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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Ryan Smith (OBGYN and others). Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway: One Man, Two Guvnors; Passing Strange. New York Theater: Twelfth Night, The Death of the Last Black Man, Romeo and Juliet, The Glory of the World, Comedy of Errors, Cymbeline, Pericles, The Steadfast, The Rover, Marat/Sade. Extensive Regional credits including Seattle Rep, Berkeley Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Barrington Stage Company, American Conservatory Theater.

Broadwayworld.com: André De Shields Will Star in Robert O’Hara’s MANKIND at Playwrights Horizons; Cast Complete! 

Playbill.com: André De Shields, Bobby Moreno, Anson Mount Cast in Playwrights Horizons’ Mankind

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

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Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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Deanna Dunagan, Peter Friedman, Pun Bandhu and Marinda Anderson Set for World Premiere of Max Posner’s THE TREASURER at Playwrights Horizons, September 6 – October 22

Pun Bandhu
Pun Bandhu
Pun Bandhu

Playwrights Horizons is presenting the world premiere of Max Posner’s new play THE TREASURER, directed by three-time Lortel Award winner David Cromer (The Band’s Visit, Our Town, Adding Machine). Commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, the play will be the second production of the theater company’s 2017/2018 Season.

The cast of THE TREASURER will feature Marinda Anderson (Bella: An American Tall Tale, A Life, Far From Heaven at Playwrights; Every Good Girl), Pun Bandhu (Wit on Broadway, Plenty, Informed Consent, True and Solid Ground, Faust), Tony Award winner and Olivier Award nominee Deanna Dunagan (August: Osage County, Man and Superman, regionally in Other Desert Cities, James Joyce’s The Dead) and Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner Peter Friedman (Fly By Night, The Great God Pan, The Shaggs, After the Revolution, Circle Mirror Transformation, The Heidi Chronicles at Playwrights; Ragtime; The Open House).

The production will begin previews Wednesday, September 6 with an Opening Night set for Tuesday, September 26 at 8PM at the company’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 West 42nd Street). The limited engagement is currently scheduled to play through Sunday, October 22.

Ida Armstrong (Ms. Dunagan) is broke, lonely and fading fast. And she’s spending all of her children’s money, forcing her son (Mr. Friedman) to assume the unwanted role of The Treasurer: an arrangement that becomes untenable the more he questions his devotion to her. In this darkly funny, sharply intimate portrait, Max Posner chronicles the strained ties between a son and his aging mother, and the hell of a guilty conscience.

The production will feature scenic design by Lortel Award winner Laura Jellinek, costume design by David Hyman, lighting design by Tony Award winner Bradley King, sound design by two-time Lortel Award winner Mikhail Fiksel and projection design by Lucy Mackinnon. Production Stage Manager is Brett Anders.

THE TREASURER was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons with the support of Duke/Mellon Leading National Theaters.

The performance schedule for THE TREASURER will be Tuesdays through Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2:30 & 8PM and Sundays at 2:30 & 7:30 PM. Beginning Tuesday, August 8, single tickets, $49-89, may be purchased online via www.phnyc.org, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily) and in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).

