, Elizabeth Canavan and David Zayas
Florencia Lozano, Elizabeth Canavan and David Zayas

When Pepper (Canavan) and her husband Salvatore (Zayas) meet Delia (Lozano), a volatile triangle of dark, passionate and comic twists and turns is put in motion. Sal, the hotshot new professor in town teaches Faust: the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil. This cautionary tale begins to play out in their lives the moment Sal insists Delia become friends with his wife, setting off a chain of events that sends all three down a dangerous path. When faced with your demons, what are the choices you’ll make to save yourself?

Devil of Choice is a dark, sexy, and funny tale about the things we choose, the people we covet, and the risks we take to get what we want.

“This play felt like the absolute right choice for LAB in our 25th Season,” says John Ortiz, Artistic Director. “Maggie’s development as a woman of color playwright, as well as the opportunity to offer LAByrinth members rich and challenging roles, really go to the heart of LAB’s mission. During a reading at our annual Barn Series festival last February, Maggie’s potent words, wrapped in a real and smart sobering story, lept off the page, and you could feel the audience on the edge of their seats, from the tension and excitement of the play. Now we can’t wait to take this wickedly fun and dangerous new play to the next level, in a fully staged production.”

Devil of Choice features a powerhouse cast of LAByrinth company members, including Elizabeth Canavan (Between Riverside and Crazy, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Jesus Hopped the A Train), Florencia Lozano (“Narcos,” “One Life to Live,” Where’s My Money?, Dirty Story), and David Zayas (“Dexter,” “Seven Seconds,” “Oz,” Broadway – Anna in the Tropics). Helmed by director Shira-Lee Shalit (finalist director for Steven Spielberg’s Fox/Dreamworks TV show, “On the Lot”), the production will also feature scenic design by Raul Abrego, costume design by Lara de Bruijn, lighting design by Kia Rogers, sound design by Daniel Melnick, and original music by Melisa McGregor.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Maggie Bofill (Playwright) Maggie Diaz Bofill is a founding member of LAByrinth Theater Company, where she began as an actor, and thanks to the company – started writing. New York City Productions include: Winners, Ensemble Studio Theater (Dir. Pam Berlin, Special Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Season of New Work), Drawn and Quartered, INTAR, Dir. Lou Morenol (NY Times Critics pick) Face Cream and El Grande (EST One Act Marathon), Me Monste (Dir. Cusi Cram, Dirty Blondes Resistor Project), plus short play festivals, including the Sticky Theater Series, NYMadness Series, and One Minute Play Festivals. Maggie is a member of the Actor’s Studio Playwright Director’s Unit, the Dramatist Guild, and Dorset Theater Festival’s Woman Artist Writers (WAW). Upcoming this spring, Swipe, a musical, book, music and lyrics by Maggie. Dir. Lori Kee, a BMCC commission, will be performed at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center.

SHIRA-LEE SHALIT (Director) Recent productions include Daniel Talbott’s Nick and Zoe (IRT Theatre), Fault Lines by Stephen Belber (TBG Theatre), Girls Will Be Girls by Jolie London Glickman (NYFringe Festival- *Fringe Favorite), The Women of Padilla by Tony Meneses (AADA) and many more workshops and staged readings at LAByrinth Theater Company, Cherry Lane Theatre, EST, The Actors Studio, The Lark, Dixon Place, Nylon Fusion, Barefoot Theatre Company (Associate Artistic Director 2015-17), NYMadness, Hi-Arts, Jewish Plays Project, HERE and WGA East. FILM: A-List- starring Academy Award nominee Sally Kirkland, Audience Award- Milan International Film Festival, Best Comedy- Worldfest; Full Cycle- Finalist- Student Academy Awards; Open Air- Best Short- Mexico International Film Fest, NJFilm Fest, Acefest. Shira-Lee was chosen by Steven Spielberg for his FOX/DreamWorks directing show, “On the Lot.” A Presidential Scholar of the Arts Awardee, Shira-Lee is a proud member of Rising Phoenix Rep, NYWIFT and The Actors Studio Playwright/Director Unit. She is on faculty at NYU and Columbia University.

Elizabeth Canavan (Actor) Member of LAByrinth Theater Company since 1993. She originated the role of Detective Audrey O’Connor in the Pulitzer Prize winning play, Between Riverside and Crazy (Atlantic Theater and 2nd Stage) by Stephen Adly Guirgis, dir. Austin Pendleton, also Little Flower of East Orange (The Public Theatre), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (The Public Theatre), Our Lady of 121st Street (Union Square Theater), Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (East 13th Street Theatre, Edinburgh Festival (Fringe First Award), The Donmar Wharehouse (London) and The Arts Theatre (London West End) all by Stephen Adly Guirgis and dir. Philip Seymour Hoffman. Other theater credits include : Pipeline (by Dominiqu Morisseau, Lincoln Center,) Black Lace (by John Patrick Shanley, The New Ohio Theater), Seven (Bovard Theater at USC), Love Sick (Theater for a New City), Thinner Than Water (Cherry Pit Theater) Massacre (Sing to Your Children) (by Jose Rivera, The Public Theater), Film credits: 1 Mile to You Television credits: “Younger,” “Law and Order,” “Law and Order SVU,” “Sex And The City.” Liz has written and starred in two short films, Father’s Day (Tribeca Film Festival 2016) and Sleeping with Sharks. She is also a member of the Actor’s Studio.

Florencia Lozano (Actor) is an actor, writer and performance artist. Theatre credits include: And She Would Stand Like This (Movement Theatre Co), Winners (EST), ‘Lady Macduff’ in Macbeth (Shakespeare in the Park), Placebo (Playwrights’ Horizons), Privilege ( Second Stage), Last Easter (MCC), Where’s My Money? (MTC/LAB), Dirty Story (LAB), Right You Are… (National Actors’ Theatre), Mimesophobia (SPF). TV credits include: “Gossip Girl,” “Blue Bloods,” “Ugly Betty,” “Law & Order SVU” and “CI,”, “The Mysteries of Laura,” “Madam Secretary,” “Kevin Can Wait,” “The Blacklist,” and the upcoming NBC pilot, “Enemy Within.” She played ‘Claudia Messina’ in Netflix’s “Narcos” and ‘Tea Delgado’ on ABC’s “One Life to Live.” Films include Amy Makes Three, Faraway Eyes, The Ministers, Perfect Strangers, and Veronika Decides to Die. Florencia is one of the original members of the LAByrinth Theater Company and currently serves as LAB’s Literary Manager. As a playwright, Florencia has written underneathmybed, produced at the Rattlestick Playwrights’ Theatre and winner of HOLA’s (Hispanic Organization of Latino Actors) Best New Play Award in 2010; Busted, produced by Rising Phoenix at CINO nights, and her new play, girl in window, is currently in development. Florencia attended NYU’s Graduate Acting Program on a full scholarship, where she received her MFA. Her BA is from Brown University where she studied Comparative Literature.

