Following record-breaking runs at New York Theatre Workshop and Canada’s Citadel Theatre, Hadestown comes to the National Theatre prior to Broadway.
In the warmth of summertime, songwriter Orpheus and his muse Eurydice are living it up and falling in love. But as winter approaches, reality sets in: these young dreamers can’t survive on songs alone. Tempted by the promise of plenty, Eurydice is lured to the depths of industrial Hadestown. On a quest to save her, Orpheus journeys to the underworld where their trust in each other is put to a final test.
Celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and director Rachel Chavkin have transformed Mitchell’s acclaimed concept album into a genre-defying new musical that mixes modern American folk music with vintage New Orleans jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.
The cast stars Reeve Carney as Orpheus, Eva Noblezada as Eurydice, André De Shields as Hermes, Amber Gray as Persephone and Patrick Page as Hades. The cast also includes Sharif Afifi, Rosie Fletcher, Beth Hinton-Lever, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Seyi Omooba, Gloria Onitiri, Patrick Page, Aiesha Pease, Joseph Prouse, Jordan Shaw and Shaq Taylor.
Directed by Rachel Chavkin, with set design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Michael Krass, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design byNevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, choreography by David Neumann, musical direction and vocal arrangements by Liam Robinson, orchestrations and arrangements by Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, with Ken Cerniglia as dramaturg.
Roundabout Theatre Company is presenting the world premiere production of Usual Girls by Ming Peiffer, directed by Tyne Rafaeli, October 11 – December 9.
The cast includes Sofia Black-D’Elia as “Sasha / Older Girl 2 / KKG Sister,” Abby Corrigan as “Anna,” Ali Rose Dachis as “Marina / Older Girl #3,” Midori Francis as “Kyeoung,” Karl Kenzler as “Father,” Jennifer Lim as “Woman,” Ryann Redmond as “Older Girl / KKG Sister,”Nicole Rodenburg as “Lindsay,” and Raviv Ullman as “Rory.”
Usual Girls begins preview performances Off-Broadway on Thursday, October 11, 2018 and opens officially on Monday, November 5, 2018 at the Black Box Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street). This is a limited engagement through Sunday, December 9, 2018.
How do girls grow up? Quickly, painfully, wondrously. On an elementary school playground, a boy threatens to tell on the girls for swearing – unless one of them kisses him. But just before lips can touch, Kyeoung tackles the boy to the ground. The victory is short-lived. Over the coming years, Kyeoung’s stories get stranger, funnier, more harrowing – and more familiar. This hilarious, explicit gut-punch of a play bursts with playwright Ming Peiffer’s bold, explosive voice.
The creative team includes: Arnulfo Maldonado (Sets), Ásta Hostetter (Costumes), Jen Schriever (Lighting) and Tei Blow (Sound).
All tickets for Usual Girls are $25. General Admission tickets and are available by calling 212.719.1300, online at roundabouttheatre.org, in person at any Roundabout box office: American Airlines Theatre Box office (227 West 42nd Street); The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 W 46th Street) and Studio 54 (254 West 54th Street). For groups of 10 or more please call 212-719-9393 x 365 or email@example.com.
Usual Girls plays Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 7:00PM with Saturday matinees at 1:30PM and Sunday matinees at 2:00PM.
SOFIA BLACK-D’ELIA (Sasha, Older Girl 2, KKG Sister) is thrilled to be making her New York stage debut with Roundabout Theatre Company. Recent TV credits include: FOX’S comedy “The Mick” and HBO’s Emmy-nominated mini-series “The Night Of.” Other TV credits include: “Gossip Girl” and “Skins.” Film credits include: Paramount’s Ben Hur and Project Almanac, and Blumhouse’s Viral. Thank you Tyne and Ming!
ABBY CORRIGAN (Anna) is thrilled to make her off Broadway debut with the Usual Girls family. Stage: Medium Alison, in Fun Home (Broadway National Tour, Helen Hayes Award), Apostle/Ensemble in Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE!, Emcee in Cabaret, Cassie in A Chorus Line(TCS); Fiona in Shrek (2014 Blumey Award), Daniela in In the Heights, Peter in Peter Pan, Maureen in Rent (NWSA); Natalie in Next to Normal (QCTC); Sally in The Day They Shot John Lennon(C.A.S.T.). Film/TV: Headed South for Christmas (Painted Horse); A Smile as Big as the Moon (Hallmark); The Ultimate Life (Reelworks); “Homeland” (HBO); “Rectify” (Sundance); “Banshee” (Cinemax).
ALI ROSE DACHIS (Marina/Older Girl #3) is so pleased to be making her Roundabout debut! Most recently she was seen in Anna Zeigler’s world premiere of The Wanderers at The Old Globe. Ali has appeared on Broadway in Larry David’s Fish In The Dark. New York and off-Broadway credits include: The Wedge Horse (Fault Line Theatre), Hamlet (The Factory), Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, As You Like It (Backroom Shakespeare), The Awesome 80s Prom, and Exit 27. Ali has appeared regionally in The Edge Of Our Bodies, Circle Mirror Transformation, Vanya &Sonia &Masha &Spike, A MidsummerNight’s Dream, The Great Gatsby, and others (the Guthrie theater), Leveling Up (Cincinnati Playhouse), Gaslight (Barrington Stage), Pride and Prejudice (Baltimore Center Stage), Romeo And Juliet (Southwest Shakespeare). Her film and Television credits include: Unicornland, Match Perfect, The Magnificent Eve, The Last Breath and Fatal Encounters. Ali received her B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota Guthrie Actor Training Program. Ali is a proud volunteer with Artist’s Striving To End Poverty.
MIDORI FRANCIS (Kyeoung). At age 6, Midori Francis dreamed of playing “Annie” on Broadway. That didn’t happen but the seed was planted. Midori joined the local community theatre scene in New Jersey and when cast in a production of Titanic at 10 years old, she realized that acting was something more than an after-school activity. Since earning her BFA in Theatre from Rutgers, Francis has earned accolades for her roles in the award-winning play, The Wolves (LCT), directed by Lila Neuberger, which garnered her Obie and Drama Desk Awards for Best Ensemble, and Connected (59E59), for which she won NYIT Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress. This fall Midori stars as “Kyeoung” in the Roundabout Underground world premiere production of Ming Peiffer’s Usual Girls, directed by Tyne Rafaeli. The new drama, which follows the story of Kyeoung—from a schoolyard tackle and beyond—is billed as a “hilarious, explicit gut-punch of a play.” Midori is currently shooting the Universal Pictures comedy, Good Boys, produced by Seth Rogen and directed by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, to be released in 2019. Earlier this year, Midori appeared in the epically female-centric, Ocean’s Eight. Midori’s TV resume includes episodes of “Gotham,” “Divorced,” and “Younger.” Her regional theatre work encompasses roles ranging from “Molly” in Peter and the Starcatcher (Virginia Stage Co.) to “Nina” in Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike (Syracuse Stage). Midori lives in Brooklyn and runs daily.
