The Lucille Lortel Theatre upcoming May guest lineup for its popular “Live at The Lortel” podcast series will feature Tony Award-winning actress and playwright Charlayne Woodard (May 3), Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (May 10), theater educator and intimacy director Ann James (May 17), and Tony Award-nominated actress Robyn Hurder (May 24).
The live interviews will take place Mondays at 7:00 PM EST, offering theater fans the opportunity to view interviews and participate in a Q&A with artists. To join the audience, please visit www.liveatthelortel.com.
Hosted by Eric Ostrow, along with co-hosts Joy DeMichelle and John-Andrew Morrison, season two of “Live at The Lortel” is dedicated to amplifying the voices and stories of people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and artists who stand in solidarity with the continued fight against institutional racism and racial injustice. Theater makers will delve into their thoughts on the future of theater during this period of radical change. They will also discuss their craft, as well as their professional and personal projects that help to make theatre and the world more equitable.
CHARLAYNE WOODARD is a two-time Obie Award winner and Tony Award nominee who works in movies, theater and television. Her new two-character play, The Garden, a commission of the LaJolla Playhouse, has productions scheduled in 2021 at both Baltimore Center Stage and The LaJolla Playhouse. Her plays are published by Dramatists Play Service and performed at regional theatres around the country and audio versions are available at Audible.com.
On Broadway, Ms. Woodard was nominated for Tony and Drama Desk Awards for her role in the original company of the hit musical, Ain’t Misbehavin’. Ms. Woodard also appeared in the Broadway revival of Hair, directed by Tom O’Horgan. Her off-Broadway theatre credits include Daddy by Jeremy O. Harris and directed by Danya Taymor for The New Group and received a Lucille Lortel Award nomination; Hamlet (Gertrude) directed by Sam Gold at the Public Theater; War by Brandon-Jacobs Jenkins and directed by Liliana Blain-Cruz at Lincoln Center; the revival of The Substance of Fire by John Robin Baitz, directed by Trip Cullman at Second Stage; The Witch of Edmonton directed by Jesse Berger at the Red Bull Theatre Company (Obie Award); world premieres of In The Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by David Esbjornson at the Public Theater (Obie Award); Fabulation by Lynn Nottage, directed by Kate Whorisky at Playwright’s Horizons; Stunning by David Adjmi at LCT3; Sorrows and Rejoicings written and directed by Athol Fugard at Second Stage (Audelco Award); and The Caucasian Chalk Circle directed by George C. Wolfe at the Public Theatre.
DAVID HENRY HWANG’s work includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, and a three-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the most produced living American opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two Grammy Awards. He co-wrote the Gold Record “Solo” with the late pop icon Prince and was a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair. Hwang serves as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University and as Co-Chair of the American Theatre Wing. His newest work, Soft Power, written with composer Jeanine Tesori, premiered at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre and New York’s Public Theater. It received eleven Drama Desk nominations, four Outer Critics Honors, a Grammy nomination, and was a Finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize.
ANN JAMES has an extensive career in theatre education, stage direction and conflict resolution in corporate and artistic environments. Ann has had the opportunity to direct on several regional stages including, The Alley, Steppenwolf, Dallas Theatre Center and Hartford Stage and Cherry Lane. As an internationally certified educator she has had the opportunity to teach theatre on 4 continents. Ann has been featured as moderator in “Intimacy and Covid-19” with Theatre Communications Group and HowlRound, “Intimacy and Theatre Practice” with The Los Angeles Theatre Alliance, “How Intimacy Impacts the work of Artistic Directors” with The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, and “Intimacy and the Pandemic” with Lincoln Center Director’s Lab West. She is a published author on HowlRound and has been a featured Intimacy Specialist on many other theatre affiliated panels during Covid-19. Ann is devoted to making both stage and screen safer places for Black, Indigenous and People of Color to practice their craft. Her company, Intimacy Coordinators of Color has solid partnerships with Actor’s Equity, ArtsEquity, Theatre Communications Group, TimesUp and A.R.T./New York. To that end, Ms. James is pursuing America’s first MFA in Performance Pedagogy with emphasis in Intimacy Direction for People of Color at Loyola Marymount University.
ROBYN HURDER is nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance as Nini in Moulin Rouge! The Musical on Broadway. Her other Broadway credits include Nice Work If You Can Get It (Jeannie Muldoon), Grease (Marty), Chicago (Roxie u/s), The Wedding Singer (Holly u/s) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Violet). She has appeared in the New York City Center Encores! productions of A Chorus Line (Cassie), The New Yorkers (Lola) and Paint Your Wagon (Cherry). Her touring credits include A Chorus Line (Cassie) and Starlight Express (Pearl). She has appeared regionally in Crazy for You (Polly) at the Drury Lane Theatre and Kiss Me, Kate (Lois Lane) at both Shakespeare Theatre Company and The 5th Avenue Theatre. She is the recipient of Helen Hayes and Emery Battis Awards, as well as a Gregory Award nomination.