The Playwrights Realm is presenting the world premiere of Don Nguyen’s Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth, at The Duke on 42nd Street, 229 W 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036, through Saturday, March 24th.
The cast features Jon Hoche, Olivia Oguma, Jeffrey Omura, Dana Berger and Kaaron Briscoe. Jade King Carroll directs.
The Playwrights Realm (Katherine Kovner, Founding Artistic Director; Roberta Pereira, Producing Director) continues its 2017-2018 season this Spring with Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth, a quirky, philosophical, and tender comedy from Queens-based playwright Don Nguyen. Split between the perspectives of a lesbian couple trying to conceive, and their potential-sperm-donor/aerospace engineer friend, Nguyen’s characters are stretched to contemplate the unknowns of their future.
Betsy (Kaaron Briscoe) and Shoshana (Dana Berger) are looking for a sperm donor to participate in this emotionally confusing and intimate process. They contact a friend from Betsy’s past, William (Jeffrey Omura), an aerospace engineer tasked with tracking Voyager 1 as it journeys to the edge of our solar system. The idea of being responsible for a fragile object millions of miles away is dizzying-but it turns out, so is being asked to create an individual, and to wait, uncertain as to whether it will even work at all. Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth finds mystery and depth by juxtaposing the microscopic intimacies of creating life against the vastness of space. The highly unpredictable journeys of space exploration and conception provoke a raw whirlwind of emotion for all.
Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth sets its own precedent at The Playwrights Realm: it’s their first production by a former fellow that did not originate in the program-another opportunity for the organization to help actualize Nguyen’s work and be a continued champion of his exciting career. Nguyen’s play features characters brought forward in time from another of his works: William and Betsy’s high school friendship is explored in his earlier play The Commencement of William Tan (which premiered at Yale Cabaret in 2015). As he did with that work, about an Asian American high schooler in Nebraska in the ’80s (Nguyen was born in Vietnam, and moved to Nebraska with his family as refugees of the Vietnam War when he was three), Nguyen likewise laces Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth with questions from his own life. Nguyen was himself presented with the very adult experience of being asked by two friends to be a sperm donor, and he decided to evolve these characters along with him to get a more lucid understanding of his own situation -tracking their lives as career and family threaten to become mutually exclusive, as idealism starts giving way to realism. “I had to take stock of my entire life and ask myself questions I didn’t think I was ready to ask. What I found is artificial insemination is not an easy thing-there are complications involved that you really have to discuss,” says Nguyen.
The creative team includes Kimie Nishikawa (Set Designer), Nicole Pearce (Lighting Designer), Elisheba Ittoop (Sound Designer), and Ari Fulton (Costume Designer). Kara Kaufman is Production Stage Manager, and Lily Perlmutter is Assistant Stage Manager.
General tickets will be priced at $30-$60; tickets for students with valid ID are $15, and group tickets are $25 per seat for groups of six or more. To purchase, please visit http://dukeon42.org/ or call 646-223-3010. For more details, please visit playwrightsrealm.org.
Due to continued popular demand, off-Broadway’s Sweeney Todd will extend through August 26, 2018. The production celebrated its one year anniversary this week, continuing its streak as the longest running musical to play New York’s Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street). Click here for tickets.
Sweeney Todd currently stars 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). The cast also includes Matt Leisy, Liz Pearce, Danny Rothman and Monet Sabel.
In addition to the chicken and vegetable pie options available prior to each performance, a beef wellington pie is now available from chef William “Bill” Yosses. The new pie features a Filet of Angus Beef, Aged Sherry, Wheat Flour, Butter, Herbs, Salt, Pepper, Eggs, and a medley of fresh vegetables that may include Chanterelle Mushrooms, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Celery, Vidalia Onions, and Black Truffle Zest.
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).
Sweeney Todd features set and costume designs by Simon Kenny, music supervision and arrangements byBenjamin Cox, music direction by Matt Aument, choreography by Georgina Lamb, lighting design by AmyMae, 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 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.
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.
The cast has been announced for the upcoming world premiere of “Soft Power” by David Henry Hwang (play and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music and additional lyrics). This play with a musical will be produced by Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre in association with East West Players from May 3 through June 10, 2018. Directed by Leigh Silverman and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton, the opening of “Soft Power” is set for May 16. Following its run at the Ahmanson, “Soft Power” will play San Francisco’s Curran from June 20 through July 8, 2018.
The cast of SOFT POWER features Billy Bustamante (Miss Saigon), Jon Hoche (War Horse tour), Kendyl Ito (Matilda tour), Francis Jue (M. Butterfly), Austin Ku (Chinglish tour), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock), Daniel May (Thoroughly Modern Millie tour), Paul HeeSang Miller (Miss Saigon), Kristen Faith Oei (M. Butterfly), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Amélie), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Conrad Ricamora (“How to Get Away with Murder”), Trevor Salter (Here Lies Love) and Emily Stillings (The King and I).