KARL KENZLER (Father). Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof, You Can’t Take It with You, Mary Poppins, Twelve Angry Men, The Caretaker, Dinner at Eight, The Heiress. NY Theatre: Three Wise Guys and Beyond Therapy (TACT), Clinton: The Musical! (NYMF), Peter & The Starcatcher(NYTW), Hamlet and The Tempest (CSC), Spinning Into Butter (LCT), Back From The Front(Working Theater). Regional theater includes: Williamstown, Barrington Stage, Guthrie, Shakespeare Theater, Old Globe. TV includes: “Madam Secretary,” “Suits,” “Mister Robot,” “House of Cards” (recurring), “Law & Order: SVU” (recurring), “Person of Interest,” “Made in Jersey,” “The Good Wife,” “Fringe,” “Rescue Me,” Law & Order” and “Darwin” (DarwinTheSeries.com). Training: UE (BFA), NYU (MFA). KarlKenzler.com
JENNIFER LIM (Woman). BWAY: Chinglish (Theater World Award, IASNY Trophy for Excellence & Drama Desk Nom). NYC: Caught (PlayCo), Tumacho (Clubbed Thumb), The World Of Extreme Happiness (MTC), The Urban Retreat (Public), The Most Deserving (Women’s Project), Golden Child (Signature), Vengeance Can Wait (P.S.122), and YJLee’s Songs of The Dragons Flying to Heaven (HERE Arts & European Tour). TV/FILM: Jessica Jones, Instinct,High Maintenance,Hell on Wheels,Person of Interest, Elementary, Good Wife, Blue Bloods,Law & Order (original/SVU and Criminal Intent), The Savages, and 27 Dresses. Upcoming: Impossible Monsters. MFA: Yale School of Drama. Jenniferlimonline.com
RYANN REDMOND (Older Girl/KKG Sister). Broadway: Escape to Margaritaville, If/Then, Bring It On. TV: “Younger.” Film: “Double Exposure.” Off-Broadway: Gigantic, Marvelous Wonderettes. National Tour: Escape to Margaritaville, Bring It On. Regional: How to Succeed (TUTS), Hairspray (MUNY), Kiss Me Kate (Bay Street Theatre). Love to Mom, Dad, John, KMR, Kyle, Annette, Andrew, Craig and the Berlins. Proud faculty member of the Broadway Dreams Foundation. Thank you to Tyne, Ming, and the entire Roundabout team for bringing me along! NYU (CAP21). Twitter/Instagram: @ryannreds www.ryannredmond.com
NICOLE RODENBURG (Lindsay). Off-Broadway: Annie Baker’s The Antipodes (Signature Theatre) and The Flick (Barrow Street); The Winter’s Tale (TFANA). Multiple regional credits including Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Westport Country Playhouse); Venus in Fur (Alley Theatre); Cherie in Bus Stop (Huntington), and the world premieres of The Whale (Denver Center) and Slasher (Humana). TV/Film: “Inside Amy Schumer”, “The Shivering Truth” (Comedy Central); “Amish Witches” (Lifetime); What Children Do, Good News for Modern Man, Tic. Nicole is directing her first feature film Glob Lessons, which she also co-wrote, this winter in her home state of North Dakota. BFA: University of MN/Guthrie Theatre Actor Training Program.
RAVIV ULLMAN (Rory) is honored to be making his Roundabout debut at his favorite underground theater. Theater: Sticks & Bones, Russian Transport (New Group), Loneliness of The Long Distance Runner (Atlantic Theater), Bad Guys (Second Stage), Dead End (Ahmanson), Bad Jews (Geffen), Choice (Huntington), Deathtrap (Bucks County). TV credits include “Broad City,” “Phil of The Future,” “Strangers,” “Rita Rocks,” “Law & Order SVU/CI,” “Criminal Minds,” “Cold Case,” “Big Love,” “House.” His directorial documentary film debut Standing Ground is currently in post production.
MING PEIFFER (Playwright) is a playwright and screenwriter from Columbus, Ohio and a member of the Obie Award-winning playwriting group Youngblood. Her play Usual Girls will be produced at the Roundabout Underground and her work has been developed and/or presented by New York Theatre Workshop, Roundabout Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, Ensemble Studio Theater, HERE Arts Center, The Flea, The Wild Project, New Ohio, Soho Playhouse, The Gene Frankel Theater, C.O.W., Theater for the New City, FringeNYC, Horsetrade Theater, Yangtze Repertory, among others. Awards/fellowships include: NYTW 2050 Fellowship, The Kennedy Center’s Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Award Recipient (i wrote on ur wall and now i regret it), The Relentless Award Honorable Mention (Usual Girls), The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center NPC Finalist (Usual Girls), Playwright’s Realm Fellowship Semi-Finalist, Princess Grace Award Semi-Finalist (i wrote on ur wall and now i regret it), Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award Finalist. Ming was a Guest Artist at The Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and a 2012-2013 Member of NPTC’s Women’s Work Project. She has training from both the Stella Adler School of Acting and the Shanghai Theatre Academy where she lived abroad studying Traditional Peking Opera. She studied poetry at The New School and holds a BA with Honors in both Theater Arts and Mandarin Chinese from Colgate University. MFA: Columbia University (’16). In TV/Film, Ming is a staff writer on the Hulu Series “Locke & Key,” and is currently developing her own series with Color Force and F/X. Additionally, she is adapting Weike Wang’s Chemistry into a film for Amazon.
TYNE RAFAELI (Director) is a New York based director of new plays, classics and musicals. Recent productions include the world premiere of Michael Yates Crowley’s The Rape of the Sabine Women, By Grace B. Matthias with Playwright’s Realm, the world premiere of Anna Ziegler’s Actually at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles (Ovation nominated), and the New York premiere of In a Word by Lauren Yee. Her work has also been seen at: Classic Stage Company, The Geffen Playhouse, Playwright’s Realm, Cal Shakes, Roundabout Theatre Company, The Atlantic Theatre, Two River, PlayMakers Rep, New York Stage & Film, Goodspeed, Juilliard, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Great Lakes Shakespeare, American Players Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival and the O’Neill Playwright’s Conference among others. Upcoming productions include Ironbound by Martyna Majok at The Geffen Playhouse and The Heart of Robin Hood by David Farr at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Tyne is a 2016-18 Time Warner Directing Fellow at the Women’s Project Theatre and received the 2014 SDC Sir John Gielgud Fellowship for Classic Direction. She trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and Columbia University.
The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust will present Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks with the 2018 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the 11th Annual “Mimi” Awards on Monday, December 3, 2018 at Lincoln Center Theater. The “Mimi” Awards are presented annually to honor the outstanding artistry and accomplishments of some of the most gifted American Playwrights.
“What an honor! What a joy! Thank you for your encouragement and support! The Steinberg Awards honor the most awesome playwrights. I’m thrilled to be included,” said Suzan-Lori Parks.
The Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award is presented biennially to honor and encourage the artistic excellence and achievement of an American playwright whose body of work has made significant contributions to the American theatre. The recipient of the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award receives a cash award of $200,000.
“The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust is honored to present the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award to Suzan-Lori Parks. We could not be prouder to acknowledge her incredible body of work,” Steinberg board member Jim Steinberg, said.
“Suzan-Lori Parks is one of the great writers of our time. Her fearless experimentation, her refusal to be confined by any categories or boundaries, her dazzling linguistic prowess and her joyous embrace of the struggle have made her an inspiration and role model for countless other artists. Her great subject is freedom, a freedom exemplified in her forms and her content,” said Advisory Committee Member, Oskar Eustis. “She has also defied Fitzgerald’s dictum that American artists have no second acts: in her maturity she is writing with a boldness and originality that amazes. She is a most fitting recipient of the Steinberg Award.”
“Suzan-Lori Parks is a great American artist. When she burst onto the scene in 1989 with her first play in New York, we all had the sense that a brilliant new talent had arrived. Ever since, her prolific career has flourished and dazzled us all,” said Advisory Committee Member, Lynne Meadow. “Ms. Parks has created an extraordinary and varied body of work-original, provocative, brilliantly theatrical works-that have defined and illuminated two of the most important topics of our age: race and gender. Her voice is poetic, intellectual, and primal-provocative, theatrical, and fearless. I am thrilled that she is the 2018 recipient of the Steinberg Award.”
“Who am I to comment on the genius of Suzan-Lori Parks or her contributions to the American theater? When I embarked on a career in the theater, she was already canonical. Her plays, and her writing about playwriting, furnished me with some of my first dramaturgical primers; she was one of a few writers who shook up and cracked open my sense of the potential of the form and helped build my vocabulary-as she has done for so many theater-makers,” said Sarah Lunnie. “The 365 project was a heroic affirmation of democracy and of the value of storytelling in our public life. And before it was that, it was a heroic affirmation of a disciplined but patient artistic practice. She continues to write with unparalleled incisiveness and vision. How fortunate we are to have her in our midst.”
