HADESTOWN Becomes First Musical Of 2018-2019 Season To Recoup Investment

Eva Noblezada as Eurydice, Amber Gray as Persephone, Timothy R. Hughes, Reeve Carney as Orpheus , Kimberly Marable and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown, the Tony Award-winning Best New Musical has become the first musical of the 2018-2019 Broadway season to recoup its initial investment of $11.5M.

Eva Noblezada as Eurydice, Amber Gray as Persephone, Timothy R. Hughes, Reeve Carney as Orpheus , Kimberly Marable and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada as Eurydice, Amber Gray as Persephone, Timothy R. Hughes, Reeve Carney as Orpheus , Kimberly Marable and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang

The musical continues to set box office records at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street). For the week ending Sunday, October 13, the production grossed an all-time best of $1,523,311 and is the highest-grossing musical in the theater’s history and has been playing to standing room only audiences since it started performances on Friday, March 22.

Mara Isaacs. Photo by Lia Chang

Lead producer Mara Isaacs said, “Hadestown is a testament to the power of live theater to connect us all. It started in 2006 as an indie theater project, traveling around New England in a silver-painted school bus and has grown to something that has touched millions of people. As this show has developed, we have welcomed a wonderful group of artists, friends, collaborators, fans, and fellow co-producers to join Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin on this journey. And as we look forward to the upcoming national tour and beyond, I can’t help but reflect on Anaïs, jammed into that tiny silver bus with a group of friends, all simply believing in the power of art to change the world.”

Rachel Chavkin and Anaïs Mitchell. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown is the acclaimed new musical by celebrated singer-songwriter and Tony Award winner Anaïs Mitchell and developed with innovative director and Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin. The cast is led by Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Reeve Carney, Tony Award winner André De Shields, Tony Award nominee Amber Gray, two-time Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, and Tony Award nominee Patrick Page. They are joined by Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, and Kay Trinidad as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Anthony Chatmon II, Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, John Krause, and Kimberly Marable. The full cast also includes swings Malcolm Armwood, T. Oliver Reid, Jessie Shelton, and Khaila Wilcoxon.

Patrick Page, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney, Amber Gray and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Patrick Page, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney, Amber Gray and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown is the most honored show of the 2018-2019 season having received eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, four Drama Desk Awards, six Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical.

Eva Noblezada and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang

The show will launch a National Tour beginning in the Fall of 2020. In its first year, the tour will visit more than 30 cities coast to coast, including (alphabetically) Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Tempe; and Washington, DC; with more to be announced shortly.

Eva Noblezada as Eurydice, Amber Gray as Persephone and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada as Eurydice, Amber Gray as Persephone and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown marks the first time in over a decade that a woman has been the solo author of a musical: writing the music, lyrics, and book, and is the fourth time in Broadway history a woman has accomplished this creative feat. The show originated as Mitchell’s indie theater project that toured Vermont which she then turned into an acclaimed album. With Chavkin, her artistic collaborator, Hadestown has been transformed into a genre-defying new musical that blends modern American folk music with New Orleans-inspired jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.

Following two intertwining love stories – that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone – Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers, and singers, Hadestown delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience.

The creative team for Broadway features Tony Award winner Rachel Hauck (set design); four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Krass (costume design); two-time Tony Award winner Bradley King (lighting design); Tony Award winners Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz (sound design); Chita Rivera Award winner and three-time Bessie Award winner David Neumann (choreography); Liam Robinson (music direction and vocal arrangements); Tony Award winners Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose (arrangements and orchestrations); Ken Cerniglia (dramaturgy); and Stewart/Whitley (casting).

The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hadestown from Sing It Again Records was released digitally this summer, and topped Billboard’s Broadway Cast Recording chart, and debuted at #8 on the Top Album chart. To date, the album has been streamed over 47 million times.

On Friday, November 1, the two-disc CD set featuring a 64-page booklet was released and the upcoming triple-vinyl edition will be available starting Friday, November 29. Both editions include complete song lyrics and never-before-seen photos of the Hadestown cast and creative team in the studio, and other exclusive content.

