Tony Award Nominees John Earl Jelks and Johanna Day, Carlo Albán, James Colby, Khris Davis, Will Pullen, Lance Coadie Williams, Michelle Wilson and Alison Wright Begin Previews of Broadway Debut of Lynn Nottage’s SWEAT

Tony Award Nominees John Earl Jelks (Brucie) and Johanna Day (Tracey), Carlo Albán (Oscar), James Colby (Stan), Khris Davis (Chris), Will Pullen (Jason), Lance Coadie Williams (Evan), Michelle Wilson (Cynthia) and Alison Wright (Jessie) kick off previews of the Broadway debut of Lynn Nottage’s SWEAT tonight.

Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage’s new play Sweat, directed by Kate Whoriskey, which enjoyed a sold out, critically acclaimed engagement at New York’s Public Theater,  transfers to Broadway’s Studio 54 (254 West 54th Street) on March 4th, with opening night set for March 26, 2017.

Tickets for the Broadway production of Sweat can be purchased via Telecharge.com or by calling 212-239-6200.

Johanna Day and Michelle Wilson. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Johanna Day and Michelle Wilson. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Sweat was recently named as one of five finalists for the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History. Sweat was chosen as one of the Best Plays of 2016 by The New York TimesWall Street JournalLos Angeles TimesTime Out New YorkThe Star-LedgerThe Bergen RecordDeadline, The WrapThe Huffington PostTheatermania, and Broadway World.

Michelle Wilson and James Colby. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Michelle Wilson and James Colby. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Sweat was co-commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and D.C.’s Arena Stage. The play received its world premiere at OSF in July 2015, in a sold-out run. The production subsequently played an acclaimed run at Arena Stage in January 2016. Sweat played an acclaimed engagement at New York’s Public Theater in November 2016, where it was extended three times, with critics writing about the play’s breathtaking timeliness, compassion, and power.

Johanna Day and Carlo Alban. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Johanna Day and Carlo Alban. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

With warm humor and tremendous heart, Lynn Nottage’s Sweat tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on the line of a factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in the hard fight to stay afloat.

Will Pullen, James Colby, and Khris Davis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Will Pullen, James Colby, and Khris Davis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Kate Whoriskey directs this stunning new play about the collision of race, class, family and friendship, and the tragic, unintended costs of community without opportunity.

John Earl Jelks and Michelle Wilson. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
John Earl Jelks and Michelle Wilson. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The creative team for Sweat features John Lee Beatty (scenic design), Jennifer Moeller (costume design), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (original music and sound design), and Jeff Sugg (projection design).

Khris Davis and Will Pullen. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Khris Davis and Will Pullen. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Sweat is produced on Broadway by Stuart Thompson, Louise L. Gund, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Jon B. Platt, Roy Furman, Len Blavatnik, Shelly Mitchell, Scott Rudin, Kevin Emrick, True Love Productions, John Gore, Deborah Taylor/Richard Winkler, and The Public Theater.

Michelle Wilson, James Colby and Johanna Day. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Michelle Wilson, James Colby and Johanna Day. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Each day beginning at 10:00 AM, a limited amount of Mobile Rush tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Rush tickets will be sold exclusively by TodayTix for $32. To gain access to the Rush tickets, ticket-buyers must download the TodayTix app and unlock the functionality by sharing on their Facebook or Twitter pages. Tickets will be available for pick up via TodayTix concierge at Studio 54 thirty minutes prior to the performance. Mobile Rush concludes when inventory has sold out or two hours before the performance.

Michelle Wilson and Khris Davis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Michelle Wilson and Khris Davis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
John Earl Jelks and Khris Davis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
John Earl Jelks and Khris Davis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Lynn Nottage (Playwright) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her plays include: Sweat (Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, Ruined, Intimate Apparel, Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine, Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por’knockers; and POOF!. Nottage is the recipient of a PEN/Laura Pels Master Dramatist Award, Doris Duke Artist Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, Steinberg “Mimi” Distinguished Playwright Award, Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote Prize, Obie Awards, Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, NY Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, Outer Critics Circle Award, AudelcoAwards, Lilly Award, Helen Hayes Award, Lee Reynolds Award, NBT Fest’s August Wilson Playwriting Award and a Guggenheim Grant. She’s a member of The Dramatists Guild and the WGAE.