Suzan-Lori Parks was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next New Wave,” and is the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Topdog/Underdog. She is a MacArthur “Genius Grant” prize recipient and she’s also received The Gish Prize for Excellence in the Arts. Broadway credits include: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess which was awarded the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and Topdog/Underdog, which starred Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def and was directed by George C. Wolfe. The play received a Tony Nomination and recently was named by the New York Times as the most important American play within the last 25 years. Other plays include: In The Blood (Pulitzer Prize finalist), Fucking A, The Death of The Last Black Man In The Whole Entire World aka The Negro Book Of The Dead and more recently Father Comes Home From The Wars (parts 1,2&3) (Pulitzer Prize Finalist). In 2003 Parks wrote a play a day culminating in 365 Days/365 Plays; the plays were produced globally in over 700 theatres, which, at the time, was said to be the largest theatrical grass-roots undertaking of its kind. More recently, to reflect on the current presidential administration Parks wrote 100 Plays For The First Hundred Days. Parks has authored a novel: Getting Mother’s Body which is published by Random House. Her screenplays include Girl6 (directed by Spike Lee); Their Eyes Were Watching God (produced by Oprah Winfrey); Anemone Me (produced by Christine Vachon and Todd Haynes) and she’s got two new screenplays in production: an adaptation of Richard Wright’s Native Son, (directed by Rashid Johnson) and The United States vs Billie Holiday, (directed by Lee Daniels.) She’s at work on a stage-musical adaptation of the film The Harder They Come and two new stage plays, one of them: White Noise which will receive its world premiere this coming season and will be directed by Oskar Eustis. Parks is The Public Theater’s Master Writer Chair, where she performs Watch Me Work, a weekly writing class free of charge and open to all. She also writes songs and fronts her band: Suzan-Lori Parks & The Band.
Along with a monetary award, playwrights receive “The Mimi,” a statuette designed by David Rockwell, Tony Award-nominated scenic designer and architect.
In 2008, the Board of Directors created an advisory committee of prominent theater professionals to establish the awards criteria, nominate individual candidates and select each recipient.
The 2018 Advisory Committee is comprised of Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, Public Theatre; Sarah Lunnie, Literary Director, Playwrights Horizons; Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director, Manhattan Theatre Club; Hana S. Sharif, Associate Artistic Director, Baltimore Center Stage; Molly Smith, Artistic Director, Arena Stage; Kent Thompson, Theatre Director, Producer and Author; and Les Waters, Theatre Director.
The Board of Directors of The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust is made up of Carole A. Krumland, James D. Steinberg, Michael A. Steinberg, Seth M. Weingarten, and William D. Zabel.
Classic Stage Company is presenting The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Bertolt Brecht’s unsettlingly timeless work, which kicks off CSC’s 2018-2019 season on October 30, with rehearsals beginning this week. Directed by John Doyle, this comical yet disturbing play from one of the greatest political satirists of all time follows a Depression-era Chicago mobster, Arturo Ui, who, with the help of his henchmen, manipulates and murders his way to totalitarian rule of the cauliflower trade. Society, of course, fails to act upon his “resistible rise.”
Four-time Tony Award nominee and “Law and Order: SVU” alum Raúl Esparza plays the Al Capone-like, Hitler-paralleling Arturo Ui in this production. Joining him is a talented cast that includes George Abud (CSC: Nathan The Wise, Peer Gynt, Allegro; Broadway: The Band’s Visit), Eddie Cooper (Off-Broadway: Atlantic Theater Company’s This Ain’t No Disco; TV: “Forever,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Banshee,” “The Night Of”),Tony nominee Elizabeth A. Davis (CSC: Caucasian Chalk Circle, Allegro; Broadway: Once; TV: “Law & Order: SVU,” “Blue Bloods,”), Christopher Gurr (Broadway: Cats, Tuck Everlasting, Kinky Boots, Amazing Grace, All the Way; National Tours: Memphis, Monty Python’s Spamalot), Omozé Idehenre (Her Portmanteau at the Boston Court Theater, Good Grief at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, Caucasian Chalk Circle at ACT; Film: On the Road), Mahira Kakkar (Henry VI at NAATCO and The Winter’s Tale at TFANA, TV: “Friends From College,” “Blacklist,” “The Big C”),and Thom Sesma (CSC: Pacific Overtures; Broadway: The Times They are A-Changin’, Man of La Mancha; TV: “The Good Wife,” “Madam Secretary,” “Jessica Jones”).
The creative team includes Anne Hould-Ward (Costume Design), Jane Cox and Tess James (Lighting Design), Matt Stine (Sound Design), Bernita Robinson (Production Stage Manager) and Jessica Fleischman (Assistant Stage Manager).
John Doyle says of Arturo Ui, “Everyday I read the play, I think, ‘I hear these words on CNN as I read them on the page.’ The play will be falling right around the midterm elections, and it’s fitting that it reminds us of the choices that are available to us in relation to the way the world can go. That really is at the foundation of what classical theater says. Classic plays have politics at their heart-you take a play like Richard III or the Scottish Play-they’re warnings. And there’s a warning in Arturo Ui. This is a time for theater to say something; if we’re not screaming and shouting now, when are we ever going to do it?”
Brecht wrote Arturo Ui in 1941, while in exile from Nazi Germany, in Finland. During that time, he was awaiting his U.S. visa, and thereby imagined a vision of totalitarianism fit for America, and the American stage. (Though the play, ultimately, was never performed until 1958 in Germany, after Brecht’s death.) In Arturo Ui, Brecht recast and reframed the fascism whose roots he had experienced firsthand, before leaving Germany for fear of persecution for his politically scalding works in 1933. Within a make-believe, vaudevillian portrayal of American mafia culture, the narrative of Arturo Ui is written to meticulously parallel events and individuals that brought the Third Reich to power, and led them to overtake their neighbors.
Though this is a highly contemporary work in the vast history of theater canon, Arturo Ui has a classical air, its “epic theatre” style emblematic of Classic Stage Company’s work. Written largely in verse, Brecht’s play nods to Richard III, speaking to the ubiquity of violent authority through time-while foreshadowing its potential for reemergence any time in the present and future. Before directing Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle in 2010, Doyle’s acclaimed style-often minimal and anti-naturalist, highlighting ensemble casts, making visible the act of performance-was noted for having already deeply incorporated Brechtian qualities. With the democratic ethos and introspection-inducing nature of Brecht’s and Doyle’s theater-making, the production takes to heart our ability to resist violent power structures.
Performances of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui take place at Classic Stage Company (136 E 13th St, New York), with previews beginning Tuesday, October 30, 2018. The production opens Wednesday, November 14, 2018, and closes Saturday, December 22. Performance times are Tues.-Thurs. at 7pm, Fri.-Sat. at 8pm, and Sat.-Sun. at 2pm.
There will be no Saturday matinee on the first Saturday, November 3, 2018. A student matinee scheduled for Wednesday, November 29, 2018. There will be no performances on Thursday, November 22, 2018 or Friday, November 23, 2018 due to Thanksgiving.
Tickets are currently on sale to members. Members receive the best prices, flexibility, exclusive benefits, and invitations to special events throughout the season. Memberships begin at $50 ($25 for Students). For more information visit classicstage.org or call 212.677.4210.
Single tickets ($75 previews, $80 post opening, $125 prime) are currently on sale, and can be purchased at classicstage.org or 212-352-3101(or toll free 866-811-411).
About the Cast
George Abud (Clark) is a proud Arab-American actor. CSC: Nathan The Wise (opposite F. Murray Abraham), Peer Gynt (opposite Gabriel Ebert), Allegro (dir. John Doyle). Broadway: The Band’s Visit starring Katrina Lenk & Tony Shalhoub (OBC Recording), The Visit starring Chita Rivera & Roger Rees (OBC Recording). Off-Broadway: The Band’s Visit (Atlantic Theater Company, dir. David Cromer). International: The New Prince with Barbara Walsh, Marc Kudisch & Paulo Szot (Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam). Regional: Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Geva Theatre Center), Fiddler on the Roof (Human Race Theatre). Please consider joining George in supporting these incredible organizations: anera.org, sams-usa.net, maketheroadny.org.