Hadestown electrified audiences with its 2016 world premiere at New York Theatre Workshop, which is the longest-running show in that celebrated theater’s 40-year history. The production then received its Canadian premiere at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre in 2017 and then a 2018 sold-out engagement at the London’s National Theatre prior to Broadway. Hadestown was developed with funding from the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center and was further developed by The Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Hadestown was co-conceived by Ben t. Matchstick.

Get the best prices on tickets to Hadestown on TodayTix.

“untitled f*ck miss sa*gon play” by Kimber Lee and “Periods of Collapse OR Mother Russia” by Lauren Yee Are on the 2019 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting Shortlist

The Royal Exchange Theatre and Bruntwood have announced the shortlist for the prestigious Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. The Prize – the largest for playwriting in Europe – seeks scripts from established, emerging and debut writers to develop for the stage, in association with the Royal Exchange Theatre’s creative team.

This year’s 15 shortlisted scripts were selected from 2,561 new plays submitted to the Prize following the competition launch in January. Each playwright entered anonymously, meaning all scripts were judged on their own merit by impartial readers, with no knowledge of the writer’s background or previous experience.

The shortlist is vivid, imaginative and topical, with politics, mental health, race relations and climate change just some of the themes appearing within the scripts. Female voices are also strongly represented across the shortlisted works, with eight of the 15 shortlisted plays written by women.

The Prize has a £40,000 fund across four categories. As well as an overall winner, who takes home £16,000, there are three further categories: The Judges Prize (£8,000), the Original New Voice for debut writers (£8,000) and the International Award (£8,000), for writers invited to enter by the Prize’s international partners.

The 10 UK scripts in the running for the overall £16,000 prize are as follows (listed alphabetically by surname).

black bird by Babirye Bukilwa
Shed: Exploded View by Phoebe Eclair-Powell
Neptune by Sam Grabiner
The European Hare by Sami Ibrahim
Glass by Jacob Kay
Salty Irina: (Retitled as ‘Title Redacted’ for the judging process) by Eve Leigh
Hares by Lee Mattison
Ballybaile by Jody O’Neill
Akedah by Michael John O’Neill
Glee & Me by Stuart Slade
Four of the playwrights shortlisted for the overall Prize – Babirye Bukilwa, Sam Grabiner, Jacob Kay and Michael John O’Neill – are also eligible for the Original New Voice Award.

The second category, the International Award, sees five playwrights from Australia and the USA vie to be crowned the winner. They are (listed alphabetically by surname):

TAMBO & BONES by Dave Harris (USA)
Pavlov’s Dogs by Emme Hoy (Australia)
untitled f*ck miss sa*gon play (srsly this is not the title) by Kimber Lee (USA)
This Land Was Made by Tori Sampson (USA)
Periods of Collapse OR Mother Russia by Lauren Yee (USA)

Suzanne Bell, Dramaturg at the Royal Exchange Theatre, said: “I am extremely pleased to present this year’s impressive shortlist for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, which for the first time includes international entries. It’s thrilling to see submissions growing year-on-year, and it is fantastic to celebrate the outstanding achievement of our 15 shortlisted writers who have been selected from over 2,500 entries. Theatre, as we know, is a mirror to the world. So, it comes as no surprise that many of the shortlisted plays reflect our times. From highlighting the crisis of mental health and the rise of the far right to stereotypes portrayed and enforced by the media, the 2019 shortlist represents the remarkable breadth of talent in the UK and further afield.”

Bryony Shanahan, Joint Artistic Director at the Royal Exchange Theatre and judge for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, added: “The Bruntwood Prize engages, encourages, supports and celebrates the craft of playwriting, beginning with the phenomenal online resources on http://www.writeaplay.co.uk and culminating in the help each of our winning writers will receive from the Royal Exchange. New work is the way in which theatre remains alive, and a vital way in which we can reflect on the world around us. These 15 writers have bravely shared their stories with us, and it is fantastic that we can celebrate their hard work and dedication and creativity with this announcement today.”