The creative team includes scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Anita Yavich, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design byKai Harada, orchestrations by Danny Troob, dance arrangements by John Clancy, music supervision by Chris Fenwick, music direction by David O, hair and wig design by Tom Watson, make-up design by Angelina Avallone and casting by Heidi Griffiths, CSA and Kate Murray, CSA. The dramaturg is Oskar Eustis. The production stage manager is David Lurie-Perret.
A contemporary comedy explodes into a musical fantasia in the first collaboration between two of America’s great theatre artists: Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (“M. Butterfly”) and Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home”). “Soft Power” rewinds our recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, beloved East-meets-West musical. In the musical, a Chinese executive who is visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election.
As original as it is topical, “Soft Power” overflows with the romance, laughter and cultural confusions of the golden age of Broadway. “Soft Power” is inspired by the legacy of classic American musicals such as “The King and I” as well as China’s current quest for international cultural influence, also known as “Soft Power.”
“Soft Power” is a Center Theatre Group co-commission with The Public Theater. “Soft Power” is produced in association with East West Players.
Hwang returns to Center Theatre Group where he premiered Pulitzer Prize finalist “Yellow Face” and his Tony-nominated revival of “Flower Drum Song.” Hwang’s other work includes the plays “M. Butterfly,” “Chinglish,” “Kung Fu,” “Golden Child,” “The Dance and the Railroad” and “FOB,” and the Broadway musicals “Aida” (co-author, Ahmanson 2001-2002 season) and Disney’s “Tarzan.” He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist and a writer/producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair.” Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hwang is a Tony Award winner (“M. Butterfly”) and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Recent honors include the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He is Chair of the American Theatre Wing and sits on the boards of Young Playwrights Inc. and the Lark Play Development Center. Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre and currently serves as head of playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. In 1998, East West Players named its new mainstage the David Henry Hwang Theater.
Tesori’s Broadway credits include “Fun Home” (2015 Tony Award winner which played at the Ahmanson in 2017), “Violet,” “Caroline, or Change” (also at the Ahmanson), “Shrek The Musical,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (also at the Ahmanson), “Twelfth Night” (Lincoln Center Theater) and John Guare’s “A Free Man of Color.” Tesori also collaborated with Tony Kushner on “Mother Courage” starring Meryl Streep at the Delacorte. Her opera credits include “A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck” (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass) and “The Lion, the Unicorn and Me” (libretto, J. D. McClatchy; Washington National Opera). Her songs are featured in the Netflix revival of “Gilmore Girls.” She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities; the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center; and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.
Bank of America is the season sponsor for Center Theatre Group’s 2017-2018 season the Ahmanson Theatre and Delta Air Lines is the official airline sponsor.
Tickets for “Soft Power” are available through Center Theatre Group or East West Players. To purchase Center Theatre Group tickets: call (213) 972-4400, visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or go to the Center Theatre Group Box Office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. To purchase tickets through East West Players: call (213) 625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org. Tickets range from $30 – $130 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.
Thom Sesma and Sally Ann Triplett are currently starring as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett in the Tooting Arts Club production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, now playing at the Barrow Street Theatre (27 Barrow Street, NYC). Tickets are on sale through May 27, 2018. Click here for tickets.
The cast also features 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). The cast also includes Matt Leisy, Liz Pearce, Danny Rothman and Monet Sabel.
This production of the classic tale of blood thirsty barber Sweeney Todd and resourceful pie shop proprietress Mrs. Lovett immerses audiences in a completely new theatrical experience. This Sweeney Todd comes to New York City following sold-out runs in London where the show debuted in the 35-seat Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop, the oldest continuously operating pie shop in the city, before transferring (by special arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh) to a 69- seat West End venue on Shaftesbury Avenue. The working pie-shop environment has been re-created in the 130-seat Barrow Street Theatre.
The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham) is presenting the New York premiere of The Low Road, written by Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Norris.
Directed by Tony Award nominee Michael Greif, The Low Road is currently in previews and runs through Sunday, April 1 in The Public’s Anspacher Theater, with an official press opening on Wednesday, March 7.
The complete cast of The Low Road features Tessa Albertson (Delilah, Peg, Pansy); Max Baker (Sir Edward, Reverend Pugh, Faraday); Kevin Chamberlin (Low, Greasy Haired Man, Martin); Daniel Davis (Smith); Crystal Dickinson (Old Tizzie, Ntambi, Mary); Gopal Divan (Pandit, Buccleuch, Freddie); Harriet Harris (Mrs. Trumpet, Belinda, Mrs. Low); Jack Hatcher (Young Jim); Josh Henderson (Musician); Chukwudi Iwuji (Blanke); Johnny Newcomb (Hessian, Townsperson); Chris Perfetti (Jim); Susannah Perkins (Constance); Richard Poe (Dick, Shirley); Dave Quay (Manley, Hessian); Aaron Michael Ray (Ensemble); Joseph Soeder (Ensemble); and Danny Wolohan (Ivan, LeGarde, Many, Merchant, Poor Tim).