Eddie Cooper (Roma) Atlantic Theater Company: This Ain’t No Disco (The D.A.). Bucks County Playhouse: The New World (Miles Standish). Encores! Off Center: Assassins; God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (Jerome); and Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey II); Two Rivers: All-male A Funny Thing Happened… (Domina). TV: “Delco Proper”, “Forever”, “Mozart In The Jungle”, recurring on Cinemax’s “Banshee” as Fat Au and HBO’s Emmy nominated “The Night Of”. Proud graduate of Laguardia High School & Ithaca College. Big thanks to my family, and the team at Judy Boals Inc, and Ivy Rock Management. @MrEddieCooper
Elizabeth A. Davis (Giri) CSC: Caucasian Chalk Circle, Allegro (Drama Desk Nom; Dir John Doyle). Broadway: Once (Tony Award Nom; Dir John Tiffany). Select Off-Broadway: My Name’s Not Indian Joe (Book, Music, Lyrics; Director Don Scardino), King Lear, Zorba! (City Center Encores), Four Last Things (American Globe Theatre), Dust Can’t Kill Me (NYMF Award; Dir. Srda Vasiljevic) 39 Steps (New World Stages). Select Regional: Rain (The Old Globe), The Devil’s Disciple, The Misanthrope (STNJ), Once (American Repertory Theatre) Streetcar Named Desire (The Cleveland Playhouse). Film: Wisdom Tooth, Trauma Is A Time Machine, Blur Circle. TV: “L&O SVU,” “Blue Bloods,” “Jim Gaffigan Show, ” “Fringe.” BFA, MFA.
Raúl Esparza (Arturo Ui) is a Cuban-American actor, who has received Tony nominations for his performances in Broadway productions of Taboo, Company, Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming, and David Mamet’s Speed The Plow. Other Broadway credits include the revival of The Rocky Horror Show, and the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He recently served as an actor and creative consultant for Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s second Main Stage Powerhouse production of The Waves, a musical adaptation of the novel by Virginia Woolf. He is known for his roles in TV series such as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Hannibal,” “Bojack Horseman,” and “The Path,” and in film as a voice artist in the Oscar-nominated Twentieth Century Fox animated feature Ferdinand, as well as the 2010 horror thriller, My Soul to Take.
Christopher Gurr (Dogsborough) Broadway: Cats (dir. Trevor Nunn, chor. Andy Blankenbuehler), Tuck Everlasting, Kinky Boots, Amazing Grace, and All The Way with Bryan Cranston. National Tours: Memphis (dir. Christopher Ashley), Monty Python’s Spamalot (dir. Mike Nichols). Regional: The Sting (Paper Mill), Titanic (Pittsburgh CLO), Copenhagen, 1776, Twelve Angry Men (Geva), Tommy, Oklahoma! (Berkshire Theatre Festival), The Lion in Winter (Indiana Rep), The Drowsy Chaperone (Human Race). Television: “Madame Secretary.” Guest Artist/Educator at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Webster University, St. Louis, and Geva Theatre, Rochester, NY. Proud union member: Actors’ Equity, SAG/AFTRA, and Stage Directors & Choreographers Society. ChristopherGurr.com
Omozé Idehenre (Mrs. Dullfleet) Her Portmanteau (Boston Court Theater), Good Grief (Kirk Douglas), Runboyrun (Magic Theatre), Gem of the Ocean, The Convert, Seven Guitars(Marin Theatre Company), The Comedy of Errors and Richard III (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The Winter’s Tale, Spunk, Macbeth (California Shakespeare Company), Clybourne Park, Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Scorched, A Doll’s House, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (American Conservatory Theater). Film: On the Road. Education: MFA, The American Conservatory Theater and The Groundlings.
Mahira Kakkar (Flake / Dockdaisy) was born in Kolkata, India. Selected theater: Henry VI (NAATCO), The Winter’s Tale (TFANA), The Importance of Being Earnest (Two River), Monsoon Wedding with Mira Nair, Miss Witherspoon and Vanya, Sonia… with Christopher Durang, Clive with Ethan Hawke. Film/TV: Hank and Asha (Slamdance favorite, Best Actress Napa Film Festival, Best Actress Wild Rose Film Festival), Hechki, Bite Me, “Friends From College”, “Law and Order”, “Louie”, “Odd Mom Out”, “Blacklist”, “Blue Bloods”, “The Big C.” Training: Juilliard. Website: mahirakakkar.com
Thom Sesma (Givola) CSC: Pacific Overtures (Lortel nom., Featured Actor, Musical). Broadway/National Tours: The Times They Are-A Changin’, Lion King, Miss Saigon, Titanic, Man of La Mancha (2002 revival), Face Value, Search and Destroy, Nick & Nora. Off-Broadway: Sweeney Todd (Barrow Street Theatre), Discord (Primary Stages), Awake and Sing! (NAATCO/Public Theatre), Othello (Public Theatre/NYSF), Cymbeline (NYSF). Regional: McCarter Theatre, Yale Rep, Arena Stage, Centre Stage, Old Globe, Cincinnati Playhouse, Signature Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse and more. Recent television: “Instinct,” “The Good Wife,” “Madam Secretary,” “Person of Interest,” “Jessica Jones,” “Gotham.” Connect with Thom via Twitter: @ThomSesmaNYC, Instagram: @thsesma.
About the Creative Team
John Doyle (Director) first joined CSC in 2013 as Associate Director, and became Artistic Director in 2016. He has directed productions of Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures (2017) and Passion (2013, Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Allegro (2014, Drama League Nomination, Best Revival of a Musical), as well as Dead Poets Society (2016), Peer Gynt (2016), and As You Like It (2017).
Additional theater in the U.S. includes: The Color Purple (Tony Award, Best Revival of a Musical; Drama Desk Award, Best Director of a Musical), Sweeney Todd (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, Best Director of a Musical; Drama Desk Nomination Outstanding Set Design of a Musical), Company (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Awards Best Musical Revival; Tony and Drama Desk Nominations, Outstanding Director of a Musical), A Catered Affair (Drama League Award, Best Musical Production; Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical), The Visit (Tony Nomination, Best Musical; Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical), Ten Cents a Dance (Williamstown/ McCarter), The Exorcist (The Geffen, LA), Road Show (Public Theater/Menier Chocolate Factory), Where’s Charlie? and Irma La Douce (Encores!), Wings (Second Stage), A Bed and a Chair (City Center), Kiss Me Kate (Stratford), Caucasian Chalk Circle (ACT), Merrily We Roll Along and Three Sisters (Cincinnati).
In the U.K., John Doyle has been Artistic Director of four regional theaters: The Worcester Swan, The Cheltenham Everyman, The Liverpool Everyman, The York Theatre Royal, and was also Associate Director of the Watermill Theatre, Newbury. During these residencies, he directed numerous productions of new and classic works. Notable credits include: Female Parts, Sweeney Todd, Gondoliers, Mack and Mabel (West End), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre), Oklahoma! (Chichester), Amadeus (Wilton’s Music Hall), The Millenium Cylce of Mystery Plays (London), Carmen, Fiddler on the Roof (Watermill), The War of the Roses, The Madness of George III (York), The White Devil, Othello, Candide (Liverpool). He is co-author of Shakespeare For Dummies.
Ann Hould-Ward (Costume Designer) CSC: Passion, Allegro, Peer Gynt, Dead Poets Society, Pacific Overtures, As You Like It, Fire and Air. Select Broadway: The Color Purple, The Visit, The People in the Picture, A Free Man of Color (Drama Desk nom.), A Catered Affair (Drama Desk nom.), Beauty and the Beast (Tony Award), Into the Woods (Tony and Drama Desk noms), Falsettos, Sunday in the Park With George (Tony and Drama Desk noms), Saint Joan, Little Me. Other Off-Broadway: Notes from the Field, The Blue Flower, Russian Transport, Road Show, Lobster Alice, Cymbeline. Ms. Hould-Ward’s work can be seen in over 35 international companies of Beauty and the Beast, and her other designs are featured in shows all over the world. More than 100 regional theater credits. Recipient of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Patricia Zipprodt Award.
Jane Cox (Lighting Designer) CSC: Pacific Overtures, Peer Gynt, Allegro, Passion and Winter’s Tale. Broadway: Jitney (Tony nom.); Amelie, Color Purple (Drama Desk nom.); Machinal (Tony and Drama Desk nom); All the Way; Come Back, Little Sheba; Picnic. Jane is a member of theMonica Bill Barnes Dance Company, has a long collaboration with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and is the director of the theater program at Princeton University.
Tess James (Lighting Designer) is a freelance Lighting Designer and Associate based in New York. Her recent projects as a designer include Roe at Asolo Rep and as an associate designer include Soft Power at The Curran Theatre and The Public Theatre’s Othello; Throughout her career she has working with a array of amazing intuitions including BAM, New York City Center and the Sydney Opera House. She is currently an artist in residence at Princeton University.