Kate Whoriskey (Director) most recently directed the world premiere of Sweat at Arena Stage and Oregon Shakespeare Festival and its off-Broadway production at the Public. She has also collaborated with Lynn Nottage on the world premieres of Ruined, Fabulation and Intimate Apparel. Her NY credits include Circle in the Square, The Public, Second Stage, Manhattan Theatre Club, Lincoln Center Theatre, the Vineyard Theatre, Theatre for A New Audience, and Playwrights Horizons. Nominated for a Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel for her work on Ruined, she has worked regionally at The Goodman Theatre, South Coast Rep, The Geffen, The American Repertory Theatre, the Shakespeare theatre, the Huntington, Baltimore Center Stage, Perseverance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Sundance TheatreLab. Internationally, she directed Magdalena at the Chatelet theatre in Paris and Teatro Municipal de Sao Paolo.

CARLO ALBÁN (Oscar) originated the role of Oscar in the world premiere production of Sweat at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In New York, he has worked with The Public, TFANA, Intar, Vampire Cowboys, Rattlestick and LAByrinth Theater Company, among others. Regional credits include the Mark Taper Forum, Yale Rep, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Dallas Theater Center and the Guthrie. Television credits range from a five-year series regular on Sesame Street to recurring roles on OZ and Prison Break. Carlo has also worked extensively in film, including roles in 21 Grams (Alejandro González Iñárritu), Whip It (Drew Barrymore) and Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan) in a career that spans more than twenty-five years. Carlo is a member of LAByrinth Theater Company.

James Colby (Stan). Theater credits include: The Public Theater, The Roundabout, Manhattan Theater Cub, Playwirghts Horizon, New York Theater Workshop, Manhattan Class Company, Primary Stages, Symphony Space, Westside Theater. Was an associate artist at the Hartford Stage Company performing many of William’s and Oneill’ major works, as well as numerous regional theaters across the country. TV: “Taxi Brooklyn” (series reg), “Waterfront” (series reg),” “Law & Order,” “Limitless,” “Blindspot,” “Madoff,” “Divorce (recurr),” “Jessica Jones,” “Gotham,” “Blacklist,” “Chicago PD,” “Criminal Intent,” “Deception” (recurr), “L&O SVU,” “Forever,” “Blue Bloods,” “Rescue Me,” “NYPD Blue,” “The Practice,” as well as many others. Film: Patriots Day, Demolition, Inside Llewyn Davis, Tower Heist, The Drop, The Immigrant, Safe, The Amazing Spiderman 2, What Masie Knew, Solitary Man, The Company Men, Anatomy of the Tide, Clutter, The Opponent, The Interpreter

Khris Davis (Chris) made his NY stage debut as the star of Marco Ramirez’s The Royale at Lincoln Center Theatre. Loosely based on the life of heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson, Davis’ performance earned him the 2017 Clive Barnes Award for Theater, 2016 Obie “Performance Award,” 2016 Theatre World Award and 2016 Drama Desk Award. He was also nominated for the 2016 Drama League Awards and was featured among Vogue Magazine’s “Stars to Watch in 2016.” Davis is among the original cast of The Public Theater’s production of Sweat by Lynn Nottage. He can be seen next making his Broadway debut in Sweat and is also in Kathryn Bigelow’s upcoming film Untitled Detroit Project.

JohAnna Day (Tracey). Tony Award Nomination – Best Supporting Actress – Proof. Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Actress in Edward Albee’s Peter and Jerry at Second Stage. Obie Award and The Lili Award for Appropriate at Signature Theatre. Broadway: You Can’t Take It With You, August: Osage County & Lombardi. World Premiere of Carly Mensch’s Oblivion at Westport Country Playhouse, World Premiere of Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses at Yale Repertory Theatre. Created the role of Zippy in Winnie Holzman’s Choice at The Huntington Theatre. Helen Hayes Award as Leading Actress in a Resident Play – The Rainmaker at Arena Stage. Appeared in the original cast production of How I Learned To Drive at The Vineyard Theatre.Television: Currently appearing on the CBS television series – Madam Secretary (3 Years) as well as The Knick, The Americans, Masters of Sex, Alpha House, Royal Pains. Film: Great Gilley Hopkins, How Far She Went, The Breatharian and Unbreakable.