Opening the Playwrights Horizons 2017/2018 Season will be FOR PETER PAN ON HER 70th BIRTHDAY, the New York premiere of a new play by two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee Sarah Ruhl, directed by Obie Award winner Les Waters, featuring three-time Obie Award winner Kathleen Chalfant in the title role, David Chandler, Ron Crawford, two-time Obie Award winner Lisa Emery, Tony Award nominee Daniel Jenkins and Keith Reddin (August 2017). Following FOR PETER PAN… and THE TREASURER will be MANKIND, the world premiere of a Playwrights Horizons commissioned new play written and directed by two-time Obie Award winner Robert O’Hara (December 2017); THIS FLAT EARTH, the world premiere of a new play by Lindsey Ferrentino, directed by Tony Award winner Rebecca Taichman (March 2018); DANCE NATION, the world premiere of a new play by Obie Award winner Clare Barron, directed by Obie Award winner Lee Sunday Evans (April 2018); and LOG CABIN, the world premiere of a new play by Pulitzer Prize finalist Jordan Harrison, directed by Tony Award and Obie Award winner Pam MacKinnon (June 2018). For more information, visit .phnyc.org.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Max Posner’s (Playwright) play Judy premiered Off-Broadway in 2015 (Page 73, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll). Recent productions include Snore (Juilliard, directed by Knud Adams), Sisters on the Ground (Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll) and Gun Logistics (Drama League, directed by Knud Adams). He is the recipient of the Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, the Heideman Award from Actors Theatre of Louisville, the P73 Fellowship and two Lecomte du Nouy awards from Lincoln Center. Max is a Sundance Institute Theatre Fellow, a two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow and was the Writer-In-Residence at Williamstown. He’s an alumnus of the Soho Rep. Writer/Director Lab, Ars Nova’s Playgroup, The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm and I-73. He contributed to John Early’s episode of “The Characters” (Netflix) and is working on a libretto for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus with composer Ellis Ludwig Leone. Max’s plays have been developed by Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep., Page 73, Clubbed Thumb, Williamstown, The Atlantic, Ars Nova, The Bushwick Starr, NYTW, American Theater Co., The Juilliard School and SPACE on Ryder Farm. He is a frequent volunteer at Manhattan’s 52nd Street Project. He studied writing as an undergrad at Brown, and recently completed a two-year Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship at The Juilliard School. Max was born and raised in Denver and lives in Brooklyn.

David Cromer (Director). Recent credits include Man from Nebraska (Second Stage), The Band’s Visit (Atlantic, opening on Broadway this fall); The Effect (Barrow Street Theatre), Come Back, Little Sheba (Huntington Theatre), Angels in America (Kansas City Rep) and Our Town at the Almeida Theatre in London. New York Credits include Women or Nothing at Atlantic, Really Really at MCC, The House of Blue Leaves and Brighton Beach Memoirs on Broadway, When the Rain Stops Falling and Nikolai and the Others at Lincoln Center Theater. Also at the Barrow Street Theatre, he has directed Tribes, Our Town and Orson’s Shadow, as well as Adding Machine, which was a BST production at the Minetta Lane. Originally from Chicago, his credits there include Sweet Bird of Youth (The Goodman); A Streetcar Named Desire, Picnic and The Price (Writers Theatre); Cherrywood, Mojo and The Hot l Baltimore (Mary-Arrchie); The Cider House Rules (co-directed with Marc Grapey at Famous Door); and Angels in America (The Journeymen); among others. For Michael Ira Cromer (1966-2015).

Marinda Anderson (The Women). Playwrights: Bella: An American Tall Tale, A Life, Far From Heaven. Off-Broadway: Sex of the Baby (Access Theater), Macbeth (Lincoln Center Interactive Theatre), Obama-ology (The Juilliard School). Regional: Airness (Humana), A Doll’s House (Huntington), Three Sisters (PlayMakers Repertory), Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Berkshire Theatre Award nominee, Outstanding Female Performance), Intimate Apparel (Dorset Theatre Festival), Fairfield (Cleveland Play House). TV: “Horace and Pete,” “Gotham.” BFA: Howard University. MFA: NYU Graduate Acting Program. marindaanderson.com

Pun Bandhu (The Men). Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway: Wit. Off-Broadway: Plenty, Informed Consent, True and Solid Ground, Faust, The Master Builder, Last of the Sons, Vengeance Can Wait. Film: Money Monster, The Judge, Frozen River, Burn After Reading, Michael Clayton. TV: “Allegiance,” “Elementary,” “The Good Wife,” “Nurse Jackie.” Winner of the 2015 New Dramatist’s Charles Bowden Actor Award.

Deanna Dunagan (Ida). Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway: August: Osage County (also Chicago, London, Sydney; Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Theatre World, Drama League, Jefferson awards; Olivier nomination), Man and Superman. Regional: Other Desert Cities, A Little Night Music, I Never Sang for My Father (Jefferson Award), James Joyce’s The Dead (Jefferson Award), Bounce, A Delicate Balance (After Dark Award), Was, The Glamour House (After Dark Award), Sunday in the Park with George. National tour: Children of a Lesser God. Film: The Visit, The Company, Losing Isaiah. TV: “House of Cards,” “Private Practice,” “Prison Break,” “Mitch Albom’s Have a Little Faith.”