Matt Stine (Sound Designer) Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include: Sweeney Todd (Sound Design, Barrow Street Theatre), The Liar (Sound Design, Classic Stage Company ), A Christmas Carol (Music Producer, McCarter Theater), Dead Poets Society (Sound Design, Classic Stage Company), The Clearing (Sound Designer, 59E59), The Black Crook (Sound Design, Abrons Art Center), Nathan The Wise (Sound Design, Classic Stage Company), Misery (Music Producer, Broadway), Mother Courage And Her Children (Sound Design, Classic Stage Company), The Tempest (Music Producer, Delacorte Theater), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Music Supervisor, Delacorte Theater) 27sound.com
Bernita Robinson (Production Stage Manager) is very happy to return to CSC with this wonderful production. Previous CSC Productions: PSM for Carmen Jones. Broadway credits include Ragtime(original) Thurgood, Man of La Mancha (revival), A Moon for the Misbegotten (revival), Aida, Beauty and the Beast among others. Regional theatre credits include Alabama Shakespeare, Pioneer Theater, Kansas City Rep and Casa Manana – productions of Ring of Fire, A Few Good Men, Evita and the world premiere of Roof of the World. Off-Broadway productions at Signature, Playwrights Horizons, The York, among others. Member of AEA National Council.
Jessica Fleischman (Assistant Stage Manager) is excited to return to Classic Stage Company after working on Fire and Air this past winter! National Tours: Jersey Boys (2nd Nat’l). Off-Broadway: Jersey Boys (New World Stages), Little Rock (Sheen Center), King Liz, The Other Thing (2ST), Red Eye of Love (Amas Musical Theatre), Normativity (NYMF). Regional: Where Storms Are Born (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Opera: Piramo e Tisbe (LOTNY). Jessica is a proud graduate of Penn State University. http://www.Jessica-Fleischman.com
The Public Theater is presenting the New York premiere of Wild Goose Dreams, written by Hansol Jung and directed by Tony Award nominee Leigh Silverman. After its initial run in Public Studio, and in a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse, this fascinating and unforgettable new play with music, will begin previews with a Free First Preview in The Public’s Martinson Hall on Tuesday, October 30. Wild Goose Dreams runs through Sunday, December 9, with an official press opening on Wednesday, November 14.
The complete cast of Wild Goose Dreams features Dan Domingues (Chorus), Lulu Fall (Digital Nanhee/Chorus), Kendyl Ito (Heejin/Chorus), Francis Jue (Father), Peter Kim (Guk Minsung), Michelle Krusiec (Yoo Nanhee), Jaygee Macapugay (Wife/Chorus), Joél Pérez (Digital Minsung/Chorus), Jamar Williams (Chorus), and Katrina Yaukey (Chorus).
Wild Goose Dreams returns to The Public after its initial run in Public Studio in a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse, where it had a critically-acclaimed run last season. Minsung is a “goose father,” a South Korean man whose wife and daughter have moved to America for a better life. Deeply lonely, he escapes onto the internet and meets Nanhee, a young defector forced to leave her family behind in North Korea. Amidst the endless noise of the modern world, where likes and shares have taken the place of love and touch, Minsung and Nanhee try their best to be real for each other. But after a lifetime of division and separation, is connection possible? Tony nominee Leigh Silverman directs this strikingly original play with music, about two people from two cultures forced to choose between family and freedom.
Wild Goose Dreams features scenic design by Clint Ramos, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by Keith Parham, sound design by Palmer Hefferan, composition by Paul Castles, Korean music composition by Jongbin Jung, movement direction by Yasmine Lee, and music supervision by Charity Wicks.
Hansol Jung (Playwright). Productions include Cardboard Piano (Actors Theater of Louisville), Among the Dead (Ma-Yi Theater), and No More Sad Things (Sideshow, Boise Contemporary). Commissions include National Theatre (UK); La Jolla Playhouse; Playwrights Horizons; Seattle Repertory; Ma-Yi Theater Company; Artists Repertory; and Play On! at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Fellowships and residencies include Royal Court, New York Theatre Workshop, Berkeley Repertory, MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, O’Neill Theater Center, Victory Gardens, and Page 73 Productions. Jung received a Whiting Award and Helen Merrill Award. Jung received her MFA from Yale School of Drama, and is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and Usual Suspects at NYTW.
Leigh Silverman (Director). Public Theater credits include The Outer Space, No Place to Go, In the Wake (also CTG/Berkeley, Obie Award, Lortel nomination), Yellow Face, and Well. Silverman’s Broadway credits include Lifespan of a Fact (Studio 54), Violet (Roundabout, Tony nomination), Chinglish, and Well. Recent credits include Soft Power by Jeanine Tesori/David Henry Hwang (Ahmanson Theater/Curran Theater) and Harry Clarke (Vineyard Theatre/Minetta Lane, Lortel nomination). Other credits include Sweet Charity (New Group); On the Exhale (Roundabout); All The Ways to Say I Love You (MCC); The Way We Get By (Second Stage); Tumacho (Clubbed Thumb); American Hero (Williamstown Theater Festival/Second Stage); Kung Fu and Golden Child (Signature Theatre); The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, The Call, and Go Back to Where You Are (Obie Award, Playwrights Horizons); and The Madrid (MTC). Encores credits include Really Rosie, The Wild Party, and Violet.
Dan Domingues (Chorus) has performed at The Public in Fidelis, The Great Immensity, and Let Me Ascertain You (Joe’s Pub). Off-Broadway credits include Rattlestick, Abingdon, BAM, 59E59, INTAR, Atlantic, and Cherry Lane. Select regional credits include Alley Theatre, Arena Stage, Guthrie, Goodman, NY Stage & Film, Hangar Theatre, Studio Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Kansas City Rep, Long Wharf, Florida Stage, Portland Stage, and George Street. His film credits include Run All Night, Future ’38, and In Stereo, and television credits include “West40s,” “Blacklist,” “Royal Pains,” and “Law & Order.” He received his MFA from A.R.T. and is an Associate Artist with The Civilians.
Lulu Fall (Digital Nanhee/Chorus). Broadway credits include Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 and Hair. Off-Broadway credits include Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; Pretty Filthy; Hadestown; and This Ain’t No Disco. She appeared in the national tour of Hair. Regional credits include The Who’s Tommy, Acid Queen (Denver Center); Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Capital Repertory Theatre); and Passing Strange (Studio Theatre). Select workshops include August Rush, 15 Minutes, and Annie Golden Bounty Hunter. Television credits include “Random Acts of Flyness” (HBO). Her featured music performances include Jazz Re:freshed (London) and American Songbook Program.
Kendyl Ito (Heejin/Chorus) performed in the national tour of Matilda. Regional credits include Soft Power (world premiere), A Chorus Line, Grease, Rent, Seussical, American Idiot, and Oliver. His concerts include 54 Sings Little Women, Music and Laughter, Samantha Spade, and Hatched.
Francis Jue (Father) has performed at The Public in Yellow Face, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Hamlet, Timon of Athens, Pericles, King Lear,A Winter’s Tale, A Language of Their Own, and Richard II. Broadway credits include Pacific Overtures, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and M. Butterfly. Off-Broadway credits include Kung Fu, Coraline, and Falsettoland. Regional credits include Soft Power; In the Next Room (or the vibrator play); Cabaret; King of the Yees; Tiger Style!; Miss Saigon; and Amadeus. Film and television credits include Joyful Noise, “Madam Secretary,” “Good Wife,” and “Law & Order: SVU.” He has received Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards.
Peter Kim (Guk Minsung) has appeared at The Public in Yellow Face. Broadway credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie and Off-Broadway credits include Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery (NAATCO), Kung Fu (Signature), The Golden Dragon (PlayCo), Maple and Vine (Playwrights Horizons), Year Zero (2ST), American Hwangap (PlayCo/Ma-Yi), and Sides (Ma-Yi). Film credits include Saturday Church, Margin Call, Sex and the City, and Hackers. Television credits include “After Forever,” “Chicago Med,” “Mercy,” and “Ugly Betty.” He is an associate producer at NAATCO and a lecturer at Princeton University. Kim is a recipient of the Lilah Kan Red Socks Award.