David Zayas (Actor ) is best known for his role as Angel Batista on the Golden Globe-nominated psychological drama “Dexter.” David was recently seen as “Sal Maroni” on the Fox series “Gotham,” ‘Sherrif Aguirre’ on the Netflix Series “Bloodline” and ‘Eduardo Magana’ on the Hulu series “Shut Eye.” His other recent television credits include “Saint George” (FX), “Seven Seconds” (Netflix), “Blue Bloods” (CBS), and “The Guest Book” (TBS). While working on the crime drama “The Beat,” Zayas met Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer Tom Fontana, who went on to create the role of ‘Enrique Morales’ on HBO’s “Oz” especially for him. David currently stars as ‘Sgt. Machado’ in the upcoming ABC pilot, “Staties.” On film, he has starred in The Expendables, Skyline, 13, Michael Clayton, Sixteen Blocks, The Savages, Bringing Out the Dead, The Yards, Undefeated, Wit, Angel, and The Interpreter. David recently starred opposite Helen Hunt in the indie feature Ride, starred opposite Ellen Page and Allison Janney in the feature Tallulah, and appeared in the film remake of the 1982 movie musical Annie opposite Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. David stars in the upcoming feature Shine, which will be released this August. A former New York police officer, Zayas began his acting career with LAByrinth Theater Company in 1992. He has starred in more than thirty theater productions, most with LAByrinth Theater Company, including: Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings, Our Lady of 121 St., and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics on Broadway.

John Ortiz (Artistic Director ) is honored to be returning as LAB’s Artistic Director during its 25th season, after having served as Co-Artistic Director with Philip Seymour Hoffman for eight seasons (2002-2009). A few of the many highlights in the 25 year span for John include directing David Deblinger in LAB’s 1992 inaugural production of Nobody’s Home, helping create new play development process, beginning with an annual Summer Intensive, acting in the ensemble created piece Dreaming in Tounges, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Jesus Hopped the A Train (in NY and London), Brett C Leonard’s Guinea Pig Solo, Bob Glaudini’s Jack Goes Boating, and the opportunity to collaborate with so many amazing artists from all walks of life. John is also a co-founder of LAB.

Raul Abrego (Scenic Designer )Set designer for Opera, Theater and Television and has designed for the Juilliard Opera Center, The Spoleto Opera Festival in Italy, The Manhattan School of Music, Rattlestick and 2nd Stage Uptown. Noted Projects: The Brobot Johnson Experience by Darian Dauchan, The Block by Dan Hoyle directed by Tamilla Woodard, Fidelis by Christina Gorman, Directed by Leah Gardiner, for The Public Studio. Insurgents by Lucy Thurber, Directed by Jackson Gay for Labyrinth Theater, La Barberia (New World Stages), Underneathmybed by Florencia Lozano directed by Pedro Pascal. Art Director for the television pilot of “Falling Water.”

Lara de Bruijn (Costume Design) is excited to be a part of this team! Recent and upcoming projects include: Party Face (City Center),  (Little Shubert Theatre), The Two Character Play (New World Stages), The Good Catholic and the upcoming Ms White Light (Pigasus Pictures), Ndebele Funeral (59E59), Julian Po (Signature Theatre), Half ‘n Half ‘n Half (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), Christopher and Black Dolphin, (Project 44), Onegin, Alcina,and The Rake’s Progress (Boston Conservatory), Scalia/Ginsberg and Don Giovanni (Castleton Opera Festival), Blasted (the BCA), The Electric Lighthouse (The Flea Theatre). See more at laradawndesign.com

Kia Rogers (Lighting Designer) Recent designs at: BAM Fisher, 3LD Art & Technology Center, The Gym at Judson. International credits: Associate Lighting Designer for Slutforart/98.6 in Gothenburg, Sweden with Muna Tseng. West coast designs: El Portal’s Monroe Forum Theatre, Los Angeles and Z Space, San Francisco. Awards: Outstanding Lighting Design for Jane The Plain with the NYITA, 2014 and nominated in 2016 for Rizing. Outstanding Lighting Design for Mr. Toole, MITF 2016. Kia is a member of Rising Phoenix Repertory and also a creative partner with Flux Theatre Ensemble. – www.krogersld.com

Daniel Melnick (Sound Designer) Credits include The Siblings Play, The House of Von Macrame, Zelda at the Oasis, and Love Trapezoid.

MELISA MCGREGOR (Composer/Musician)Canadian-born composer, violinist, and Sundance Institute Music & Sound Design Lab Composer Fellow. She has been collaborating on music design and composition with LAByrinth Theater Company since 2006 on various plays, and the Annual Charades Benefit show. Over the last 8 years, Melisa has worked with several Hollywood composers including Danny Elfman on many diverse film scores – from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010) to Joss Whedon’s Justice League (2017), and the upcoming The Grinch for Universal Studios (2018). In 2017, Melisa composed the score for the short film Cut in Half directed by Susan Sidelman, and she is currently working on string arrangements and performing weekly in Los Angeles with the singer-songwriter Jae-Mi, in addition to scoring the upcoming feature documentary Made in Boise for director Beth Aala. She is also the creator and producer of The Library Series concert hosted by composers Christopher Lennertz and Tim Wynn at Sonic Fuel Studios, which benefits music education charities such as Education through Music (ETMLA) and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

ABOUT LAByrinth Theater Company

LAByrinth Theater Company, founded in 1992 as The Latino Actors Base, was created to deliberately interrupt the racial status quo by giving voice to artists of color and reflecting a world where color is the norm and not the exception. LAByrinth Theater Company is a diverse, impassioned, tightly knit ensemble of multicultural artists that empowers individuals and builds community by creating member driven, incendiary, new works of theater.

Amari Cheatom, Caroline Stefanie Clay, Kelly McCreary and D.B. Woodside Set for Los Angeles Premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s SKELETON CREW at The Geffen Playhouse, June 5 – July 8

Kelly McCreary. Photo by Lia Chang
Kelly McCreary. Photo by Lia Chang

The Geffen Playhouse is presenting the Los Angeles Premiere of Skeleton Crew, the third and final installment in Dominique Morisseau’s award-winning three-play cycle, The Detroit Project, featuring Amari Cheatom (Roman J. Israel, Esq.) as Dez, Caroline Stefanie Clay (Broadway’s The Little Foxes) as Faye, Kelly McCreary (Grey’s Anatomy) as Shanita and D.B. Woodside (“Lucifer”) as Reggie. Patricia McGregor will direct.

Previews for Skeleton Crew begin Tuesday, June 5 in the Gil Cates Theater at The Geffen Playhouse with opening night set for Wednesday, June 13. The show closes Sunday, July 8.

Skeleton Crew follows four co-workers-Faye, Dez, Reggie and Shanita-at a Detroit auto factory in 2008. The play highlights the layered relationships and drama of blue-collar workers navigating the instability and uncertainty in their personal lives and at work. Each character’s patience and loyalty are tested as the plant’s future comes into question and they are forced to make hard choices to ensure their individual survival. Morisseau’s masterful command of dialect and dialogue brings depth and authenticity to a story about the very local implications of global change.

Skeleton Crew, the final play in Morisseau’s three-play cycle that includes Detroit ’67 and Paradise Blue, had its world premiere in 2016 at New York’s Atlantic Theater Company. In 2017, McGregor directed Washington D.C.’s Studio Theatre production of Skeleton Crew, in which Clay also starred.

Playwright Dominique Morisseau is the author of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle) which includes Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company), Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre) and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and National Black Theatre). Additional plays include Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theater), Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theater Company), Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre) and Follow Me To Nellie’s (Premiere Stages). She is also the book writer for the new musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations (Berkeley Repertory Theatre). Morisseau is an alumna of The Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, Women’s Project Lab and Lark Playwrights Workshop and has developed work at Sundance Lab, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Eugene O’Neil Playwrights Conference. Her work has been commissioned by Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Women’s Project Theater, South Coast Repertory, People’s Light and Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Penumbra Theatre Company. She most recently served as Co-Producer on the Showtime series “Shameless”. Awards include Spirit of Detroit Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper Prize, TEER Trailblazer Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Audelco Awards, NBFT August Wilson Playwriting Award, Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, OBIE Award, Ford Foundation Art of Change Fellowship, and being named to Variety‘s 2017 Women’s Impact Report.