Single tickets, starting at $65, are also available now and can be accessed by calling (212) 967-7555, visiting www.publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street.
The Low Road is part of The Public’s Astor Anniversary Season at their landmark downtown home on Lafayette Street, celebrating 50 years of new work and the 50th Anniversary of HAIR.
From Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Bruce Norris comes an epic play, featuring seventeen actors in fifty roles, examining the basic beliefs upon which we’ve built our economy and our country. Set in the 18th century, this wild new work imagines America’s first laissez-faire capitalist, a young man inspired by a chance encounter with Adam Smith to put his faith in the free market. But his path to riches becomes inextricably entangled with that of an educated slave, a man who knows from experience that one person’s profit is another’s loss, in this parable about the true cost of inequality. Four-time Tony nominee and three-time Obie winner Michael Greif directs this richly imaginative, riotously funny new play about the imaginary lines between exploitation and opportunity.
THE LOW ROAD features scenic design by David Korins; costume design by Emily Rebholz; lighting design by Ben Stanton; sound design by Matt Tierney; wig, hair, and make-up design by design J. Jared Janas and Dave Bova; and music composition by Mark Bennett.
Michael Greif (Director). The Public: The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, The Winter’s Tale, Giant, The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide…, Satellites, Fucking A, Dogeaters, Marisol, Pericles, Casanova, A Bright Room Called Day, Machinal. Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen, War Paint,If/Then, Next to Normal, Grey Gardens, Rent, Never Gonna Dance. Off-Broadway: A Parallelogram, Our Lady of Kibeho, Angels in America (2010 revival), Landscape of the Body, A Few Stout Individuals (Signature), Spatter Pattern, Far From Heaven (Playwrights Horizons), Beauty of the Father (MTC).
Bruce Norris (Playwright) is the author of Clybourne Park, which premiered in 2010 at Playwrights Horizons and received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Olivier, Evening Standard, and Tony Awards for productions at the Royal Court, West End and Broadway. His play A Parallelogram was seen at Second Stage in 2017. Plays include The Qualms, The Unmentionables, The Pain and the Itch, Purple Heart, and others, all of which premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago.
ABOUT The Public Theater:
THE PUBLIC 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. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, 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 and John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons. 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.
THE LOW ROAD begins performances in The Public’s Anspacher Theater on Tuesday, February 13 and runs through Sunday, April 1 with an official press opening on Wednesday, March 7.
Public Theater Partner, Supporter, and Member tickets are available now. Single tickets, starting at $65, are available now and can be accessed by calling(212) 967-7555, visiting www.publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street.
The performance schedule is Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. There is no 1:30 p.m.performance on Saturday, February 17 and no performance on Thursday, March 8.
Partial Comfort Productions (Samuel D. Hunter’s A Bright New Boise, Robert O’Hara’s Booty Candy, Thomas Bradshaw’s The Bereaved) will present the New York Premiere of DUTCH MASTERS by Greg Keller (Wit with Cynthia Nixon, Michael Mayer’s Uncle Vanya on Broadway). Directed by André Holland (Academy Award-winner Moonlight, Jitney on Broadway), previews begin April 4 at The Wild Project with opening night slated for Thursday, April 12.
DUTCH MASTERS is set in New York City in the summer of 1992. In NYC’s hazy pre-Giuliani, pre-cellphone, pre-Metrocard days, a black kid and a white kid meet in a chance encounter on an uptown D train, chatting hoops, hip hop, and history. Over the course of one afternoon, fear, guilt, longing and a cigar filled with weed allow one kid to take the other to a place neither even imagined possible.
The production will star Ian Duff (“Homeland,” “Up North”) and Jake Horowitz (Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, David Cromer’s Our Town) with set by Jason Simms, costumes Ntokozo Kunene, lighting by Xavier Pierce, sound by Daniel Kluger, casting by Judy Bowman and stage management by Ingrid Pierson and Arielle Goldstein.
André Holland’s film credits include Moonlight (Academy Award for Best Picture), Selma (Academy Award nominee), 42, Miracle at St. Anna, and the acclaimed 2008 independent film Sugar. Holland recently wrapped production on the Stephen King inspired series, “Castle Rock” (Hulu/Bad Robot), and Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time alongside Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah Winfrey. Holland made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning 2009 revival of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and most recently returned to Broadway with the Tony Award-Winning production of August Wilson’s Jitney. Other select theater credits include The Whipping Man at MTC, The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park productions of All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It. Upcoming: Othello alongside Academy Award and Tony-Winning actor Mark Rylance at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.