The 15 scripts have been judged by a prestigious panel of figures from across the arts industry. Alongside Bryony Shanahan, judges include: Kwame Kwei-Armah (Chair), Artistic Director of the Young Vic; Michael Oglesby CBE DL, founder of the Bruntwood Group and chairman of The Oglesby Charitable Trust; Anna Jordan, Bruntwood Prize-winning playwright; Bridget Minamore, journalist, poet and critic; Jenny Sealey MBE, Artistic Director, Graeae Theatre Company; Kate Vokes, Director of Social Impact, Bruntwood and actor Shane Zaza. New to the panel this year is ‘The People’s Judge’, Faith Yianni, a member of the public selected following a search by the Prize and leading theatre critic Lyn Gardner, to bring an audience member’s perspective to the judging process.

The winner of the 2019 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, on Monday 4th November 2019.

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting has a proven track record of finding new talent and helping established writers bring their stories to new audiences. Since its inception in 2005, over 15,500 scripts have been entered, £256,000 has been awarded to 28 prize-winning writers and 24 winning productions have been staged in 38 UK wide venues. In 2015, the Prize celebrated its 10th anniversary and is now recognised as a launch-pad for some of the country’s most respected and produced playwrights.

Co-producing partners have included the Lyric Hammersmith, Live Theatre, Soho Theatre, Bush Theatre, Orange Tree Theatre, Sherman Theatre, High Tide and The Royal Court Theatre. Work has also gone on to be produced internationally from Australia, USA, Germany, France to Canada and Sweden.

The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting also works in partnership with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, The Banff Centre Playwrights Lab, Melbourne Theatre Company, The Belvoir Theatre and The National Theatre New Work Department. Nick Hern Books continues to support the Bruntwood Prize as the publishing partner for winning playwrights.

Lea Salonga and Jett Pangan in SWEENEY TODD at the Theatre at Solaire through October 27

The Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group’s production of SWEENEY TODD starring Tony and Olivier Award winner Lea Salonga and rock icon Jett Pangan as Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney Todd respectively, has performance through October 27 at the Theatre at Solaire, Solaire Resort & Casino
1 Aseana Avenue, Entertainment City, Paranaque City, Philippines. Tickets are available at TicketWorld.com.ph.

Jett Pangan, Lea Salonga. Photo Credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group

The cast includes Ima Castro as the Beggar Woman, Andrew Fernando as Judge Turpin, Gerald Santos as Anthony Hope, and Nyoy Volante as Adolfo Pirelli, Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante, (BEAUTIFUL) as Johanna; Luigi Quesada (DANI GIRL, WAITRESS) as Tobias; Arman Ferrer (MABINING MANDIRIGMA, BEAUTIFUL) as Beadle, and Dean Rosen (BEAUTIFUL, WAITRESS) as Jonas Fogg. Completing the ensemble are Steven Conde, Sarah Facuri, Christine Flores, Jep Go, Kevin Guiman, and Emeline Celis Guinid.

Jett Pangan, Lea Salonga. Photo Credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Jett Pangan, Lea Salonga. Photo Credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group

Helmed by Bobby Garcia, SWEENEY TODD features set design by Tony Award winner David Gallo, musical direction by Gerard Salonga along with the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, costume design by Rajo Laurel, choreography by Cecile Martinez, lighting design by Aaron Porter, hair and makeup design by Leslie Espinosa, vocal direction by ManMan Angsico, and sound design by Justin Stasiw.

The Company
The Company

Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s musical masterpiece SWEENEY TODD has become a bloody, worldwide success since being awarded eight Tony Awards, (including Best Musical), for its Broadway premiere, as well as the Oliver Award for Best New Musical. SWEENEY TODD, a tasty, thrilling, theatrical treat has simultaneously shocked, awed, and delighted audiences across the world. The Broadway revival went on to win two more Tony Awards taking its total up to 10 Tony Awards. This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the musical, having first opened on Broadway in 1979. SWEENEY TODD caps Atlantis’ 20th-anniversary season, which has included acclaimed runs of ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES, BEAUTIFUL: THE Carole King MUSICAl, and the launch of its new division ATLANTIS IMAGINARIUM YOUNG THEATRE (AIYT) with its premiere production MADAGASCAR, A MUSICAL ADVENTURE.

