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Dear Elizabeth

October 26-December 5

New York Premiere
by Sarah Ruhl
directed by Kate Whoriskey

“HAUNTING and TARTLY FUNNY… DEAR ELIZABETH is a RARE GIFT!” The New York Times

“Deeply touching. RADIANT. Heartbreaking. SUPERB PERFORMANCES!” & “Elizabeth Bishop & Robert Lowell have come back to affecting life!” – The Hollywood Reporter

CAPTIVATING! RAVISHING!” – WNYC

 “1 of 14 REASONS to Go Off-Broadway this Fall!” – Backstage.com

“Dear Elizabeth,” by Sarah Ruhl, proved to be one of THE MOST MOVING and FASCINATING theater pieces I’ve experienced in a very long time.” – The Epoch Times

DEAR ELIZABETH “…should be widely produced and…a staple in theaters around the nation.”WQXR Operavore

A Play in Letters from Elizabeth Bishop to Robert Lowell and Back Again

Sarah Ruhl, one of the theater’s most celebrated playwrights, teams up with WP Theater to present this New York premiere production. Drawn from the famed correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell – two of the twentieth century’s most brilliant poets – Dear Elizabeth tells a tale of unconventional friendship and intimacy that spanned thirty years and more than 400 letters, with postmarks from Maine to Key West, from London to South America.

Performed with a rotating cast of the theater community’s most brilliant and beloved performers, don’t miss this insightful and impassioned examination of Bishop and Lowell’s lives, their work, and the true nature of friendship. #DearElizabethPlay

STARRING A BRILLIANT NEW CAST EVERY WEEK

EVERY WEEK IS A NEW EXPERIENCE. COME SEE THEM ALL!

OCTOBER 26 – 31
KATHLEEN CHALFANT, HARRIS YULIN & POLLY NOONAN

NOVEMBER 2 – 7
J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & POLLY NOONAN

NOVEMBER 9 – 14
BECKY ANN BAKER, PETER SCOLARI & POLLY NOONAN

NOVEMBER 16 – 21
CHERRY JONES, DAVID AARON BAKER & POLLY NOONAN

NOVEMBER 23 – 28
ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, RINDE ECKERT & POLLY NOONAN

NOVEMBER 30 – DECEMBER 5
MIA KATIGBAK, POLLY NOONAN & HARRIS YULIN (returning as Robert Lowell)

Download the exciting casts announcements for DEAR ELIZABETH Rotating Cast of Luminaries, Additional Casting Announced and Harris Yulin Returns and joins Mia Katigbak


DEAR ELIZABETH NEWS + MORE

Review: ‘Dear Elizabeth’: A Deep Friendship, Told in Letters, WNYC

Review: Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell: Poetry in Need of Music, WQXR’s OPERAVORE

Go Behind the Scenes: Poet Meets Poet: An Interview With the Artistic Team Behind ‘Dear Elizabeth’, The Huffington Post

BWW Review: Sarah Ruhl’s Touching DEAR ELIZABETH; Friendship Through the Mail, Broadway World

Theater Review: ‘Dear Elizabeth’, The Epoch Times

“I Remember Dreaming About Them,” Says Sarah Ruhl Of the Supposed Soul Mates Who Inspired Her Newest Play,” Playbill

To Do: November 4–November 18, 2015: Twenty-five things to see, hear, watch, and read. – ‘Dear Elizabeth’, New York Magazine

FREE EVENT SERIES: Paul Muldoon and More Set for WP Theater’s ‘DEAR MISS BISHOP’ Poetry Series Alongside DEAR ELIZABETH, Broadway World

‘Dear Elizabeth’ Theater Review, The Hollywood Reporter

Review: In ‘Dear Elizabeth,’ Two Solitary Poets Commune, New York Times

Read more news here!

 

Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl

(Playwright) Sarah Ruhl’s plays include The Oldest Boy, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, The Clean House, Passion Play, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Melancholy Play; Eurydice; Orlando, Late: a cowboy song, Dear Elizabeth  and Stage Kiss.  She has been a two-time Pulitzer prize finalist and a Tony award nominee. Her plays have been produced on Broadway at the Lyceum by Lincoln Center Theater, off-Broadway at Playwrights’ Horizons, Second Stage, and at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater. Her plays have been produced regionally all over the country, often with premiers at Yale Repertory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, the Goodman Theater, and the Piven Theatre Workshop in Chicago. In 2014 she was the second most produced playwright in the country. Her plays have also been produced internationally and have been translated into over twelve languages. Originally from Chicago, Ms. Ruhl received her M.F.A. from Brown University where she studied with Paula Vogel. She has received the Susan Smith Blackburn award, the Whiting award, the Lily Award, a PEN award for mid-career playwrights, and the MacArthur “genius” award. You can read more about her work on www.SarahRuhlplaywright.com. Her book of essays 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write was published by Faber and Faber last fall. She teaches at the Yale School of Drama, and she lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Kate Whoriskey

Kate Whoriskey

(Director) Kate Whoriskey most recently directed Lynn Nottage’s Sweat at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Other productions include Ping Pong and Manahatta at the Public through Public Studio, Ruined and Tales from Red Vienna at Manhattan Theatre Club, How I Learned to Drive at Second Stage, The Piano Teacher at the Vineyard Theatre, Oroonoko at Theatre for A New Audience, the world premiere of Fabulation and Inked Baby at Playwrights Horizons, and Massacre by Jose Rivera at the Labyrinth Theatre Company (of which she is a member). Internationally, she directed Magdalena at the Chatelet theatre in Paris and Teatro Muicipal in Sao Paolo. Regionally, she directed Ruined, Vigils, Heartbreak House, The Rose Tattoo and Drowning Crow for The Goodman, The Tempest at Shakespeare Theatre, the world premiere of Intimate Apparel, The Piano Teacher, Life is a Dream, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antigone, and The Clean House at South Coast Repertory, and Master Builder at the American Repertory Theatre. Nominated for a Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel for her work on Ruined, she has also directed at the Huntington, The Geffen, Baltimore Center Stage, Perseverance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Sundance Theatre Lab, The Fisher Center and The Eugene O’Neill Center.

David Aaron Baker

DAVID AARON BAKER

(Robert) is thrilled to once more share the stage with Cherry Jones after playing her husband in Jon Robin Baitz’s play, The Film Society, directed by the late Roger Rees, at The Williamstown Theater Festival in 1997. David had the great fortune to work with Sarah Ruhl in 2008, when he performed in the Playwrights Horizons production of her play Dead Man’s Cell Phone. He is honored to work again with these extraordinary artists. David attended Illinois State University, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas – Austin and a diploma from The Julliard School.

Becky Ann Baker

Becky Ann Baker

(Elizabeth) Becky Ann Baker is most recognized for her mothering skills, or lack thereof, on two Judd Apatow series, “Freaks and Geeks” and “Girls”, where she plays creator Lena Dunham’s mom, and for which she received a Critics Choice nomination.  But Becky has appeared on Broadway in both musicals and plays, including Good People, All My Sons, Assassins, Titanic, A Streetcar Named Desire, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  Her Off-Broadway credits include: Barbecue at the Public Theater, Suddenly Last Summer for The Roundabout; Comedy of Errors, Othello and Two Gentlemen of Verona for New York Shakespeare Festival; Wonderful Town for City Center Encores; The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told for New York Theatre Workshop; Shanghai Moon and June Moon for Drama Dept.; Durang, Durang for Manhattan Theatre Club; To Whom It May Concern and Laura Dennis at the Signature; The Vagina Monologues at Westside Arts; and more. Becky has performed regionally at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, where she is an artistic associate, the Old Globe, the South Coast Rep, Arena Stage, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey and the Goodman Theater in Chicago.  Film credits include “The End of the Tour,” “23 Blast,” “Hope Springs,” “Nights in Rodanthe,” “Spinning into Butter,” “Stay,” “The Night Listener,” “Gretchen,” “War of the Worlds,” “Two Weeks Notice,” “A Simple Plan,” “Celebrity,” “Men In Black,” “In and Out,” “Sabrina,” “Unstrung Heroes,” “White Squall,” “Lorenzo’s Oil,” and “Come See the Paradise.”  Other TV appearances include: “Gotham,” “Madam Secretary,” Person of Interest,” “Elementary,” “The Good Wife,” “Smash,” “Black Box,” “A Gifted Man,” “Kings,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Mercy,” “Storm of the Century,” “Soul Man,” “Ruby Ridge,” “Frasier,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Sex and the City,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Oz,” and “Mind Games.” She is a member of the Actor’s Studio, Drama Dept. and Usual Suspects –NYTW.  Becky’s best and favorite production: Willa, co-produced with actor/director Dylan Baker.

Kathleen-Chalfant-Headshot

KATHLEEN CHALFANT

(Elizabeth) BROADWAY: Angels in America (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), Racing Demon, Dance With Me. OFF-BROADWAY: Wit (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Connecticut Critics Circle, and Obie Awards), A Walk in the Woods (Drama Desk nomination), Tales from Red Vienna, Miss Ovington &  Dr. Dubois, Somewhere Fun, Red Dog Howls, Painting Churches, Talking Heads (Obie Award), Vita & Virginia, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Spalding Grey: Stories Left to Tell, Bloomer Girl, Nine Armenians (Drama Desk nomination), Far Away, Twelve Dreams, Henry V (Callaway Award). OTHER NY CREDITS: The Vagina Monologues, True History and Real Adventures, Phaedra in Delirium, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Endgame, The Party, Sister Mary Ignatius…, The Investigation of the Murder in El Salvador. LONDON & LOS ANGELES: Ovation Awards for both Wit and Red Dog Howls. SELECT REGIONAL THEATRE: McCarter, Berkley Rep, Guthrie, Yale Rep, Long Wharf, Yale Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Hartford Stage, Mark Taper Forum, ATL, Sundance Lab. FILM: Isn’t it Delicious?, R.I.P.D., The Bath, In Bed With Ulysses, Lillian, Duplicity, The People Speak, Lackawanna Blues, Perfect Stranger, The Last New Yorker, Second Guessing Grandma, Dark Water, Kinsey, Laramie Project, Random Hearts, A Price Below Rubies, Murder and Murder. SELECT TELEVISION Recurring on “The Affair,” “The Strain,” “The Americans,” “House of Cards,” “Rescue Me,” “The Book of Daniel,” “The Guardian,”  “Jo,” “Law and Order” and “One Life to Live”; also “Madam Secretary,” “Forever,” “Heartbreaker,” “Elementary,” “Mercy,” “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” (HBO), “Benjamin Franklin,” “Lackawanna Blues” (HBO), “Georgia O’Keeffe” (Lifetime), “Voices from the White House” (PBS), “A Death in the Family” (PBS), “Storm of the Century”. AWARDS: 1996 OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence, 2004 Lortel Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award from the League of Professional Women. She has received the Drama League and Sidney Kingsley Awards for her body of work and holds an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from Cooper Union.

Rinde Eckert

RINDE ECKERT

(Robert) is a writer, composer, librettist, musician, performer and director. His Opera / New Music Theatre productions have toured throughout America and to major theater festivals in Europe and Asia. Eckert began his career as a writer and performer in the 1980’s, writing librettos for Paul Dresher (Pioneer, Power Failure, Slow Fire, Ravenshead). He composed dance scores for choreographers Sarah Shelton Mann and Margaret Jenkins, including the evening-length Woman, Window, Square for The Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. Rinde began composing and performing his own music/theater works in 1992 with The Gardening of Thomas D, an homage to Dante which subsequently toured the United States and France. Staged works for solo performer include Becoming…Unusual: The Education of an Eclectic; three one-act plays: An Idiot Divine, Romeo Sierra Tango and Quit This House; and works for radio including Shoot the Moving Things and Four Songs Lost in a Wall. Writing credits for the theater include Highway Ulysses, Horizon, Orpheus X, And God Created Great Whales, which has been produced three times with the original cast and director, for a total of 227 performances. And God Created Great Whales, Horizon and Orpheus X have run off-Broadway, garnering Drama Desk Nominations and the Lucille Lortel Award. Rinde has received numerous honors and awards for his body of work. In 2012 he was named an inaugural Doris Duke Artist, was honored to receive the 2009 Alpert Award in the Arts for Theatre, a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship, and The American Academy of Arts and Letters 2005 Marc Blitzstein Award. In 2007 Rinde Eckert was the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Eckert wrote the text and performed in the multi-media production Slide with composer/guitarist Mackey and the new music ensemble 8th blackbird, which toured to major university campuses and the Ojai Festival. Renamed Lonely Motel by Cedille Records, the project won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance. Eckert and Mackey are members of BIG FARM, a ‘prog-rock’ super group with drummer Jason Treuting (So Percussion) and bassist Mark Haanstra. Rinde Eckert’s own uniquely eclectic music is released on Germany’s Intuition label and through Songline/Tonefield Productions.

Cherry_Jones--Headshot

CHERRY JONES

(Elizabeth) starred most recently in the triumphant Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie (Tony Nomination), which originated at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she is a founding member and where earlier in her career she appeared in more than 25 productions including Twelfth Night, Three Sisters and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Broadway and Off-Broadway: Doubt (Tony, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Obie Awards), Lincoln Center Theater’s production of The Heiress (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards); Pride’s Crossing (Drama Desk Award); When We Were Young and Unafraid; The Baltimore Waltz (Obie Award); Faith Healer; Flesh and Blood; Imaginary Friends; A Moon for the Misbegotten (Tony Award nomination); Angels in America; Our Country’s Good (Tony Award nomination); and Roundabout Theatre Company’s productions of Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Major Barbara and The Night of the Iguana. Television: President Allison Taylor in “24” (Emmy Award), “What Makes a Family,” “Awake,” the next season of “Transparent” on Amazon, the upcoming series “Mercy Street,” and the upcoming mini-series “11/22/63” starring James Franco. Film: Ocean’s Twelve, Cradle Will Rock, The Horse Whisperer, The Perfect Storm, Erin Brockovich, Signs, The Village, Mother and Child, Swimmers, the upcoming films I Saw the Light, and Fun House opposite Tina Fey.

Mia Katigbak

MIA KATIGBAK

(Elizabeth) NYC: Most recent: Awake & Sing! NAATCO (Obie Award); Washeteria (Soho Rep); A Beautiful Day in November…Great Lakes (New Georges/Women’s Project), Scenes from a  Marriage (New York Theater Workshop). Other NYC: Public Theater, Foundry Theater, Civilians, Ma-Yi, Target Margin, Clubbed Thumb, Intar, Pan Asian Rep. Regional: Berkeley Repertory Theater (CA), Swine Palace (LA), Guthrie (MN). International: Manila, Philippines; Abu Dhabi, UAE.  Film: I Smile Back, Clutter, Slow Jam King. TV: “Mysteries of Laura,” “Chicago PD,” “Conviction.” Artistic Producing Director and co-founder, NAATCO (National Asian American Theatre Company).  Founding director, CAATA (Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists). Other awards:  Lucille Lortel, Lee Reynolds Awards (League of Professional Theatre Women); Actors Equity’s Rosetta LeNoire Award, in recognition of her “artistic contribution to the universality of the human experience in the American theater”; New Dramatists’ Charles Bowden Actor Award. BA, Barnard College; MA, Columbia University.

Ellen McLaughlin

ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN

(Elizabeth) Acting work includes originating the part of the Angel in Angels in America, playing the role in workshops and regional productions through its Broadway run in 1993-1994. Other favorite work includes the Homebody in Bart Sher’s production of Homebody/Kabul (Intiman, Seattle, WA), Pirate Jenny in A Threepenny Opera (Trinity Rep. Elliot Norton Award), Claire in Albee’s A Delicate Balance, (Arena Stage, Yale Repertory Theater), Margie in Good People (George St. Playhouse. Seattle Rep.) and Rosemary in Outside Mullingar (George St. Playhouse.) New York credits include: String of Pearls (Primary Stages), Blue Window (Manhattan Theater Club), and A Bright Room Called Day (Public Theater). Television work includes several appearances on “Law and Order”. McLaughlin is also a playwright.

Polly Noonan

POLLY NOONAN

(Stage Manager) has worked on many of Sarah Ruhl’s plays, including In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play (Victory Gardens Theatre, Jeff nomination), Late, A Cowboy Song (Piven Theatre Workshop), Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Helen Hayes nomination; Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Mosaic Theatre), Passion Play (Arena Stage, Helen Hayes nomination; Goodman Theatre, After Dark Award, Jeff nomination; Yale Rep Theatre, Epic Theatre Ensemble), Eurydice (Madison Repertory Theatre; Piven), Melancholy Play (Piven; Echo Theater Company), and Orlando (Piven; The Actors’ Gang). Her other credits include A Brief History of America (Drama League Directors Project), Careless Love (Soho Rep), Brilliant Traces, American Voices (Piven); Methusalem, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The Balcony (New Criminals); Ajax (Theater of War); and development of new work at Sundance, Geva Theatre Center, New Dramatists, Soho Rep, Sewanee and REDCAT. Film credits include Welcome to Me, Novocaine, High Fidelity, Arizona Dream, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Polly is on the cover of the Lemonhead’s album It’s a Shame About Ray and can be heard on track 11 of Lovey.

Peter Scolari

Peter Scolari

(Robert) Broadway/NY: Hairspray, Sly Fox, Magic Bird, Out of This World, Ziegfeld Follies of 1937 (City Center Encores!), World Premiere of A.R. Gurney’s Family Furniture, Lucky Guy. Regional: World Premieres of Daniel Sullivan’s Inspecting Carol, Ken Ludwig’s Fox on The Fairway at The George Street Playhouse. Winner Best Actor, Berkshire Theater Festival for The Foreigner. VQT Emmy Award Winner for “Newhart”, Three Time Emmy Nominee, Film Critic’s Award Nomination as Best Featured Actor for “Girls” (HBO), recurring on “Gotham”, also “Bosom Buddies”, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, “The West Wing”, “E.R.”, “Family Ties”, “White Collar”, “King of Queens”, “Reba”, “Ally McBeal”, “From the Earth to the Moon” (HBO), “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off” (Showtime). Selected Film: That Thing You Do, Polar Express, Suburban Girl, Camp Nowhere, The Ryan White Story, and upcoming Madoff for ABC films.

J. Smith-Cameron

J. SMITH-CAMERON

(Elizabeth) has appeared in numerous theatre productions off and on Broadway.  Highlights include Our Country’s Good (Tony® nomination), Sarah, Sarah (Drama Desk nomination), Fuddy Meers (Outer Critics and Drama Desk nominations), and As Bees In Honey Drown (Obie award, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics nominations).  Recent credits include a critically acclaimed run as the title character in Juno And The Paycock at the Irish Repertory Theatre in NYC, as well as Richard Nelson’s Sorry and Sweet and Sad (Drama Desk and Obie awards) at the Public and That Hopey Changey Thing by the same author.  Also Midsummer Night’s Dream at La Jolla Playhouse and The Starry Messenger by Kenneth Lonergan at the New Group.  TV work includes a Series Regular role on SUNDANCE’S “Rectify” and a Recurring Role on HBO’s “True Blood.”  Recent film work includes Frank Whaley’s Like Sunday, Like Rain, and J. also stars opposite Anna Paquin in Kenneth Lonergan’s film Margaret, which won her the Best Supporting Actress award for the International Cinephile Society.

John Douglas Thompson

JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON

(Robert) won Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Solo Performance for his portrayal of Louis Armstrong in Satchmo at the Waldorf.  Shakespeare & Company: Richard IIIOthelloThe Dreamer Examines His Pillow, All’s Well That Ends Well, King Lear. Joe Mott in The Iceman Cometh with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy at the Goodman Theatre, Kent in King Lear at the Public Theater with Sam Waterston, Macbeth at TFANA, Marc Antony in Antony and Cleopatra at Hartford Stage with Kate Mulgrew, Gennady in The Forest at CSC with Dianne Wiest, Brutus Jones in The Emperor Jones at The Irish Rep (Lucille Lortel, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations), Othello at TFANA (OBIE, Lucille Lortel Award, Drama League nomination, AUDELCO nomination). Broadway: A Time to Kill, LeBret in Cyrano with Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner, and Julius Caesar with Denzel Washington. International credits: Hotspur in Henry IV (Royal Shakespeare Company). Other off-Broadway credits: Women Beware Women (Red Bull), Enobarbus in Anthony and Cleopatra, Orombo in Oroonoko (TFANA, AUDELCO nomination), Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler (NYTW), Edgar in King Lear (Classical Theater of Harlem, AUDELCO nomination). Regional credits: Lucious Jenkins in Jesus Hopped the A Train (The Wilma Theater, Barrymore Award), Williamstown Theater, Trinity Rep, Shakespeare & Company, ART. TV/FILM: “Law and Order”, “Conviction”, “Michael Clayton”, “Midway”, “Malcolm X”.