Michelle Krusiec (Yoo Nanhee). Regional credits include Chinglish (International Broadway tour, Berkeley Rep, South Coast Rep and Hong Kong Arts Festival). Krusiec wrote and performed the solo show Made in Taiwan (HBO Aspen Comedy Arts Festival, New York Asian American Theatre Festival, NY Fringe Festival, and Fringe Encores). Her workshop credits include King of Hell’s Palace (Goodman) and Kung Fu (Signature). Her selected film credits include The Invitation, Saving Face, and Far North, and selected television credits include “Supergirl,” “Hawaii-5-0,” and “Getting On.” She also wrote and directed Scenes from a Real Marriage. Krusiec received a Best Actress nomination for The Golden Horse Awards.
Jaygee Macapugay (Chorus/Wife) has appeared at The Public in Here Lies Love as Imelda Marcos and on Broadway in School of Rock. Her Off-Broadway credits include School of Rock (Gramercy); Hello, Dolly! (National Asian Artists Project); Imelda: A New Musical (Pan Asian Rep/East West Players); and Honor, The Rockae (Prospect Theatre). Regional credits include Soft Power (Ahmanson, Curran); The King and I (KC Starlight); Miss Saigon (MUNY, 5th Avenue, Casa Mañana); and Smokey Joe’s Café (Maltz Jupiter, Riverside). International credits include Where Elephants Weep. She is a USO singer.
JOÉL PÉREZ (Digital Minsung/Chorus) has appeared at The Public in Oedipus El Rey, As You Like It, and Fun Home (and Broadway). Off-Broadway credits include Sweet Charity (The New Group, Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical) and Raw Bacon from Poland (Abrons Art Center). Regional and tour credits include In the Heights (first national) and Stuck Elevator (A.C.T.). Pérez is an ensemble member of Broken Box Mime Theater. Television credits include “Jesus Christ Superstar Live!;” “Person of Interest;” “Odd Mom Out;” “The Big C;” and “The Outs.”
Jamar Williams (Chorus). Off-Broadway credits include The Hairy Ape (Park Ave Armory), The Death of The Last Black Man...(Signature Theater), and Invisible Thread (Second Stage). Regional credits include Passing Strange (Wilma Theatre); Burn All Night, Witness Uganda, The Black Clown (A.R.T.); The Cardboard Piano (Humana Fest); and Hairspray, The Piano Lesson (Santa Rosa Rep). Workshop and readings credits include Sundance Theater Lab (new musical by Jeanine Tesori, David Lindsay Abaire), Secret Soldiers (Marsha Norman/Zoe Sarnak, WTF), Director’s Lab 2016 (Lincoln Center), and tour credits include Theatre Works USA.
Katrina Yaukey (Chorus) has performed at The Public in Road Show. Her Broadway credits include Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; Cabaret (2014); War Horse; Billy Elliot; Company; and Cabaret (1998). Her tour credits include Billy Elliot, Sweeney Todd, Cabaret, and Victor/Victoria.
Full price tickets, starting at $55, 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 Theater Hall of Fame has announced its 2018 Inductees which include actors Rene Auberjonais, Christine Baranski, and Cicely Tyson; playwrights Maria Irene Fornes, David Henry Hwang, and Adrienne Kennedy; director Joe Mantello, and posthumously James Houghton.
The 48th Annual Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater will be presented on Monday evening, November 12 at the Gershwin Theatre. Three-time Tony Award nominee and Theater Hall of Fame inductee, Dana Ivey, will be the Mistress of Ceremonies.
Founded in 1971 by James M. Nederlander, Earl Blackwell and Gerard Oestriecher, the Theater Hall of Fame’s primary mission is to annually honor lifetime achievement in the American theatre. To be considered for the ballot, the theatre professional must have 25 years on Broadway and five major production credits or be an Off-Broadway or regional theatre founder or pioneer. The voters are United States theatre critics and drama editors.
Be More Chill will open on Broadway in 2019. After concluding its sold-out 10-week off-Broadway engagement on September 30, Be More Chill will begin performances at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre (149 West 45th Street) on Wednesday, February 13 at 8PM. The official opening night is Sunday evening, March 10. Tickets are now on sale at Telecharge.com, (212) 239-6200 or (800) 447-7400, and at the Lyceum Theatre box office. Group Sales are available through Broadway Inbound, (866) 302-0995, groups@BroadwayInbound.com.
Be More Chill, features music and lyrics by Joe Iconis (NBC’s “Smash,” The Black Suits, Broadway Bounty Hunter) and a book by Joe Tracz (The Lightning Thief, Netflix’s “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”) based on the cult sensation novel by Ned Vizzini. Stephen Brackett (Buyer & Cellar) directs and Chase Brock (HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark)choreographs.
“It’s impossible to remain chill as we announce our Broadway opening later this season,” says Be More Chill‘s Tony-nominated lead producer Gerald Goehring. “With audiences traveling from around the country and around the world, we could not have been more thrilled with the outpouring of love we received during our New York premiere engagement off-Broadway. Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz have created a beautiful and universal musical that has inspired audiences throughout the summer and now the entire company cannot wait to bring the production to an even greater audience at The Lyceum in the new year.”
“Of course, a new musical is never done and a new production means another chance to upgrade,” say composer/lyricist Joe Iconis and book writer Joe Tracz. “Fans can expect that the show (like the Squip’s ever-changing wardrobe) will continue to evolve. This journey began at Two River Theatre in 2015 and we’re not done yet. So grab your Mountain Dew and your Player Two and come join us on Broadway. Everything about it is going to be wonderful.”
“There’s no feeling like watching audiences watch Be More Chill,” adds Joe Tracz. “Whether they come wearing a homemade Michael hoodie or knowing nothing but the title, whether they’ve discovered it via our cast album, Ned Vizzini’s brilliant novel, or word of mouth, I’ve been humbled to see the show bring so many people together to share in something deeply cathartic and cathartically joyful. Joe Iconis and I made this show for anyone who’s ever been a teenager, and it’s always been our dream to bring it to the widest audience possible. We’re thrilled that now means Broadway, and I personally can’t wait to watch many more audiences connect to Be More Chill.”
“The fact that I get to make my Broadway debut as a writer surrounded by so many long-time collaborators and beloved friends both on stage and behind the scenes is a literal dream come true,” says Joe Iconis. “Be More Chill has surprised me and Joe Tracz every step of the way and we can’t believe that our celebration of misfits, losers, and underdogs gets to take up residence on 45th Street.”
The New York premiere production of Be More Chill currently features Gerard Canonico (Spring Awakening, Groundhog Day) as Rich, Katlyn Carlson (Dirty Dancing, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin) as Chloe, Stephanie Hsu (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Christine,Tiffany Mann (Waitress, Jerry Springer the Opera) as Jenna, Lauren Marcus (The Humans at St. Louis Rep, Company at Barrington Stage) as Brooke, Will Roland (Dear Evan Hansen, The Black Suits) as Jeremy, George Salazar (tick tick BOOM!, Godspell, The Lightning Thief) as Michael, Britton Smith (Shuffle Along, After Midnight) as Jake, Jason Tam (NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” KPOP) as The Squip, and Jason SweetTooth Williams (Freaky Friday, Benny and Joon, Bloodsong of Love) as Jeremy’s Dad/Mr. Reyes. Cameron Bond (Finding Neverland), Troy Iwata (The Boy Who Danced on Air), and Talia Suskauer (Love in Hate Nation) are the company swings.
Be More Chill features scenic design by Tony Award-winner Beowulf Boritt (Come From Away), costume design by Bobby Frederick Tilley II (Lizzie Borden, Top Girls); lighting design by Tony Award-winner Tyler Micoleau (The Band’s Visit); sound design by Ryan Rumery (Fool For Love); projection design by Alex Basco Koch (Buyer & Cellar); wig and hair design by Dave Bova; musical direction by Emily Marshall; orchestrations by Charlie Rosen (Prince of Broadway, Honeymoon in Vegas); casting by Telsey + Company / Adam Caldwell, CSA & Rebecca Scholl, CSA; production stage management by Amanda Michaels (The Children, The Ballad of Little Jo). John Corker and Lisa Dozier King will serve as general managers for the Broadway run of Be More Chill.