Nyoy Volante, Steven Conde. Photo Credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Nyoy Volante, Steven Conde. Photo Credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group

http://www.TicketWorld.com.phSWEENEY TODD runs from October 11 to 27, 2019, at the Theatre at Solaire in Manilla, Philippines. Tickets are now available at TicketWorld.com.ph.  It will then transfer to the Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 28 November to 8 December 2019.

Jett Pangan. Photo Credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Jett Pangan. Photo Credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group 
Lea Salonga. Photo Credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Lea Salonga. Photo Credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante, Gerald Santos. Photo Credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante, Gerald Santos. Photo Credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Andrew Fernando, Arman Ferrer. Photo Credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Andrew Fernando, Arman Ferrer. Photo Credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group

The Tank to Present Tonya Pinkins’ TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION: WOMYN WORKING IT OUT!, October 3 – 6

Tonya Pinkins. Photo by Lia Chang

The Tank will present Tonya Pinkins’ Truth and Reconciliation: Womyn Working It Out! (produced by Katie Walenta) featuring new 10-minute plays by Jaisey Bates, Glory Kadigan, Jasmine McLeish, Tonya Pinkins, Kristine M Reyes, Carmen Rivera, Nikkole Salter, Nandita Shenoy, and Lucy Thurber, directed by Tonya Pinkins. The production runs October 3-6 at The Tank (312 West 36th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues) with performances on Thursday, October 3 at 8pm, Friday, October 4 at 8pm, Saturday, October 5 at 3pm, Saturday, October 5 at 8pm, and Sunday, October 6 at 3pm, Tickets ($15) may be purchased in advance at www.thetanknyc.org. The performance will run approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission.

Truth and Reconciliation: Womyn Working It Out is a collective piece of theatre that includes multiple 10-minute plays and songs by and about womyn. Each play contains different ways womyn oppress each other and how we find ways to heal.

To History/ Whom it May Concern by Jaisey Bates
Collective indigenous voices write a letter to history and push against harmful indigenous stereotypes.

Tierra De Las Flores by Glory Kadigan
Set in the 1800’s, 50 years after slaves in Florida were given freedom, two women of very different backgrounds coincide. Aguenda has an abusive husband and Tamaha is a complete stranger. When Tamaha offers Aguenda comfort and controversial advice, she is met with discrimination.

Other by Jasmine McLeish
Rebecca, a brilliant African American student at Stanford, is called by Ms. Dean Robinson to her office. There’s been a mix up with her application under race. Ms. Dean claims people who identify as “African American” have higher pigmentation and thus the “African American” scholarship is no longer eligible for her.

Till Hell Freezes Over by Tonya Pinkins
Stuck between Heaven and Hell, Mamie Till tortures Carol Bryan, the Caucasian woman who accused her son, Emmet Till of whistling at her which led to a wrongful murder. Mamie’s still rain over her song, but after an exchange of tortures and apologies, Mamie Till chooses forgiveness.

Law 136 by Carmen Rivera
Iris, a young Lawyer defends hundreds of women, including her Aunt Isabel who was part of the so-called “Birth Control Operation” or “Tubal ligation.” Margaret, an American nurse, who practiced sterilization for other-than-strictly-medical reasons, while offering no other methods of birth control and without letting these women know the irreversible effects, is ready to testify.

The Proposal by Nandita Shenoy
Eva, an older student from Duncan who has recently been named “Most Powerful Woman in Tech” by Forbes, is visiting Ms. Robert, her older chemistry teacher to threaten to publish a report in which she describes how Ms. Roberts knew about the affair between Eva and her teacher, Mr. Wellington, who was twice her age.

Bank by Lucy Thurber
Sarah teaches Denise, a bank employee, a valuable lesson of what it’s like to do everyday things when you’re part of the LGBTQ community, such as going to the bank, how it becomes an uphill battle filled with anxiety and pressure to lie for the sake of someone else’s “comfortability” in a predominantly heterosexual society.