Harris Yulin

HARRIS YULIN

(Robert) has appeared on Broadway in Hedda Gabler, The Price, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Visit, A Lesson From Aloes, and Watch On The Rhine. His off-Broadway credits include Raindance at Signature Theatre; Don Juan In Hell at Symphony Space; Steve Tesich’s Arts And Leisure at Playwrights Horizons; Tina Howe’s Approaching Zanzibar at Second Stage; Hamlet, King John, Richard III, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at New York Shakespeare Festival; and Mrs. Warren’s Profession and Hedda Gabler at Roundabout. Regional credits include Finishing the Picture at Goodman Theatre; a recent appearance in the title role of King Lear at New Jersey Shakespeare Festival; The Talking Cure at Mark Taper Forum; Tartuffe at the Guthrie and Arena Stage; Henry V at Hartford Stage; and The Tempest at Shakespeare & Co. Mr. Yulin’s directing credits include Horton Foote’s The Prisoner’s Song at Ensemble Studio Theatre; Conor McPherson’s This Lime Tree Bower at Primary Stages; Don Juan In Hell in London (Riverside Studios) and in New York (Symphony Space), Steve Tesich’s Baba Goya (Second Stage), Adele Shank’s Winter Play at Second Stage; Candida at the Shaw Festival; and The Front Page and The Guardsman at Long Wharf. His television credits include “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight,” “Mister Sterling,” “24,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Frasier” (Emmy Nomination), and “La Femme Nikita” (Emmy Nomination). His film credits include Fur, The Place Beyond the Pines, The Emperor’s Club, Training Day, The Million Dollar Hotel, The Hurricane, Looking for Richard, Murder at 1600, Multiplicity, Clear and Present Danger, and Scarface.


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

COME JOIN US!

Purchase

  • Critics are Raving about DEAR ELIZABETH! See what they are saying…


    Dear Elizabeth is “..A Rare Gift!” says The New York Times. Buy tickets today and see why.

  • Go Behind the Scenes of DEAR ELIZABETH at WP Theater

    Take a peek behind the scenes and watch interviews with the celebrated actors that play ‘Elizabeth Bishop’ in the New York Premiere of DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl. Kate Whoriskey directs.

  • Samuel French Playwrights Series: Sarah Ruhl on DEAR ELIZABETH

  • Featuring a rotating cast of award-winning actors. Week Five of DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl stars real-life married couple Ellen McLaughlin as Elizabeth Bishop, Rinde Eckert as Robert Lowell, and Polly Noonan returns as Stage Manager. Kate Whoriskey directs. Photography by Joan Marcus
    Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl: Cast of Week 5


    WP Theater presents

    New York Premiere
    DEAR ELIZABETH
    Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
    Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

    Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

    COME JOIN US!

    Buy Tickets

  • Featuring a rotating cast of award-winning actors. Week four of DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl stars David Aaron Baker, Cherry Jones, and Polly Noonan. Kate Whoriskey directs. Photography by Joan Marcus

    Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl: Cast of Week 4


    WP Theater presents

    New York Premiere
    DEAR ELIZABETH
    Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
    Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

    Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

    COME JOIN US!

    Buy Tickets

  • Featuring a rotating cast of award-winning actors. Week three of DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl stars Becky Ann Baker, Polly Noonan, and Peter Scolari. Kate Whoriskey directs. Photography by Joan Marcus

    DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl: Cast of Week 3


    WP Theater presents

    New York Premiere
    DEAR ELIZABETH
    Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
    Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

    Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

    COME JOIN US!

    Buy Tickets

  • The Cast of Week #3 of DEAR ELIZABETH in rehearsal – HBO’s “Girls” stars Becky Ann Baker (Elizabeth Bishop) and Peter Scolari (Robert Lowell)
    Dear Eliabeth 1st Rehearsal Becky Ann Baker and Peter Scolari

  • Featuring a rotating cast of award-winning actors. Week two of DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl stars Polly Noonan, J. Smith Cameron, and John Douglas Thompson. Kate Whoriskey directs. Photography by Joan Marcus

    Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl: Week 2 Cast


    WP Theater presents

    New York Premiere
    DEAR ELIZABETH
    Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
    Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

    Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

    COME JOIN US!

    Buy Tickets

  • Featuring a rotating cast of award-winning actors, week one of DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl stars Kathleen Chalfant, Polly Noonan, and Harris Yulin. Kate Whoriskey directs. Photography by Joan Marcus

    Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl: Week One Cast


    WP Theater presents

    New York Premiere
    DEAR ELIZABETH
    Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
    Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

    Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

    COME JOIN US!

    Buy Tickets

  • Go behind the scenes and view pictures of a videotaping with all of stellar actors playing “Elizabeth Bishop” in the New York Premiere of DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Kate Whoriskey. Featured Actors: Kathleen Chalfant (Week One), J. Smith-Cameron (Week Two), Becky Ann Baker (Week Three), Cherry Jones (Week Four), Ellen McLaughlin (Week Five), and Mia Katigbak (Week Six).

    Behind the Scenes: DEAR ELIZABETH


    WP Theater presents

    New York Premiere
    DEAR ELIZABETH
    Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
    Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

    Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth
    Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

    COME SEE THEM ALL!

    Purchase

What are people saying about Lisa Lampanelli?

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Tony Award winning director John Rando: Lisa has a tremendous capacity to get connected to her feelings and her bravery is boundless. She’s terrific, intelligent, and top-notch.”

The Writer Magazine: Lisa Lampanelli is fearlessly funny. Onstage, she can repeat something she’s told 20 times, but it sounds as if she just thought of it. Others could never get away with it.” 

 Michael Musto, Paper Magazine: The queen of outrageous comedy, Lisa Lampanelli happens to have a lot of heart, particularly when dealing with weight and food issues.”

Psychology Today: Lisa’s ability to be more open and vulnerable has not only helped her perform to her potential during difficult times, but also the crowd appears to be picking up on this new aspect of her comedy.” 

New York Times best-selling author Jane Green: “She has evolved. She’s known as Comedy’s Lovable Queen of Mean, but there’s so much more depth now. . . more authentic. You can’t write a play that resonates with people emotionally unless you’ve gone through a tremendous amount of stuff. It’s about the journey to healing and wisdom.” 

Lenny Bruce biographer, Ronald Collins: “Lisa Lampanelli is a comedian with an independent and irreverent streak akin to that of Lenny Bruce. Her robust comedy, like Bruce’s, takes no prisoners — and that’s just how it should be.”

 The New York Times: “Queen of Mean. An equal-opportunity offender.”


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SEPTEMBER 23 – NOVEMBER 6
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GET TO KNOW: ZAINAB JAH

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Starring as Katey in Stuffed, award-winning actress Zainab Jah‘s recent credits include: Maima, Eclipsed, Broadway; title role of Hamlet, (The Wilma Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo N Juliet (Classical Theatre of Harlem),  The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, (Atlantic Theater, NYC),  Prudence The Convert, Josephine, Ruined,  A Doll’s House ( Williamstown Theatre Festival), Helen of Troy, Trojan Women, (Classical Theatre of Harlem), In Darfur, (The Public Theatre /NYSF), Peter Sellars’ Children Of Herakles, ( European Tour). Film / TV credits: New York, I Love You (Short),  “Law & Order SVU,” Outliving Emily (with Andre Braugher and Philicia Rashad), Along Came Love, with Vanessa Williams. Awards: Philadelphia Critcs’ Circle Best actress Award (Hamlet ) Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Award Best Featured Actress (The Convert); San Francisco Bay Area Critics’ Circle – Outstanding Performance Female Featured Role (Ruined); and Best Featured Actress, Philadelphia Critics’ Circle Featured Actress Award (The Convert).


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SEPTEMBER 23 – NOVEMBER 6
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Final NYTimes Logo

THEATER
Zainab Jah, ‘Eclipsed’ Star, Is Ready for Battle
By ALEXIS SOLOSKIFEB. 17, 2016

Zainab Jah-New York Times Article

In “Eclipsed,” which begins previews Feb. 23 at the Golden Theater,Zainab Jah plays Maima, an AK-47-toting soldier who has given herself the name Disgruntled. But one evening at a South Brooklyn bistro, plates of oysters arrayed before her, Ms. Jah seemed content. “I’m greedy,” she said, with enthusiasm and without apology.

A self-described “fitness fanatic” who declined to give her age (“I don’t tell; I’m a lady,” she said), Ms. Jah is slim and not quite 5-foot-2, but with her plumb line posture, coiled braids and forceful energy, she looms larger. Especially when she’s holding a machine gun. Onstage, in Danai Gurira’s play about women entangled in a civil war in Liberia, she is incandescent, fierce and gentle, moving with tenacious grace. Offstage, the wattage is only a little dimmer. She even manages to slurp oysters with poise.

Born in England, she spent her first 10 years with a grandmother in Sierra Leone before joining her parents, both doctors, in England. It was that grandmother who first introduced her to theater, recruiting her for a church troupe called Christ’s Little Band.

Despite pressure from her parents to pursue medicine or law, she trained as a dancer and worked happily for several years before she began craving another form of expression. “I just sat up in bed and said, ‘I want to be an actor,’” she said.

Initially, directors would cast her only in Greek tragedies or Shakespeare. But she expanded her repertoire with a number of plays set in Africa, like Lynn Nottage’s “Ruined” and Ms. Gurira’s “The Convert.”

She first played Maima in 2009, rejoining the play Off Broadway last year, just after wrapping the title role of “Hamlet” at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. (Word of warning: For her art, Ms. Jah has learned to fire an automatic weapon and wield a sword. Stay on her good side.)

Her approach to character is rigorous and largely physical, a holdover of the dance training. “It’s always instinctive before it becomes intellectual,” she said. She thinks of Maima as a little Yorkshire terrier. “They’re always the first to attack the big dogs in the street,” she said.

While working on the play, she can’t let Maima go. After a rehearsal, she’ll get dressed, go home and watch documentaries about Liberia. “I don’t know whether it’s because I’m African myself, but I have to give such a completeness to these characters,” she explained. “I feel I will do them a disservice by not living in them full time.”

 Ms. Jah isn’t sure what she’ll do once “Eclipsed” closes in June. Maybe she’ll move to Jamaica and sell ice cream, she said, maybe she’ll turn to TV and film. She’d like to do a horror movie: “Run through the woods, scream,” she said with a laugh. Those monsters don’t stand a chance.

© 2016 The New York Times Company

GET TO KNOW: JESSICA LUCK

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Starring as Britney in Stuffed, Jessica Luck‘s New York Theatre credits include:  The Digger (La MaMa), The Blood Brothers (The Brick), The Quake (Ideal Glass), The Disembodied Soul and Buddy Becker’s Uncut Flick(NY Fringe).  Web Series:  Down Dog and Carolers.  Jessica is a Yale graduate and a recent Rockwell scholar at ESPA/ Primary Stages.  She is a member of the rock band My Dear Mycroft and the improv team The Jessica’s. Jessica is thrilled to be making her Off-Broadway debut in Stuffed!


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SEPTEMBER 23 – NOVEMBER 6
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Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio

MONICA BILL BARNES & NPR’s IRA GLASS recently took their show, Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio, on the road to great applause in Australia! WATCH their show trailer here and GET READY for Monica Bill Barnes & Company this spring at WP Theater!

Learn more about the new season here and click the below to become a 2016-17 Season Subscriber. Please call 212-765-1706 or e-mail subscriptions@womensproject.org for more information.

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CAN WE TAKE A JOKE? New documentary features STUFFED’s Lisa Lampanelli

CAN WE TAKE A JOKE?
A new documentary about freedom of speech features LISA LAMPANELLI

“The documentary presents “sobering commentary” and “strongly makes the case that we’ve all got to get over ourselves.” – The Hollywood Reporter

Can We Take a Joke?, a feature-length documentary about stand-up comedy, “outrage culture,” and censorship is now available now. WATCH the movie trailer below.


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A confident overweight gal, a chronically thin chick, a compulsive eater, and a bulimic walk into a play and… what happens next could only be told by comic mastermind Lisa Lampanelli. With signature wit and razor-sharp insight, Lampanelli’s famously irreverent voice comes to the New York stage with Stuffed, bringing together four women’s disparate stories to paint an acerbically witty and ultimately poignant portrait of the insanity of a world that forces women to address hard-hitting issues like: Is eating an ice cream sandwich in the shower an emotionally fulfilling activity? When it comes to blue jeans, should one opt for a camel toe or a muffin top? And the ultimate question: can food and body-image issues ever truly be conquered or are we all just destined to be Stuffed? #StuffedPlay

SEPTEMBER 23 – NOVEMBER 6
MCGINN/CAZALE THEATRE

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GET TO KNOW: ANN HARADA

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Ann Harada originated the role of Christmas Eve in Avenue Q on Broadway and the West End. Other Broadway includes Cinderella, 9 to 5, M Butterfly, Seussical, Les Miserables (revival). Recent Off – Broadway includes Brooklynite (Vineyard Theatre) and Love, Loss, and What I Wore (Westside Theatre). Regionally: 42nd Street and Mamma Mia (MUNY), and God of Carnage (George Street Playhouse) FILM: Youth in Oregon, Sisters, Trouble, Admission, Hope Springs, and The Art of Getting By. TV: “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” “The Good Wife,” “SMASH,” “30 Rock,” “House of Cards,” “Master of None.”


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SEPTEMBER 23 – NOVEMBER 6
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Read an interview at NPR with Ann Harada:

Ann Harada, From ‘Smash’ To Stepsisterhood

Ann Harada Cinderalla - NPR Interview

February 5, 2013
Rebecca Ritzel

Ann Harada is that rare Asian-American musical theater actress who’s never starred in The King and I or Miss Saigon. After a few summer stock stints as Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Harada realized if she was going to make it in theater, it would be as a character actor. In 2003, she originated the role of Christmas Eve in the irreverent puppet musical Avenue Q, a part she played on and off for six years. She’s been busy ever since, including a six-month run as Madame Thenardier in the Broadway revival of Les Miserables.

Tonight, Harada’s first regular TV character, the long-suffering stage manager Linda, returns to the NBC series Smash. After filming nine episodes for season 2, Harada left behind Katharine McPhee, Megan Hilty and the rest of the cast so she could originate the role of stepsister Charlotte in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The show is now running in previews; it opens on Broadway March 3.

Before heading to the theater recently, Harada carved out some time to talk about her career, from her start in summer stock to her star turns as not-so-stock characters.

As a young actress, did you envision yourself playing roles in The King and I or Miss Saigon or South Pacific?

I always wanted to play these roles in the repertory, but I found I had a hard time getting cast in typically Asian parts, because for whatever reason, people were like, “You’re too American,” “You’re too funny,” or, “You’re so not right for this.” That just wasn’t going to be where my path was, and I just had to get over that.

Did that shift happen pretty quickly for you?

When you are a minority actor, you figure out right away that so much of the game is what people expect you to be, or think that you could be, based on how you look. When you don’t fit that mold, you have to figure out other ways to be seen. I had to start working on ways that I wasn’t being cast traditionally.

And by “traditionally” you mean?

Not Asian-specific.

There are a lot of actresses out there playing Tuptim who might be jealous of that.

Believe me, there was nothing I wanted more when I was younger than to be that ingenue. But that’s not who I was. And I’m a character actor. And when you are a young character actor, there is pretty much nothing out there for you, especially if you are Asian. Oh, my God. I am such a late bloomer in terms of my career.

On NBC’s Smash, returning for a second season, Harada plays the much-put-upon stage manager Linda, charged with keeping the chaos at the show-within-a-show more or less under control.

So how old were you when you realized that you were destined to be a character actor?

I’ll put it this way: When I saw Cinderella as a young girl, it never really crossed my mind that I wanted to play Cinderella. I was thinking, “I could be a stepsister.” I have always gravitated more towards those parts.

So is that how you got cast as Christmas Eve?

No. That was a complete stroke of fate. When Bobby Lopez and Jeff Marx were developing [Avenue Q], they were literally looking for an Asian actress to come in and say, like, two sentences in “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.” I went, and I was Christmas Eve from then on.

How were you able to take playing such an idiosyncratic character — a heavily accented Japanese therapist engaged to an unemployed puppet — and use the role as a steppingstone?

It’s always nice to be affiliated with a hit. When I went to auditions, people knew who I was.

Before you auditioned for Smash, did you ask any stage managers for advice?

No. It was only 10 minutes. It’s not like I did very much method work going into that first audition. But when I went back, I thought about a lot of stage managers that I’ve worked with, and I do kind of model myself after one of them.

Have you had good relationships with your stage managers over the years? Or are you a problem child?

Yes. I’m happy to say that I have. But I have been written up for laughing onstage.

In rehearsals for Bombshell, the show-within-a-show on Smash, whose side is Linda on? The actors? Or the creative team?

I would have to say she’s on the creative team’s side, but looking out for the welfare of the actors. Stage management is such a delicate row to hoe. You have to deal with everyone’s personal issues, as well as the crew.

In that sense, Smash seems pretty accurate. Linda knows who’s fooling around with who in the dressing rooms, but at the same time she’s trying to help hang the lights.

Absolutely. The only time I put my foot down was when we were shooting a scene in tech, and they had given me a yellow blouse to wear, and I was like, “No. C’mon. We’re in tech. I would be wearing black.”

Have there been many moments when they’ve turned to the theater people on set and, and asked you, “What would really happen here?”

Smash has been, for the most part, very good about listening to the people who have a lot of stage experience. There was one time when they had the stage manager’s console facing the wrong way. And I was like, “Please, for the love of God, don’t shoot it like that. We will get so much flak.”

Can you give us any hints about what’s in store for Linda? Any more break-out scenes, like dancing at the Indian wedding?

Nothing like that. There will be no singing or dancing for me, but there are some great moments in Linda history coming up, in terms of stage manager breakdowns.

Were you eager to get back onstage yourself?

Oh yes. I mean, it was bittersweet, but hopefully it won’t be goodbye forever.

You had to go fulfill your childhood dream of playing a stepsister.

Of course. And to be in a Rodgers & Hammerstein musical that has never been on Broadway.

Is it really Broadway material though? Their Cinderella was a made-for-TV movie that came out in 1957, and there’s a version licensed to elementary schools.

We have an entirely new book by Douglas Carter Beane [the playwright who wrote The Little Dog Laughed and Xanadu]. It’s more cheeky and edgy. The dialogue is much punchier. It’s very funny, and there’s a contemporary feel to the humor, but there are no Justin Bieber jokes.

How would you describe your character, the stepsister Charlotte?

She is just pure id. She is that girl who tries just way too hard. Just wants to be liked, and is so unsuccessful at it. Everything about her is so over the top. All of my dresses are various shades of hot pink. You cannot miss me. She is just too-too. But she’s not evil; she’s overeager.

And you like that, that she’s not the stereotypical evil stepsister?

Of course, because what’s there to be evil about? You can resent a perfect person without being evil. I resent perfect people all the time.

So she’s the girl you feel sorry for at the dance?

Oh, yes. I would feel very sorry for her.

Is it fun, being back onstage and singing again, instead of herding singing divas for television?

It is the most fun you could ever have, to be in a show like Cinderella, with the funniest people. … I’m playing in the major leagues, with the best people there are. And I’m doing what I love to do. There is just not a better feeling in the world.