John Earl Jelks (Brucie). Tony Nominee, August Wilson’s Radio Golf. After appearing on Broadway in Gem of the Ocean, Radio Golf & Holler If YaHear Me, Jelks is excited to return to Broadway in Lynn Nottage’s Sweat, directed by the brilliant Kate Whoriskey. After a successful run of Sweat at the Public, Jelks recently appeared at The Public Theater in Head of Passes and ToasT. Select Off-Broadway credits include: The Break of Noon, Magnolia, Two Trains Running, Fetch Clay, Make Man and Sunset Baby. Recently honored with an Obie Award for Fetch Clay, Make Man and Sunset Baby. Other awards: L.A. Ovation Award, NAACP Theatre Award, AUDELCO Award. Film/TV credits include: Snap, The Miraculous, Miracle at St. Anna, “Law & Order: SVU” and “Blue Bloods.”

Will Pullen (Jason). Recent: Tennessee Williams’ Rose Tattoo; Wendy Wasserstein’s An American Daughter (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Past Theater: Punk Rock (MCC; Lucille Lortel Award nomination); The Wayside Motor Inn (Signature TheatreCompany; Clive Barnes Award nomination); Your Mother’s Copy Of The Kama Sutra (Playwrights Horizons); Marie Antoinette (Soho Rep) and Scarcity (Rattlestick). TV/Film: “The Americans,” “The Good Wife,” “Elementary,” Goat (d. Andrew Neel), which premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2016. Proud member of Rising Phoenix Rep and The Actor’s Center.

Lance Coadie Williams (Evan) theatre credits include Sweat/The Public Theatre; War, Shows for Days / Lincoln Center Theatre; BootyCandy/ Playwrights Horizons, (Obie Award Winner); Sucker Punch, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet/ Studio Theatre; BootyCandy, The Convert / The Wilma Theatre; The Children’s Hour, Fences, My Children! My Africa! , Blues for an Alabama Sky / Everyman Theatre ; Fences/ Roundhouse Theatre; the title role of Hamlet/ The Baltimore Shakespeare Festival; The Oedipus Plays/ The Shakespeare Theatre; BootyCandy/ Woolly Mammoth; Love’s Fire, Shoot the Piano Player/ The Berkshire Theatre Festival . He also had a recurring role on HBO’s “The Wire”. Lance is a Graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts and is a Graduate of SUNY PURCHASE.

Michelle Wilson (Cynthia). Broadway: A Raisin in the Sun. New York: Sweat (Public Theater), Detroit ’67 (Public Theater), New Jersey Performing Arts Center, The Lark, Classical Theater of Harlem and the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Selected regional: Detroit ’67 (Baltimore Center Stage and Detroit Public Theatre), Follow Me to Nellie’s, The People Before the Park (Premiere Stages), Fahrenheit 451, For Colored Girls (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Two Trains Running (Goodman Theatre), Indiana Rep, Stella Adler Theater (Los Angeles). TV/Film: “Blue Bloods,” “E.R.,” Reverse Cowgirl, Nehemiah (2014 Pan African Film Fest), Sink, and The Bicycle (2014 Pan African Film Fest).

Alison Wright (Jessie) is best known for her critically acclaimed role as FBI secretary Martha Hanson on four seasons of the Emmy Nominated FX series “The Americans.” She will once again join forces with FX, as a series regular in the network’s highly anticipated anthology series “FEUD: Bette and Joan” from Ryan Murphy premiering March 5th. In addition to “Feud,” Wright currently recurs opposite Bryan Cranstonand Giovanni Ribisi in Amazon’s new series “Sneaky Pete.” Recent film credits include HBO’s Confirmation as well as the Gavin O’Connor-Ben Affleck film The Accountant. On stage, Wright is best known for her roles in the Off-Broadway production of The New Group’s Marie & Bruce (opposite Marisa Tomei) and Rafta Rafta.

Click here for the Lia Chang archives and here for the Lia Chang Photography archives.

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.

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