Tonya Pinkins (Director) is a Tony and Drama Critics Circle award winning actress. She has worked in the industry for 40 years as an actress, director, writer, and producer in both Hollywood and Broadway. Being a black woman in a white man’s world, Tonya experienced the prejudice that comes from both industries. Instead of standing by, she decided to take action. She was an early #TimesUp member and helped establish the #MeToo movement as well as hold empowering concerts with young talented women of color. Tonya continues to give opportunities to not only performers, but writers, directors, producers, and choreographers through Truth and Reconciliation.

The Tank is a non-profit arts presenter and producer. Our mission is to remove economic barriers from the creation of new work for artists launching their careers and experimenting within their art form, and to do so in an environment that is inclusive and accessible. We serve over 2,000 artists every year in over 800 performances, and work across all disciplines, including theater, comedy, dance, film, music, puppetry, and storytelling. The heart of our services is providing free performance space in our two-stage theater complex Manhattan, and we also offer a suite of other services such as free rehearsal space, promotional support, artist fees, and much more. We support work at all phases of development, from readings and residencies to fully-produced world premieres. We keep ticket prices affordable and view our work as democratic, opening up both the creation and attendance of the arts to all.

Recent Tank-produced work includes Drama Desk-nominated productions Ada/Ava (2016), youarenowhere (2016), The Paper Hat Game (2017), the ephemera trilogy (2017), and The Hunger Artist (2018), as well as New York Times Critics’ Picks The Offending Gesture by Mac Wellman, directed by Meghan Finn (2016) and Red Emma & The Mad Monk by Alexis Roblan, directed by Katie Lindsay (2018)

Truth and Reconciliation: Womyn Working it Out! is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by LMCC.

Chil Kong is ATMTC’s New Artistic Director

Chil Kong. Photo by Lia Chang

Congratulations to Chil Kong who is the new Artistic Director of Ten-time Helen Hayes Award Recipient Adventure Theatre MTC (ATMTC). With over 10 years’ experience as Co-Artistic Director for the Lodestone Theatre Ensemble, Kong brings a strong vision and passion for the art of theatre for young audiences in addition to a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Chil Kong began his career in theater garnering multiple awards for his innovative reimagining of American classics and developing ground breaking new works as artistic director of theater companies in Boston, San Diego, Seattle, and in Los Angeles as the Co-Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Lodestone Theatre Ensemble. Seeking new challenges, Chil transitioned to film and TV with his pilot adaptation of the critically acclaimed book Screening Party by Dennis Hensley in “Fashion Police” (Entertainment Television). After directing two feature films (“The Mikado Project” and “QWERTY”) and multiple short films (“Pollen,” “The Oh-Malley’s,” and “The Walk”), which star such talents as “Ugly Betty” actor Alec Mapa and “Sullivan & Son” actress Jodi Long, Chil was tapped as the creative director of a film fund which focused on English based stories for the Asian market. He currently has a live-action feature in development at Disney Channel.

Says Kong of his appointment, “As a kid growing up in Woodbridge Virginia, I often had to explain my existence. Always the ‘other,’ I found myself trying to understand my place in the diverse tapestry of the American experience. So I left Virginia behind and traveled the country to grow as an Artist and find my place.

“And now I come full circle to my hometown and to where my artistic journey began, a different person then when I started. Realizing, after all this time, that the very thing that inspired a misfit kid from Woodbridge Virginia, was and is the same inspiration I see in my son’s eyes when I take him to the theater. It’s that joy that I want to share with every child, regardless of age. It’s amazing I had to travel the country only to discover what I was looking for back home.”

Impending Executive Director Leon Seemann, “We had over 100 applications for this position nationwide, and it was a long process in finding the right fit. Chil not only brings the experience, but the joy and community engagement that Adventure Theatre is known for.”

Montgomery County is very diverse, with approximately 59% of the population categorizing themselves as non-white. “The fact that Chil reflects a segment of our community not currently represented is a wonderful bonus. From our quick research, Chil is the only Asian American Artistic Director in the DMV and the only Asian American in a leadership role in any major TYA theatre in the U.S. right now. We know Chil’s will build upon our work in promoting diversity and racial equity across all cultures.”