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GET TO KNOW: JACKSON GAY

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JACKSON GAY

(Stuffed Playwright & Star) Lisa Lampanelli shot her fifth stand-up special, “Back to the Drawing Board,” which premiered June 26, 2015 on EPIX and was nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award for “Best Comedy Album.” In the special, Comedy’s Lovable Queen of Mean showed off her radically different look after having lost more than 100 pounds. That weight loss, which she has maintained for over four years, inspired her to write Stuffed since, having been every size from 2 to 26, she has firsthand knowledge of the food and body-image struggle.

Lisa became a household name when she joined 17 other celebrities on the fifth season of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” where she advanced to the final four in the competition, raising $130,000 for her chosen charity, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. She also starred as a regular on “Bounty Hunters,” CMT’s first-ever animated series, and recently stole the show on an episode of CBS’s “2 Broke Girls,” helmed by “Sex and The City” creator, Michael Patrick King. She also was recently accepted into and attended the Yale Summer Conservatory for Actors in New Haven, CT.

Lampanelli joined the ranks of comedy greats with her 2009 HBO comedy special, “Long Live the Queen,” and that same year, released her autobiography, Chocolate, Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat and Freaks (Harper Collins). Lisa was also a monthly writer for the Women column in Playboy Magazine and is a contributor to the blog for Kripalu, the world-renowned yoga and meditation retreat center.

Lisa’s rise to the top of the comedy food chain began in 2002 when she was the only female comedian invited to skewer Chevy Chase on the NY Friars Club Comedy Central Roast. She soon became known as the “Queen of the Roasts”, going on to lambaste such names as Pamela Anderson, Jeff Foxworthy, William Shatner, Flava Flav, David Hasselhoff and, most recently, Donald Trump. Due to her success as a roaster, in 2009, Lisa was asked to serve as Roastmaster for the highly rated Comedy Central Roast of friend and fellow comic, Larry the Cable Guy.

One of the few white comedians to perform on BET’s “Comic View,” Lisa has clearly cemented her huge crossover appeal. She went on to appear on Comedy Central’s “Last Laugh 2005” and her one-hour special that year, “Take It Like a Man,” was a hit with the comedy network yet again. The CD and the DVD of the same name hit #6 on the comedy charts. Then, in January 2007, Lisa’s second one-hour special, “Dirty Girl,” debuted on Comedy Central and Warner Bros. Records, and reached #4 on the charts. Soon thereafter, “Dirty Girl” was nominated for a Grammy Award for 2007’s “Best Comedy Album”.

#STUFFEDPLAY


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SEPTEMBER 23 – NOVEMBER 6
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GET TO KNOW: LISA LAMPANELLI

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Lisa-Lampanelli-cropped

LISA LAMPANELLI

(Stuffed Playwright & Star) Lisa Lampanelli shot her fifth stand-up special, “Back to the Drawing Board,” which premiered June 26, 2015 on EPIX and was nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award for “Best Comedy Album.” In the special, Comedy’s Lovable Queen of Mean showed off her radically different look after having lost more than 100 pounds. That weight loss, which she has maintained for over four years, inspired her to write Stuffed since, having been every size from 2 to 26, she has firsthand knowledge of the food and body-image struggle.

Lisa became a household name when she joined 17 other celebrities on the fifth season of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” where she advanced to the final four in the competition, raising $130,000 for her chosen charity, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. She also starred as a regular on “Bounty Hunters,” CMT’s first-ever animated series, and recently stole the show on an episode of CBS’s “2 Broke Girls,” helmed by “Sex and The City” creator, Michael Patrick King. She also was recently accepted into and attended the Yale Summer Conservatory for Actors in New Haven, CT.

Lampanelli joined the ranks of comedy greats with her 2009 HBO comedy special, “Long Live the Queen,” and that same year, released her autobiography, Chocolate, Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat and Freaks (Harper Collins). Lisa was also a monthly writer for the Women column in Playboy Magazine and is a contributor to the blog for Kripalu, the world-renowned yoga and meditation retreat center.

Lisa’s rise to the top of the comedy food chain began in 2002 when she was the only female comedian invited to skewer Chevy Chase on the NY Friars Club Comedy Central Roast.  She soon became known as the “Queen of the Roasts”, going on to lambaste such names as Pamela Anderson, Jeff Foxworthy, William Shatner, Flava Flav, David Hasselhoff and, most recently, Donald Trump.  Due to her success as a roaster, in 2009, Lisa was asked to serve as Roastmaster for the highly rated Comedy Central Roast of friend and fellow comic, Larry the Cable Guy.

One of the few white comedians to perform on BET’s “Comic View,” Lisa has clearly cemented her huge crossover appeal.  She went on to appear on Comedy Central’s “Last Laugh 2005” and her one-hour special that year, “Take It Like a Man,” was a hit with the comedy network yet again. The CD and the DVD of the same name hit #6 on the comedy charts. Then, in January 2007, Lisa’s second one-hour special, “Dirty Girl,” debuted on Comedy Central and Warner Bros. Records, and reached #4 on the charts. Soon thereafter, “Dirty Girl” was nominated for a Grammy Award for 2007’s “Best Comedy Album”.

#STUFFEDPLAY


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SEPTEMBER 23 – NOVEMBER 6
MCGINN/CAZALE THEATRE

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WATCH THE 2016 GALA HIGHLIGHTS!

WP Theater’s 2016 Annual Women of Achievement Awards Gala

Women’s Project Theater’s 31st Annual Women of Achievement Awards Gala took place June 13, 2016 at the Edison Ballroom. The evening, which was hosted by comedian and playwright Lisa Lampanelli (#StuffedPlay), honored Emmy Award winning actress and activist Martha Plimpton; film, television, and Broadway producer Jenna Segal; and actress, producer, environmentalist, and UNICEF ambassador Trudie Styler.

On hand to perform and present were Kathryn Erbe (Law & Order), Heidi Thomas (creator of Call the Midwife), Celine Rattray (The Kids Are All Right), Beth Malone (Fun Home), Dee Hoty (Bright Star), and Monica Bill Barnes and Company, who performed a dance routine to James Brown’s “Sex Machine.”

For more information: WP Special Events

#WPTheater #WPAwards

Video by Bajan Brownstone LLC

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WP Theater’s 2016 fiscal year ends at 11:59pm TODAY!

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VIEW 2016 GALA PIXS!

2016 Gala Video Snapshot

The 31st ANNUAL WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS GALA honored Emmy Award winning actress MARTHA PLIMPTON; celebrated film, television and Broadway producer JENNA SEGAL; and actress, producer, environmentalist and UNICEF ambassador TRUDIE STYLER.

Hosted by Grammy nominated comedienne LISA LAMPANELLI, with special performances by Fun Home’s Tony Award Nominee BETH MALONE accompanied by composer RICK HIP-FLORES; three-time Tony Award nominated actress, currently starring in the award-winning musical Bright Star DEE HOTY accompanied by Orchestrator & Arranger MATTHEW AUMENT; acclaimed dance company MONICA BILL BARNES & COMPANY; and special presentations by Emmy Award nominee and creator of “Call the Midwife” HEIDI THOMAS; celebrated stage, screen, and TV actress, star of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” and “The Father” KATHRYN ERBE and Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Award-winning producer, The Kids Are All Right, and co-founder, Maven Pictures CELINE RATTRAY

The 2016 Gala was held on Monday, June 13, 2016 at 6:30pm at The Edison Ballroom, 240 W 47th Street, NYC

For more information: WP Special Events

Photographs by Talya Chalef and Caitlin McNaney

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JOIN US! The day after the Tony Awards at #WPAwards

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JOIN US! JUNE 13 at the 2016 WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS GALA honoring MARTHA PLIMPTON, JENNA SEGAL & TRUDIE STYLER!

Hosted by LISA LAMPANELLI with special performances and appearances by Fun Home on Broadway’s BETH MALONE; Bright Star: A New Musical’s DEE HOTY, Monica Bill Barnes & Company, “The Father” and Law & Order: Criminal Intent star KATHRYN ERBE, co-founder of Maven Pictures, CELINE RATTRAY & the creator of “Call the Midwife” PBS HEIDI THOMAS!

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GET READY TO BE STUFFED!

‪#‎StuffedPlay‬: A confident overweight gal, a chronically thin chick, a compulsive eater and a bulimic walk into a play and…

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Find out more at STUFFED at WP Theater this fall! SEPT 23-NOV 6, 2016➠http://bit.ly/STUFFEDWP

2016 WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS GALA

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JOIN US! 2016 WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS GALA honoring MARTHA PLIMPTON, JENNA SEGAL & TRUDIE STYLER. MONDAY, JUNE 13, 2016, 6:30pm. GET TIXS ➠http://bit.ly/2016GalaTix.

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FUN HOME’s Beth Malone and Jeanine Tesori join #WPAwards!

The 2016 WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS is the only place to be with a special performance by FUN HOME’s Beth Malone and Jeanine Tesori. Don’t miss it!

MONDAY, JUNE 13! GET TIXS ➠http://bit.ly/2016GalaTix. ‪#‎WPAwards‬The day after the Tony Awards ‪#‎TheOnlyPlaceToBe‬

HAPPY HOUR IS HERE!

Hurrah for HAPPY HOUR! Attend Monica Bill Barnes & Company’s HAPPY HOUR! Every Wednesday thru May 25 at 6:30pm. Presented by Gibney Dance in partnership with WP Theater and The Joyce Theater. FOR $25 TICKETS USE DISCOUNT CODE WP25➠http://bit.ly/1TmtRLi

Are you joining us on Monday, June 13?

Are you joining us on Monday, June 13?

JOIN US at the 2016 WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS GALA honoring MARTHA PLIMPTON, TRUDIE STYLER and more! Hosted by LISA LAMPANELLI!

GET TIXS➠http://bit.ly/2016GalaTix. ‪#‎WPAwards‬ The day after the Tony Awards ‪#‎TheOnlyPlaceToBe‬

WATCH last year’s Gala video and secure your seat today! http://bit.ly/1pyLa4Q

Get to Know the Cast of QUEENS

SOFIYA AKILOVA (Stage Direction) is a tv, film, and theatre actor, and a writer.  She emigrated from Uzbekistan to New York with her family in 1990. She attended LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts and completed her bachelor’s in English Literature at Queens College.  Sofiya is also an alumna of NYU Grad Acting. Recently, she has performed in productions at Yale Rep and The Old Globe Theatre. She has also appeared in the following television shows: Madam SecretaryTURN: Washington’s SpiesAllegiance, and Alpha House. Sofiya is a recent and proud member of the 52nd Street Project.

PAOLA LÁZARO (Isabela/Glenys) is an actress and playwright born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She holds a B.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from SUNY Purchase College, M.F.A. in Playwriting from Columbia University.  In 2015 she was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play in To the Bone at Cherry Lane Theatre. Lázaro was also in Martyna Majok’s John Who’s Here From Cambridge at EST. She received the Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence grant at the Atlantic Theater for 2016-2017 for her play Tell Hector I Miss Him, premiering next season at Atlantic. Her most recent play There’s Always the Hudson will have a reading at Labyrinth Theater in May as part of their Up Next Series. Paola was awarded the Arts Entertainment Scholarship Award from NHFA, a member of the Public Theater’s 2015 Emerging Writers Group and was selected Playwright-in-Residence for the Sundance Theater Lab in Morocco 2016.

MARJAN NESHAT (Aamani/Nasima) Recent theater credits include Irina in Three Sisters, Fallaci directed by Oskar Eustis, Scorched, Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Aiesha Ghazali in The Near East, Masha in The Seagull with Dianne Wiest. She just finished work on the film The Book of Henry with Naomi Watts and a recurring role on the ABC drama “Quantico.” Other film and TV credits include a starring role in the independent film Almost in Love with Alan Cumming, RoboCop, Sex in the City 2, Funny in Farsi (directed by Barry Sonnenfeld), “Person of Interest,” “Royal Pains,” “Blue Bloods,” “Black Box,” “Unforgettable,” “Fringe,” multiple Law and Orders. She is a member of The Actors Center in NYC.

AMANDA QUAID (Inna) New York: The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence (Playwrights Horizons, world premiere by Madeleine George), Luck of the Irish (LCT3, Lortel nom), Cock (The Duke), A Public Reading…Walt Disney (Soho Rep, world premiere by Lucas Hnath), Pericles (Public, AEA St. Clair Bayfield Award), Equus (Broadway), The Illusion (Signature), Galileo (CSC), Happy Hour (Atlantic), The Witch of Edmonton (Red Bull), The Seagull (dir. Max Stafford-Clark), three plays at Irish Rep, most recently The Weir. Regional: Old Globe, Shakespeare Theatre, Barrington Stage Company, Folger, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. TV/film: “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order: SVU,” Non-Stop. Faculty: HB Studio, The Freeman Studio. Quaid directed her first short film, English, in 2014, which premiered at Cannes Short Film Corner and will screen in May as part of the New York Women in Film and Television’s Immigrant Experiences Series. For more info, visit amandaquaid.com.

ANA REEDER (Renia) Broadway: Big Knife, Hedda Gabler, Top Girls, Sight Unseen; Off-Broadway: Radiance, The Maids, Happy Hour, Living Room in Africa, The Wooden Breeks, Small Tragedy (Obie), Humble Boy, An Experiment with an Air Pump,Time of the Cuckoo, Some Voices, Killers and Other Family, Maid, Macbeth, Henry VIII, Hedda Gabler (NYTW); London: The Distance from Here (Almeida Theatre) Williamstown: A Streetcar Named Desire. Film: No Country for Old Men, The Locksmith (original title: Homewrecker/ Best of Next/Sundance), Acts of Worship (Independent Spirit Award Nomination/Best Actress, Best Actress/Santa Barbara Film Festival), Marie and Bruce, One for the Money. TV: HBO’s You Don’t Know Jack, Damages, Law & Order, Blue Bloods. BA: Middlebury College, MFA: NYU.

ANDREA SYGLOWSKI (Pelagiya/Lera) recently appeared in the world premiere productions of The Nest by Theresa Rebeck (The Denver Center) and Of Good Stock by Melissa Ross (South Coast Rep). Her 2014 production of Venus in Fur at the Huntington Theatre garnered her the 2014 Elliott Norton Award for Best Actress in a Large Theatre, and an IRNE Award for Best Actress. She has participated in new play development workshops at The Roundabout, New York Theatre Workshop, Labyrinth Theatre Company, Bay Street Theatre, The Lark, Ars Nova, Jewish Plays Project, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, The New York Society Library, and BAM.  Other credits include: Asking for Trouble (Ensemble Studio Theatre), The Walk Through (Slate Theatre Company), A Flea in her Ear, Bully to You, Schmoozy Togetherness, White Trash Anthem (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Three Sisters, Loves Labours Lost, Elijah, Carve (Chautauqua Theatre Company) Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare at the Manor) TV: ‘The Good Wife,’ ‘How to Get Away with Murder,’ ‘Elementary.’ Film: Every New York City Party Happens in a Bathroom. Training: USC and The Juilliard School, class of 2013, where she was the proud recipient of the Robin Williams Scholarship.


FINAL WEEK OF THE PIPELINE FESTIVAL

WEEK 5: April 21 – April 23

QUEENS

The award-winning playwright Martyna Majok unveils her latest work for Pipeline Festival audiences.

By Martyna Majok
Directed by Tamilla Woodard
Produced by Rachel Karpf Reidy

Starring Sofiya AkilovaPaola Lázaro, Marjan NeshatAmanda Quaid, Ana Reeder, Andrea Syglowski

Martyna Majok, author of WP’s recent hit IRONBOUND, continues her exploration of the people on the fringes of society through a fierce and funny new play about immigrant women seeking more than the American Dream. Don’t miss this chance to see this award-winning playwright’s newest work in its earliest stages! #QueensPlay


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TICKETS ON SALE: HERE!


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The Pipeline Festival: Rachel Karpf Reidy

Karpf-Reidy,-Rachel-Headshot-200px(Producer) Rachel Karpf Reidy works with artists and cultural institutions to produce theater and live performance pieces that inspire, delight, and move audiences. Recent works include Todd Almond and Courtney Love’s Kansas City Choir Boy (ART/Beth Morrison Projects) and Jay Scheib and Keeril Makan’s Persona (M.I.T & National Sawdust/Beth Morrison Projects). As Associate Director of Page 73: Clare Barron’s You Got Older, directed by Anne Kauffman (2 OBIE Awards, 4 Drama Desk Award noms., Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist); George Brant’s Grounded, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll (Drama Desk Award nom.); Cori Thomas’ When January Feels Like Summer, directed by Daniella Topol (co-produced with EST). With the Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure, she has produced large-scale site-specific performance adventures including in the Brooklyn Museum (BEAT Festival), PRELUDE, Stony Brook University, and throughout the DUMBO neighborhood. For 13P: Lucy Thurber’s Monstrosity, Julia Jarcho’s American Treasure, and Madeline George’s The Zero Hour. Other projects at LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater, New York Theater Workshop, and the Commonweal Theatre. Creator of the lecture series Saloon; grant review panelist for NSYCA and others. BA: Dartmouth College. rachelkarpfreidy.com


WEEK 5: April 21 – April 23

QUEENS

The award-winning playwright Martyna Majok unveils her latest work for Pipeline Festival audiences.

By Martyna Majok
Directed by Tamilla Woodard
Produced by Rachel Karpf Reidy

Starring Sofiya AkilovaPaola Lázaro, Marjan NeshatAmanda Quaid, Ana Reeder, Andrea Syglowski

Martyna Majok, author of WP’s recent hit IRONBOUND, continues her exploration of the people on the fringes of society through a fierce and funny new play about immigrant women seeking more than the American Dream. Don’t miss this chance to see this award-winning playwright’s newest work in its earliest stages! #QueensPlay


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TICKETS ON SALE: HERE!


@WomensProject #PipelineFestival / #WPLab

The Pipeline Festival: Tamilla Woodard

Woodard,-Tamilla-Headshot-200px(Director) Tamilla Woodard is a theatre director working nationally and internationally. Currently, she is serving as the Artistic Director of The Five Boroughs/One City Project, a multi-year initiative of The Working Theater. The project supports the commissioning and development of 5 Playwright/Director teams working in collaborations and creating theatrical works in response to and inside of working class communities in all 5 boroughs. She is co-founder of PopUp Theatrics, a partnership creating site specific and immersive productions around the world. She is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, alumnus of The Lincoln Center Directors Lab and former Audrey Fellow at New Georges. She graduated from The Yale School of Drama’s Acting program and is the recipient of The Josephine Abady Award from The League of Professional Theatre Women and The Charles Bowden Award from New Dramatists. Her work has been presented and developed at the Working Theater, NYTW, New Georges, HERE, The Lark, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, PS122, DR 2, The Culture Project, Urban Stages, Dance Theatre Workshop, The Kitchen Theatre and for festivals and theater’s Internationally. Most recent work includes: A Midsummer Nights Dream, NY Times Critics Pick, Cherry Smoke by James McManus, and La Ruta by Ed Cardona Jr, for Working Theater, NYC (NY Times End of Year List of Notable productions). For PopUP: Broken City: Harlem, a site specific commission by The Harlem Arts Festival. Long Distance Affair, a Skype immersive performance with editions in Romania, Argentina, Mexico, Scotland and the US; INSIDE, a site specific production with editions in Bucharest and Madrid. Upcoming: The Block by Dan Hoyle, Working Theater and Broken City: Wall Street, PopUP Theatrics.


WEEK 5: April 21 – April 23

QUEENS

The award-winning playwright Martyna Majok unveils her latest work for Pipeline Festival audiences.

By Martyna Majok
Directed by Tamilla Woodard
Produced by Rachel Karpf Reidy

Starring Sofiya AkilovaPaola Lázaro, Marjan NeshatAmanda Quaid, Ana Reeder, Andrea Syglowski

Martyna Majok, author of WP’s recent hit IRONBOUND, continues her exploration of the people on the fringes of society through a fierce and funny new play about immigrant women seeking more than the American Dream. Don’t miss this chance to see this award-winning playwright’s newest work in its earliest stages! #QueensPlay


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TICKETS ON SALE: HERE!


@WomensProject #PipelineFestival / #WPLab

WATCH: Behind the Scenes with the QUEENS Creative Team

WEEK 5: April 21 – April 23

QUEENS

The award-winning playwright Martyna Majok unveils her latest work for Pipeline Festival audiences.