Patricia McGregor is a director and writer from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Recent credits include Skeleton Crew (Studio Theatre), Measure for Measure (The Old Globe), The Parchman Hour (Guthrie Theater), Hamlet (The Public Theater), Ugly Lies the Bone (Roundabout Theatre Company), brownsville song (b-side for tray) (Lincoln Center Theater) and the world premieres of Good Grief (Center Theatre Group), Stagger Lee (Dallas Theater Center), Hurt Village (Signature Theatre), Holding It Down and Blood Dazzler (Harlem Stage) and The House That Would Not Stand (Berkeley Rep/Yale Rep). Other credits include director and co-creator of the oratorio Place at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and director of A Raisin in the Sun, The Winter’s Tale, Spunk, Becky Shaw, Adoration of the Old Woman, Four Electric Ghosts and Nothing Personal. She has directed the 24 Hour Plays on Broadway and staged readings for HBO’s writer’s Access program. She was a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow at Yale School of Drama where she earned her MFA and served as Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret.

Amari Cheatom (Dez) is proud to make his Geffen Playhouse debut with Dominique Morisseau’s Skeleton Crew. His credits include The Temple Bombing (ALLIANCE THEATRE), Dutch Masters (LAByrinth Theater Company), On the Levee (Lincoln Center Theater) and The Book of Grace (Public Theater). His film credits include Roman J. Israel, Esq., Detroit and Crown Heights. Cheatom is a graduate of The Juilliard School’s Drama Division and the Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta.

Caroline Stefanie Clay (Faye) is an actress, audiobook reader, playwright and vocal coach. She has appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning productions of The Little Foxes, Doubt and The Royal Family and as consultant to regional training programs around the world. Her film and television credits include Morning Glory, The Heights, “House of Cards,” “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent”. A native Washingtonian, Clay graduated from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. In 2013, she received her MFA in Performance at the University of Maryland. Her solo show, Let It Flo!, about the life of radical feminist Florynce Kennedy, will be featured in American Repertory Theater’s 2018-2019 season, produced by Waitress director Diane Paulus and social justice icon Gloria Steinem. Clay received a 2018 Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Actress for the role of Faye in Washington D.C.’s Studio Theatre production of Skeleton Crew, directed by Patricia McGregor.

Kelly McCreary (Shanita) currently resides at Seattle Grace where she joined the cast of “Grey’s Anatomy” at the end of Season 10 as Dr. Maggie Pierce. Before that, McCreary was seen on “Scandal,” “Castle,” “Emily Owens M.D.,” “I Just Want My Pants Back,” “White Collar,” “Rubicon” and “Cyberchase”. Recently, she portrayed Eartha Kitt in the indie film Life opposite Dane DeHaan and Robert Pattinson. Her other film credits include Baby Baby Baby, Being Flynn and How to Follow Strangers. Onstage, McCreary has appeared in Broadway’s Passing Strange, Perfect Harmony at Theatre Row, the world premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s Follow Me To Nellie’s at Kean Stage and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Eurydice with the Williamstown Theatre Festival. She is a graduate of Barnard College and trained at the Chautauqua Theatre Company, British American Drama Academy in London and The Actors Center in New York.

D.B. Woodside (Reggie) is currently seen as the series regular Amenadiel on “Lucifer” on the Fox network. Concurrently, he has been starring as Jeff Malone on the USA Network drama “Suits”. Prior to that, he was a recurring regular on “Parenthood” and played Wayne Palmer on the critically acclaimed Emmy Award-winning series “24”. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Woodside made his New York Theater debut as Martin Luther King Jr. in the Off-Broadway production of The Conscientious Objector at the Harold Clurman Theater.

Tickets currently priced at $25.00 – $90.00. Available in person at The Geffen Playhouse box office, by phone at 310.208.5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org. Fees may apply.

Rush tickets for each day’s performance are made available to the general public 30 minutes before showtime at the box office. $35.00 General / $10.00 Student

The run of Skeleton Crew will feature the Geffen’s popular Talk Back Tuesdays, giving theater lovers a chance to engage in a deeper conversation about the play and the process.

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Lea Salonga to Play Final Performance in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND on June 24; Darlesia Cearcy to Take Over Erzulie

Lea Salonga as Erzulie in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Photo by Joan Marcus
Lea Salonga as Erzulie in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Photo by Joan Marcus
Lea Salonga as Erzulie in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Photo by Joan Marcus

You have until June 24th to experience Tony winner Lea Salonga as Erzulie in the Tony Award nominated revival of Once On This Island. Current cast member Darlesia Cearcy will take over the role of Erzulie on June 25.

Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga to Star as Grace Farrell in ANNIE at the Hollywood Bowl, July 27 – 29 

The new Broadway production of Once On This Island, produced by Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold, is the recipient of eight Tony Award® nominations including Best Musical Revival, seven Drama Desk Award nominations, six Outer Critics Circle nominations and three Chita Rivera Award nominations. It opened on December 3 at The Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street) to rave reviews.

The new production is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Camille A. Brown.

Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy. This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.

The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), John Bertles/Bash The Trash (Unusual Instruments), Cookie Jordan (Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr. (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer) and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).

Additional producers include Carl Daikeler, Roy Putrino, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Caiola Productions, H. Richard Hopper, Sandi Moran, Diego Kolankowsky, Brian Cromwell Smith, Ron Kastner, Rob Kolson, Judith Manocherian, Kevin Lyle, Jay Alix, Una Jackman, Jeff Wise, Witzend Productions, Jeff Grove, Wishnie-Strasberg, Mark Ferris, Michelle Riley, Marie Stevenson, Mojgan Fajiram, Jesse McKendry, Silva Theatrical Group, Conor Bagley, Brendan C. Tetro, Invisible Wall Productions,The Harbert Family, Keith Cromwell, and Red Mountain Theatre Company. The associate producers are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life in a striking production by Tony Award®-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown. This production transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope.

Tickets for Once On This Island are on sale through Telecharge.

Once On This Island premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May of 1990. The Broadway production opened in October of that year and ran for 469 performances garnering eight Tony nominations including Best Featured Actress (LaChanze), Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. The 1994 West End production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

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SWEENEY TODD, Starring Thom Sesma and Sally Ann Triplett, Ends Successful Barrow Street Theatre Run on August 26

Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd and Sally Ann Triplett as Mrs. Lovett. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The Tooting Arts Club production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street starring Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd, Sally Ann Triplett as Mrs. Lovett, Stacie Bono as Pirelli & Beggar Woman, Michael James Leslie as Judge Turpin, Zachary Noah Piser as Tobias, John Rapson as The Beadle, Billy Harrigan Tighe as Anthony and DeLaney Westfall as Johanna, with Laura Darrell, Matt Leisy, Liz Pearce, Danny Rothman, Monet Sabel and Drew Seigla,  will play its final performance on August 26, 2018 after a successful run at New York’s Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street).

Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd and Sally Ann Triplett as Mrs. Lovett. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd and Sally Ann Triplett as Mrs. Lovett. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Lucille Lortel Nominee Thom Sesma Talks Asian American Representation in the Performing Arts and all things Sondheim 

“From our modest beginnings in a six-week run at Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop in Tooting, South London, we could never have imagined the support and love we would go on to receive in New York,” said lead producer Rachel Edwards. “I am so proud of our director Bill Buckhurst, the entire creative team, a wonderful family of actors and a brave team of producers who made the show such a success, especially the incredible Barrow Street Theatre who gave this show a home in New York. Most importantly, I thank Stephen Sondheim for his unerring support and encouragement along the way.”