Greg Keller’s plays have been performed at Cherry Lane Theatre, Williamstown Theater Festival, LAByrinth Theater Company, and Berkshire Theater Festival. He was a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwrighting Fellow at The Juilliard School, where he received the Lecomte du Nouy prize. Greg has acted extensively On and Off Broadway, originating roles in new plays by Ayad Akhtar, Amy Herzog, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Sarah Ruhl, and acting with Dianne Wiest, Jane Fonda, Linda Lavin, and Cynthia Nixon.
Partial Comfort Productions is a collaborative ensemble devoted to the development and presentation of original new theater. The company was co-founded in 2002 by Chad Beckim and Molly Pearson. Past productions include Samuel D. Hunter’s A Bright New Boise (Best of 2010, New York Magazine), Thomas Bradshaw’s The Bereaved (Best of 2009, Time Out New York), five acclaimed works by Beckim (After., nami, The Maine Play, …a matter of choice and And Miles To Go), Ross Maxwell’s Open House (Best Ensemble Award winner at FringeNYC 2006); Craft and Nelson by Sam Marks; Booty Candy by Robert O’Hara; and Play by O’Hara, Chay Yew, Kia Corthron, Eddie Sanchez, Keith Adkins and Tracey Scott Wilson. For more information visit www.partialcomfort.org.
DUTCH MASTERS runs April 4 – 28, Wednesday – Saturday at 8:00pm. The Wild Project is located at 195 E. 3rd Street b/w Aves A. & B. Tickets are $25, available at 212-352-3101 or www.PartialComfort.org.
Lauren Yee’s (U.S.) The Great Leap, submitted by Denver Center Theatre Company, has been chosen from 150 submissions to make the top ten list of finalists for the 2017-2018 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Award. The prestigious playwriting award is the oldest and largest prize awarded to women playwrights writing in the English language.
The Great Leap is slated for productions this year at Denver Center, Seattle Rep, and Atlantic Theatre Company. Lauren Yee’s play King of the Yees premiered this past season at The Goodman Theatre and Center Theatre Group, followed by productions at ACT Theatre and Canada’s National Arts Centre. Other upcoming productions: Cambodian Rock Band at South Coast Rep; King of the Yees at SF Playhouse and Baltimore Center Stage; 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.
Fiona Doyle (Ireland) –The Strange Death of John Doe
Aleshea Harris (U.S.) – Is God Is
Colleen Murphy (Canada)- The Breathing Hole
Antoinette Nwandu (U.S.) – Pass Over
Nina Raine (U.K.) – Consent
Anusree Roy (Canada) – Trident Moon
Tori Sampson (U.S.) – If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka
The Winner of the 2017-2018 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize will be named in early March. The Winner will be awarded a cash prize of $25,000, and will also receive a signed print by renowned artist Willem De Kooning, created especially for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Each of the additional Finalists will receive an award of $5,000.
The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, co-founded by Emilie S. Kilgore and William Blackburn, honors outstanding new English-language plays by women. Many of the Winners have gone on to receive other honors, including Olivier, Lilly, Evening Standard and Tony Awards for Best Play. Ten Blackburn Finalist plays have subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The Houston-based Susan Smith Blackburn Prize reflects the values and interests of Susan Smith Blackburn, noted American actress and writer who grew up in Houston and lived in London during the last 15 years of her life. She died in 1977 at the age of 42. Over 350 plays have been honored as Finalists since the Prize was instituted in 1977. Last year’s Winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize,Dance Nation by Clare Barron, will premiere in April at Playwrights Horizons. It also won the 2015 Relentless Award from the American Playwriting Foundation. The 2016 Winner of the Blackburn Prize,Sweat by Lynn Nottage, played on Broadway in 2017 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Subsequent to winning the 2012-2013 Prize for The Flick, Annie Baker was honored with the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, a Steinberg Playwright Award, a MacArthur Fellowship and a Horton Foote Legacy Project award.
Other recipients of the Prize include Caryl Churchill’s Serious Money, Katori Hall’s Hurt Village, Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive, Chloe Moss’s This Wide Night, Judith Thompson’s Palace of the End,Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti’s Behzti (Dishonour), Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House, Rona Munro’s Bold Girls, Dael Orlandersmith’s Yellowman, Julia Cho’s The Language Archive, Gina Gionfriddo’s U.S. Drag, Bridget Carpenter’s Fall, Charlotte Jones’ Humble Boy, Naomi Wallace’s One Flea Spare, and Moira Buffini’s Silence.