By Martyna Majok
Directed by Tamilla Woodard
Produced by Rachel Karpf Reidy

Starring Sofiya AkilovaPaola Lázaro, Marjan NeshatAmanda Quaid, Ana Reeder, Andrea Syglowski

Martyna Majok, author of WP’s recent hit IRONBOUND, continues her exploration of the people on the fringes of society through a fierce and funny new play about immigrant women seeking more than the American Dream. Don’t miss this chance to see this award-winning playwright’s newest work in its earliest stages! #QueensPlay


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TICKETS ON SALE: HERE!


@WomensProject #PipelineFestival / #WPLab

The Pipeline Festival: RACHEL SUSSMAN

Rachel-Sussman---#RugDealerPlay-350px

(Producer) Rachel Sussman is a New York-based producer committed to nurturing diverse work through creative collaboration. She serves as the Director of Programming for The New York Musical Theatre Festival and is a co-founder of The Indigo Theatre Project as well as The MITTEN Lab, a new emerging artist residency in her native state of Michigan. Rachel has worked with such companies as Second Stage Theatre, 321 Theatrical Management, RKO Stage, Goodspeed Musicals’ Mercer Colony, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook, The Tony Awards, and CREATE-Ireland in Dublin, Ireland. Producing credits include: Talk to me about Shame (FringeNYC, Overall Excellence Award), Lemon Cake (133rd St. Arts Center), The Imaginary Menagerie (Joe’s Pub), and, most recently, The Woodsman (59E59 & New World Stages). She is currently developing a new musical with composer/lyricist Shaina Taub. Rachel is a trustee for The Awesome Foundation NYC and sits on Advisory Boards for The Musical Theatre Factory and Strangemen & Co. She is a graduate of the Commercial Theater Institute and a University Scholar alumna of NYU Tisch.


 

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When Raba Zacharai suddenly passes away, his daughter Shiraz inherits the prominent Persian rug shop he built in New Haven after leaving Iran in 1979. After diving into a love affair with a dangerously beautiful customer and discovering her mother’s secret longing to return to her homeland after years in exile, Shiraz must negotiate the costly business of carpets, family, duty, and desire. #RugDealerPlay

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The Pipeline Festival: THE CAST OF THE RUG DEALER

Farah Bala (Shiraz) Originally from Bombay, India, Farah is an actor, producer & leadership coach based in NY. Barrymore Award Nomination for Outstanding Leading Actress (alongside theatre veteran Anna Deavere Smith). MFA Theater: Sarah Lawrence College; 2-year recipient of the Fezana Performing Arts Award. Select Theatre: Tales from the Tunnel; Honor Killing; In the Book Of; One-woman show To The Death of My Own Family, Macbeth, Two Gentlemen of Verona. Select Film & TV: Entre Nos; The War Within; Karma, Confessions and Holi; Broad City. New play development at The Actors Studio, Labyrinth, Women’s Project, Red Bull, Rising Circle, The Lark, Ma Yi, among others. Profiled in Umbrage Edition’s national award winning book, GREEN CARD STORIES – one of 50 profiles of recent immigrant stories from around the world. farahbala.com

Soraya Broukhim (Azar) NYC Theatre Credits: Petrol Station (NYU/BAM), No Place to Hide (The Living Theatre, Bread & Puppet Theatre), I am Gordafarid (NYTW & Rising Circle), Soundwaves: The Passion of Noor Inayat Khan (Fringe), Blackbird (One woman show, Schmucks Theatre), Here We Are, History of the World, SMOPS, Korach by Judith Malina (The Living Theatre), Red Tent Fabrik (JoyceSoho), Antigone, Betrothed (Ripe Time), Gut Girls (Chocolate Factory), Woyzeck (CultureProject), Innocent Erendira (Here), Logic of the Birds (Lincoln Center). Regional Theatre: Scorched (Syracuse Stage), In the Heart of America (Interact Co. PA), Wintertime (San Jose Rep), Afghan Women (Passage Theatre, NJ), Sodom & Gomorrah (O’Neill  Playwrights Conference), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (CT), & Blue Demon (WTF) dir. Darko Tresnjak. Europe: Antigone (Romania, UNESCO/ITI). TV/Film: “Madam Secretary,” Xenophilia, Flat Tire, Headshot, Rosewater, America 1979, Eugenia & John, An Encounter with Simone Weil, The Push. Graduate of Fordham University LC, BAADA, NTI, & St. Petersburg Arts Theatre Academy. Adjunct Professor of Theatre at Fordham University and Artistic Associate of the Living Theatre. sorayabroukhim.com

Edward A. Hajj (Raba) is delighted to be a part of the first ever “Pipeline Festival.” New York credits include: Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre, New Georges, NAATCO, The Cherry Lane, Lark, New Dramatists, Naked Angels, Lincoln Center & EST.  Regional: Actors Theatre, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf, Alliance, InterAct. Many thanks to Rachel, Lee, Riti, Lisa and the WP staff, my acting partners and the “rug-dealing” production team. The best is yet to come. edwardhajj.com

Rita Wolf (Mariam) started her career with the Royal Court Youth Theatre in London. Her first professional job was Joint Stock Theatre Co’s Borderline by Hanif Kureishi. She has gone on to a career in theatre, TV and film which in the US includes Tony Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul at NYTW, BAM and Mark Taper Forum, David Grieg’s The American Pilot at MTC (Drama Desk nomination) and A.R. Gurney’s O, Jerusalem at The Flea. In 1991 she co-founded Kali Theatre Co in London to produce exclusively the work of female South Asian Theatre practitioners. Their latest show The Dishonoured by Aamina Ahmad opened in London this March.


 

Instagram square Rug Dealer

When Raba Zacharai suddenly passes away, his daughter Shiraz inherits the prominent Persian rug shop he built in New Haven after leaving Iran in 1979. After diving into a love affair with a dangerously beautiful customer and discovering her mother’s secret longing to return to her homeland after years in exile, Shiraz must negotiate the costly business of carpets, family, duty, and desire. #RugDealerPlay

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
Purchase: HERE!


@WomensProject #PipelineFestival / #WPLab

VIEW PRODUCTION PHOTOS: VEIL’D

VIEW PHOTOS: FALL IN LOVE WITH VEIL’D by Monet Hurst-Mendoza, directed Sarah Krohn, and produced by Kristen Luciani for THE PIPELINE FESTIVAL!
THE PIPELINE FESTIVAL: VEIL'D


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The Pipeline Festival: Kristen Luciani

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(Producer) Kristen Luciani currently works in general management at DR Theatrical Management. She is also an independent producer and formerly served as Associate Producer to Elizabeth I. McCann. Kristen has previously worked with The Public Theater and Playwrights Horizons. Independent credits include: Judith (Kraine Theater) and We Declare You a Terrorist (Summer Play Festival). As Management Associate to Liz McCann and Joey Parnes, Broadway credits include: Hair, The Merchant of Venice, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Kristen is also the co-founder and Executive Producer of Paradox Productions, a boutique Executive Producing and General Management firm (www.paradoxprods.com). She holds a BFA in Theater/Producing from NYU-Tisch School of the Arts.


 

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PHOTOS: Ironbound Opening Night

View a slideshow of photographs from the opening night of the critically acclaimed IRONBOUND:
IRONBOUND OPENING NIGHT


BUY TICKETS TO IRONBOUND TODAY! EXTENDED ENGAGEMENT: NOW thru APRIL 24 ONLY!

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PHOTOS: The Pipeline Festival ‘Kick Off’

View a slideshow of photographs from the ‘Kick Off’ toast and party for WP’s inaugural Pipeline Festival:

The Pipeline Festival Kick Off


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SAVE 15% OFF single Tickets with code: SOCIAL15.

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The Pipeline Festival: CYGNUS Begins March 24!

WEEK 1: March 24 – 26

CYGNUS

An inexplicable and life-altering event sends Cydney on a search for a divine solution to her earthly problems.

By Susan Soon He Stanton
Directed by Danya Taymor
Produced by Liz Olson

Starring Damon DaunnoTeresa Avia Lim, Kate Rigg

Cydney believes an angel rescued her from an ineffable trauma, and the truth may prove stranger than she imagines. In this mythic, hilarious, and poetic new play, Susan Soon He Stanton spins a dark fairy tale where a burnt feather may illuminate the possibility of a divine intervention. #CygnusPlay


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The Pipeline Festival: CYGNUS’ Kate Rigg

Kate Rigg 1 (Cygnus)Kate Rigg (Mama Hansen) Off Broadway: The JammerThree Kinds of Exile (Atlantic), BFE (LongWharf/Playwrights Horizons), Dogeaters (The Public) Vagina Monologues (Westside Theater) Most Fabulous Story (NYTW) Regional: Playmakers Rep, ATL, Brava, CTGLA, New World Theater, Out North, Conworks. TV: The PathLaw and Order SVU, Law and Order, Law and Order CI, Fox’s Family Guy, One Night Stand-Up, Dr. Phil,  Comedy Central Women in Comedy, Showtime’s Hot Tamales, Film: Race Is the Place, That’s What She Said, The Naughty Show. Artist Residencies: Smithsonian Institute, NYFA, Comedy Central Theater. Lead Singer of the spoken word/rock outfit Slanty Eyed Mama. Stand Up Comic and solo artist in stadiums and dive bars around the world.  Graduate: Julliard. www.katerigg.com


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The Pipeline Festival: CYGNUS’ Teresa Avia Lim

Teresa-Avia-Lim-(Cygnus)Teresa Avia Lim (Cydney Hansen) Theatre: NAATCO’S Awake and Sing and Macbeth Mobile Shakespeare Unit at the Public Theater, Peerless at Yale Rep, 4000 Miles at Long Wharf Theatre, Seminar at Philadelphia Theatre Co. Originated her roles in Water by the Spoonful at Hartford Stage, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them at Humana Festival/ Actors theatre of Louisville and Concerning Strange Devices From the Distant West at Berkeley Rep. Also appeared in productions of Lorenzaccio, Pericles, Macbeth, and the Tempest at The Shakespeare Theatre of Washington DC. Television: “Blue Bloods”, “Limitless”, “Unforgettable”, “Law and Order: Criminal Intent”. Film: Dispatched. Training: Yale School of Drama: An Inaugural Recipient of Jerome L. Greene Scholarship.


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The Pipeline Festival: CYGNUS’ Damon Daunno

Damon Daunno (Cygnus)

Damon Daunno (Jason) is an Actor and Musician from New Jersey. He received a B.F.A. in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Some acting credits include: Broadway: Kneehigh Theater Co.’s Brief Encounter. Off Broadway: Kneehigh Theater Co.’s Wild Bride (St.Ann’s Warehouse), Tristan and Yseult (St.Ann’s Warehouse). Regional: Oklahoma! (Bard), These Paper Bullets! (Geffen Playhouse), The Last Goodbye (Williamstown), Fly By Night (Dallas Theater Center), Jesus in India (Magic). Film & TV: “The Following” (Fox). He is also a composer and multi-intsrumentalist and has produced scores for short and feature length films. He is represented by Abrams Artist Agency and Authentic Management.


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The Pipeline Festival: Susan Soon He Stanton

Soon-He-Stanton,-Susan---Headshot-200px(Playwright) Susan Soon He Stanton’s plays include Takarazuka!!!, Today Is My Birthday, SEEK, The Things Are Against Us, Cygnus, The Underneath, and more. Her plays have been produced or developed at Clubbed Thumb, East West Players, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theater Workshop, Kennedy Center, The Flea, Washington Ensemble Theater, Joe’s Pub, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and others.

She is a two-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient. Writing groups and residencies include Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, Playwrights Center Corewriter, SoHo Rep Writer-Director Lab, Lark Van Lier Fellowship, Hedgebrook, and MaYi Playwrights Lab. Other awards include Southern Rep’s Ruby Prize Runner-up, Susan Glaspell Prize Finalist, Kilroy’s List, a Susan Smith Blackburn nomination, and a NET Partnership Grant with Satori Group. She is a writing consultant for Disney Creative Entertainment. She received a Feature Film Development Grant from the Sloan Foundation. Films include Dress, Dispatched, Good House, and Same Will. BFA: NYU Tisch, MFA: Yale School of Drama.


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The Pipeline Festival: Liz Olson

Olson,-Liz---headshot-200px(Producer) Liz Olson is a freelance producer and the General Manager/Line Producer of Tectonic Theater Project (Carmen, The Tallest Tree in the Forest, Uncommon Sense). Previously, she was the Managing Director of Studio 42, where she produced Ken Urban’s Wasps and worked on productions of Bekkah Brunstetter’s Miss Lilly Gets Boned and Gregory S. Moss’s Billy Witch. In the past, she has worked at NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, NYTW, Playwrights Realm, and Two River Theater Company. She is the producer for Reentry, which tours US Naval bases as part of their soldier reintegration training. This brings her full circle in life as she is a third generation Navy brat who now produces theater for the Navy. Freelance includes Couriers and Contrabands and Be A Good Little Widow.  She holds an MBA in Public and Nonprofit Management from Boston University and a bachelor’s from The College of William and Mary.


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PHOTOS: IRONBOUND OPENING NIGHT!


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The Pipeline Festival: Pearl Hodiwala

Hodiwala,Pearl-Headshot-200px(Producer) Pearl Hodiwala is from Sydney, Australia and has a background in development, fundraising and producing and theatre management.  Pearl has worked as Philanthropy Coordinator at Belvoir Street Theatre, and Producing Fellow at The Public Theater. Currently, Pearl is Strategy and Business Development Coordinator with Disney Theatrical Productions and Managing Director of Kaimera Productions (www.kaimeraproductions.com).  Selected works: Jupiter (a play about power) (La Mama), The Fall (Flamboyan Theatre) and Underland (59E59). Member of the Women’s Project Producers Lab 2014-2016. Bachelor Arts and Science from Sydney University and Masters of Arts Administration from Columbia University.


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The Pipeline Festival: LEE SUNDAY EVANS

Lee-Sunday-Evans-#rugdealerplay(Director) Lee Sunday Evans is a director and choreographer. Credits Include: Wellesley Girl by Brendan Pelsue at Humana/Actors Theater of Louisville, a workshop production of Miller, Mississippi by Boo Killebrew at Alley All New, D Deb Debbie Deborah by Jerry Lieblich at Clubbed Thumb; A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks… by Kate Benson at New Georges/Women’s Project Theater (OBIE Award), The Play About My Dad by Boo Killebrew at 59E59 Theatres; God’s Ear by Jenny Schwartz at Juilliard; Family Play (1979 to Present) by CollaborationTown; and The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht with original music by Nicholas C. Williams. Additionally, her work has been presented/developed at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Sundance Institute Theater Program, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, CATCH, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center. She is currently developing new projects with Andy Bragen, Kate Benson and Matthew Paul Olmos among others. As the resident director for CollaborationTown, she is currently developing a new musical as part of New Victory’s LabWorks, and working on a commission from LCT3. Upcoming: Macbeth at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.


 

Instagram square Rug Dealer

When Raba Zacharai suddenly passes away, his daughter Shiraz inherits the prominent Persian rug shop he built in New Haven after leaving Iran in 1979. After diving into a love affair with a dangerously beautiful customer and discovering her mother’s secret longing to return to her homeland after years in exile, Shiraz must negotiate the costly business of carpets, family, duty, and desire. #RugDealerPlay

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
Purchase: HERE!


@WomensProject #PipelineFestival / #WPLab

The Pipeline Festival: Adrienne Campbell-Holt

Campbell-Holt,-Adrienne-Headshot-200px(Director) Adrienne Campbell-Holt is the Founding Artistic Director of Colt Coeur, a Brooklyn-based theatre company. Upcoming: world premiere of Cal in Camo (co-pro Rattlestick & Colt Coeur), Dear Elizabeth (Dorset Theater Festival). Recent world premieres: Theresa Rebeck’s The Nest (Denver Theatre Company), One Child Born (Oberon at American Repertory Theater), How to Live on Earth by MJ Kaufman (Colt Coeur @ HERE, September 2015), Chiara Atik’s 52nd to Bowery (EST Marathon), Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel (Colt Coeur @ HERE, NYC), Greg Moss’ REUNION (South Coast Rep), Everything is Ours by Nikole Beckwith (Colt Coeur @ HERE), Recall by Eliza Clark (Colt Coeur @ Wild Project), Fish Eye (Colt Coeur @ HERE). Other productions: Red starring Tim Daly (Dorset Theater Festival, VT), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Yale), world premiere of Seven Minutes in Heaven by Steven Levenson (Emerging America Festival, Huntington Theatre Company and Colt Coeur @ HERE). Adrienne is a Time Warner/Women’s Project Lab 2014-2016 Fellow. She has developed work with La Jolla Playhouse, Roundabout Underground, Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Playwrights’ Center and EST. She is also the director of #makeitfair. BA Barnard College, Columbia University.


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GO BEHIND THE SCENES: UNTITLED

WEEK 5: April 21 – April 23

UNTITLED

The award-winning playwright Martyna Majok unveils her latest work for Pipeline Festival audiences.

By Martyna Majok
Directed by Tamilla Woodard
Produced by Rachel Karpf Reidy

Martyna Majok, author of WP’s recent hit IRONBOUND, continues her exploration of the people on the fringes of society through a fierce and funny new play about immigrant women seeking more than the American Dream. Don’t miss this chance to see this award-winning playwright’s newest work in its earliest stages! #UntitledPipeline


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GO BEHIND THE SCENES: THE RUG DEALER

WEEK 4: April 14 – April 16

THE RUG DEALER

THE RUG DEALER

“I’m mad to be a woman running this rug business…but sometimes the right person comes along for the right rug and the match is magic.”

By Riti Sachdeva
Directed by Lee Sunday Evans
Produced by Rachel Sussman

Starring Farah Bala, Soraya Broukhim, Edward HajjRita Wolf

When Raba Zacharai suddenly passes away, his daughter Shiraz inherits the prominent Persian rug shop he built in New Haven after leaving Iran in 1979. After diving into a love affair with a dangerously beautiful customer and discovering her mother’s secret longing to return to her homeland after years in exile, Shiraz must negotiate the costly business of carpets, family, duty, and desire. #RugDealerPlay

 


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GO BEHIND THE SCENES: KINGS

WEEK 3: April 7 – April 9

KINGS

By Sarah Burgess
Directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt
Produced by Pearl Hodiwala

Starring Quincy Tyler BernstineJess Love, Larry Pine, Charles Socarides

A first term congresswoman worries for the state of our republic when she experiences Washington’s political fundraising apparatus up close. When she doesn’t play along with lobbyists, her numbers suffer, and her party tries to push her aside. Tries. #KingsPlay


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GO BEHIND THE SCENES: VEIL’D

WEEK 2: March 31 – April 2

VEIL’D 

Not every fairy tale has sunshine.

By Monet Hurst-Mendoza
Directed by Sarah Krohn
Produced by Kristen Luciani

Starring Dahlia AzamaPurva Bedi, Tommy Crawford, Dariush KashaniMatthew Van Oss

16-year old Dima has a rare skin allergy that compels her to hide behind her mother’s old burqa. Her parents worry she’s lonely and wish they could give her the perfect American upbringing they imagined when they left Afghanistan. But they don’t know about Dima’s secret friends: Elliot, a self-described beatnik who spends his days hawking poems on the street corner below her window, and a talking nurse shark named Speedo. With a little encouragement from her fairy god-shark, Dima and Elliot’s relationship begins to blossom–but can Dima really expect a happy ending? #VeildPlay


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GO BEHIND THE SCENES: CYGNUS

WEEK 1: March 24 – 26

CYGNUS

An inexplicable and life-altering event sends Cydney on a search for a divine solution to her earthly problems.