The last performance of Sweeney Todd will also mark the Barrow Street Theatre’s final production at Greenwich House. Barrow Street Theatre has resided at Greenwich House for 14 years, beginning with the seminal production of Tracy Letts’ Bug in 2004 and has presented a number of iconic productions including Our Town, Tribes, Every Brilliant Thing, and No Child…. Sweeney Todd is only the latest demonstration of Barrow Street Theatre’s distinct history of changing the shape of Off-Broadway Theatre.

Sweeney Todd, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond, and directed by Bill Buckhurst, is now playing at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street). For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.SweeneyToddNYC.com.

Sweeney Todd features set and costume designs by Simon Kenny, music supervision and arrangements by Benjamin Cox, music direction by Matt Aument, choreography by Georgina Lamb, lighting design by Amy Mae, sound design by Matt Stine, casting by Telsey + Company / Cesar A. Rocha, CSA and production stage management by Joshua Mark Gustafson.

Immersing audiences in a completely new theatrical experience, this production of the classic tale of blood thirsty barber Sweeney Todd and resourceful pie shop proprietress Mrs. Lovett comes to New York City following sold-out runs in London. Tooting Arts Club first mounted this Sweeney Todd in the winter of 2014 in Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop, one of the oldest continuously operating pie shops in London, seating only 35 people at each performance. In 2015, the production made the leap to the West End where Tooting Arts Club recreated Harrington’s in a 69 seat Shaftesbury Avenue venue provided by producer Cameron Mackintosh. The Harrington’s shop environment has once again been brought to life for its US debut in the 130 seat Barrow Street Theatre.

Sweeney Todd began performances on February 14, 2017 prior to a March 1, 2017 opening.

Sweeney Todd is produced by Rachel Edwards, Jenny Gersten, Seaview Productions, Fiona Rudin, Barrow Street Theatre, Jean Doumanian, Rebecca Gold and Nate Koch (Executive Producer).

Based on a Victorian horror story, Sweeney Todd is often considered Sondheim’s greatest masterpiece. It first premiered on Broadway in 1979 at the Uris Theatre (now the Gershwin) and went on to make its West End debut in 1980. The original Broadway production won 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. The 2007 Tim Burton film adaptation earned one Academy Award and two Golden Globe Awards.

Former White House Executive Pastry Chef William “Bill” Yosses (dubbed “the Crust Master” by President Barack Obama) serves as the production’s official pie maker. In keeping with the original Tooting production and the West End transfer, “pie and mash” is available for purchase by audience members prior to every performance, served communally in the pie shop where the production is set. An authentic slice of Victorian London, the traditional “pie and mash” dish consists of a meat pie, a generous helping of mashed potato and hot parsley sauce – otherwise known as “liquor” – which is an optional extra. Both meat veg pie options are available.

TICKETING & SCHEDULE

Tickets can be purchased online at www.SweeneyToddNYC.com, at the Barrow Street Theatre, 27 Barrow Street at 7th Ave South (Box Office open 1pm daily), or by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111. Tickets for performances range in price from $55 to $150. Premium seating is available.

When purchasing tickets, patrons can select an option to add the pie and mash meal to their order for an additional $22.50 ($29 for beef wellington). The meal also includes a beer, glass of wine, or non-alcoholic beverage to be enjoyed in the pie-shop starting 1 hour and 15 minutes prior to each performance. Please note that this option can only be purchased in advance with tickets.

A limited number of $39 tickets will be made available to every performance of Sweeney Todd via the TodayTix app. The entry period for all performances will begin each performance day at 12:01am EST and continue until winners are notified via email and push notification 2-4 hours before the selected performance begins. Limit one entry per person and two tickets per winner. A photo ID is required for pickup and lottery tickets and seat locations are subject to availability.

Performance Schedule: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday @ 7:30pm; Friday @ 8:00pm; Saturday @ 2:30pm & 8:00pm; Sunday @2:00pm & 7:30pm

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Guest Artists Devin Ilaw and Diane Phelan Join National Asian Artists Project Broadway Community Chorus Spring Concert Saluting Andrew Lloyd Webber at University Settlement House on May 23

National Asian Artists Project Broadway Community Chorus presents its annual Spring concert showcasing the music of legendary Broadway composer Andrew Lloyd Webber on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at University Settlement House – Speyer Hall, 184 Eldridge Street in New York at 7:30pm. Click here for tickets.

The 30 plus member chorus, music directed by Dan Pardo, will be joined by guest artists Devin Ilaw (Miss Saigon) and Diane Phelan (School of Rock) in an exciting musical evening showcasing music from classic musicals including Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Sunset Boulevard, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Phantom of the Opera.

The chorus includes Amy Ashley, Cailin Chang, Tim Chang, Ann Chow, Shan Y. Chuang, Kiet Tai Cao, Samara Ariel Ehrlich, Eric Elizaga, David Eng, Philip Eng, Shino Frances, Musa Hitomi, Karin Kawamoto, Alex Lawrence, Linda Lee McBride, Sandra Lee, Mio Nakanishi, Anthony Obnial, Chrissy Pardo, Frank Nicholas Poon, Melissa Rivera, Melissa Slaughter, Layla Yu, Tomo Watanabe and Viet Vo.

About National Asian Artists Project:
NAAP was founded in 2009 by Baayork Lee, Steven Eng and Nina Zoie Lam. Prominent theater artists in their own right, they joined together in an effort to address what they felt was a significant lack of opportunity for professional Asian-American theater artists to practice their craft and contribute on a broader level to the diversity of the American theater. NAAP seeks to showcase the work of professional theater artists of Asian descent through performance, education and outreach. NAAP is a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders and professionals who recognize the need to bridge the work of artists of Asian descent to the many communities the work can serve, from underserved primary school students to seasoned arts patrons. For more information about NAAP, visit www.NAAProject.org

Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP onstage before the performance of Oliver!, at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP onstage before the performance of Oliver!, at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

In 2017, NAAP founder Baayork Lee was honored with the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. NAAP was proudly cited and showcased as a contributing factor in the award.

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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Ma-Yi Theater Company in association with The Public Theater is presenting Gregg Mozgala, Tiffany Villarin, Shannon DeVido, Alex Breaux, Sasha Diamond and Marinda Anderson in World Premiere of TEENAGE DICK by Mike Lew, June 12 – July 15

Ma-Yi Theater Company in association with The Public Theater is presenting the Off-Broadway world premiere of TEENAGE DICK, a new play by Mike Lew (Tiger Style!), led by Tiffany Villarin (HOUSE RULES – Ma-Yi Theater, PEERLESS – Cherry Lane Mentor Project) who returns to Ma-Yi Theater Company alongside the previously announced Gregg Mozgala (Cost of Living, 2018 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play), June 12 – July 15. The Public Theater is located at 425 Lafayette St in New York. Click here for tickets.

Rounding out the cast are Shannon DeVido (The Healing, Difficult People), Alex Breaux (Red Speedo), Sasha Diamond (Significant Other), and Marinda Anderson (Bella: An American Tall Tale).

Directed by Tony Award-nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Hand to God and Present Laughter), and choreographed by Jennifer Weber (KPOP), TEENAGE DICK is presented as a new fully realized production, having been developed by The Public Theater as part of its 2016 Public Studio Series.