The international panel of Judges for the 2017-18 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize are: Annie Baker (U.S.), Carrie Cracknell (U.K.), Denise Gough (U.K.), Rajiv Joseph (U.S.), Justine Mitchell (U.K.) and Phylicia Rashad (U.S.).
Former judges of The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize over the past forty years are a Who’s Who of the English-speaking theatre and include Edward Albee, Eileen Atkins, Blair Brown, Zoe Caldwell, Jill Clayburgh, Glenn Close, Harold Clurman, Colleen Dewhurst, Edie Falco, Ralph Fiennes, Greta Gerwig, Sam Gold, John Guare, A.R. Gurney, Mel Gussow, David Hare, Judith Ivey, Brandon Jacob-Jenkins, Tony Kushner, Phyllida Lloyd, Francis McDormand, Cynthia Nixon, Janet McTeer, Marsha Norman, Jim Parsons, Joan Plowright, Diana Rigg, Marian Seldes, Fiona Shaw, Tom Stoppard, Meryl Streep, Jessica Tandy, Liesl Tommy, Paula Vogel, Sigourney Weaver, Wendy Wasserstein, August Wilson and George C. Wolfe among more than 200 artists in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
“The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has done more than any other single force to get plays by women collected and celebrated, but more importantly, produced.”
– Marsha Norman, 1983 Winner for ‘night Mother
ABOUT THE FINALISTS
Alice Birch (U.K.)- Anatomy of a Suicide
Submitted by the Royal Court
Anatomy of a Suicide premiered at the Royal Court in 2017. Alice Birch is the winner of the Arts Foundation Award for Playwriting 2014, the co-winner of the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright 2014 and was shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award in 2012 and 2015.
Other theatre includes: [Blank] (NT Connections / Clean Break), Revolt. She said. Revolt again. (RSC / Soho Rep NYC), Ophelias Zimmer (Royal Court / Schaubuhne Theater Berlin), We Want You to Watch (National Theatre / RashDash), Little Light (Orange Tree), Little on the inside (Almeida / Clean Break) and Many Moons (Theatre 503). Film includes Lady Macbeth (BBC / BFI / Creative England) which was the winner of the International Critic’s Prize (FIPRESCI Prize) at San Sebastian Film Festival 2016, the Best First Feature at Zurich Film Festival 2016, Best Screenplay at Turin Film Festival 2016 and the BIFA Award for Best Screenplay 2017. Current commissions include the Royal Court, the National, the Almeida and Soho Rep. Film and TV commissions include projects for Film Four, Symbolic Exchange, House Productions and HBO.
Elinor Cook (U.K.)- Out of Love
Submitted by Paines Plough, The Orange Tree and Theatre Clwyd
Elinor Cook is the winner of the George Devine Award for Most Promising Playwright 2013. Her plays include Out of Love (Paines Plough / Theatr Clwyd / Orange Tree Theatre), The Lady From The Sea (Donmar Warehouse), Pilgrims (HighTide / The Yard), The Rehearsal (LAMDA), Ten Weeks (Paines Plough / RWCMD), The Boy Preference (NT Connections), Image of an Unknown Young Woman (The Gate) and The Girl’s Guide to Saving The World (HighTide). She also wrote an episode of “The Secrets” for BBC One, directed by Dominic Savage.
Fiona Doyle (Ireland)-The Strange Death of John Doe
Submitted by Hampstead Theatre
Fiona Doyle’s work in theatre includes Coolatully (winner of the 2014 Papatango New Writing Prize) at the Finborough Theatre in London and for Mead Theatre Lab in Washington DC; Deluge (winner of the 2014 Eamon Keane Full-Length Play Award) at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs; and Ms Y (short) as part of the Young Vic’s Five Plays. Fiona has been the recipient of the Irish Theatre Institute’s Phelim Donlon Playwright’s Bursary and Residency Award in association with the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, a Cill Rialaig Artist residency, a Peggy Ramsay Foundation grant, and has recently been awarded a Fellowship from the MacDowell Colony for their 2018 Winter/Spring season. She completed the John Burgess Playwriting Course in 2012. She has been on attachment at the National Theatre Studio and is currently under commission to Hampstead Theatre and NT Connections 2018. Her plays are published by Nick Hern Books.
Aleshea Harris (U.S.)- Is God Is
Submitted by Soho Rep
Is God Is was published by 3 Hole Press in the spring of 2017 and will premiere Off-Broadway at Soho Rep. in February, 2018. Aleshea Harris is a playwright and performer who received an MFA in Writing for Performance from California Institute of the Arts. Her work has been presented a number of places including the Costume Shop at American Conservatory Theater, Playfest at Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, La Comédie de Saint-Étienne, the Skirball Center, and REDCAT. Harris has enjoyed residencies at MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Djerassi and SPACE on Ryder Farm. She is the winner of the 2016 Relentless Award from the American Playwriting Foundation for Is God Is.