By Susan Soon He Stanton
Directed by Danya Taymor
Produced by Liz Olson

Starring Damon DaunnoTeresa Avia Lim, Kate Rigg

Cydney believes an angel rescued her from an ineffable trauma, and the truth may prove stranger than she imagines. In this mythic, hilarious, and poetic new play, Susan Soon He Stanton spins a dark fairy tale where a burnt feather may illuminate the possibility of a divine intervention. #CygnusPlay


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PHOTO FLASH: THE PIPELINE FESTIVAL

Go Behind the Scenes of the Pipeline Festival Photo Shoot with this slideshow:

The Pipeline Festival


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SAVE 15% OFF single Tickets with code: SOCIAL15.

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GO BEHIND THE SCENES: THE PIPELINE FESTIVAL


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WATCH THE IRONBOUND TRAILER

VIEW the trailer for the critically acclaimed IRONBOUND by Martyna Majok and directed by Daniella Topol.  Starring Josiah Bania (Ironbound at Round House Theatre, Sarah Ruhl’s Three Sisters at Yale Rep), Shiloh Fernandez (“Queen of Carthage,” “Red Riding Hood”), Marin Ireland (Kill Floor, Reasons to Be Pretty) and Drama Desk nominee Morgan Spector (A View From The Bridge, “Boardwalk Empire”). Film by Erik Pearson & Banjan Brownstone, LLC. Music by Josiah Bania.


 

BUY TICKETS TO IRONBOUND TODAY! EXTENDED ENGAGEMENT: NOW thru APRIL 24 ONLY!

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The Pipeline Festival: Sarah Burgess

Burgess,-Sarah-Headshot-200px(Playwright) SARAH BURGESS‘s play Dry Powder premiered at the Public Theater this March. Dry Powder was a recipient of the 2016 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award, and a finalist for the Blackburn prize.  Other plays include Camdenside (Ground Floor selection, Berkeley Rep; Kilroys List 2015) and FAIL: Failures (ANT Fest).  Writer for The Tenant (Woodshed Collective) and “Naked Radio,” Naked Angels’ podcast series.  Burgess has been a writer-in-residence at SPACE on Ryder Farm and the Cape Cod Theatre Project. Member of the WP Lab; Ars Nova Play Group alum.


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herMajesty hails The Pipeline Festival

“herMajesty’s NY-based dream pop revels in spacey, glam Briticisms and a blissful expansiveness that can only be described as, well, majestic.” – CMJ Music Report

The New York City indie rock/pop band, herMajesty answered a late night call for music for THE PIPELINE FESTIVAL‘s “Behind the Scenes” video. The band generously provided the use of their melodic song “Operator,” with the message “Shine so Bright” Pipeline Festival!

BUY TICKETS TO THE PIPELINE FESTIVAL! ALL ACCESS FESTIVAL PASSES ON SALE NOW: MARCH 24-APRIL 23!

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Listen to IRONBOUND’s Josiah Bania sing the Blues “Czerwony Jak Cegla.”

BUY TICKETS TO IRONBOUND TODAY! LIMITED ENGAGEMENT: NOW thru APRIL 10 ONLY!

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REVIA Magazine: Playwright Martyna Majok Taking Center Stage

BUY TICKETS TO IRONBOUND TODAY! LIMITED ENGAGEMENT: NOW thru APRIL 10 ONLY!

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PHOTO FLASH: IRONBOUND


Created with flickr slideshow.

 

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The Pipeline Festival: Sarah Krohn

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(Director) Sarah Krohn’s directing credits include Horse Girls by Jenny Rachel Weiner (the cell), The Pits by Joshua Harmon (Williamstown Theater Festival), You Remind Me of You by Matthew Capodicasa (Fordham/Primary Stages), The Next War by Kate Mulley (Columbia Playwriting); Parade (Yale Dramat), and Victor Frange Presents Gas, which she co-conceived with Dan O’Neil (Incubator Arts). Member of the 2014-16 Women’s Project Theater Lab, Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab and Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab; recipient of Williamstown Theater Festival’s Sagal Fellowship; co-facilitator of the New Georges Jam writer/director group. Graduate of Columbia University (BA) and Carnegie Mellon (MFA). www.sarahkrohn.com


 

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The Pipeline Festival: RITA SACHDEVA

RITI-SACHDEVA

(Playwright) Riti Sachdeva is a theatre maker, dancer, and cultural worker. She has developed work with the Public Theater, The Civilians R&D Group, PlayWrights Center, National New Play Network, University of Hawaii Asian Theatre Program, American Theater Company, Working Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Works, and Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. Her play Parts of Parts & Stitches received The Kennedy Center’s Quest for Peace award. She is a recipient of a TCG On the Road grant and recently traveled to Kerala, India to start adapting elements of Kathakali to her stage play Other Farmers’ Fields. Acting highlights include work with DisneyChannel, HBO, various awesome indie films, National Hispanic Cultural Center, MTWorks, Honest Aaccomplice, EarSay, Hybrid, and performances of her original works with MidNites cHiLd Productions in LA, Toronto, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and NYC. Riti continues to write, act, and study her beloved flamenco.


 

Instagram square Rug Dealer

When Raba Zacharai suddenly passes away, his daughter Shiraz inherits the prominent Persian rug shop he built in New Haven after leaving Iran in 1979. After diving into a love affair with a dangerously beautiful customer and discovering her mother’s secret longing to return to her homeland after years in exile, Shiraz must negotiate the costly business of carpets, family, duty, and desire. #RugDealerPlay

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
Purchase: HERE!


@WomensProject #PipelineFestival / #WPLab

The Pipeline Festival: Martyna Majok

Majok, Martyna-Headshot-200px(Playwright) Martyna Majok was born in Bytom, Poland, and aged in Jersey and Chicago. Her plays have been performed and developed at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, LAByrinth Theatre Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Women’s Project Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The John F. Kennedy Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Dorset Theatre Festival, New York Stage & Film, Yale Cabaret, The Playwright and Director Center of Moscow, Round House Theatre, Satori Group, Red Tape Theatre, and The LIDA Project, among others. Awards include the inaugural Women’s Invitational Prize at Ashland New Play Festival, The Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Award, Marin Theatre’s David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, Aurora Theatre’s Global Age Project Prize, National New Play Network’s Smith Prize for Political Playwriting, Jane Chambers Student Feminist Playwriting Prize, and The Merage Fellowship for the American Dream. Commissions from Geffen Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club, Marin Theatre Company, “The New Yorker” website, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and The Foundry Theatre. Publications by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, TCG, and Smith & Kraus. Residencies at SPACE on Ryder Farm, Fuller Road, Marble House Project, and Ragdale. BA: University of Chicago; MFA: Yale School of Drama. Martyna is currently part of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwright Program at The Juilliard School. She has taught playwriting at Williams College, Wesleyan University, SUNY Purchase, and as an assistant to Paula Vogel at Yale. Alumna of EST’s Youngblood. Member of Women’s Project Lab, The Dramatist Guild, and New York Theatre Workshop’s Usual Suspects. Martyna was the 2012-2013 NNPN playwright-in-residence. She is the 2015-2016 PoNY Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center.


WEEK 5: April 21 – April 23

QUEENS

The award-winning playwright Martyna Majok unveils her latest work for Pipeline Festival audiences.

By Martyna Majok
Directed by Tamilla Woodard
Produced by Rachel Karpf Reidy

Starring Sofiya AkilovaPaola Lázaro, Marjan NeshatAmanda Quaid, Ana Reeder, Andrea Syglowski

Martyna Majok, author of WP’s recent hit IRONBOUND, continues her exploration of the people on the fringes of society through a fierce and funny new play about immigrant women seeking more than the American Dream. Don’t miss this chance to see this award-winning playwright’s newest work in its earliest stages! #QueensPlay


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@WomensProject #PipelineFestival / #WPLab

The Pipeline Festival: Monet Hurst-Mendoza

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“Variety excites me. I like seeing atypical stories told from various perspectives.” – Monet Hurst-Mendoza

(Playwright) Monet Hurst-Mendoza is a New York-based playwright from Los Angeles, CA. Her plays have been developed with Rising Circle Theater Collective, |the claque|, Lookingglass Theatre, The Oneness Project, The Other Mirror, The Kupferberg Center, #serials@The Flea, Amios (Shotz!), and Playwright’s Playground at Classical Theatre of Harlem. She is the current Playwright in Residence for The Other Mirror, and a member of the 2016 inaugural Mitten Lab in Detroit, |the claque|’s Octo-Group, the 2017 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, and the 2014-2016 Women’s Project Lab Time Warner Foundation Fellow. Proud member: Rising Circle Theater Collective, and |the claque|. B.A.: Marymount Manhattan College.


 

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Get to Know IRONBOUND’s MARIN IRELAND

MARIN IRELAND

MARIN IRELAND is DARJA

“We are not having nice conversation.” – Darja

(Darja) Marin Ireland is a highly acclaimed actress of stage and screen. She stars opposite Corey Stoll in the independent feature GLASS CHIN, a performance for which she’s nominated for a 2016 Independent Spirit Award. She was recently seen in the indie film, THE FAMILY FANG, which debut at the Toronto Film Festival, and other recent film credits include THE PHENOM, BOTTLED UP, and 28 HOTEL ROOMS. This past year, she starred in the NBC miniseries THE SLAP, in addition to recurring roles on HBO’s GIRLS and Showtime’s MASTERS OF SEX. She will next star in the Amazon series, SNEAKY PETE. Tony Award nominated for her performance in Neil LaBute’s REASONS TO BE PRETTY, Marin recently received rave reviews for her performance in Lincoln Center Theater’s play KILL FLOOR and starred on Broadway in Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of THE BIG KNIFE, opposite Bobby Cannavale.

Follow Marin @MARINIRELAND #IronboundPlay #Immigrant


BUY TICKETS TO IRONBOUND TODAY! LIMITED ENGAGEMENT: MARCH 3- APRIL 24!

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Get to Know IRONBOUND’s MORGAN SPECTOR

 

Morgan-Spector---#IronboundPlay

MORGAN SPECTOR is TOMMY

“I could…try to be more understanding-“ – Tommy

MORGAN SPECTOR’s credits include Broadway: Machinal, Harvey, A View From the Bridge. Off-Broadway: Russian Transport (New Group, Drama Desk Nomination). Regional: Dissonance (Bay Street Theatre), The Lion King national tour, Enemies: A Love Story (Wilma Theatre). Television: Series Regular: “The Money (pilot),””Allegiance”, “The Broad Squad” (pilot), “Paradise Pictures (pilot). Recurring: “Boardwalk Empire,” “Person of Interest,” “Zero Hour,” “Law & Order: CI,” “How to Make It in America.” Guest Star: “Orange is the New Black,” “Do No Harm,” Film: Permission, The Bleeder, Christine, Split, The Drop, All Is Bright, Grand Street, Musical Chairs, Burning Blue, The Last Airbender. BA, Reed College; MFA, American Conservatory Theatre.

Follow Morgan @MORGUEINSPECTOR #IronboundPlay #Immigrant


BUY TICKETS TO IRONBOUND TODAY! LIMITED ENGAGEMENT: MARCH 3- APRIL 10 ONLY!

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Get to Know IRONBOUND’s JOSIAH BANIA

Josiah Bania - Ironbound

JOSIAH BANIA is MAKS

“We are not just body. Lift. Pull. Push. We are more than this.” – Maks

“Josiah Bania is the embodiment of youthful, crazy charisma!” – DC Theatre Scene on the world premiere of IRONBOUND at Round House Theatre

Josiah Bania is making  his Rattlestick, WP Theater, and New York City theatre debut in Ironbound. Regional credits include the world premiere of Ironbound, at Round House Theatre, Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation of Three Sisters at Yale Repertory Theatre; Loves Labour’s Lost at Chautauqua Theatre Company; The Secret in the Wings, at Yale Summer Cabaret; The History Boys at Artists Repertory Theatre; The Uneasy Chair at CoHo Theater; A Christmas Carol, and JAW: A Playwright’s Festival at Portland Center Stage. Television credits include “The Good Wife”, “Leverage”, and “The Mysteries of Laura”. Josiah holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, where he appeared as Iago in Othello, Bolingbroke in Richard II, Medvedenko in The Seagull, and Nolan in Petty Harbour.

Follow Josiah @JosiahBania #IronboundPlay #Immigrant


BUY TICKETS TO IRONBOUND TODAY! LIMITED ENGAGEMENT: MARCH 3- APRIL 10 ONLY!

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Get to Know IRONBOUND’s SHILOH FERNANDEZ

Shiloh Fernandez headshot
SHILOH FERNANDEZ is VIC

“…I’m just tryin to help.” – Vic

Shiloh Fernandez grew up in the small Northern California town of Ukiah. He moved to Los Angeles and has been in several major motion pictures and television productions including starring opposite Amanda Seyfried in “Red Riding Hood,” Shailene Woodley in “White Bird in a Blizzard,” and  alongside Zac Efron and Emily Ratajkowski in “We Are Your Friends.”  In 2015, Shiloh made his debut as a producer and screenwriter in the independent thriller “Queen of Carthage,” in which he also starred in opposite Oscar-nominated actress Keisha Castle-Hughes (“Whale Rider”). Shiloh’s latest movie “Long Nights Short Mornings” recently premiere at the 2016 SXSW festival. Shiloh is making his New York stage debut in Rattlestick Playwrights Theater’s and WP Theater’s premiere of the award-winning and critically acclaimed IRONBOUND by Martyna Majok and directed by Daniella Topol.

Follow Shiloh @shilohfernandez #IronboundPlay #Immigrant

Watch the trailer for his latest movie here: LONG NIGHTS SHORT MORNINGS.


BUY TICKETS TO IRONBOUND TODAY! LIMITED ENGAGEMENT: MARCH 3- APRIL 10 ONLY!

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Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Announces 2015–16 Finalists

American Theatre logo

Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Announces 2015–16 Finalists

Ten female playwrights from the U.S. and the U.K. are nominated,
with the winner to be announced Feb. 22.
By American Theatre Editors

WP’s Sarah Burgess, Dominique Morisseau, Lynn Nottage & Suzan-Lori Parks among finalist.

NEW YORK CITY: The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has announced the finalists for its 2015–16 playwriting award, the oldest and largest prize given to female playwrights. Selected from more than 150 nominated plays, the 10 finalists are Sarah Burgess for Dry Powder; Rachel Cusk for Medea; Sarah DeLappe for The Wolves; Sam Holcroft for Rules for Living; Anna Jordan for Yen; Dominique Morisseau for Skeleton Crew; Lynn Nottage for Sweat; Suzan-Lori Parks for Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3); Bea Roberts for And Then Come the Nightjars; and Noni Stapleton for Charolais.

The judges for the 2015–16 prize are Kate Bassett, Jeremy Herrin, Tanya Moodie, Greta Gerwig, Sam Gold, and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.

The winner will be announced on Feb. 22 at a presentation at the National Theatre in London. The winner will receive a cash prize of $25,000 and a signed print by artist Willem de Kooning created especially for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. The other finalists will each take home an award of $5,000.

The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, a Houston-based organization, reflects the values of  American actor and writer Susan Smith Blackburn. She grew up in Houston and lived in London for the last 15 years of her life. Since the award’s inception in 1978, more than 350 playwrights have been honored as finalists.

Martyna Majok’s favorite part of the playmaking process…

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Steppenwolf Article: GETTING TO KNOW PLAYWRIGHT MARTYNA MAJOK

What is your favorite part of the playmaking process, and why?

Martyna Majok: Workshops. Tom Stoppard likens outside perspectives on his plays to going through customs at the airport. The officer asks you to declare what you have in your luggage. you tell him. “A four character play about a lady at a bus stop in Jersey.” Then he goes rifling through your bags and finds all these things you didn’t realize you’d packed. Like capitalism and the contradictions of modern feminism in certain socioeconomic situations.

Read more at Steppenwolf.org

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW TO #IRONBOUNDPLAY! LEARN MORE + BUY TICKETS HERE.

GET TO KNOW CELEBRATED DIRECTOR DANIELLA TOPOL

Daniella Topol

Director Daniella Topol’s previous WP Theater productions include: Cori Thomas’ When January Feels Like Summer, Jessica Dickey’s Row After Row, Sheila Callaghan’s Lascivious Something, Trista Baldwin’s Sand. Recent productions include: Rachel Bonds’ Five Mile Lake (South Coast Rep),  Jessica Dickey’s Charles Ives Take Me Home (Rattlestick Theatre) Rajiv Joseph’s Monster at the Door (Alley Theatre), Lloyd Suh’s Jesus in India (Magic Theatre and MaYi Theatre), Carla Ching’s Sugarhouse at the Edge of the Wilderness (MaYi Theatre), Willy Holtzman’s The Morini Strad (City Theatre), Sheila Callaghan’s Dead City (New Georges) and Janet Allard and Niko Tsakalakos’ Pool Boy (Barrington Stage Company), Anna Ziegler’s PHOTOGRAPH 51 (Theatre J), Susan Bernfield’s STRETCH (People’s Light and Theatre Company). She has directed readings and workshops for a number of companies and is currently a member of the board of the Lark Play Development Center, has been a grants review panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, NY State Council on the Arts and TCG. She is an NYTW Usual Suspect, member of EST, a Women’s Project Lab alumnus, and a New Georges affiliated artist. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

Learn more about Daniella Topol

Website: daniellatopol.com

Read Meet the Directors, The New York Times

Photograph of Daniella Topol by Chad Batka

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW TO #IRONBOUNDPLAY! LEARN MORE + BUY TICKETS HERE.

GET TO KNOW AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT MARTYNA MAJOK

Martyna Majok
(Playwright) Martyna Majok (pronounced “my-oak”) was born in Bytom, Poland, and aged in Jersey and Chicago. Her plays have been performed and developed at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Marin Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Williamstown Theatre Festival, LAByrinth Theatre Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, Women’s Project Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The John F. Kennedy Center, Dorset Theatre Festival, New York Stage & Film, Yale Cabaret, The Playwright and Director Center of Moscow, Round House Theatre, Satori Group, Red Tape Theatre, and The LIDA Project, among others. Awards include the inaugural Women’s Invitational Prize at Ashland New Play Festival, Marin Theatre’s David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, Aurora Theatre’s Global Age Project Prize, National New Play Network’s Smith Prize for Political Playwriting, Jane Chambers Student Feminist Playwriting Prize, and The Merage Fellowship for the American Dream. Commissions from Manhattan Theatre Club, Marin Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The New Yorker website, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and The Foundry Theatre. Publications by Samuel French and Smith & Kraus. Residencies at SPACE on Ryder Farm, Fuller Road, and Ragdale. BA: University of Chicago; MFA: Yale School of Drama. Martyna is currently part of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwright Program at The Juilliard School. She has taught playwriting at Williams College, Wesleyan University, SUNY Purchase, and as an assistant to Paula Vogel at Yale. Alumna of EST’s Youngblood. Member of Women’s Project Lab, Ars Nova’s Uncharted, The Dramatist Guild, and New York Theatre Workshop’s Usual Suspects. Martyna was the 2012-2013 NNPN playwright-in-residence at NJRep. She is the 2015-2016 PoNY Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center.

WebsiteMartynaMajok.com

Recent Articles:
Heavyweight Playwriting Fellowship Names 2015-16 Recipient, Variety
8 Playwrights Receive ‘Exit’ Grants as They Graduate From EST’s Youngblood, American Theatre
UpClose: Martyna Majok, Women’s Voices Theater Festival, DC Theatre Scene
Getting to Know Playwright Martyna MajokSteppenwolf Theatre Company

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW TO #IRONBOUNDPLAY! LEARN MORE + BUY TICKETS HERE.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

TAKE A LOOK AT WP’s YEAR IN REVIEW!

Thank you for your continued support of WP Theater! See you in 2016…

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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HOWEVER, WHENEVER & WHEREVER…
you celebrate this holiday season, your WP Theater family hopes that it is full of JOY & GREAT CHEER!

LISTEN! ENJOY! WP THEATER’S 2015 HOLIDAY MUSIC PLAYLIST

For your listening pleasure, Team WP Theater put together a sing along, snap your fingers, swaying playlist of classic holiday songs. Click above, listen, and enjoy the holiday season and new year with these tunes by your side.

REMINDER! #IronboundPlay tickets are on sale now! Learn more and buy tickets here.