TEENAGE DICK is a brilliantly hilarious take on Richard III, Shakespeare’s classic tale of power and lust. TEENAGE DICK reimagines the most famous disabled character of all time as a 16-year-old outsider in the deepest winter of his discontent: his junior year at Roseland High. Picked on because of his cerebral palsy (as well as his sometimes creepy Shakespearean way of speaking), Richard is determined to have his revenge and make his name by becoming president of the senior class. But as he manipulates and crushes the obstacles to his electoral success, Richard finds himself faced with a decision he never expected would be his to make: is it better to be loved or feared?

TEENAGE DICK was commissioned and developed by The Apothetae (Gregg Mozgala, Artistic Director), a company dedicated to plays that explore and illuminate the “Disabled Experience.” It was further developed during a residency at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference in 2016 (Executive Director, Preston Whiteway and Wendy C. Goldberg, Artistic Director). This current production by Ma-Yi Theater Company is part of The Lark’s Venturous Playwright Fellowship Program, funded by Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation.

Design and creative credits for TEENAGE DICK are: Set Design – Wilson Chin, Costume Design – Junghyun Georgia Lee, Lighting Design – Miriam Crowe, Sound Design – Fabian Obispo, and Movement Coordination – Robert Westley. Alyssa K. Howard is Production Stage Manager.

TICKETS:
Scheduled through July 15, 2018, TEENAGE DICK will begin performances June 12 and perform Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30PM, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 1:30PM. Please note there is no performance on Saturday, June 16 at 1:30 or Thursday, June 21 or Wednesday, July 4 at 7:30PM; additionally, performances have been added on Monday, June 18 and July 2 at 7:30PM. Public Theater Partners and Members can access tickets on Thursday, March 22. Single tickets can be accessed on Thursday, March 29. For tickets and information: visit publictheater.org, or call 212.967.7555
Mobility limited seating and reduced ticket prices for the disabled community and designated companion are available.

Information is also available at: www.ma-yitheatre.org

ABOUT MA-YI THEATER COMPANY:
Ma-Yi Theater Company recently enjoyed great critical and wild success with its double-billed KPOP last fall by Jason Kim, in addition to Carlos Celdran’s LIVIN’ LA VIDA IMELDA, Hansol Jung’s AMONG THE DEAD, A. Rey Pamatmat’s HOUSE RULES, Nandita Shenoy’s WASHER/DRYER, Michi Barall’s PEER GYNT AND THE NORWEGIAN HAPA BAND, Han Ong’s CHAIRS AND A LONG TABLE, and Rehana Lew Mirza’s SOLDIER X. The company won the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for its critically acclaimed production of Lloyd Suh’s THE WONG KIDS IN THE SECRET OF THE SPACE CHUPACABRA GO!

Founded in 1989 and now celebrating its 27th season, MA-YI is a Drama Desk and Obie Award-winning, Off-Broadway not-for-profit organization whose primary mission is to develop and produce new and innovative plays by Asian American writers.

Since its founding, Ma-Yi has distinguished itself as one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today. Its numerous acclaimed productions include Mike Lew’s BIKE AMERICA and MICROCRISIS, Qui Nguyen’s THE INEXPLICABLE REDEMPTION OF AGENT G and SOUL SAMURAI (with Vampire Cowboys), Mike Lew’s MICROCRISIS and the revival of Ralph B. Peña’s FLIPZOIDS. Other productions include: RESCUE ME by Michi Barall, Lloyd Suh’s AMERICAN HWANGAP and THE CHILDREN OF VONDERLY and THE ROMANCE OF MAGNO RUBIO by Lonnie Carter. Through successful programs such as the Writers Lab, Ma-Yi emboldens a new generation of Asian American artists to voice their experiences, while developing a steady stream of quality new works by Asian American playwrights for its own performing repertory. New works developed at the Writers Lab have gone on to successful productions around the country, at such theaters as Victory Gardens, Laguna Playhouse, Long Wharf Theater, Woolly Mammoth, and the Actors Theater of Louisville, to name a few. Ma-Yi Theater Company productions have earned 10 Obie Awards, numerous Henry Hewes Award nominations, a Drama Desk nomination for Best Play and the Special Drama Desk Award for “more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater.”
Ma-Yi Theater is under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña.

ABOUT THE PUBLIC THEATER:
THE PUBLIC, under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, is theater of, by, and for the people. Artist-driven, radically inclusive, and fundamentally democratic, The Public continues the work of its visionary founder Joe Papp as a civic institution engaging, both on-stage and off, with some of the most important ideas and social issues of today. Conceived over 60 years ago as one of the nation’s first nonprofit theaters, The Public has long operated on the principles that theater is an essential cultural force and that art and culture belong to everyone. The Public’s wide breadth of programming includes an annual season of new work at its landmark home at Astor Place, Free Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, The Mobile Unit touring throughout New York City’s five boroughs, Public Forum, Under the Radar, Public Studio, Public Works, Public Shakespeare Initiative, and Joe’s Pub. Since premiering HAIR in 1967, The Public continues to create the canon of American Theater and is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Their programs and productions can also be seen regionally across the country and around the world. The Public has received 59 Tony Awards, 169 Obie Awards, 53 Drama Desk Awards, 54 Lortel Awards, 32 Outer Critic Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Desk Awards, and 6 Pulitzer Prizes. publictheater.org

KPOP, “School Girls,” ‘Cost of Living,” and “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” Take Top Honors at Lortel Awards 

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A Conversation with MaameYaa Boafo, Star of “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play”

MaameYaa Boafo
MaameYaa Boafo. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
MaameYaa Boafo. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

In MCC Theater’s critically acclaimed production of School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, written by 2017-18 Tow Playwright-in-Residence Jocelyn Bioh, and directed by Tony Award winner Rebecca Taichman, MaameYaa Boafo (LIFT, “An African City”) plays Paulina Sarpong, the reigning queen bee at Ghana’s most exclusive boarding school who has her sights set on the Miss Universe pageant. But the arrival of Ericka (Nabiyah Be), a new student with undeniable talent and beauty, captures the attention of the pageant recruiter–and Paulina’s hive-minded friends. School Girls is a buoyant and biting comedy that explores the universal similarities (and glaring differences) facing teenage girls across the globe.

Nabiyah Be and MaameYaa Boafo. Photo by Joan Marcus
Nabiyah Be and MaameYaa Boafo. Photo by Joan Marcus

Ms. Boafo has garnered nominations for a 2018 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress, a 2018 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Play and a 2018 Drama League Distinguished Performance Award for her role as Paulina.

MaameYaa Boafo at the 33rd Annual Lucille Lortel Awards on May 6, 2018 in New York City. Photo: Instagram
MaameYaa Boafo at the 33rd Annual Lucille Lortel Awards on May 6, 2018 in New York City. Photo: Instagram
MaameYaa Boafo
MaameYaa Boafo

Born in Pakistan, Ms. Boafo hails from Ghana, West Africa, and currently resides in New York. When she came to the United States to obtain a double Bachelor degree in Journalism and French at Hood College, she was awarded the Levin Scholarship from Rutgers University where she received her MFA in Acting from the Mason Gross School of the Arts.  She has since gone on to play roles such as Ophelia in Hamlet, the Courtesan in Comedy of Errors and made her off-Broadway debut as Walter Mosley’s leading lady in his play LIFT.