Colleen Murphy (Canada)- The Breathing Hole
Submitted by The Stratford Festival/English Theatre, National Arts Centre
The Breathing Hole premiered at the Stratford Festival in the fall of 2017. Colleen Murphy is a two-time Governor General Literary Award Winner for Drama. In 2016 she won for her play Pig Girl, and in 2007 she won for The December Man (L’homme de décembre). Twice she has won the Carol Bolt Award for Best Play. Other world premieres in Canada in 2017 include Oksana G. at Tapestry Opera in Toronto (composer, Aaron Gervais), and The Society For The Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius at Rumble Theatre in Vancouver. Other plays include I Hope My Heart Burns First, Armstrong’s War, The Goodnight Bird, Beating Heart Cadaver and The Piper. Libretti include My Mouth On Your Heart (composer, August Murphy-King). She is also an award-winning filmmaker. Colleen has been Playwright-in-Residence at Finborough Theatre in London, U.K., Necessary Angel Theatre and Factory Theatre in Toronto. She has been Writer in Residence at the University of Regina, McMaster University, the University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University, the Lee Playwright in Residence at the University of Alberta, and is currently Writer in Residence at the University of New Brunswick.
Antoinette Nwandu (U.S.)- Pass Over
Submitted by Steppenwolf Theatre
Antoinette Nwandu is a New York-based playwright. Her play Breach: a manifesto on race in america through the eyes of a black girl recovering from self-hate will have its World Premiere at Victory Gardens in February 2018.
And her play Pass Over will have its New York debut at LCT3 in June 2018. A filmed version of the Jeff-award winning, Steppenwolf production of Pass Over-directed by Spike Lee-will have its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and will stream on Amazon Prime beginning in April 2018. Antoinette’s work has been supported by the Sundance Theater Lab, Space on Ryder Farm, Ignition Fest, the Cherry Lane Mentor Project, the Kennedy Center, Page73, PlayPenn, Southern Rep, The Flea, Naked Angels, Fire This Time, and The Movement Theater Company. Honors include the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, the Negro Ensemble Company’s Douglas Turner Ward Prize, a Literary Fellowship at the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, and spots on the 2016 and 2017 Kilroys lists. Antoinette is a MacDowell Fellow, a Dramatists Guild Fellow, and an Ars Nova Play Group alum. She is currently under commission from Echo Theater Company, Colt Coeur, Audible, and Ars Nova.
Nina Raine (U.K.)- Consent
Submitted by Out of Joint
Consent premiered in April, 2017 at the National Theatre in a co-production with Out of Joint. Nina Raine began her career as a trainee director at the Royal Court under the Regional Young Theatre Director Scheme. Other theatre writing credits include: Tribes (Drama Desk Award, Olivier Award Best New Play nomination), Tiger Country, The Drunks (Adaptation) and Rabbit (Evening Standard and Critic’s Circle Awards for most promising playwright).
Theatre directing credits include: Donkey Heart (Old Red Lion/Trafalgar Studios) Longing (Hampstead Theatre); Jumpy (Royal Court/Duke of York’s Theatre); Tiger Country (Hampstead Theatre); Shades (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs – Critic’s Circle and Evening Standard Awards for Most Promising Newcomer); Rabbit (Old Red Lion/Trafalgar Studios/Brits Off Broadway Festival); Unprotected (Liverpool Everyman/Traverse Theatre – Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award and TMA Best Director Award); Vermillion Dream (Salisbury Playhouse); Eskimo Sisters (Southwark Playhouse).Television credits include: “Mistresses” (The Finale). Radio Credits include: Alan Howard Reads
Anusree Roy (Canada)- Trident Moon
Submitted by Finborough Theatre
Roy is a Governor General’s Award nominated writer and actor whose work has toured nationally. Other plays include: Little Pretty and the Exceptional, Sultans of the Street, Brothel # 9, Roshni,Letters to my Grandma and Pyaasa. She holds a Master’s from the University of Toronto and has been published by the Playwright’s Canada Press. Her plays and performances have won her four Dora Mavor Moore Awards along with multiple nominations. She is the recipient of the K.M.Hunter Award, RBC Emerging Artist Award, The Carol Bolt Award and The Siminovitch Protégé Prize. ‘s playwright-in-residence include: Nightwood Theatre, Factory Theatre, The Blyth Festival,Theatre, Passe Muraille and Canadian Stage Company.