“IRONBOUND is…The first KNOCKOUT of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival” – The Washington Post

IRONBOUND NEWS + MORE

IRONBOUND NEWS + MORE

Women's+Voices+Theater+FestivalThe premiere of IRONBOUND by Round House Theatre with the dynamic duo, Martyna Majok and Daniella Topol, at the 2015 Women’s Voices Theater Festival was met with rave reviews! Here are just a few of the stellar reviews:

“The first KNOCKOUT of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival” -The Washington Post

“…a deceptively simple, thought-provoking, and an ELEGANT WORK OF ART.” -Broadway World

5-Stars“IRONBOUND by Martyna Majok…amounts to 90 MINUTES OF BLISTERING GOODNESS.” -DC Theatre Scene

#1 HIT OF THE WEEK” & “…a well written script; superb acting and a high-end production all helmed by the immensely talented director Daniella Topol.” -MD Theatre Guide

DON’T MISS THE NEW YORK PREMIERE OF THIS “ELEGANT WORK OF ART!”

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

FREE EVENT SERIES: DEAR MISS BISHOP

FREE EVENT SERIES

WP Theater & Farrar, Straus and Giroux present
DEAR MISS BISHOP: POETS IN CONVERSATION WITH SARAH RUHL’S DEAR ELIZABETH

UP NEXT & FINAL PROGRAM
December 5, 4:30pm, WP Theater, 2162 Broadway & 76th Street, NYC

KRJ and AC

Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison, Psychiatrist, Author, Educator, Touched With Fire, An Unquiet Mind

Interviewed by Dr. Anthony Charuvastra, Clinical Assistant Professor, NYU Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Recognized by NPR as one of “their all-time favorite books,” read a review of Jamison’s bestselling classic, An Unquiet Mind, at NPR Books.

LEARN MORE AND SIGN UP FOR FREE TICKETS HERE: DEAR MISS BISHOP.

GET TO KNOW: Harris Yulin starring as Robert Lowell in DEAR ELIZABETH

Harris Yulin

Harris Yulin has appeared on Broadway in Hedda Gabler, The Price, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Visit, A Lesson From Aloes, and Watch On The Rhine. His off-Broadway credits include Raindance at Signature Theatre; Don Juan In Hell at Symphony Space; Steve Tesich’s Arts And Leisure at Playwrights Horizons; Tina Howe’s Approaching Zanzibar at Second Stage; Hamlet, King John, Richard III, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at New York Shakespeare Festival; and Mrs. Warren’s Profession and Hedda Gabler at Roundabout. Regional credits include Finishing the Picture at Goodman Theatre; a recent appearance in the title role of King Lear at New Jersey Shakespeare Festival; The Talking Cure at Mark Taper Forum; Tartuffe at the Guthrie and Arena Stage; Henry V at Hartford Stage; and The Tempest at Shakespeare & Co. Mr. Yulin’s directing credits include Horton Foote’s The Prisoner’s Song at Ensemble Studio Theatre; Conor McPherson’s This Lime Tree Bower at Primary Stages; Don Juan In Hell in London (Riverside Studios) and in New York (Symphony Space), Steve Tesich’s Baba Goya (Second Stage), Adele Shank’s Winter Play at Second Stage; Candida at the Shaw Festival; and The Front Page and The Guardsman at Long Wharf. His television credits include “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight,” “Mister Sterling,” “24,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” “Frasier” (Emmy Nomination), and “La Femme Nikita” (Emmy Nomination). His film credits include Fur, The Place Beyond the Pines, The Emperor’s Club, Training Day, The Million Dollar Hotel, The Hurricane, Looking for Richard, Murder at 1600, Multiplicity, Clear and Present Danger, and Scarface.


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
FINAL WEEK – MUST CLOSE DEC 5!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

COME JOIN US!

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LISTEN to our DEAR ELIZABETH Soundcloud Playlist!


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: NOW – DEC 5 ONLY!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

COME JOIN US!

Purchase

“It’s Captivating! Ravishing!” says WNYC! Listen to a review of WP’s DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl at WNYC.org

Read the full review here.


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: NOW – DEC 5 ONLY!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

COME JOIN US!

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GET TO KNOW: Mia Katigbak starring as Elizabeth Bishop in DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl

Mia Katigbak

NYC: Most recent: Awake & Sing! NAATCO (Obie Award); Washeteria (Soho Rep); A Beautiful Day in November…Great Lakes (New Georges/Women’s Project), Scenes from a  Marriage (New York Theater Workshop). Other NYC: Public Theater, Foundry Theater, Civilians, Ma-Yi, Target Margin, Clubbed Thumb, Intar, Pan Asian Rep. Regional: Berkeley Repertory Theater (CA), Swine Palace (LA), Guthrie (MN). International: Manila, Philippines; Abu Dhabi, UAE.  Film: I Smile Back, Clutter, Slow Jam King. TV: “Mysteries of Laura,” “Chicago PD,” “Conviction.” Artistic Producing Director and co-founder, NAATCO (National Asian American Theatre Company).  Founding director, CAATA (Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists). Other awards:  Lucille Lortel, Lee Reynolds Awards (League of Professional Theatre Women); Actors Equity’s Rosetta LeNoire Award, in recognition of her “artistic contribution to the universality of the human experience in the American theater”; New Dramatists’ Charles Bowden Actor Award. BA, Barnard College; MA, Columbia University.


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: NOW – DEC 5 ONLY!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

COME JOIN US!

Purchase

GET TO KNOW: Rinde Eckert starring as Robert Lowell in DEAR ELIZABETH

Rinde Eckert

Rinde Eckert is a writer, composer, librettist, musician, performer and director. His Opera / New Music Theatre productions have toured throughout America and to major theater festivals in Europe and Asia. Eckert began his career as a writer and performer in the 1980’s, writing librettos for Paul Dresher (Pioneer, Power Failure, Slow Fire, Ravenshead). He composed dance scores for choreographers Sarah Shelton Mann and Margaret Jenkins, including the evening-length Woman, Window, Square for The Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. Rinde began composing and performing his own music/theater works in 1992 with The Gardening of Thomas D, an homage to Dante which subsequently toured the United States and France. Staged works for solo performer include Becoming…Unusual: The Education of an Eclectic; three one-act plays: An Idiot Divine, Romeo Sierra Tango and Quit This House; and works for radio including Shoot the Moving Things and Four Songs Lost in a Wall. Writing credits for the theater include Highway Ulysses, Horizon, Orpheus X, And God Created Great Whales, which has been produced three times with the original cast and director, for a total of 227 performances. And God Created Great Whales, Horizon and Orpheus X have run off-Broadway, garnering Drama Desk Nominations and the Lucille Lortel Award. Rinde has received numerous honors and awards for his body of work. In 2012 he was named an inaugural Doris Duke Artist, was honored to receive the 2009 Alpert Award in the Arts for Theatre, a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship, and The American Academy of Arts and Letters 2005 Marc Blitzstein Award. In 2007 Rinde Eckert was the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Eckert wrote the text and performed in the multi-media production Slide with composer/guitarist Mackey and the new music ensemble 8th blackbird, which toured to major university campuses and the Ojai Festival. Renamed Lonely Motel by Cedille Records, the project won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance. Eckert and Mackey are members of BIG FARM, a ‘prog-rock’ super group with drummer Jason Treuting (So Percussion) and bassist Mark Haanstra. Rinde Eckert’s own uniquely eclectic music is released on Germany’s Intuition label and through Songline/Tonefield Productions.


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: NOW – DEC 5 ONLY!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

COME JOIN US!

Purchase

GET TO KNOW: Ellen McLaughlin starring as Elizabeth Bishop in DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl

Ellen McLaughlin

Ellen McLaughlin’s acting work includes originating the part of the Angel in Angels in America, playing the role in workshops and regional productions through its Broadway run in 1993-1994. Other favorite work includes the Homebody in Bart Sher’s production of Homebody/Kabul (Intiman, Seattle, WA), Pirate Jenny in A Threepenny Opera (Trinity Rep. Elliot Norton Award), Claire in Albee’s A Delicate Balance, (Arena Stage, Yale Repertory Theater), Margie in Good People (George St. Playhouse. Seattle Rep.) and Rosemary in Outside Mullingar (George St. Playhouse.) New York credits include: String of Pearls (Primary Stages), Blue Window (Manhattan Theater Club), and A Bright Room Called Day (Public Theater). Television work includes several appearances on “Law and Order”. McLaughlin is also a playwright.


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: NOW – DEC 5 ONLY!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

COME JOIN US!

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WP Theater honored by the KILROYS

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To celebrate just a few of the theaters achieving playwright parity on American stages this season, the Kilroys surprised 13 theaters around the country on Thursday, November 19, 2015 with cakes to honor the efforts they are making to produce women and trans* writers. Stealthy playwright allies delivered the cakes, which feature the names of playwrights the theater or festival is producing this season. Pizza and beer were delivered to industry leaders at yours truly, WP THEATER, for “feeding artistic ambitions for nearly four decades!” #CakeDrop

WATCH ‘Conversations with Cherry Jones’

Screen Actors Guild Foundation and Broadway World have partnered for an inaugural filmed Conversations Q&A series to recognize and celebrate the vibrant theatre community in New York City and the union actors who aspire to have a career on the stage and screen. View a featured career Conversations with Cherry Jones moderated by Broadway World’s Richard Ridge of “Backstage with Richard Ridge!”


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: NOW – DEC 5 ONLY!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

COME JOIN US!

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GET TO KNOW: Cherry Jones starring as Elizabeth Bishop in DEAR ELIZABETH

Cherry_Jones--Headshot

Recent News: 

November 10, 2015: Anjelica Huston & Cherry Jones Join ‘Transparent’ – Watch Season 2 Teaser, Deadline Hollywood

November 4, 2015: Bradley Whitford and Cherry Jones Join Hank Williams Biopic ‘I Saw the Light’, The Hollywood Reporter

Cherry Jones starred most recently in the triumphant Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie (Tony Nomination), which originated at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she is a founding member and where earlier in her career she appeared in more than 25 productions including Twelfth Night, Three Sisters and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Broadway and Off-Broadway: Doubt (Tony, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Obie Awards), Lincoln Center Theater’s production of The Heiress (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards); Pride’s Crossing (Drama Desk Award); When We Were Young and Unafraid; The Baltimore Waltz (Obie Award); Faith Healer; Flesh and Blood; Imaginary Friends; A Moon for the Misbegotten (Tony Award nomination); Angels in America; Our Country’s Good (Tony Award nomination); and Roundabout Theatre Company’s productions of Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Major Barbara and The Night of the Iguana. Television: President Allison Taylor in “24” (Emmy Award), “What Makes a Family,” “Awake,” the next season of “Transparent” on Amazon, the upcoming series “Mercy Street,” and the upcoming mini-series “11/22/63” starring James Franco. Film: Ocean’s Twelve, Cradle Will Rock, The Horse Whisperer, The Perfect Storm, Erin Brockovich, Signs, The Village, Mother and Child, Swimmers, the upcoming films I Saw the Light, and Fun House opposite Tina Fey.

Photograph of Cherry Jones by Zachary Maxwell Stertz


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: NOW – DEC 5 ONLY!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

COME JOIN US!

Purchase

GET TO KNOW: David Aaron Baker starring as Robert Lowell in DEAR ELIZABETH

David Aaron Baker

David Aaron Baker is thrilled to once more share the stage with Cherry Jones after playing her husband in Jon Robin Baitz’s play, The Film Society, directed by the late Roger Rees, at The Williamstown Theater Festival in 1997. David had the great fortune to work with Sarah Ruhl in 2008, when he performed in the Playwrights Horizons production of her play Dead Man’s Cell Phone. He is honored to work again with these extraordinary artists. David attended Illinois State University, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas – Austin and a diploma from The Julliard School.


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: NOW – DEC 5 ONLY!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

COME JOIN US!

Purchase

DEAR ELIZABETH Ticket Holders + RedFarm

REDFARM_LOGO

“RedFarm is indeed groundbreaking” – Time Out New York

Need a reservation at RedFarm in the Upper West Side? Popular restaurant RedFarm doesn’t take reservations but your ticket confirmation for WP’s DEAR ELIZABETH is your ticket in! Email Nina (nina AT redfarmnyc Dot com) to book your after-show seats. You’ll enjoy walking in to your very own table at RedFarm as well as a tasty treat from the kitchen. Enjoy!

Be sure to mention DEAR ELIZABETH when booking and show your confirmation upon arrival. 24 Hour Notice is Required. Red Farm is conveniently located a few doors away from WP Theater at 2170 Broadway (between 76th and 77th Streets). Subject to availability after 9pm. Offer valid until December 5, 2015.

GET TO KNOW: Playwright Sarah Ruhl

View a video playlist with interviews with playwright Sarah Ruhl over the years:

 

GET TO KNOW: Kate Whoriskey, Director of the New York Premiere of DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl

Kate Whoriskey

Director Kate Whoriskey most recently directed Lynn Nottage’s Sweat at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Other productions include Ping Pong and Manahatta at the Public through Public Studio, Ruined and Tales from Red Vienna at Manhattan Theatre Club, How I Learned to Drive at Second Stage, The Piano Teacher at the Vineyard Theatre, Oroonoko at Theatre for A New Audience, the world premiere of Fabulation and Inked Baby at Playwrights Horizons, and Massacre by Jose Rivera at the Labyrinth Theatre Company (of which she is a member). Internationally, she directed Magdalena at the Chatelet theatre in Paris and Teatro Muicipal in Sao Paolo. Regionally, she directed Ruined, Vigils, Heartbreak House, The Rose Tattoo and Drowning Crow for The Goodman, The Tempest at Shakespeare Theatre, the world premiere of Intimate Apparel, The Piano Teacher, Life is a Dream, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antigone, and The Clean House at South Coast Repertory, and Master Builder at the American Repertory Theatre. Nominated for a Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel for her work on Ruined, she has also directed at the Huntington, The Geffen, Baltimore Center Stage, Perseverance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Sundance Theatre Lab, The Fisher Center and The Eugene O’Neill Center.


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: NOW – DEC 5 ONLY!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

COME JOIN US!

Purchase

DEAR ELIZABETH NEWS + MORE

DEAR ELIZABETH NEWS + MORE

Review: ‘Dear Elizabeth’: A Deep Friendship, Told in Letters, WNYC

Go Behind the Scenes: Poet Meets Poet: An Interview With the Artistic Team Behind ‘Dear Elizabeth’, The Huffington Post

Harris Yulin Joins Cast of WP Theater’s ‘Dear Elizabeth’, Broadway World

BWW Review: Sarah Ruhl’s Touching DEAR ELIZABETH; Friendship Through the Mail, Broadway World

Theater Review: ‘Dear Elizabeth’, The Epoch Times

“I Remember Dreaming About Them,” Says Sarah Ruhl Of the Supposed Soul Mates Who Inspired Her Newest Play,” Playbill

To Do: November 4–November 18, 2015: Twenty-five things to see, hear, watch, and read. – ‘Dear Elizabeth’, New York Magazine

FREE EVENT SERIES: Paul Muldoon and More Set for WP Theater’s ‘DEAR MISS BISHOP’ Poetry Series Alongside DEAR ELIZABETH, Broadway World

‘Dear Elizabeth’ Theater Review, The Hollywood Reporter

Review: In ‘Dear Elizabeth,’ Two Solitary Poets Commune, New York Times

Openings and Previews: ‘Dear Elizabeth’, The New Yorker

HBO’s GIRLS Stars Becky Ann Baker and Peter Scolari Join ‘Dear Elizabeth’ at Women’s Project Theater, Broadway World

Read more news here!

 

GET TO KNOW Peter Scolari starring as Robert Lowell in DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl

Peter Scolari

Broadway/NY: Hairspray, Sly Fox, Magic Bird, Out of This World, Ziegfeld Follies of 1937 (City Center Encores!), World Premiere of A.R. Gurney’s Family Furniture, Lucky Guy. Regional: World Premieres of Daniel Sullivan’s Inspecting Carol, Ken Ludwig’s Fox on The Fairway at The George Street Playhouse. Winner Best Actor, Berkshire Theater Festival for The Foreigner. VQT Emmy Award Winner for “Newhart,” Three Time Emmy Nominee, Film Critic’s Award Nomination as Best Featured Actor for “Girls” (HBO), recurring on “Gotham,” also “Bosom Buddies,” “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” “The West Wing,” “E.R.,” “Family Ties,” “White Collar,” “King of Queens,” “Reba,” “Ally McBeal,” “From the Earth to the Moon” (HBO), “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off” (Showtime). Selected Film: That Thing You Do, Polar Express, Suburban Girl, Camp Nowhere, The Ryan White Story, and upcoming Madoff for ABC films.


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: NOW – DEC 5 ONLY!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

COME JOIN US!

Purchase

GET TO KNOW: Becky Ann Baker starring as Elizabeth Bishop in DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl

Becky Ann Baker

Becky Ann Baker is most recognized for her mothering skills, or lack thereof, on two Judd Apatow series, “Freaks and Geeks” and “Girls”, where she plays creator Lena Dunham’s mom, and for which she received a Critics Choice nomination.  But Becky has appeared on Broadway in both musicals and plays, including Good People, All My Sons, Assassins, Titanic, A Streetcar Named Desire, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  Her Off-Broadway credits include: Barbecue at the Public Theater, Suddenly Last Summer for The Roundabout; Comedy of Errors, Othello and Two Gentlemen of Verona for New York Shakespeare Festival; Wonderful Town for City Center Encores; The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told for New York Theatre Workshop; Shanghai Moon and June Moon for Drama Dept.; Durang, Durang for Manhattan Theatre Club; To Whom It May Concern and Laura Dennis at the Signature; The Vagina Monologues at Westside Arts; and more. Becky has performed regionally at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, where she is an artistic associate, the Old Globe, the South Coast Rep, Arena Stage, the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey and the Goodman Theater in Chicago.  Film credits include “The End of the Tour,” “23 Blast,” “Hope Springs,” “Nights in Rodanthe,” “Spinning into Butter,” “Stay,” “The Night Listener,” “Gretchen,” “War of the Worlds,” “Two Weeks Notice,” “A Simple Plan,” “Celebrity,” “Men In Black,” “In and Out,” “Sabrina,” “Unstrung Heroes,” “White Squall,” “Lorenzo’s Oil,” and “Come See the Paradise.”  Other TV appearances include: “Gotham,” “Madam Secretary,” Person of Interest,” “Elementary,” “The Good Wife,” “Smash,” “Black Box,” “A Gifted Man,” “Kings,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Mercy,” “Storm of the Century,” “Soul Man,” “Ruby Ridge,” “Frasier,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Sex and the City,” “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Oz,” and “Mind Games.” She is a member of the Actor’s Studio, Drama Dept. and Usual Suspects –NYTW.  Becky’s best and favorite production: Willa, co-produced with actor/director Dylan Baker.


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: NOW – DEC 5 ONLY!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

COME JOIN US!

Purchase

GET TO KNOW: John Douglas Thompson starring as Robert Lowell in DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl

John Douglas Thompson -Headshot

(Robert Lowell in WP’s ‘Dear Elizabeth’) won Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Solo Performance for his portrayal of Louis Armstrong in Satchmo at the Waldorf.  Shakespeare & Company: Richard IIIOthelloThe Dreamer Examines His Pillow, All’s Well That Ends Well, King Lear. Joe Mott in The Iceman Cometh with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy at the Goodman Theatre, Kent in King Lear at the Public Theater with Sam Waterston, Macbeth at TFANA, Marc Antony in Antony and Cleopatra at Hartford Stage with Kate Mulgrew, Gennady in The Forest at CSC with Dianne Wiest, Brutus Jones in The Emperor Jones at The Irish Rep (Lucille Lortel, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations), Othello at TFANA (OBIE, Lucille Lortel Award, Drama League nomination, AUDELCO nomination). Broadway: A Time to Kill, LeBret in Cyrano with Kevin Kline and Jennifer Garner, and Julius Caesar with Denzel Washington. International credits: Hotspur in Henry IV (Royal Shakespeare Company). Other off-Broadway credits: Women Beware Women (Red Bull), Enobarbus in Anthony and Cleopatra, Orombo in Oroonoko (TFANA, AUDELCO nomination), Judge Brack in Hedda Gabler (NYTW), Edgar in King Lear (Classical Theater of Harlem, AUDELCO nomination). Regional credits: Lucious Jenkins in Jesus Hopped the A Train (The Wilma Theater, Barrymore Award), Williamstown Theater, Trinity Rep, Shakespeare & Company, ART. TV/FILM: “Law and Order”, “Conviction”, “Michael Clayton”, “Midway”, “Malcolm X”.