Exiting Artistic Director, Michael J. Bobbitt, agrees wholeheartedly, “I have known Chil for a very long time and I’m thrilled that this amazing artist and family man will take the reigns of the theatre and drive it to amazing places. His art and personality will be an asset to the DC community and the theatre for young audience field. Everyone should take the time to get to know this great man.”

ATMTC celebrates the glorious richness of our world by cultivating Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity as they inspire the creativity that nurtures great art, artists, and audiences. For more information, visit www.adventuretheatre-mtc.org or call 301-634-2270.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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 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: © 2000-2019 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

Production Photos: David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at The Public, Opens October 15

The Public Theater’s production of Soft Power, with play and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, music and additional lyrics by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori, choreography by Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton, and direction by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman began performances on Tuesday, September 24 in The Public’s Newman Theater and will run through Sunday, November 10. Opening night is October 15.

Francis Jue and Company. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Paul HeeSang Miller, Daniel May, Raymond J. Lee, Francis Jue and Austin Ku. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The complete cast of Soft Power includes Billy Bustamante (Xue Xing Standby), Jon Hoche (Chief Justice/Hālǐ Aòhālā/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jīng/Prof. Lǐ Bìyù/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Jū Míng), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/Yáo Tuō/Veep/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Betsy/Lóng Lín Kūn/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Airport Greeter/Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xue Xing), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).

Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

SOFT POWER features orchestrations by Danny Troob; music direction and supervision by Chris Fenwick; dance arrangements by John Clancy; scenic design by Clint Ramos; costume design by Anita Yavich; lighting design by Mark Barton; sound design by Kai Harada; sound effects design by Bart Fasbender; video design by Bryce Cutler; hair, wig, and makeup design by Tom Watson; special effects by Lillis Meeh; music contracting by Antoine Silverman; and additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman and John Clancy.

The cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus
Kristen Faith Oei, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Geena Quintos, Kyra Smith, Jaygee Macapugay, Jon Hoche and Daniel May. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori bring their groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play to The Public for its New York premiere. One of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Alyse Alan Louis and Company. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kyra Smith, Geena Quintos, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Francis Jue, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Kristen Faith Oei, Kendyl Ito and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Kendyl Ito, Geena Quintos, Austin Ku, Daniel May, Conrad Ricamora, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Kyra Smith, Trevor Salter, Francis Jue. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tickets start at $95 and can be purchased online at www.publictheater.org, by phone 212-967-7555 and in person at the Taub Box Office, located at 425 Lafayette Street.

Rehearsal Photos: David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at The Public Theater; Previews Begin September 24

The Public Theater presents Soft Power, with play and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, music and additional lyrics by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori, choreography by Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton, and is directed by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman.

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo by Jenny Anderson

Soft Power begins with a Joseph Papp Free Preview performance on Tuesday, September 24 in The Public’s Newman Theater and will run through Sunday, November 10. Opening night is set for October 15.

Sam Pinkleton, David Henry Hwang, Jeanine Tesori, and Leigh Silverman. Photo by Jenny Anderson

The complete cast of Soft Power includes Billy Bustamante (Xue Xing Standby), Jon Hoche (Tony Manero/Chief Justice/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jing/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Ju Ming), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/VEEP/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Campaign Manager/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xue Xing), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).

Alyse Alan Louis, Conrad Ricamora, Kyra Smith, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May, Francis Jue, Jaygee Macapugay, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Jenny Anderson

Soft Power features orchestrations by Danny Troob; music direction and supervision by Chris Fenwick; dance arrangements by John Clancy; scenic design by Clint Ramos; costume design by Anita Yavich; lighting design by Mark Barton; sound design by Kai Harada; sound effects design by Bart Fassbender; video design by Bryce Cutler; hair, wig, and makeup design by Tom Watson; special effects by Lillis Meeh; music contracting by Antoine Silverman; and additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman and John Clancy.

Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Kyra Smith, Daniel May, Francis Jue, Kristen Faith Oei, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Austin Ku and Geena Quintos. Photo by Jenny Anderson

Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori bring their groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play to The Public for its New York premiere. One of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Geena Quintos, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, and Jaygee Macapugay. Photo by Jenny Anderson
Choreographer Sam Pinkleton, Kyra Smith, Austin Ku, Geena Quintos, Alyse Alan Louis, Trevor Salter and Raymond J. Lee. Photo by Jenny Anderson
Daniel Irving Rattner, David Henry Hwang, and Leigh Silverman. Photo by Jenny Anderson
Leigh Silverman, Geena Quintos, Kendyl Ito, Alyse Alan Louis, Trevor Salter, Conrad Ricamora and Daniel May. Photo by Jenny Anderson
Jon Hoche and Conrad Ricamora. Photo by Jenny Anderson

The Public Extends David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER through November 10 

KING KONG’s Jon Hoche Joins David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at The Public, September 24 – November 3

Award-winning Broadway Vet Francis Jue Talks about SOFT POWER, KING OF THE YEES, WILD GOOSE DREAMS, “Madam Secretary” and Getting Married

Chatting with Raymond J. Lee about SOFT POWER, GROUNDHOG DAY

LOVE IN HATE NATION by Tony Award Nominee Joe Iconis, Set for World Premiere at Two River Theater, November 9 – December 1

Joe Iconis and Lauren Marcus. Photo by Lia Chang

Two River Theater is presenting the  world-premiere production of Love in Hate Nation, an original musical with music, lyrics and book by Tony Award nominee Joe Iconis, directed by John Simpkins.

The cast of Love in Hate Nation includes Sydney Farley (Gloria “Ya Ya” Meeks), Amina Faye (Susannah Son), Jasmine Forsberg (Brenda “Rat” Ratowski), Lauren Marcus (Miss Asp), Kelly McIntyre (Sheila Nail), Lena Skeele (Dorothy Donaldson), Emerson Smith (Kitty Minx), Ryan Vona (The Guy) and Tatiana Wechsler (Judith Ramone).

Performances will begin in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, November 9 and continue through Sunday, December 1. The opening night performance is Friday, November 15 at 7pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org.

A turbulent rock romance set in a 1960s Juvie Hall, Love in Hate Nation uses classic “bad girl” movies as the inspiration for the story of young people caught between eras of a changing America. Sixteen-year old Susannah Son is carted off to the National Reformatory for Girls to get her head put on straight. There she meets the aggressively incorrigible Sheila Nail, and a relationship forms which leads to an all-out “revolution in the institution” as they attempt to break out of the boxes society has created around them. Girl Group Wall of Sound harmonies are filtered through a punk rock spirit in this rebellious and romantic new musical.

Love in Hate Nation has orchestrations and music supervision by Charlie Rosen, music direction by Geraldine Anello, and choreography by Mayte Natalio.

The design team includes scenic designer Meredith Reis, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Jen Schriever, and sound designer Palmer Hefferan. The casting is by Rachel Hoffman, CSA and the production stage manager is Amanda Michaels.

Joe Iconis is the Tony Award-nominated composer/lyricist of the worldwide sensation Be More Chill. Iconis and Joe Tracz wrote Be More Chill as a commission for Two River Theater, where the show was developed and premiered in 2015 before going on to sold-out Off-Broadway and Broadway runs. Director John Simpkins previously directed Bloodsong of Love and The Black Suits by Joe Iconis. He is Head of Musical Theatre at Penn State School of Theatre, where Love in Hate Nation was commissioned and developed.

Ticket prices range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $25 tickets are available for every performance; $25 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $25 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.

Tony Award nominee Forrest McClendon, Jerome Preston Bates, Garrett Turner, Brandon Dion Gregory, Reynaldo Piniella, Ryan Jamaal Swai, Jody Reynard and More Set for Syracuse Stage/Baltimore Center Stage World Premiere Co-Production of THOUGHTS OF A COLORED MAN by Keenan Scott II

Brian Moreland and Ron Simons are presenting the world premiere of Thoughts of a Colored Man, a new play by Keenan Scott II, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, and choreographed by Millicent Marie Johnnie in a co-production with Syracuse Stage and Baltimore Center Stage.