Tori Sampson (U.S.)- If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka
Submitted by Yale Repertory Theatre
Tori is a Boston playwright living in Minneapolis. Her plays include If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka, This Land Was Made (Vineyard Theater 2018) Cadillac Crew and Where Butterflies go in the Winter. Her plays have been developed at Great Plains National Theater Conference, Berkeley Repertory Theater’s The Ground Floor residency program, Victory Garden’s IGNITION festival and UBUNTU theater. Tori is a 2017-18 Playwright’s Center Jerome Fellow. Two of her plays appeared on the 2017 Kilroys List and she holds an Honorable Mention from the 2016 Relentless Award. She is the Kennedy Center’s 2016 Paula Vogel Playwright and second-place Lorraine Hansberry recipient. She is a 2017 finalist for the Alliance Theater’s Kendeda Prize. Tori is currently working on commissions from Berkeley Repertory Theater Yale Repertory Theater and Atlantic Theater Company. She holds a B.S. in sociology from Ball State University and an MFA in playwriting from Yale School of Drama.
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
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 filmsWolf, 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.
Junk by Ayad Akhtar, produced by La Jolla Playhouse
Bella: An American Tall Tale by Kirsten Childs, produced by Playwright Horizons
Roe by Lisa Loomer, produced by Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Rep, and Arena Stage
Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau, produced by Atlantic Theater Company
King of the Yees by Lauren Yee, produced by Goodman Theatre
The Edward M. Kennedy Prize is given annually through Columbia University to a new musical or play that, in the words of the Prize’s mission statement, “…enlists theater’s power to explore the past of the United States, to participate meaningfully in the great issues of our day through the public conversation, grounded in historical understanding, that is essential to the functioning of a democracy.”
Previous winners of the Prize include: A 24-Decade History of Popular Music by Taylor Mac (2017); Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda (2016); Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2, & 3 by Suzan-Lori Parks (2015); Detroit ’67 by Dominique Morisseau (2014); and All the Way by Robert Schenkkan and The Body of an American by Dan O’Brien (2013). The size of the award places the Kennedy Prize among the most generous given for dramatic writing, and indeed for writing in America, while the commitment to developing publicly accessible educational content makes the prize unique among dramatic and literary awards.
The Prize Board of Governors includes Mandy Hackett, Associate Director, The Public Theater, New York, N.Y.; Jean Howard, George Delacorte Professor in the Humanities and Chair, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University; Alice Kessler-Harris, R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History in Honor of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Columbia University; Tony Kushner, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright; Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient; and Amanda Smith, author.
Ambassador Kennedy Smith created the prize to commemorate the life and legacy of her late brother, Senator Ted Kennedy. Finalists were selected through nominations from a group of theater professionals from across the country. The jury will meet at Columbia in February 2018. The winning work will be announced on or after February 22, 2018, the anniversary of Senator Kennedy’s birth. The selected play will receive an award of $100,000 and will be honored in a ceremony at Columbia later this spring.
André De Shields, a two-time Tony nominee, Drama Desk nominee, Emmy winner and multi-Audelco Award and Outer Critics Circle Award winner, will be honored at the 33rd Annual Bistro Awards on Monday, March 12, where he will be receiving the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award, the Bistro Awards’ highest honor, for his five decades of stage and nightclub accomplishments.
The actor-singer-dancer-choreographer made his mark on Broadway in the title role of The Wiz, which was followed by the long-running Ain’t Misbehavin‘, for which he received a Drama Desk nomination, and Stardust: The Mitchell Parish Musical. He received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for Play On! and The Full Monty on Broadway, and a Drama Desk nomination for his performance in Black Nativity off Broadway. In Chicago, he has won the prestigious Joseph Jefferson Award three times. He can currently be seen in Mankind at Playwrights Horizons.
De Shields embraced cabaret early on. Beginning in the ’70s, he has created a string of original shows, among them Have You Ever Been Kissed by Lightning? (starring Mau Mau The Zulu Vampire, Half Man-Half Cadillac), The Insatiable Mechanical Monster, Uptown Sunday Night, and Black by Popular Demand; they have been performed at such landmark New York clubs as Gypsy’s, the Grand Finale, Reno Sweeney, Les Mouches, the Club at La MaMa, the Horn of Plenty, Greene Street, and most recently Joe’s Pub and the Laurie Beechman Theatre-as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London. In 1984, he co-wrote, choreographed, co-directed, and starred in the Broadway musical revue Andre De Shields’ Haarlem Nocturne; it celebrated the nightclubs of Harlem’s Golden Age and was produced at The Latin Quarter.
The Bistro Awards gala will be held on Monday, March 12 at 6:30 pm at Gotham Comedy Cub, 208 W. 23rd St., produced by Sherry Eaker, who has headed up the event since its inception.
A full list of winners will be announced at the end of the month, when tickets will go on sale at www.BistroAwards.com.
Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group have announced a week of festivities for when the longest-running show in Broadway history, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary next week. This unprecedented milestone is a feat achieved by no other Broadway show.
While the anniversary date for PHANTOM’s New York premiere is January 26, the 30th Anniversary is being celebrated two days earlier on Wednesday, January 24. The evening will feature: a red carpet event co-hosted by Broadway star Sierra Boggess and Imogen Lloyd Webber, a gala performance featuring the attendance of PHANTOM creatives and alumni cast, and a special post-show Onstage Presentation* featuring musical numbers by surprise guest artists.
PHANTOM has partnered with fellow New York City masterpiece the Empire State Building for a spectacular Music-To-Light Show*. At 11PM sharp, a custom-designed light show by world-renowned lighting designer Marc Brickman will illuminate the tower lights of the iconic building synchronized to a special arrangement of music from PHANTOM.
Not only will the show be fully visible to Gala guests with a clear shot view from Rainbow Room, but to all New Yorkers looking up at the “World’s Most Famous Building,” as well as a global audience on Twitter @PhantomBway. Prior to the Music-to-Light Show, the iconic Empire State Building will be lit in blue and white in honor of the 30th Anniversary. The Empire State Building is owned by Empire State Realty Trust, Inc.
To make the evening globally accessible to the public and the musical’s extremely dedicated ‘Phan’ community, PHANTOM has partnered with Twitter to showcase exclusive LIVE Anniversary streaming content at three important parts of the evening.
*The Red Carpet, Onstage Presentation and Empire State Building Music-to-Light Show will be streamed live and in their entireties. The public can follow along @PhantomBway.
As a thank you to PHANTOM’s dedicated ‘Phan’ community, two methods were established to allow members of the public chances to get tickets for the otherwise invite-only 30th Anniversary performance.
Earlier this week, a contest was held via PHANTOM social media channels for a limited number of show tickets, including the front row of the Orchestra.
In addition, 300 show tickets have been put on sale at the special Anniversary price of $30. To purchase these tickets, visit www.TelechargeOffers.com or call 212-947-8844, using the code SINGFOR30.
All proceeds will benefit Musicians On Call, a non-profit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. www.MusiciansOnCall.org
On Monday morning, January 22, PHANTOM will be honored when members of the cast, led by Peter Jöback (The Phantom), Ali Ewoldt (Christine) and Rodney Ingram (Raoul) ring the NASDAQ Opening Bell in their daily morning ceremony. The prestigious ceremony can be viewed live at 9:30 AM on the financial networks/channels CNBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business News, Fast Money and Squawk Box.
On Wednesday morning, January 24 at 11AM, stars Peter Jöback (The Phantom), (Christine) and Rodney Ingram (Raoul) will participate in a ceremonial lighting of the Empire State Building, in advance of the Music-to-Light Show that night. The ceremony will also include the presentation of a proclamation from the Mayor’s Office marking 30 Years of PHANTOM on Broadway.
On Friday morning, January 26, viewers can tune into the 10AM (EST) hour of NBC’s The Today Show for an exclusive PHANTOM musical performance by stars Peter Jöback and Ali Ewoldt.
Marking the actual date of the 30th Anniversary, a special 2PM matinee is being held on January 26, in addition to the regular 8PM evening performance. To purchase tickets, visit www.Telecharge.com or call (212) 239-6200.
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA enters its fourth decade having played 12,500 performances to 18 million people at The Majestic Theatre 247 West 44th Street, and having grossed a staggering more than $1.1 billion. PHANTOM has been Broadway’s longest-running show for more than a decade and its astounding longevity in New York and around the world is unprecedented.
Leading the 30th Anniversary cast is international stage star and Platinum-selling Swedish recording artist Peter Jöback. One of Sweden’s most prolific and respected artists, Mr. Jöback has earned rave reviews and ignited the box office for his performance as ‘The Phantom’ in London (2012), New York (2013) and two sold out engagements in his native Stockholm (2016). Mr. Jöback’s strictly limited return is through Saturday, March 31.
Mr. Jöback stars with Ali Ewoldt as ‘Christine’ and Rodney Ingram as ‘Raoul.’ Ms. Ewoldt made history in June 2016 when she became the first Asian-American actress to play the role of ‘Christine’ on Broadway. Mr. Ingram, a dual citizen of the United State and Mexico, made headlines in April 2017 when he joined the cast as ‘Raoul.’
The musical also co-stars Laird Mackintosh as ‘Monsieur André,’ Craig Bennett as ‘Monsieur Firmin,’ Raquel Suarez Groen as ‘Carlotta,’ Carlton Moe as ‘Piangi,’ Maree Johnson as ‘Madame Giry’ and Kara Klein as ‘Meg Giry.’ At certain performances, Kaley Ann Voorhees plays the role of ‘Christine.’
Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.