Biko Eisen-Martin as Southmore and MaameYaa Boafo as Tina in Walter Mosley's "Lift," directed by Marshall Jones III, at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Carol Rosegg
Biko Eisen-Martin as Southmore and MaameYaa Boafo as Tina in Walter Mosley’s “Lift,” directed by Marshall Jones III, at 59E59 Theaters. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Since making her on-screen acting debut in 2012 in the award winning indie film Asa as the title role, Ms. Boafo has gone on to star in other indies and short films including Bus Nut, directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu. Her television credits include “Chicago Med,” “Iron Fist,” “Madam Secretary,” “Blacklist” and “Mysteries of Laura”.  Ms. Boafo also leads the cast of “An African City,” the international hit web series that is “Africa’s answer to Sex & the City” (CNN).

The cast of "An African City". Photo by Bob Pixel Photography
The cast of “An African City”. Photo by Bob Pixel Photography

On Sunday, June 3rd, Ms. Boafo will join her School Girls castmates Nabiyah Be, Paige Gilbert, Zainab Jah, Nike Kadri, Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Mirirai Sithole, and Myra Lucretia Taylor to receive the 2018 Drama Desk Ensemble Award at the 63rd Annual Drama Desk Awards at Town Hall in New York. School Girls is also nominated for Outstanding Play, Outstanding Costume Design for a Play for Dede M. Ayite and Outstanding Wig and Hair for Cookie Jordan.

The cast of “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play.” Left to right Nike Kadri, Maame Yaa Boafo, Abena Mensah-Bonsu, N
The cast of “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play.” Left to right Nike Kadri, Maame Yaa Boafo, Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Nabiyah Be, Paige Gilbert, and Mirirai Sithole. Photo by Joan Marcus

School Girls recently tied for the 2018 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, and playwright Jocelyn Bioh received the 2018 Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award presented for an American play by a new playwright.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 06: The cast of School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play (L) accepts the award for Outstanding Play in a tie onstage during the 33rd Annual Lucille Lortel Awards on May 6, 2018 in New York City.| (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Lucille Lortel Awards)
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 06: The cast of School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play (L) accepts the award for Outstanding Play in a tie onstage during the 33rd Annual Lucille Lortel Awards on May 6, 2018 in New York City.| (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Lucille Lortel Awards)

KPOP, “School Girls,” ‘Cost of Living,” and “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” Take Top Honors at Lortel Awards 

Jocelyn Bioh’s “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” Receives 2018 Drama Desk Ensemble Award and Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League and Off Broadway Alliance Nominations 

"School Girls" representing at the 33rd Annual Lucille Lortel Awards on May 6, 2018 in New York City. Photo: Instagram
“School Girls” representing at the 33rd Annual Lucille Lortel Awards on May 6, 2018 in New York City. Photo: Instagram

I caught up with MaameYaa during the frenzy of awards season.

Mirirai Sithole, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Jocelyn Bioh and MaameYaa Boafo. Photo courtesy of MaameYaa Boafo/Facebook
Mirirai Sithole, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Jocelyn Bioh and MaameYaa Boafo. Photo courtesy of MaameYaa Boafo/Facebook

Lia: How long have you been part of the development of School Girls?
MaameYaa: Since the beginning- playwright Jocelyn Bioh called me up about 3 years ago telling me she wrote this play and had me in mind to read for Paulina for a staged reading. From there we had a few more staged readings and workshops, and by the time we were up on our feet, School Girls had gone through over 30 drafts.  It’s been such a honor to be a part of this play since its developmental stage.

Lia: Describe your character Paulina.
MaameYaa: I don’t want to give way too much so I’ll just say that Paulina is a 3 dimensional character whose goal in life is to make her dream come true…by any means necessary.

MaameYaa Boafo. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
MaameYaa Boafo. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Lia: What character do you relate to?
MaameYaa: I relate most to Nana. I grew up all over the world and went from one international school to another where I was usually the odd person out in every definition of the word- I relate to how much Nana wanted to fit in.

Abena Mensah-Bonsu and MaameYaa Boafo. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Abena Mensah-Bonsu and MaameYaa Boafo. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Lia: What was your reaction when you heard about your 1st nomination?
MaameYaa: I was in LA at the time and with the time difference had just woken up to a bunch of texts – I was just so relieved to be lying down, because they made me so lightheaded lol.

Lia: What does it mean to have your culture represented on stage?
MaameYaa: It means the WORLD to me to see people flock to the theatre to see what happens in Ghanaian boarding school on a New York Stage. I’ve never been prouder to share my culture with audiences.

Myra Lucretia Taylor, Palmer Hefferan,Abena Mensah-Bonsu, MaameYaa Boafo, Paige Gilbert, Jocelyn Bioh, Zainab Jah and Dede Ayite at the Drama Desk Awards luncheon at Friedmans inside The Hotel Edison in New York on May 9, 2018. Photo: Facebook
Myra Lucretia Taylor, Palmer Hefferan,Abena Mensah-Bonsu, MaameYaa Boafo, Paige Gilbert, Jocelyn Bioh, Zainab Jah and Dede Ayite at the Drama Desk Awards luncheon at Friedmans inside The Hotel Edison in New York on May 9, 2018. Photo: Facebook
MaameYaa Boafo and Jocelyn Bioh at the 84th Annual Drama League Awards held at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York on May 18, 2018. Photo: Facebook
MaameYaa Boafo and Jocelyn Bioh at the 84th Annual Drama League Awards held at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York on May 18, 2018. Photo: Facebook

Lia: You have been doing a lot of TV. Any favorite experiences?
MaameYaa: Every experience has been special. I’ve been really lucky to be on sets with such kind TV stars, hilarious directors, and warm hearted crew members.

Lia: What have your best responses post-show been from young audiences?
MaameYaa: Best response: when 2 eight year old girls just came up and hugged me. Second best response when 99% of the audience say, “I wish it was longer- I didn’t want it to end- ever”.

MaameYaa Boafo and Zainab Jah. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
MaameYaa Boafo and Zainab Jah. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

MCC Theater’s production of School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play will launch the Center Theatre Group’s 2018-2019 season at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles, CA. The show will begin previews on Sunday, September 2, with an official opening night set for Sunday, September 8. The show is set to run through September 30, 2018. Additional information, including casting, will be announced shortly. Click here for tickets and more information.

Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Zainab Jah, Mirirai Sithole, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Nabiyah Be, MaameYaa Boafo, Paige Gilbert, Nike Kadri. Photo by Lia Chang
Abena Mensah-Bonsu, Zainab Jah, Mirirai Sithole, Myra Lucretia Taylor, Nabiyah Be, MaameYaa Boafo, Paige Gilbert, Nike Kadri. Photo by Lia Chang

The New York limited return of School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play will begin previews at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street) on Tuesday, October 16, with an official opening night set for Monday, October 22, 2018. The show is set to run through November 25, 2018.  For tickets and more information, visit www.mcctheater.org.

www.maameyaaboafo.com

André De Shields to Receive 2018 Legend of Off Broadway Award; “KPOP,” “Dutch Masters,” “School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play” Score Off-Broadway Alliance Nods 

Outer Critics Circle Award Nominees Announced; “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Pacific Overtures,” “Mlima’s Tale,” “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” and “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play” Among Nominated

2018 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations Announced including KPOP, “Bella: An American Tall Tale,” “Mary Jane,” “The Lucky Ones,” “Pipeline,” “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play” and “Pacific Overtures” 

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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J. Julian Christopher, Sarah Gancher, Mike Lew, Vickie Ramirez, Tammy Ryan, Susan Soon He Stanton, and Lauren Yee Join New Dramatists’ Resident Playwright Company

New Dramatists, an artistic home and developmental laboratory for professional playwrights, is proud to announce the addition of seven writers to its illustrious, dynamic resident playwright company: J. Julian Christopher, Sarah Gancher, Mike Lew, Vickie Ramirez, Tammy Ryan, Susan Soon He Stanton, and Lauren Yee. They will be in-residence through the year 2025. These supremely talented theatre artists were selected by a seven-person committee of New Dramatists current residents, alumni, and outside theatre professionals from 478 applicants after undergoing a highly competitive, nine-month review and consensus-based decision-making process. New Dramatists kicks off their seven-year residencies with an evening of readings and celebration at the annual New Playwright Welcome in the fall.