The cast is led by Jerome Preston Bates (American Son), Brandon Dion Gregory (“Let the Church Say Amen”) Tony Award nominee Forrest McClendon (The Scottsboro Boys), Reynaldo Piniella (The Death of the Last Black Man), Ryan Jamaal Swain (FX’s “Pose”), Jody Reynard (Summer), Garrett Turner (Half Time). They are joined by dancers Ashley Pierre-Louis and Hollie E. Wright with DJ Chesney Snow (In Transit).

Thoughts of a Colored Man will play Syracuse Stage from September 4 through September 22 and then will play Baltimore Center Stage from October 10 through November 10.

As the sun rises on an ordinary day in New York, seven men are about to discover the extraordinary. Written by Keenan Scott II, one of today’s boldest new voices, Thoughts of a Colored Man blends language, music, and dance into a daringly universal new play. Welcome to the vibrant inner life of being Black, proud, and thriving in the 21st Century. Set over a single day, this richly theatrical mosaic goes beyond the rhythms of the basketball court and the boisterousness of the barbershop. It sheds brilliant light into the hearts and minds of a community of men searching for their most triumphant selves. And what they reveal are the deeply human hopes, dreams, fears, and sensitivities of all men, all people.

The creative team for Thoughts of a Colored Man includes music by Te’La and Brother Kamau, set design by Tony Award nominee Robert Brill (Ain’t Too Proud), costume design by Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner Toni-Leslie James (Come From Away) and Devario D. Simmons (In The Next Room at Theatre VCU), lighting design by Ryan O’Gara (A Night with Janis Joplin national tour), projection design by Tony and Drama Desk Award nominee Sven Ortel (Newsies), and sound design by Mikaal Sulaiman (Fires in the Mirror at Signature Theatre Company). Calleri Casting serve as casting directors for the production.

www.syracusestage.org

www.centerstage.org

The Shrill Collective Presents World Premiere Of Megan Bussiere’s A PERIOD PIECE, July 27 – August 4

The Shrill Collective continues their 2019 season of original works by female authors with the world premiere of A PERIOD PIECE by Megan Bussiere.

Bussiere, recently starred in the Off-Broadway production of her own play, “Talk to Me: A play about aphasia,” which premiered at The TheatreLab and was helmed by director Nikki DiLoreto. A PERIOD PIECE, her latest work, has already gained serious traction as a 2019 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference Finalist and a 2019 Playwrights Foundation/Bay Area Playwrights Festival Semi-Finalist.

Directed by Lynda DeFuria (Kinky Boots National Tour & Shrill Co-Founder), A PERIOD PIECE births a story of female empowerment and resilience, motherhood, sisterhood, and a celebration of the women who lift us up. The all-female cast stars Georgina Morillo (Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre) as Woman, Dominique Rose (Titan Theatre Company) as Kira, Susan Derry (“Wonderful Town” Broadway Revival, Encores!) as Sam, and Katherine Harber (Chess National Tour) as Mom.

Performances will benefit the The Lower Eastside Girls Club of New York, a community-based organization that works to overcome the fragmentation of youth services by creating a ‘whole-girl’ approach; emphasizing curiosity, poise, happiness, resiliency, compassion, health and job readiness . For more information on Shrill’s 2019 Community Partner, visit: http://www.girlsclub.org

The show runs for two weekends at the Matthew Corozine Studio Theatre, 357 W. 36th St, NYC.

JULY 27, 28 & AUGUST 2, 3, 4 @ 7:00PM. Tickets are on sale now and available at www.TheShrillCollective.com and https://www.artful.ly/the-shrill-collective.

The Shrill Collective seeks to effect civic, social, and economic change through the union of activism and performing arts by supporting artists who are women, non binary, and other marginalized genders. We believe that by giving women and non-binary artists an elevated platform to share their unique artistic perspective and experiences, we can transform a pipeline that has traditionally favored cis male storytelling. By pairing these stories with local changemaking organizations, we hope to advance social, political, and economic justice and equity. Women’s Voices.