André De Shields Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, Anson Mount, Bobby Moreno, Stephen Schnetzer, Ariel Shafir and David Ryan Smith Set for Robert O’Hara’s MANKIND at Playwrights Horizons, December 15-January 28

André De Shields Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields
Photo by Lia Chang

Playwrights Horizons is presenting the world premiere of MANKIND, written and directed by two-time Obie Award winner Robert O’Hara (Bootycandy, Bella: An American Tall Tale at Playwrights; Barbecue, In the Continuum, The Brother/Sister Plays).

Commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, the play will be the third production of the theater company’s 2017/2018 Season.

The cast of MANKIND features two-time Tony Award nominee, Emmy Award and Obie Award winner André De Shields (The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Full Monty, Play On!), Bobby Moreno (Grand Concourse at Playwrights, Fulfillment Center, Lazarus, The Year of the Rooster), Anson Mount (Corpus Christi, Three Sisters, star of the series “Hell on Wheels,” “Marvel’s Inhumans” and “Conviction”), Stephen Schnetzer (Oslo, Wit, The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?, Filomena), Ariel Shafir (Medea in Jerusalem, Craft, The Pirandello Project, “Orange Is the New Black”) and David Ryan Smith (One Man, Two Guvnors; Passing Strange; Twelfth Night; Marat/Sade).

The production will begin previews Friday, December 15 with an Opening Night set for Monday, January 8 at 7PM at the company’s Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street). The limited engagement is currently scheduled to play through Sunday, January 28.

Mark (Mr. Mount) and Jason (Mr. Moreno) were keeping things casual until Jason got pregnant. But however unplanned the pregnancy was, nothing could be less expected than the chain of events it would set in motion. Robert O’Hara’s audacious, hilarious allegory envisions an uncannily familiar future – one long after women have gone extinct from centuries of mistreatment – where man’s capacity to f**k everything up soars to new heights.

The production will feature scenic design by Tony Award winner Clint Ramos, costume design by Dede M. Ayite, lighting design by Alex Jainchill, sound design by Lindsay Jones and video design by Jeff Sugg. Hair, wig and makeup design by J. Jared Janas and Dave Bova. Production Stage Manager is Erin Gioia Albrecht.

MANKIND was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons with the support of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

Robert O’Hara (Playwright & Director). Playwrights Horizons: Bootycandy (writer and director), Bella: An American Tall Tale (director). He has received the NAACP Best Director Award, the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, two Obies and the Oppenheimer Award. He directed the world premieres of Nikkole Salter and Dania Guiria’s In the Continuum, Tarell McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays (Part 2), Colman Domingo’s Wild with Happy, Kirsten Childs’ Bella: An American Tall Tale, as well as his own plays, Bootycandy and Insurrection: Holding History. His new plays Zombie: The American and Barbecue world premiered at Woolly Mammoth Theater and New York Shakespeare Festival, respectively.

André De Shields (Jason’s Father and others) is an award-winning actor, director, choreographer and educator. Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway includes The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony nomination) and The Full Monty (Tony nomination). Recent Off-Broadway: As You Like It, 1776, Fortress of Solitude. Three Joseph Jefferson Awards, nine Audelco Awards, five Drama Desk noms., Obie Award for Sustained Excellence.

Bobby Moreno (Jason). Playwrights Horizons: Grand Concourse. New York Theater: Fulfillment Center, Alligator, Lazarus, The Year of the Rooster (Drama Desk nomination), Hand to God, Luther, Phoebe in Winter, I.E. – In Other Words. Film/Television: L.V.J., Five Nights in Maine, How He Fell in Love, Private Romeo, Kings, “Homeland,” ‘Elementary,” “The Good Wife,” “Law & Order.”

Anson Mount (Mark). Playwrights Horizons debut. Off-Broadway: Three Sisters, Mourning Becomes Electra, Elle, Corpus Christi, Cymbeline. Other Theater: Venus in Fur, Fifth of July. Television: Cullen Bohannon on “Hell on Wheels,” Black Bolt on “Marvel’s Inhumans,” Jim Steele on “Conviction,” Roy Ravelle on “Line of Fire,” Dr. Montville on “Third Watch.” Film: Mr. Right, The Forger, Non-Stop, Supremacy, Cook County, Tully, City by the Sea.

Stephen Schnetzer (Mark’s Father and others). Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway: Oslo, Wit, The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?, Filomena. Off-Broadway: Yours Unfaithfully, Tribes, We Live Here, Fallen Angel, Miss Julie. Film/Television: Aardvark, Ben’s Plan, Lobster Farm, Hail, “Blue Bloods,” “The Blacklist,” “Flesh and Bone,” “Homeland,” “The Good Wife,” “Fringe,” “Damages,” “The Wire,” “Law & Order.”

Ariel Shafir (Detective and others). Playwrights Horizons debut. New York Theater: Victoria & Frederick for President, The Elephant in the Room, Medea in Jerusalem, American Maul, Craft, Pieces of the Throne, The Pirandello Project, Setting Fires. Regional: titles roles in Macbeth and Picasso at the Lapin Agile, John Proctor in The Crucible. Film/Television: What Happens Next, Bride Wars, What Happens in Vegas, “Orange Is the New Black,” “30 Rock.”

David Ryan Smith (OBGYN and others). Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway: One Man, Two Guvnors; Passing Strange. New York Theater: Twelfth Night, The Death of the Last Black Man, Romeo and Juliet, The Glory of the World, Comedy of Errors, Cymbeline, Pericles, The Steadfast, The Rover, Marat/Sade. Extensive Regional credits including Seattle Rep, Berkeley Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Barrington Stage Company, American Conservatory Theater. André De Shields Will Star in Robert O’Hara’s MANKIND at Playwrights Horizons; Cast Complete! André De Shields, Bobby Moreno, Anson Mount Cast in Playwrights Horizons’ Mankind

Theatermania: André De Shields, Anson Mount, and More Set for Mankind

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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

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