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: NOW – DEC 5 ONLY!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

COME JOIN US!

Purchase

GET TO KNOW: J. SMITH-CAMERON starring as Elizabeth Bishop in DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl

J Smith-Cameron Headshot

(Elizabeth Bishop in WP’s ‘Dear Elizabeth’) has appeared in numerous theatre productions off and on Broadway.  Highlights include Our Country’s Good (Tony® nomination), Sarah, Sarah (Drama Desk nomination), Fuddy Meers (Outer Critics and Drama Desk nominations), and As Bees In Honey Drown (Obie award, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics nominations).  Recent credits include a critically acclaimed run as the title character in Juno And The Paycock at the Irish Repertory Theatre in NYC, as well as Richard Nelson’s Sorry and Sweet and Sad (Drama Desk and Obie awards) at the Public and That Hopey Changey Thing by the same author.  Also Midsummer Night’s Dream at La Jolla Playhouse and The Starry Messenger by Kenneth Lonergan at the New Group.  TV work includes a Series Regular role on SUNDANCE’S “Rectify” and a Recurring Role on HBO’s “True Blood.”  Recent film work includes Frank Whaley’s “Like Sunday, Like Rain” and J. also stars opposite Anna Paquin in Kenneth Lonergan’s film “Margaret”, which won her the Best Supporting Actress award for the International Cinephile Society.


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: NOW – DEC 5 ONLY!

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

COME JOIN US!

Purchase

New York Times Review: In ‘Dear Elizabeth,’ Two Solitary Poets Commune

Dear-Elizabeth-NYTimes-Review-10-31-15

As both poets and personalities, Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell could hardly have been more different.  She: intensely shy and self-doubting, producing gemlike, allusive poems so infrequently that…read more here.


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth
Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

COME SEE THEM ALL!

Purchase

DEAR ELIZABETH Production Photos: Cast of Week One

Featuring a rotating cast of award-winning actors, week one of DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl stars Kathleen Chalfant, Polly Noonan, and Harris Yulin. Kate Whoriskey directs.

Dear Elizabeth by Sarah Ruhl: Week One Cast


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth
Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

COME SEE THEM ALL!

Purchase

WP Theater Featured in Amtrak’s ARRIVE MAGAZINE

WP Theater is featured on the cover and in a 2-page spread in Amtrak’s ARRIVE MAGAZINE‘s November/December 2015 Issue. Be the first to read it here!

Amtrak-Arrive-Magazine-Cover

WP-Theater-in-Amtrak-Arrive-Magazine

Go Behind the Scenes of DEAR ELIZABETH at WP Theater

Take a peek behind the scenes and watch interviews with Sarah Ruhl and the celebrated actors that play ‘Elizabeth Bishop’ in the New York Premiere of DEAR ELIZABETH.


TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN.

COME JOIN US!

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OPENING NIGHT: The Cast of Week One of DEAR ELIZABETH

playbill_logo

See Sarah Ruhl, Kate Whoriskey, Kathleen Chalfant, Polly Noonan, and Harris Yulin Celebrate Opening Night of Dear Elizabeth: View Pictures at Playbill.com


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

COME JOIN US!

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DEAR ELIZABETH Production Photos: Cast of Week One

Go behind the scenes and view pictures of a videotaping with all of stellar actors playing “Elizabeth Bishop” in the New York Premiere of DEAR ELIZABETH by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Kate Whoriskey. Featured Actors: Kathleen Chalfant (Week One), J. Smith-Cameron (Week Two), Becky Ann Baker (Week Three), Cherry Jones (Week Four), Ellen McLaughlin (Week Five), and Mia Katigbak (Week Six).

Behind the Scenes: DEAR ELIZABETH


WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth
Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: DAVID AARON BAKER, BECKY ANN BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

COME SEE THEM ALL!

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John Krasinski to Lead Sarah Burgess’ DRY POWDER at The Public in 2016

Sarah Burgess headshotThe Public Theater announced today that John Krasinski has been cast in the role of “Seth” in the world premiere play DRY POWDER by Sarah Burgess (WP Lab Member, PIPELINE FESTIVAL). Directed by Thomas Kail, this gripping, razor-sharp new play about the people molding and messing with the American economy begins previews on Tuesday, March 1 and runs through Sunday, April 10. Read more here at Broadway World.

Learn more about THE PIPELINE FESTIVAL by the WP Lab, including Playwright Sarah Burgess: http://bit.ly/pipelinefestival.

#PipelineFestival

WP Theater at Theatermania’s BLOCK PARTY!

 

WP Theater at Theatermania's BLOCK PARTY

Check out pictures from yesterday’s fun-filled TheaterMania BLOCK PARTY on 3rd Avenue. WP Theater, Lincoln Center, Signature Theater, Playwrights Horizons, Roundabout Theatre Company, and many more joined the festivities!

Take a Look Inside! WP’s New Season Brochure!


EVERY WEEK IS A NEW EXPERIENCE

WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

COME SEE THEM ALL!

Purchase

WP’s New Season Brochures! Subscribe Today!

Theatermania Features WP’s New Season!

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Sarah Ruhl’s Dear Elizabeth to Make New York Premiere at Women’s Project. The two-character drama is on tap for the organization’s 2015-16 season.

The two-character drama is on tap for the organization’s 2015-16 season.

David Gordon • Off-Broadway • Aug 24, 2015

Off-Broadway’s Women’s Project Theater has announced its 2015-16 season, set to take place at the organization’s new home, theMcGinn/Cazale Theatre.

The season will kick off with the New York premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s Dear Elizabeth, under the direction of Kate Whoriskey. Performed with a rotating cast (still to be announced), the drama follows the friendship between poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, whose relationship spanned 30 years and included more than 400 letters. The play will run from October 26-December 5.

Next is Martyna Majok’s Ironbound, directed by Daniella Topol. A coproduction with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, the work follows Darja, a Polish immigrant cleaning lady, over the course of 20 years as she negotiates for her future with three different men who can offer her love or security, but never both. The work runs March 2-April 10.

Closing out the first season at the McGinn/Cazale is the first-ever WP Pipeline Festival, in which WP Lab playwrights, directors, and producers present five brand-new plays from March 24-April 23. The writers are Sarah Burgess, Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Martyna Majok, Riti Sachdeva, and Susan Soon-He Stanton. Directors are Adrienne Campbell-Holt, Lee Sunday Evans, Sarah Krohn, Danya Taymor, and Tamilla Woodard. Producers are Rachel Karpf Reidy, Pearl Kermani, Kristen Luciani, Liz Olson, and Rachel Sussman.

Women’s Project Theater is currently under the leadership of producing artistic director Lisa McNulty and managing director Maureen Moynihan.

For more information on WP’s New Season click here.

BroadwayWorld.com Features WP’s New Season!

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Sarah Ruhl’s DEAR ELIZABETH to Launch Women’s Project Theater’s 2015-16 Season at New Home

Women’s Project Theater, under the leadership ofProducing Artistic Director Lisa McNulty and Managing Director Maureen Moynihan, just announced the 2015-2016 Season and the beginning of its three-year residency at the McGinn/Cazale Theater (2162 Broadway, at 76th Street), creating an artistic home for women in theater.

“I’m thrilled for WP Theater to set down roots in this wonderful space with such a storied theatrical history, and to bring all of these brilliant women together in one season,” said McNulty. “Our upcoming season features such an exciting range of talent: from Sarah Ruhl, one of our most treasured and accomplished writers; to Martyna Majok, who is making her Off-Broadway debut; to a festival fully dedicated to new work from the emerging artists of the WP Lab. This is the essence of what WP Theater does-creating a theatrical home where female-identified artists are welcome at every point in their careers, a place where women’s voices are central. I’m also really excited to partner with The Kilroys and The Lilly Awards this year on a series of events that will celebrate all of these invaluable organizations under WP Theater’s new roof. With the generous support of The Royal Little Family Foundation, WP has been given the opportunity to make 76th & Broadway the destination for some of the most exciting new theater in town.”

WP Theater’s inaugural season at the McGinn/Cazale Theater will commence with the New York premiere of DEAR ELIZABETH, written by two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and Tony Award nominee Sarah Ruhl (The Oldest Boy, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play), directed by Kate Whoriskey (Ruined, Sweat) from October 26 to December 5, 2015. Drawn from the famed correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell – two of the twentieth century’s most brilliant poets – DEAR ELIZABETH tells a tale of unconventional friendship and intimacy that spanned thirty years and more than 400 letters, with postmarks from Maine to Key West, from London to South America. Performed with a rotating cast of the theater community’s most brilliant and beloved performers – to be announced shortly – DEAR ELIZABETH is an insightful and impassioned examination of Bishop and Lowell’s lives, their work, and the true nature of friendship.

In a co-production with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, IRONBOUND by Martyna Majok (Petty Harbor), directed byDaniella Topol (When January Feels Like Summer, Row After Row) will make its New York Premiere March 2 – April 10, 2016 at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. IRONBOUND is a darkly funny, heartbreaking portrait of a woman for whom love is a luxury – and a liability – as she fights to survive in America from award-winning playwright Martyna Majok. At a bus in a run-down New Jersey town, Darja, a Polish immigrant cleaning lady, is done talking about feelings; it’s time to talk money. Over the course of 20 years, three relationships, and three presidents, Darja negotiates for her future with men who can offer her love or security, but never both.

To cap off the first year at the McGinn/Cazale Theater, WP Theater will present the first-ever WP PIPELINE FESTIVAL in which WP Lab playwrights, directors and producers’ two-year residency culminates in the presentation of five brand new plays – written, directed and produced by the fifteen women of the WP Lab – from March 24 to April 23, 2016. As the artistic heart of WP Theater, the Lab provides rising stars in the industry with a vital professional network, entrepreneurial and leadership training, rehearsal space, and most significantly, tangible opportunities for the development and production of bold new work for the stage. The Lab artists featured in the inaugural WP PIPELINE FESTIVAL are:

Writers: Sarah Burgess, Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Martyna Majok, Riti Sachdeva, Susan Soon-He Stanton

Directors: Adrienne Campbell-Holt, Lee Sunday Evans, Sarah Krohn, Danya Taymor, Tamilla Woodard

Producers: Rachel Karpf Reidy, Pearl Kermani, Kristen Luciani, Liz Olson, Rachel Sussman

Some recent successes by WP Lab artists include: Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt’s theater company Colt Coeur’s production of Dry Land, by Ruby Rae Spiegel, earned rave reviews from New York’s top critics and was listed as one of New York Post’s Top 10 theater experiences of 2014. Playwright Majok’s IRONBOUND is a part of the 2015-2016 WP season, Lee Sunday Evans earned a 2015 Obie Award for her direction of A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes (New Georges, in association with WP Theater) and Sarah Burgess’s play, Dry Powder, is slated for the 2015-2016 season at the Public Theater, directed by Thomas Kail.

In addition to the two New York play premieres and WP PIPELINE FESTIVAL, WP Theater will also produce a series of events with other gender-focused theater and advocacy organizations, including The Kilroys (thekilroys.org) and The Lilly Awards (www.thelillyawards.org). WP Theater is invested in making its new artistic home a place where the theater community can come together to celebrate women’s talents and voices onstage. Details on these events to follow.

For details on WP subscriptions, visit WWW.WPTHEATER.ORG or call (212) 765-1706. WP Theater makes its home at the McGinn/Cazale Theater thanks to the generous support of The Royal Little Family Foundation.

WOMEN’S PROJECT THEATER (WP) is the nation’s oldest and largest theater company dedicated to developing, producing and promoting the work of female theater artists at every stage in their careers. WP Theater supports female-identified theater artists and the world-class, groundbreaking work they create, and provides a platform where their voices can be heard and celebrated on the American stage.

Founded in 1978 by visionary producer, Julia Miles, WP has been the launching pad for many of our nation’s most important theater artists. Eve Ensler, María Irene Fornés, Katori Hall, Pam MacKinnon, Lynn Nottage andLeigh Silverman, among many, many others, all found early artistic homes here. Throughout its 38 year history, WP has produced over 600 main stage productions and developmental projects, and published 11 anthologies of plays. No other producing institution in the country can claim this kind of ongoing history of advocacy and support for women in the theater, and we look ahead to the next generation of artists who will also begin their careers here.

WP Theater accomplishes its mission through several fundamental programs: the WP Lab, a two-year mentorship and new play development program for women playwrights, directors, and producers; the Playwright In Residence commissioning program; the Developmental series; and the Main Stage series, which features a full season of Off-Broadway productions written and directed by extraordinary theater artists.

Lisa McNulty (Producing Artistic Director). Lisa is about to enter her second season as Producing Artistic Director of Women’s Project Theater. Lisa comes to WP from Manhattan Theatre Club, where she served as Artistic Line Producer for eight seasons, working on more than 30 productions both on and off Broadway, including plays byLynn Nottage, Sarah Treem, Harvey Fierstein, and Tarell Alvin McCraney, among many, many others. Lisa has a long history with WP Theater. She was originally hired by the company’s founder, Julia Miles, as the Literary Manager from 1997-2000, where she dramaturged work by María Irene Fornés, Julie Hébert, and Karen Hartman, among others. In 2004, she returned to WP as its Associate Artistic Director where she served as the company’s casting director and literary manager and again ran WP’s Playwrights Lab. Her independent producing career includes projects with Sarah Ruhl, Todd Almond, and Lucy Thurber, all at 13P. Lisa has also served as the Producing Associate at the McCarter Theatre, acting as Line Producer on McCarter’s mainstage, as well as developing McCarter’s commissioned short series.

Maureen Moynihan (Managing Director) Maureen started her career in Chicago working for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and commercial producer Fox Theatricals. Prior to joining WP Theater, Maureen spent over a decade working for Blue Man Productions in several positions including serving as their Executive Director for five North American Productions. Since moving to New York, she has worked for several nonprofit and commercial organizations including Manhattan New Music Project, York Theatre Company and the immersive theatrical experience Queen of the Night.

Selected through a highly competitive process, the WP Lab is the only program in America putting playwrights, directors, AND producers together in the same room. Providing both professional development and leadership training, Lab participants obtain executive coaching, make professional contacts, and receive training that proves invaluable to their development. The benefits of the WP Lab extend well beyond the two-year residency. Having forged strong working relationships in the Lab, both with fellow Lab artists and outside professional contacts, Lab artists continue to work together and with other brilliant voices in the artistic collective long after their official residency ends. WP’s top priority is to achieve a standard of excellence for these artists, advocating for women by producing stellar work featuring extraordinary talent.

For more information on WP’s New Season click here.

Playbill Features WP’s New Season!

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Sarah Ruhl NY Premiere Part of Women’s Project Theater Season 

By Robert Viagas
and Michael Gioia
25 Aug 2015

Women’s Project Theater, founded in 1978 to develop, produce and promote the work of women theatre artists, has announced its upcoming season lineup at its new artistic home.
To begin a three year residency at the McGinn/Cazale Theater (2162 Broadway, at 76th Street in New York) artistic director Lisa McNulty announced that the season will include the New York premieres of Sarah Ruhl’s Dear Elizabeth and Marytyna Majok’s Ironbound.

New this season will be the inaugural “Pipeline Festival,” which will include five new plays written, directed and produced by WP Lab Artists.

McNulty issued a statement calling the McGinn/Cazale Theater “an artistic home for women in theatre,” adding “I’m thrilled for WP Theater to set down roots in this wonderful space with such a storied theatrical history, and to bring all of these brilliant women together in one season. Our upcoming season features such an exciting range of talent: from Sarah Ruhl, one of our most treasured and accomplished writers; to Martyna Majok, who is making her Off-Broadway debut; to a festival fully dedicated to new work from the emerging artists of the WP Lab.”

She said, “This is the essence of what WP Theater does—creating a theatrical home where female-identified artists are welcome at every point in their careers, a place where women’s voices are central.”

Here’s a closer look at the season:

Dear Elizabeth (Oct. 26-Dec. 5) is written by two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee and Tony Award nominee Sarah Ruhl (The Oldest Boy, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play), directed by Kate Whoriskey. “Drawn from the famed correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell–two of the 20th century’s most brilliant poets–Dear Elizabeth tells a tale of unconventional friendship and intimacy that spanned 30 years and more than 400 letters, with postmarks from Maine to Key West, from London to South America.” It will be performed with a rotating cast of “the theater community’s most brilliant and beloved performers.”

Ironbound (Mar. 2-April 10, 2016) A co-production with (and performed at) Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. Written by Martyna Majok (Petty Harbor) and directed by Daniella Topol. Described as “a darkly funny, heartbreaking portrait of a woman for whom love is a luxury – and a liability – as she fights to survive in America. At a bus in a run-down New Jersey town, Darja, a Polish immigrant cleaning lady, is done talking about feelings; it’s time to talk money. Over the course of 20 years, three relationships, and three presidents, Darja negotiates for her future with men who can offer her love or security, but never both.”

The WP Pipeline Festival (Mar. 24-April 23) Five brand new plays – written, directed and produced by the fifteen women of the WP Lab: Writers Sarah Burgess, Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Martyna Majok, Riti Sachdeva and Susan Soon-He Stanton. Directors Adrienne Campbell-Holt, Lee Sunday Evans, Sarah Krohn, Danya Taymor and Tamilla Woodard. Producers  Rachel Karpf Reidy, Pearl Kermani, Kristen Luciani, Liz Olson and Rachel Sussman.

For more information on WP’s New Season click here.

American Theatre Magazine Features WP’s New Season!

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Women’s Project Theater Announces New Season in a New Home

Women’s Project Theater Announces New Season in a New Home
On the slate are Sarah Ruhl’s epistolary play about Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, and a co-production with Rattlestick of Martyna Majok’s ‘Ironbound.’
BY AMERICAN THEATRE EDITORS
NEW YORK CITY: Women’s Project Theater announced their 2015–16 season of plays, which will run in their new Upper West Side home at the McGinn/Cazale Theater. Producing artistic director Lisa McNulty and managing director Maureen Moynihan announced the beginning of a three-year residency at the theatre on Broadway at 76th Street.

“I’m thrilled for WP Theater to set down roots in this wonderful space with such a storied theatrical history, and to bring all of these brilliant women together in one season,” said McNulty in a statement. “This is the essence of what WP Theater does—create a theatrical home where female-identified artists are welcome at every point in their careers, a place where women’s voices are central.”

The season will begin with the New York premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s play Dear Elizabeth(Oct. 26–Dec. 5). The play, which will feature a rotating cast, examines the relationship between the poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell through letters they wrote to each other.

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and WP will then partner to present Ironbound by Martyna Majok (March 2–April 10), in its New York premiere. The play follows a woman for whom love is luxury.

Closing the season will be the first WP Pipeline Festival, running March 24–April 23. The festival will feature five new plays developed during the WP Lab’s two-year residency. The artists involved are Sarah Burgess, Money Hurst-Mendoza, Martyna Majok, Riti Sachdeva, Susan Soon-He Stanton, Adrienne Campbell-Holt, Lee Sunday Evans, Sarah Krohn, Danya Taymor, Tamilla Woodard, Rachel Karpf Reidy, Pearl Kermani, Kristen Luciani, Liz Olson, and Rachel Sussman.

WP Theater will also produce a series of events with other gender-focused theatre and advocacy groups, including the Kilroys and the Lilly Awards. Details of these events are yet to be announced.

For more information on WP’s New Season click here.

Video: Sarah Ruhl on DEAR ELIZABETH

WATCH an interview with Sarah Ruhl as she shares her inspiration for writing DEAR ELIZABETH.