J. Julian Christopher
J. Julian Christopher

J. Julian Christopher holds an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. Acting credits include: TBA (by Carla Ching), Holiday Movies (directed by Liz Swados), and The Karaoke Show (directed by Diane Paulus). Awards include: The 2009 Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, the 2014 Best New Work Motif Award, the 2015 Queens Arts Council Grant, and the 2017 & 2018 Pipeline Theatre Company PlayLab. He has workshopped his plays at LAByrinth Theater, TerraNova Collective, Fuse Theatre, and The Working Theatre. Productions include: Man Boobs (Pride Films & Plays, 2011), Nico was a Fashion Model (Counter-Productions Theatre Company, 2013), Animals Commit Suicide (First Floor Theater, 2015), and Locusts Have No King (INTAR, 2016). Julian has been a finalist for Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Rising Circle, and SPACE at Ryder Farm’s Working Farm Residency. Other plays include, Alligator Mouth, anOTHER, ¡OSO FABULOSO! & The Bear Backs, Bundle of Sticks,and Bruise & Thorn (2018 PlayPenn Conference). He is a co-producer and co-writer of the hit web series, Bulk- The Series, the chair of Region 1’s National Playwriting Program for The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, and an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Queensborough Community College.

Sarah Gancher
Sarah Gancher

Sarah Gancher loves big ideas, epic stories, and deep comedy. This season, she premiered I’ll Get You Back Again (Round House, dir. Rachel Chavkin) and Seder (Hartford Stage, dir. Elizabeth Williamson), as well as two musicals written with composers The Bengsons: Hundred Days (Under the Radar Festival at the Public, New York Theatre Workshop, dir. Anne Kauffman) and The Lucky Ones (Ars Nova, dir. Anne Kauffman), which garnered a number of Lortel, Drama League, and Drama Desk nominations. Other plays include The Place We Built (The Flea, dir. Danya Taymor) and Klauzál Square (Quarter6Quarter7 Festival, Budapest, dir. Eszter Kalman.) Co-writer of The TEAM’s Mission Drift, music by Heather Christian, directed by Rachel Chavkin (Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Prize, Scotsman Fringe First, Herald Angel; Drama League Nomination; intl’ tour ending in a sold-out run at London’s National Theatre.) Her work has been developed by Steppenwolf, Seattle Rep, Mosaic DC, and Premiere Stages, among others. Honors include the New York Stage and Film Founders’ Award, The Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, and the AR Gurney Prize. Alumna: Women’s Project Lab, Playwrights’ Realm Writing Fellowship, P73’s writers’ group, and Ars Nova Play Group. She loves working with devisers and musicians. MFA: NYU.

Mike Lew
Mike Lew

Mike Lew is thrilled to rejoin New Dramatists as a resident playwright, having previously served as their admin associate. Mike is married to fellow playwright Rehana Lew Mirza and together they hold a Mellon National Playwrights Residency at Ma-Yi Theater, a La Jolla Playhouse Artists-in-Residence, and have a kid. Mike’s plays include Teenage Dick (Ma-Yi at the Public, Artists Rep, and Perseverance productions; Public Studio, O’Neill, OSF workshops), Tiger Style!(Olney, Huntington, La Jolla Playhouse, and Alliance productions; O’Neill and CTG workshops), Bike America (Ma-Yi and Alliance productions), microcrisis (Ma-Yi and InterAct productions), Moustache Guys, and the book to the musical Bhangin’ It (Jerome Robbins Project Springboard and Rhinebeck Writers Retreat workshops). Mike is a Tony voter and Dramatists Guild Council member and his honors include Lark Venturous and NYFA fellowships as well as the PEN Emerging Playwright, Lanford Wilson, Helen Merrill, Heideman, and Kendeda awards. He has overdue commissions from La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Rep, and Audible. Education: Juilliard, Yale. Website: www.mikelew.com.

Vickie Ramirez
Vickie Ramirez

Vickie Ramirez (Tuscarora) is honored to be a member of New Dramatists class of 2025! Vickie is a founding member of Chukalokoli, Amerinda Theater and a member of the Emerging Writer’s Group (2009). Productions –Glenburn 12 WP for Summer Shorts at 59E59, Smoke for Mixed Phoenix Theatre Group at Pershing Square Signature Center, Liimikin at New Native Theater and Standoff at Hwy#37 for Native Voices at the Autry in Los Angeles and South Dakota. Her work has been published in Monologues for Actors of Color: Women and Monologues for Actors of Color: Men (Routledge). Standoff at Hwy#37 is featured in the all new Contemporary Plays by Women of Color (Routledge). Member: Dramatists Guild.

Tammy Ryan
Tammy Ryan

Tammy Ryan is a playwright and librettist whose work has been performed across the United States and internationally. She was awarded the Francesca Primus Prize by the American Theater Critics Association for her play, Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods (Premiere Stages/Playwrights Theater of New Jersey) in 2012. Other plays include Molly’s Hammer (Repertory Theater of St. Louis), Tar Beach (Luna Stage, Kilroy’s List), Soldier’s Heart, Baby’s Blues, and FBI Girl: How I Learned to Crack My Father’s Code (Pittsburgh Playhouse), Pig (29th Street Rep) S/he: Lindsay’s Oyster (Kitchen Theater, Garag Istanbul) and The Music Lesson (Florida Stage/Carbonell Award/American Alliance of Theater in Education Distinguished New Play Award.) A New Kind of Fallout, written with composer Gilda Lyons, premiered at Opera Theater of Pittsburgh in 2015. Her work has been developed and supported by the Ignite Festival, New Harmony Project, National New Play Network, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Sewanee Writers Conference, The Heinz Endowment, The Pittsburgh Foundation and Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. Tammy is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and her work is published by Dramatists Play Service, Broadway Play Publishing, Dramatic Publishing Company, and Playscripts. For more information: www.tammyryan.net.

Susan Soon He Stanton
Susan Soon He Stanton

Susan’s plays include we, the invisibles (Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival) Today Is My Birthday (Page 73), Takarazuka!!!(Clubbed Thumb and East West Players), Cygnus (WP Theater Pipeline), Solstice Party! (Live Source), The Things Are Against Us (Washington Ensemble Theatre), and Navigator (Honolulu Theatre for Youth). She is a two-time Sundance Theatre Lab Resident Playwright, and she was awarded the inaugural Venturous Playwright Fellowship and Van Lier Fellowship at The Lark, the Leah Ryan FEWW Prize, a Po’okela Award for best new play. She was a Susan Glaspell Finalist, a runner-up for Southern Rep’s Ruby Prize, and received a Susan Smith Blackburn nomination, and a NET Partnership Grant with Satori Group. Her work has been included on The Kilroys List from 2015-2017, and has received commissions from Yale Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater/Crowded Fire, South Coast Repertory and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Writing groups past and present include Playwrights Center Core Writers’ Residency, Page 73’s Interstate 73, The Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, Soho Rep. Writer/Director Lab, and Hedgebrook, among others. She has received a Sloan Foundation Feature Film Development Grant and screenwriting award. She writes for Succession (HBO). M.F.A.: Yale School of Drama. B.F.A. from NYU Tisch.