The New York premiere production of Be More Chill currently plays through September 30 at The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street, NYC), presented by Gerald Goehring, Michael F. Mitri, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Marc David Levine, Marlene and Gary Cohen, 42nd.club, The Baruch Frankel Viertel Group, Alisa and Charlie Thorne, Jenny Niederhoffer, Chris Blasting/Simpson & Longthorne, Brad Blume/Gemini Theatrical, Jonathan Demar/Kim Vasquez, Ben Holtzman and Sammy Lopez, Koenigsberg/Federman/Adler, Ashlee Latimer and Jenna Ushkowitz, Jenn Maley and Cori Stolbun, Robert and Joan Rechnitz, Fred and Randi Sternfeld, YesBroadway Productions, in association with Two River Theater, Red Bank, NJ, which originally commissioned and produced the musical.
A hit with audiences and critics alike, The New York Times writes “Be More Chill is one of the most popular musicals in America.” The Wall Street Journal raves “you don’t have to be a millennial to revel in the spunky charms of Be More Chill. See it now if you can wrangle a ticket, because it’s going to hit big – deservedly so.” The New Yorker says “if you fed Dear Evan Hansen and Mean Girls to the Little Shop of Horrors plant, with a few Xbox games as a digestif, Be More Chill is probably what you would get. …Dynamic, jouncy, and as infectious as malware.” The Hollywood Reporter says “uproarious laughter …enjoyable, catchy, up-tempo numbers, so winning that it’s hard to resist,” and Vox calls Be More Chill “a sensation. … wildly adored …universal. … The audience was screaming at every song.”Variety writes “It’s one thing to be told that Be More Chill is a viral hit on the internet. It’s quite another to experience the hype live and in the room, where the audience explodes like it’s at a rock concert. …People have come from all around the country, if not all around the world to see it.”
What if popularity came in a pill? Would you take it, no questions asked? In Be More Chill, achieving that elusive “perfect life” is now possible thanks to some mysterious new technology-but it comes at a cost that’s not as easy to swallow. What could possibly go wrong? Blending the contemporary with retro sci-fi, this thrillingly exciting, comically subversive, and deeply felt new musical takes on the competing voices in all of our heads. And ultimately proves, there’s never been a better time in history to be yourself-especially if you’re a loser…geek…or whatever.
Before arriving in New York, Be More Chill had already amassed an unprecedented following across various online platforms, with millions of fans from Brazil to Japan to New Jersey sharing fan art, streaming the album (over 170 million streams to date), and talking about the show. In 2017, Tumblr ranked Be More Chill as the #2 most talked-about musical on their platform, following Hamilton.
Following up on the success of The 2015 Two River Theater cast recording, available from Ghostlight Records, the special edition Be More Chill original cast recording on vinyl is now available. The 2-disc package features new illustrative designs, green and red colored discs, and a 16-page, 12 x 12 booklet with lyrics, production photos and a new liner note from Joe Iconis.
Performance rights for Be More Chill are licensed by R&H Theatricals.
Mari Marchbanks announced today the 2018 recipients of the biennial Horton Foote Prize, named in honor of the late playwright, which recognizes excellence in American theater. The 2018 Prize for Outstanding New American Play, presented to a work produced in the 2016-17 or 2017-18 seasons, is awarded to Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. The 2018 Prize for Promising New American Play, presented to a previously unproduced work, is awarded to India Pale Ale by Jaclyn Backhaus.
Their achievements will be celebrated at a private reception on Monday, October 15th at The Lotos Club (5 East 66th Street, New York City). Ms. Yee and Ms. Backhaus will each be presented with $25,000 and a limited edition of Keith Carter’s iconic photograph of Horton Foote, which is found in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
The four judges of the 2018 Horton Foote Prize are two-time Tony Award-winning actress Judith Ivey, serving as Chair; New Georges Artistic Director and playwright Susan Bernfield (Sizzle Sizzle Fly, Tania in the Getaway Van, My Last Car); Two River Theater Artistic Director John Dias; and Ensemble Studio Theatre Director of New Play Development and Associate Director of the EST/Sloan Project Linsay Firman.
On behalf of her fellow judges, Chair Judith Ivey said, “The playwright is the beginning for all other theatre artists. The story, the characters, and the words give the rest of us the opportunity to share that story. It is truly an honor to have been part of this year’s Horton Foote Prize committee. We four all expressed our joy and passion for all six of the final choices. The playwrights all explored the human condition and social circumstances in such creative ways, always with a solid truth and desire to share the inhumanity each character was experiencing. Each one beautifully wrote of the challenges of todays’ world. Making a decision was very difficult for all four of us.”
Ms. Ivey continued, “Stylistically daring, Cambodian Rock Band deftly juxtaposes humor and rock music against the terrible truth of genocide. It is a beautiful story of love, forgiveness, and survival. Lauren Yee is a remarkable writer and Cambodian Rock Band is our choice for the 2018 Horton Foote Prize Award for Outstanding New American Play.”
Cambodian Rock Band, with music by Dengue Fever, premiered in March 2018 at South Coast Repertory and will open at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Victory Gardens in 2019. Part comedy, part mystery, part rock concert, Cambodian Rock Band is a thrilling story that toggles back and forth in time, as father and daughter face the music of the past. Neary, a young Cambodian American has found evidence that could finally put away the Khmer Rouge’s chief henchman. But her work is hardly done. When Dad shows up unannounced – his first return trip to Cambodia since fleeing 30 years ago – it’s clear this isn’t just a pleasure trip.
“India Pale Ale explores what it means to be a Sikh American in this day of racism and fear”, commented Ms. Ivey. “Gorgeously told through a Sikh family’s myth of a family member a century ago being a pirate and what that means in today’s world, framed the play as a modern-day fable rooted in stark reality at the same time. Jaclyn Backhaus has given us a story so richly poetic; it is ambitious and full of life. We are delighted to announce India Pale Ale as our selection for the 2018 Horton Foote Prize award for Promising New American Play.”
The world premiere of India Pale Ale at Manhattan Theatre Club will begin previews October 2, 2018 with opening night set for October 23, 2018 at New York City Center’s Stage I. In Ms. Backhaus’s poignant and smartly funny new play about legacy, life and longing, a tight-knit Punjabi community in a small Wisconsin town gathers to celebrate the wedding of a traditional family’s only son, just as their strong-willed daughter announces her plans to move away and open a bar. As they come together for feasts filled with singing and dancing, one generation’s cherished customs clash with another’s modern-day aspirations, and ghosts and pirates from the family’s past linger in everyone’s thoughts – until one sudden event changes everything.
Ms. Yee and Ms. Backhaus were nominated by South Coast Repertory and Manhattan Theatre Club, respectively. After a national reading committee narrowed the field of entries, ensuring that each script received multiple blind readings, a selection committee including Dramaturg, Tofte Lake Center Director, and University of Texas – Austin professor Liz Engelman, serving as Chair; Seattle-based stage director, producer, and educator Rosa Joshi; award-winning Seattle-based stage director Allison Narver; and American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Director of Dramaturgy and New Works Joy Meads; selected the top finalists to be presented to the judges.
Previous recipients of the Horton Foote Prize include Lynn Nottage for Ruined, Will Eno for Middletown, David Lindsay-Abaire for Good People, Naomi Wallace for The Liquid Plain, Dan O’Brien for The Body of an American, Suzan-Lori Parks for Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3), Jordan Harrison for Marjorie Prime, and Zayd Dohrn for The Profane.
The Horton Foote Prize is funded by the Greg and Mari Marchbanks Family Foundation of Austin, Texas.
Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, with music by Dengue Fever, premiered in March 2018 at South Coast Rep and will open at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Victory Gardens in 2019. Her play The Great Leap premiered this past season at Denver Center, Seattle Repertory, and Atlantic Theater with 2019 productions slated for the Guthrie, American Conservatory Theater, Arts Club, and InterAct Theatre. Also upcoming for 2018-19: King of the Yees at Baltimore Center Stage and San Francisco Playhouse, and The Song of Summer at Trinity Rep. Recent honors include the Kesselring Prize, Primus Prize, an upcoming Hodder Fellowship at Princeton, the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List, as well as a finalist of both the ATCA/Steinberg Award and the Edward M. Kennedy Prize. She is a Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab member and an alumni playwright of Playwrights Realm. She received her BA from Yale University, and her MFA in playwriting from UCSD. Current commissions include Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Lincoln Center/LCT3, Mixed Blood, Portland Center Stage, Second Stage, South Coast Repertory, and Trinity Repertory Company. www.laurenyee.com
Jaclyn Backhaus is a playwright of Punjabi, German, and desert botanical descent. Her play India Pale Ale will receive its world premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in Fall of 2018 after development at Powerhouse with New York Stage & Film. Select plays: Men on Boats (NYT Critics’ Pick, Clubbed Thumb & Playwrights Horizons, Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Playwriting Award Finalist, published by Dramatists Play Service, Kilroys List 2015), Folk Wandering (Pipeline Theatre Company), You Across From Me (Humana Festival of New Plays), People Doing Math Live! (Under The Radar Festival), and You on the Moors Now (Theater Reconstruction Ensemble, The Hypocrites in Chicago). Jaclyn was the 2016 Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Clubbed Thumb and is currently a playwright-in-residence at Lincoln Center. BFA: NYU, where she now teaches. She is co-founder of FRESH GROUND PEPPER, a New York-based arts incubator established in 2009. She lives in Queens with her husband, theater director Andrew Scoville, and their son Ernie.
Horton Foote won the Pulitzer Prize for his play The Young Man From Atlanta and received two Academy Awards for his screenplays for the films To Kill A Mockingbird and Tender Mercies. His work has also been produced on Broadway, off-Broadway as well as in theaters throughout the United States. His many honors, in addition to the Pulitzer and Academy Awards, include Drama Desk, Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Lortel Awards, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Drama and the 2000 National Medal of Arts Award from President Bill Clinton. He is also a member of The Theatre Hall of Fame. In 2008, his play Dividing the Estate won the Obie and Outer Critics Circle Best Play Awards for its Off-Broadway premiere by Primary Stages. In 2008, the play transferred to Broadway under the auspices of Lincoln Center Theater, earning Foote his second Best Play Tony nomination. In 2009-2010, his epic masterwork, The Orphans’ Home Cycle was co-produced by Hartford Stage Company and Signature Theatre Company, and received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Lucille Lortel Award. In 2013, The Trip to Bountiful was revived on Broadway (winning a Best Actress Tony Award for Cecily Tyson), and premiered in 2014 as a new Lifetime film, earning two Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Movie. His memoirs, Farewell and Beginnings, are published by Scribner.
Dominique Morisseau’s Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations, the incredible true story of the greatest R&B group of all time, will come to Broadway in Spring 2019 at the legendary Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street).
With a book by Kennedy Prize-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau, Ain’t Too Proud features an iconic score made up of The Temptations’ legendary songs. Two-time Tony Award® winner Des McAnuff directs, with choreography by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo.
Ain’t Too Proud recently opened at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, where performances continue through September 30, before heading to Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre October 11-November 17, 2018.
Leading this production as The Temptations is Derrick Baskin as Otis Williams, James Harkness as Paul Williams, Jawan M. Jackson as Melvin Franklin, Jeremy Pope as Eddie Kendricks, and Ephraim Sykes as David Ruffin. Ain’t Too Proud also features Esther Antoine, Saint Aubyn, Shawn Bowers, E. Clayton Cornelious, Rodney Earl Jackson Jr., Taylor Symone Jackson, Jahi Kearse, Jarvis B. Manning Jr., Joshua Morgan, Rashidra Scott, Nasia Thomas, Christian Thompson, Curtis Wiley, and Candice Marie Woods.
Ain’t Too Proud broke records in its World Premiere run at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it became the highest grossing production in that theater’s nearly 50- year history. The musical went on to play Washington D.C.’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where the show broke the all-time single-week box office record for the Eisenhower Theater.
Ain’t Too Proud is the electrifying new musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. The rest is history – how they met, how they rose, the groundbreaking heights they hit, and how personal and political conflicts threatened to tear the group apart as the United States fell into civil unrest. This thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal is set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and so many more.
The creative team includes Tony Award nominee Robert Brill (scenic design), Tony Award winner Paul Tazewell (costume design), Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (lighting design), Tony Award winner Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Drama Desk Award winner Peter Nigrini (projection design), Charles G. LaPointe (hair and wig design), Edgar Godineaux (associate choreographer), and Steve Rankin (fight direction). Orchestrations are by Drama Desk Award winner Harold Wheeler with Music Direction and Arrangements by Kenny Seymour.
Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations is produced on Broadway by Ira Pittelman, Tom Hulce, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, EMI Entertainment World, Inc., Josh Berger, Ken Schur, Ron Simons, Stephen Byrd, Alia Jones, Ruth & Stephen Hendel, Cheryl Wiesenfeld, Harriet Newman Leve, Jeffrey Finn, Stephen & Nancy Gabriel, Darren Bagert, David Binder, FedermanRyan Productions, Susan Gallin, Mickey Liddell, Robert Ahrens, Christopher Maring, Marianne Mills, Loraine Boyle, Sharon Karmazin, Koenigsberg/Krauss, Winkler/de Roy, Zell/Kierstead, Deborah Taylor, Robyn & Larry Gottesdiener, The Araca Group, Rashad V. Chambers, Mike Evans, Hani Farsi, Willette & Manny Klausner, Gabrielle Palitz, No Guarantees, Sheldon Stone, and Stuart Weitzman.
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.
Gettin’ The Band Back Together began previews on July 19 at The Belasco Theatre (111 W 44th Street). The production, which is directed by Tony Award winner John Rando and choreographed by Chris Bailey, will officially open on August 13. Click here for tickets.
Gettin’ The Band Back Together has original music and lyrics by Mark Allen and a book by Ken Davenport and The Grundleshotz with additional material by Sarah Saltzberg. The creative team includes Tony Award winners Derek McLane (Scenic Design), Emily Rebholz (Costume Design), Ken Billington (Lighting Design), John Shivers (Sound Design) in addition to Music Direction by Sonny Paladino and Casting by Eisenberg/Beans Casting.
The cast of Gettin’ The Band Back Together features Mitchell Jarvis (Mitch Papadopoulos), Jay Klaitz (Bart Vickers), Manu Narayan (Dr. Rummesh “Robbie” Patel), Paul Whitty (Michael “Sully” Sullivan), Sawyer Nunes (Ricky “Bling” Goldstein), Marilu Henner (“Mitch’s Mom,” aka Sharon Papadopoulos), Kelli Barrett (Dani), Becca Kötte (Tawney), Garth Kravits (Ritchie), Tamika Lawrence (Roxanne Velasco), Noa Solorio (Billie), and Brandon Williams (Tygen Billows). The cast also includes Lindsey Brett Carothers, Ryan Duncan, Scott Richard Foster, Jenny Hill, Nehal Joshi, J. Elaine Marcos, Rob Marnell, Jasmin Richardson, Ian Ward, and Tad Wilson.
Mitch Papadopoulos always wanted to be the next Bruce Springsteen, but he left those daydreams behind for a day job. When this big-shot banker is handed a pink slip on his 40th birthday, he’s forced to move back in with his mom in New Jersey.
A run-in with his former music rival leads to a threat of foreclosure on Mitch’s family home, unless he can win The Battle of the Bands-a rematch over 25 years in the making. So he dusts off his guitar, gathers his old gang, and sets out to win back his house, his pride-and maybe even the high school sweetheart he left behind-proving it’s never too late to give your dreams one last shot.
Gettin’ The Band Back Together is produced by Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Roy Putrino, Scott Abrams, Sandi Moran, Carl Daikeler, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Rob Kolson, Marie Barton Stevenson, H. Richard Hopper, Richard Roth, Marguerite Hoffman, Diego Kolankowsky, Gary Nelson, Brian Cromwell Smith, Witzend Productions, David Bryant, Darrell Hankey, Trevor Coates, Ladybug Productions, Jim Wagstaffe, Laura Z. Barket, Judith Manocherian, John McGrain, Steve Reynolds, Sal Buscemi, Douglas K. Atamian, Rich Battista, Frederic J. Siegel, BF Investments, and Sean Attebury. The Associate Producers for the production are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.