Peter Friedman (The Son). Playwrights: Fly By Night, The Shaggs, After the Revolution, The Great God Pan, Circle Mirror Transformation (Obie Award), The Heidi Chronicles (also Broadway). Broadway: Ragtime (Tony nom.), Twelve Angry Men. Off-Broadway: Hamlet, Her Requiem, The Jacuzzi Play, The Open House (Drama Desk Award), Uncle Vanya, End Days, Body Awareness, The Hatmaker’s Wife, The Common Pursuit, A Soldier’s Play, and a Nightingale Sang…, The Loman Family Picnic, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island. Film: The Savages; Single White Female; Side Effects; Safe; Synecdoche, New York; Keep In Touch. TV: “Succession,” “The Muppet Show,” “Brooklyn Bridge.”

Playwrights Horizons is dedicated to cultivating the most important American Playwrights, composers and lyricists, as well as developing and producing their bold new plays and musicals. Under Artistic Director Tim Sanford and Managing Director Leslie Marcus, Playwrights builds upon its diverse and renowned body of work, counting 400 writers among its artistic roster. In addition to its onstage work each season, Playwrights’ singular commitment to nurturing American theater artists guides all of the institution’s multifaceted initiatives: our acclaimed New Works Lab, a robust commissioning program, an innovative curriculum at its Theater School and more. Playwrights has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including six Pulitzer Prizes, 13 Tony Awards and 39 Obie Awards. Prior artistic directors include André Bishop and Don Scardino. Robert Moss founded Playwrights Horizons in 1971 and oversaw its first decade, cementing the mission that continues to guide the institution today.

Notable productions include six Pulitzer Prize winners – Annie Baker’s The Flick (2013 Obie Award, 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park (2012 Tony Award, Best Play), Doug Wright’s I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles (1989 Tony Award, Best Play), Alfred Uhry’s Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park with George – as well as Ms. Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation (three 2010 Obie Awards including Best New American Play); Lisa D’Amour’s Detroit (2013 Obie Award, Best New American Play); Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale (2013 Lortel Award, Best Play); Kirsten Greenidge’s Milk Like Sugar (2012 Obie Award); JorDan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime (2015 Pulitzer finalist); Lucas Hnath’s The Christians (2016 Obie Award, 2016 Outer Critics Circle Award, 2015 Kesselring Prize); Robert O’Hara’s Bootycandy (two 2015 Obie Awards); Adam Bock’s A Life and A Small Fire; Taylor Mac’s Hir; Danai Gurira’s Familiar; Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns, a post-electric play; Sarah Ruhl’s Stage Kiss and Dead Man’s Cell Phone; Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn; Dan LeFranc’s The Big Meal; Amy Herzog’s The Great God Pan and After the Revolution; Bathsheba Doran’s Kin; Edward Albee’s Me, Myself & I; Melissa James Gibson’s This (2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist); Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie’s Grey Gardens (three 2007 Tony Awards); Craig Lucas’s Prayer For My Enemy and Small Tragedy (2004 Obie Award, Best American Play); Adam Rapp’s Kindness; Lynn Nottage’s Fabulation (2005 Obie Award for Playwriting); Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero; David Greenspan’s She Stoops to Comedy (2003 Obie Award); Kirsten Childs’s The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (2000 Obie Award); Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey’s James Joyce’s The Dead (2000 Tony Award, Best Book); Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Assassins; William Finn’s March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland; Christopher Durang’s Betty’s Summer Vacation and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You; Richard Nelson’s Goodnight Children Everywhere; Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Once on This Island; Jon Robin Baitz’s The Substance of Fire; Scott McPherson’s Marvin’s Room; A.R. Gurney’s Later Life; Adam Guettel and Tina Landau’s Floyd Collins; and Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley’s Violet.