Lauren Yee
Lauren Yee

This season, Lauren Yee premiered Cambodian Rock Band (music by Dengue Fever) at South Coast Rep and The Great Leap at Denver Center, Seattle Rep, and Atlantic Theatre. Upcoming: Cambodian Rock Band at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Victory Gardens; The Great Leap at the Guthrie, American Conservatory Theatre, Arts Club, InterAct Theatre; King of the Yees at Baltimore Center Stage, SF Playhouse; and The Song of Summer at Trinity Rep. Other plays include Ching Chong Chinaman (Pan Asian, Mu Performing Arts), The Hatmaker’s Wife (Playwrights Realm, Moxie, PlayPenn), Hookman (Encore, Company One), In a Word (SF Playhouse, Cleveland Public, Strawdog), and Samsara (Victory Gardens, Chance). Her work is published by Samuel French. Recent honors: Kesselring Prize, Francesca Primus Prize, an upcoming Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University, and the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List (Cambodian Rock Band and The Great Leap). Finalist for the ATCA/Steinberg Award and Edward M. Kennedy Prize. Member of the Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab and alumni playwright of Playwrights Realm. Current commissions: Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Lincoln Center/LCT3, Mixed Blood, Portland Center Stage, and Trinity Rep. BA: Yale. MFA: UCSD. www.laurenyee.com.


New Dramatists is dedicated to the playwright, and pursues a singular mission: To give playwrights time and space in the company of gifted peers to create work, realize their artistic potential, and make lasting contributions to the theatre. Founded in 1949 by Michaela O’Harra in association with Howard Lindsay, Richard Rodgers, Russel Crouse, Oscar Hammerstein II, John Golden, Moss Hart, Maxwell Anderson, John Wharton, Robert E. Sherwood, and Elmer Rice, New Dramatists is one of the country’s leading playwright centers and a nationally recognized new play laboratory, unrivaled in the depth and duration of our commitment to writers. In the 69 years since our founding, 600 new dramatists have passed through our doors, creating work that has laid the foundation for contemporary American dramatic literature. Our alumni include some of the most influential writers of our time: Robert Anderson, Kia Corthron, Nilo Cruz, Horton Foote, Richard Foreman, Maria Irene Fornes, John Guare, Quiara Hudes, David Lindsay-Abaire, Taylor Mac, Eduardo Machado, Donald Margulies, Joe Masteroff, Terrell Alvin McCraney, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, John Patrick Shanley, Paula Vogel, Mac Wellman, August Wilson, Doug Wright, and many more. New Dramatists received a Ross Wetzsteon Award for excellence at the 2005 OBIES and a 2001 Tony Honor for “blessing the theatre with new and exceptional works that have assured both a rich theatrical heritage and future for the American Theatre.”

Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS Starring Joel de la Fuente at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, July 11 – August 5

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente stars in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley's 2018/2019 season opener, the regional premiere of Jeanne Sakata's "Hold These Truths." Inspired by the life of Gordon Hirabayashi, "Hold These Truths," directed by Lisa Rothe, plays July 11-Aug. 5 at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente stars in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s 2018/2019 season opener, the regional premiere of Jeanne Sakata’s “Hold These Truths.” Inspired by the life of Gordon Hirabayashi, “Hold These Truths,” directed by Lisa Rothe, plays July 11-Aug. 5 at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto. Photo by Lia Chang

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley kicks off its 2018/19 season with Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata, an inspiring true story following Gordon Hirabayashi, a Japanese-American student who fought internment to a relocation camp during World War II. This Northern California premiere celebrates the human spirit as it chronicles Hirabayashi’s journey from college in Seattle all the way to the Supreme Court, and eventually to a Congressional Medal of Honor. Directed by Lisa Rothe, with Joel de la Fuente starring as Hirabayashi, Hold These Truths shares the story of a young man who passionately defends his Constitutional rights against an unexpected adversary: his own country. It will be presented July 11-August 5, 2018 (press opening: July 14) at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto. For tickets ($40-$100) and more information the public may visit TheatreWorks.org or call (650) 463-1960.

Hold These Truths made its world premiere in 2007 at East West Players in Los Angeles. In 2012, the solo play made its Off Broadway premiere at Epic Theatre Company starring Joel de la Fuente, and received a 2013 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance. Since its world premiere, it has gone on to play throughout the nation including theatres in Boston, Honolulu, Washington, D.C., Portland, and many others. Critics have lauded the period piece as “a top-notch production” (The New York Times), “particularly impactful” (TheaterMania), and a show which “gives hope that the arc of the moral universe does indeed eventually bend toward justice” (Los Angeles Times).

Joel de la Fuente makes his TheatreWorks debut as Gordon Hirabayashi. He has been seen in movies and on many television shows and such as The Man in the High Castle, Madam Secretary, Hemlock Grove, Nurse Jackie, Hawaii 5-O, ER, Red Sparrow, The Adjustment Bureau, and more. De la Fuente has also performed throughout the United States at theatres including New York Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, The Public Theater, and others.

Lisa Rothe (Director), who last helmed Confederates at TheatreWorks, is returning to direct Hold These Truths. For her work on the Off-Broadway premiere of Hold These Truths, she earned a nomination for SDC’s Joe A. Callaway Award for Direction, with The New York Times noting the production was “elegantly directed.” Rothe has worked with New York Theatre Workshop, is an Artistic Affiliate with New Georges, a Drama League alum, a Women’s Project Director’s Lab member, a Fox Fellow recipient, a member of The Actor’s Center, a recent board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women as the VP of Membership, and a new member of the National Theater Conference. She received her MFA from New York University’s Graduate Acting Program before being invited by mentor Zelda Fichandler to be a part of the inaugural class of the Directing program. Rothe has workshopped, developed, and directed a multitude of new works with award winning writers and presented work across New York, including HERE, NYTW, New Georges, The Lark, The Culture Project, The Foundry, Ensemble Studio Theater, The 52nd Street Project, Naked Angels, Epic Theater Ensemble, Summer Play Festival, among others. As the Director of Global Exchange at The Lark in NYC, she expanded opportunities for playwrights to advance new works to production, both nationally and globally (connected to programs with Mexico, Russia, Romania, and China).

Jeanne Sakata (Playwright) is an actor and playwright whose work spans across theatre, film, television, and voiceover. She has been seen on television shows and movies such as Big Hero 6, “Dr. Ken,” “NCIS Los Angeles,” “NUMB3RS”, Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns,” “Desperate Housewives,” “ER,” and John Ridley’s I Got You. Sakata has performed throughout the nation at theatres including The Public Theater, South Coast Repertory, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, A Contemporary Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley where she starred in the 2017 production of Calligraphy. Her script for Hold These Truths was published in 2010 by the Japan Studies Association Journal, and is currently on display at the Library of Congress Playwrights Archive in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection in Washington D.C., where the Jeanne Sakata Collection was established in 2011. She is a recipient of the LA Ovation Award for Best Lead Actress, the 2016 lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community, Los Angeles’ Pacific American Friends of Theatre Outstanding Artist Award, Best Actress Award Entertainment Today Best Supporting Actress Award, and the Drama-Logue Outstanding Performance Award. Sakata resides in Los Angeles and is a member of the city’s acclaimed classical group the Antaeus Company.

With some 100,000 patrons per year, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity, often presenting Bay Area theatregoers with their first look at acclaimed musicals, comedies, and dramas, directed by award-winning local and guest directors, and performed by professional actors cast locally and from across the country.

 

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