EVERY WEEK IS A NEW EXPERIENCE

WP Theater presents

New York Premiere
DEAR ELIZABETH
Written by Sarah Ruhl & Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Limited Engagement: OCT 26 – DEC 5

Full Casts Wall - Dear Elizabeth

Starring a rotating cast of LUMINARIES including: BECKY ANN BAKER, DAVID AARON BAKER, KATHLEEN CHALFANT, RINDE ECKERT, CHERRY JONES, MIA KATIGBAK, ELLEN MCLAUGHLIN, POLLY NOONAN, PETER SCOLARI, J. SMITH-CAMERON, JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON & HARRIS YULIN. Additional casting soon to be announced.

COME SEE THEM ALL!

Purchase

Get to Know Kate Whoriskey

Kate Whoriskey
Director Kate Whoriskey most recently directed Lynn Nottage’s Sweat at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Other productions include Ping Pong and Manahatta at the Public through Public Studio, Ruined and Tales from Red Vienna at Manhattan Theatre Club, How I Learned to Drive at Second Stage, The Piano Teacher at the Vineyard Theatre, Oroonoko at Theatre for A New Audience, the world premiere of Fabulation and Inked Baby at Playwrights Horizons, and Massacre by Jose Rivera at the Labyrinth Theatre Company (of which she is a member). Internationally, she directed Magdalena at the Chatelet theatre in Paris and Teatro Muicipal in Sao Paolo. Regionally, she directed Ruined, Vigils, Heartbreak House, The Rose Tattoo and Drowning Crow for The Goodman, The Tempest at Shakespeare Theatre, the world premiere of Intimate Apparel, The Piano Teacher, Life is a Dream, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antigone, and The Clean House at South Coast Repertory, and Master Builder at the American Repertory Theatre. Nominated for a Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel for her work on Ruined, she has also directed at the Huntington, The Geffen, Baltimore Center Stage, Perseverance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Sundance Theatre Lab, The Fisher Center and The Eugene O’Neill Center.

Get to Know Sarah Ruhl

Ruhl, Sarah- credit-Courtesy the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Playwright Sarah Ruhl’s plays include The Oldest Boy, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, The Clean House, Passion Play, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Melancholy Play; Eurydice; Orlando, Late: a cowboy song, Dear Elizabeth  and Stage Kiss.  She has been a two-time Pulitzer prize finalist and a Tony award nominee. Her plays have been produced on Broadway at the Lyceum by Lincoln Center Theater, off-Broadway at Playwrights’ Horizons, Second Stage, and at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater. Her plays have been produced regionally all over the country, often with premiers at Yale Repertory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, the Goodman Theater, and the Piven Theatre Workshop in Chicago. In 2014 she was the second most produced playwright in the country. Her plays have also been produced internationally and have been translated into over twelve languages. Originally from Chicago, Ms. Ruhl received her M.F.A. from Brown University where she studied with Paula Vogel. She has received the Susan Smith Blackburn award, the Whiting award, the Lily Award, a PEN award for mid-career playwrights, and the MacArthur “genius” award. You can read more about her work on www.SarahRuhlplaywright.com. Her book of essays 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write was published by Faber and Faber last fall. She teaches at the Yale School of Drama, and she lives in Brooklyn with her family.

 

Women’s Project Will Present 2015-16 Season in a New Home

The BIG + EXCITING NEWS is OUT! Women’s Project Theater will Present its 2015-16 Season in a New Home on Broadway & 76th Street

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By JONATHAN WOLFE AUGUST 24, 2015 5:04 PM

The Women’s Project Theater will begin its coming season in a new home, at the McGinn/Cazale Theater on Broadway, at 76th Street. This Off Broadway company dedicated to promoting female artists announced its three-year residency at the theater along with its 2015-16 season, which includes two New York premieres.

“Dear Elizabeth,” written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Kate Whoriskey, is based on the correspondence between the poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, and will be the Women’s Project Theater’s inaugural production at the McGinn/Cazale Theater. The play, a New York premiere, will be performed with a rotating cast and is scheduled to open Oct. 26.

“Ironbound,” another New York premiere, is a tragedy about a Polish maid living in the United States. Written by Martyna Majok and directed by Daniella Topol, the play, a co-production with the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, will open at Rattlestick on March 2.

The Women’s Project Theater also announced on Monday that its season will be capped by the new WP Pipeline Festival, which will feature five new plays by participants in the company’s artist residency program. It will run from March 24 to April 23.

The three-year residency at the McGinn/Cazale Theater will be the company’s longest stretch at one home since it sold the Julia Miles Theater in 2011, said Lisa McNulty, the company’s artistic director. “It’s so powerful that there is a marquee,” Ms. McNulty said, for a company that is dedicated to women. She added, “That feels very powerful and appropriate to the moment we’re in.”

The lack of diversity and women’s participation in New York City theater recently led to an outcry on the Internet after the Manhattan Theater Club’s roster for its 2015-16 season revealed that the majority of its plays were written by white men.

A version of this article appears in print on 08/25/2015, on page C3 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Women’s Project’s New Season and Home.

For more information on WP’s New Season click here.

Check out WP artists from the 2014-2015 SEASON and beyond!

Introducing Chris Kipiniak

CHRIS KIPINIAK: Broadway credits include: Macbeth with Alan Cumming (dirs. John Tiffany/Andrew Goldberg; Metamorphoses (dir. Mary Zimmerman). Off-Broadway credits include: Kit Marlowe (Public Theater), Charles Winn Speaks…(Living Image Arts), Nora (Marvell Repertory). Regional credits include: Huntington Theater, Lookingglass Theater, Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, Goodman Theater. Film/TV/Web: “Love Life” (also writer), “Deal Travis In”; “The Blacklist”, “The Good Wife”, “Delocated”; the web series “Real Actors Read..Playwright”: Save the World (Roundtable Ensemble), Iiiinsaaaaaaaane!, Change the Be, Stalled (Horse Trade Theater Group); Comics Writing: Nightcrawler, Amazing Fantasy and Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man for Marvel comics, the upcoming Behemoth from MonkeyBrain comics. Learn more about Chris at ChrisKipiniak.com

 

In Her Own Words: Kate Benson on GREAT LAKES

Kate Benson 4 cropped

Kate Benson is a writer and actor living in Brooklyn. She has had readings and showings of her work at Dixon Place, 13th St. Theater, Jimmy’s No. 43, and the Room at New Georges. Her plays include [PORTO], Lee Miller, Radium Now, and A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes onstage now at City Center.

You began writing GREAT LAKES while enrolled in the Brooklyn College MFA Playwriting program, correct? Can you talk about developing this piece in an academic setting and how it influenced the process?
One of the amazing things about the Brooklyn program is that there is almost no academic setting to it. All you do is bring it to class, and everyone reads it cold, and then everyone offers observations, and Mac [Wellman] goes last. My fellow students were coming at it from different points of view, so I remember the feedback being really helpful and encouraging the sense of play and what was possible.

Also, I was taking a class on Modernist Poetry with this really brilliant woman, Marjorie Welish, and we were reading the Italian and Russian Futurists, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein and [Stéphane] Mallarmé. There were a lot of literary ideas that were getting taken apart and getting put back together again. I can see in a reverse-engineering kind of way the effect that had on the play.

GREAT LAKES has a fun, almost meta-theatrical structure with a take on family holidays that everyone can relate to. Can you talk a bit about what inspired the subject matter and the style of the piece?
Because I was reading all of these writers who were making these formal experiments, I got inspired by taking apart something I knew very well and assembling it in a new way, so I could look at it differently and examine what it was made out of, like a dissection. I figured if I was going to do this formal experiment, I should pick something I know really well, so I chose the architecture of my family tree, and I picked Thanksgiving Day.

Once on Thanksgiving Day, I was grocery shopping in my neighborhood and I witnessed this great conversation between two people and one of them wished the other a Happy Thanksgiving and the other one replied, “You mean Happy Imperialistic Colonialist Genocide Day?” I thought, there are so many ways of observing this day. It is so difficult to undermine this pretty intense cultural tradition we’ve built. It is a creepy cultural tradition in a lot of ways: Why football on that day? Let’s watch this balletic representation of war, even though we don’t talk about our own wars, and we pretend that we made a peaceful entry into this country. I wanted to see if I could make this thing that we all know really well strange, so we can think about why it is strange.

In all of your plays you demonstrate innovative and highly theatrical style. Can you describe your overall theatrical vision? Or what you want theater to do to people?
Theatre to me is a little bit of a miracle because it requires a group to arrive somewhere together and experience something together. But everyone is free to—and has to—experience it differently. You can watch the same film over and over again in different settings, but you can’t see the same play over and over again in different settings. The particular audience has a huge effect. So I want to write plays that ask people to reconsider their own experiences. I want them to feel a little bit less lonely. I want people to feel brave about looking at the strangeness of this society that we’ve built. I want people to participate.

I understand that some of the theatrical and structural experiments we are making are off-putting to some people, but I think that’s a really interesting question to answer: Why?  Why does that thing make you feel left out, and why does that other [thing] make you feel included? I’m trying to make communal experiences for people where they walk out feeling like their own experiences are a little larger than when they walked in.

You initially trained as an actor and have worked as an actor in downtown theatre for a long time. How has your work as an actor influence your writing or vice versa?
I know there are many, many different kinds of performances that we consider theater, so I don’t believe in making hard and fast rules about what a play is. I know the theater contains an impossible number of permutations. I’m glad that I’ve experienced as an actor over and over again, “Oh, this can’t work, this choice doesn’t make any sense,” and then I’ve just been wrong. One of the things that you learn as an actor is the Beckett line, “Fail again. Fail better.’ You just keep approaching it from different sides until it lets you in. That liberty, that awareness that many things can work, and that freedom, is something I’m grateful for. I don’t feel like a play is this one thing, and therefore I must write it like that, and if I don’t I’m like a writer. I feel more freedom as a new writer because of that performance experience, because I know that almost anything can engage an audience if it’s specific and full in some way.

What is a piece of non-theatrical art/media that inspired you recently and why?
The visual artist Sarah Sze makes these highly obsessive, very beautiful installations with different objects. The first thing I saw was a giant waterfall made out of water bottles, astroturf, and tubes, outside of The Whitney during one of the biennials. I’m pretty obsessed with her work. I also have an embarrassing one, which is I am crazy about Jackson Pollock. When I feel really disjointed, sometimes I just go to the Met and look at the one they have there for awhile.

What is your current subway playlist?
There is a band called The Books I am really enjoying right now. Also on there is Van Morrison, The Philip Glass Opera called Hydrogen Jukebox that uses text from Allen Ginsberg, some Mozart,  Bach’s Mass in B Minor, The Beatles, and Radiohead, probably.
Interview by Lilla Goettler.

In Her Own Words: Kristine Haruna Lee (Gumbo from GREAT LAKES)

Kristine
Kristine Haruna Lee plays Gumbo in  A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes. She is a playwright, director, performer, and founding member of harunalee theater company.

GREAT LAKES seems like one big Brooklyn College party. Can you talk about how you initially got involved with the project?
Kate and I were at Brooklyn College together, and she actually brought this play in, maybe, second year. We all read it as a class; I believe I played Gumbo at that reading, too. I forget which character Jess [Jessica Almasy] read, but we had done the play as a table read before— me, Jess and Kate. So when Kate came to us about this opportunity, that she was going to be able to do the play [with New Georges], we were so excited because Jess and I knew the play ahead of time. It has been really cool seeing it unfold from there, from that very first draft, all the way to this production at City Center.

Had you worked with Lee [Sunday Evans] before?
No, this is my first time [working with her.] I was familiar with her; she had directed something a friend of mine, Anna Greenfield, wrote and that was really great, so I knew of her but I had never worked with her before.

You just officially founded your own theatre company, harunalee, this year. Tell us about your journey with the company, artistic goals, and upcoming projects.
harunalee is a group of six people, including myself, who have been working together for four years now. Before we even named it harunalee, we had been creating work together, so this formalizing of the company was just putting a name on it. We all share many disciplines, some people are designers, photographers, actors, writers; we are all pretty versed in all kinds of disciplines and we come together and create shows together, experimental theatre, that I have written. So my text is the unifying element of the company.

We are putting up a show called Drunkfish Oceanrant, about a drunk Japanese fisherman in kind of a post-tsunami environment. He tells these stories in the style of Japanese rakugo, which is a really old style of one man comedy. Intersecting that are these wonderful, original J-Pop/J-punk songs that Katie Hathaway, who we work with a lot, has written. We are really excited to see that unfold.

What is the experience of performing in GREAT LAKES, taking a break and coming back to it for a production months later?
With this piece, it is amazing how easy it all came back. I think for everyone, it really felt like returning home to something. I think that is because the piece is so physically precise, and the text is really precise, too. Once we all jogged our memory and remembered those very specific gestures, where our bodies live in the play, where the text lives in our voice, it was like a machine that just got dusted off and started running all over again. I think something that has been exciting for me is seeing Lee shift the most minute things about the play: Notes, character, adjusting character, making things work even better, and her specificity in doing that is so exciting.

You often wear multiple hats in your own projects. In terms of GREAT LAKES, can you talk about the experience of just acting in a play with a more traditionally structured production team, and the difference and rewards of both?
Self-producing is chaos, it’s an amazing, beautiful, chaotic experience and, like you said, wearing so many different hats. With GREAT LAKES, it has been so wonderful to be able to focus on that one thing, to clear my mind and have the play be the only thing I focus on— instead of producing it, getting people involved, writing, and directing. It has been lovely.

What is a piece of non-theatrical art/media you are really into/inspired by recently and why?
The one that pops into my head is this exhibit I went to see, Robert Gober at MOMA. It was this amazing installation; whole rooms were transformed by him, so it wasn’t just these small objects in space but an entire room would be decorated and created in his vision or style. All of these separate objects in a room together were in conversation with each other to create a story or narrative. I really loved that; he had all of these severed limbs jutting out from different places, and then wallpaper that he had designed spanning up the entire walls of MOMA. These gigantic, really haunting wallpaper images of a white man sleeping and a black man being lynched. It was exciting to see something as simple as wallpaper, something that we put in our homes that is supposed to soothe us, that we live with in our daily lives, be so disturbing.

What is your current subway playlist?
I have been listening to this group called Metronomy; I’ve been really digging their tunes. I’m trying to think of their song titles, but I really just listen to their whole entire album.

Interview by Lilla Goettler.

Meet Lisa McNulty, Producing Artistic Director

Lisa McNulty

Lisa McNulty is the Producing Artistic Director of Women’s Project Theater. She has a long history with WP, originally hired by the company’s founder, Julia Miles, as the literary manager from 1997-2000, where she dramaturged work by María Irene Fornés, Julie Hébert and Karen Hartman, and others. Full bio here.

What is most theatrically exciting to you right now?
Well, first and foremost, I’d say I’m interested in producing work that takes chances. Work that combines disciplines, work that plays with form, language, and alternate modes of storytelling. I feel like our current production, A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes by Kate Benson, really colors outside the lines in a thousand amazing ways. Kate’s wildly inventive script tells what is actually a very traditional story – the story of a family holiday dinner- but takes it apart in a way that allows you to see the mechanics of family dynamics in every bit of its weirdo dysfunction. Also, Lee Sunday Evans’ production is just so vivid and contemporary, and as beautifully human and oddball as the play.

You have a long history of working with Women’s Project over the years. What is your favorite memory or funny story from the past?
I used to be the only person who knew how the air conditioning system worked at the Julia Miles Theater.  The system was really arcane and weird, because the building was so old.  You had to crawl inside what I’m sure was an asbestos-filled cinder block wall to get to the AC unit, and wiggle a specific button in a very, very specific way. One especially hot summer, we were renting to Naked Boys Singing! and the Stage Manager would call whenever the AC went out, and I would have to go to the theater, often in the middle of a performance, and would find myself squeezing backstage past so many naked men.  I would be pressed up against the back wall of the theater, as all of them squished their entirely naked bodies past me. It was the middle of the summer, the air conditioning was broken, and they were all very sweaty. I don’t know that that is my favorite memory, but it is definitely a vivid one.

How have you seen the role of a “women’s theater” change over time? What is different now?
You know, I have to say that I’m as interested in the way that the role hasn’t changed as I am in the way that it has changed. There is certainly a larger conversation about women’s place at the theatrical table that is happening, which is exciting. I, like everyone, was a huge supporter of the Kilroys’ List, and love the way that Kilroys conversation has been taken up by the field, and The Lilly Awards, and the way that they have opened up the conversation about how and who we reward.  There have also been some thoughtful pieces in the press recently acknowledging that the scarcity of women’s voices onstage is actually pretty shameful.  All these things are great. That said, when WP was founded, approximately 6% of the work being produced was by female artists, and in 30 years since, that ratio hasn’t grown or changed all that much.  Everyone understands that it’s a problem, but the actual programming behavior of the industry at large hasn’t changed. And that’s insane. It’s exciting to see this recent groundswell of conversation in the field, but I think there is an outstanding question as to how producers will actually turn that talk into action when they start to put together their season?  I gotta say, I don’t entirely know, but I’m really looking forward to starting to sort it through with folks.

One of WP’s most defining features is its Lab for Playwrights, Directors and Producers. What are your hopes for the lab now, and how is the function or purpose of the Lab different from when you first ran the Playwright’s Lab?
When I first came to WP, I ran the development group for Playwrights and Suzanne Bennett ran the arm for Directors. At that time, we didn’t meet together as often, it was a much more straightforward writing workshop for the writers and a developmental workshop for the directors, which was a terrific breeding ground for artists, and a place where I formed the beginnings of some of the most important creative relationships in my career.

That said, it has been exciting for me to come into this new version of the Lab that’s now composed of five directors, five playwrights, and five producers. I think we are currently the only developmental group which puts all three of those disciplines together for development and collaboration. This format provides such rich fodder for collaboration and conversation—I’m thrilled by the relationships that are beginning to take root.

My goals for the two-year program of this cohort is to have them develop projects in their collaborative teams that have a life beyond the Lab, and for each of them to walk away with a community of fifteen artists that they can rely on throughout their careers.

What was your first theatrical role, ever?
In our Kindergarten spring pageant the boys dressed as bees and the girls dressed as flowers.  The entire play consisted of the boys pretending to fly over to the girls and sit on our heads to pollinate us. I’m sure it was as disturbing then as it sounds now. I decided to be a tulip, because my friend Carol was a tulip, so I wanted to be a tulip, too. There are some really unfortunate pictures of me being pollinated by Cullen Buckland, while attempting a very, very unsuccessful curtsy.

What is on your current subway playlist?
The Serial podcast was my most recent subway jam. And I’m not quite sure I’m proud to say that I started a Serial podcast page on Facebook. I suspect that my next podcast rabbit hole may be to be RuPaul and Michelle Visage’s What’s the Tee? where it appears they just get drunk and gab about eyeliner and the nature of reality.

Last question. The New York Times has described the Women’s Project as “enduringly vital.” What does ‘vital’ mean to you?
To me, it means that we are creating work that people are interested in. What does ‘vitality’ mean? I suppose it means that, at 37, WP has reached middle-age and we are still in the game, we are still effecting change and making amazing things happen.

Interview by Lilla Goettler.

In Her Words: Mahira Kakkar talks Nirmala, her character in WHEN JANUARY FEELS LIKE SUMMER.

Nirmala Collage

The intricate nature of When January Feels Like Summer creates a complex reality with multifaceted characters to match. Mahira Kakkar plays one of these parts, Nirmala, a struggling wife and business owner trying to keep tradition of her native India alive while satisfying her own needs.

What has been the most rewarding part about this production?

I don’t know if I can focus on any one single thing. I have worked with Daniella Topol (the director) before, and getting to work with her again was a gift. I got to work with a dear friend of mine – Debargo Sanyal – and got exposed to three other super smart actors. I love that audiences responded to the character Debargo played with empathy. I am thrilled that so many people come to see the show. What really moved me was when some people who weren’t regular theatre goers came, young people whose story was basically being represented on stage, and they loved it.

What has been the most challenging part of playing Nirmala? 

I think finding her steel and vulnerability was challenging. She’s a stronger, smarter woman than I am, and so I had to think of her in those terms and find her. Playing opposite Debargo, who is basically a comic genius, is also hard, because I often want to laugh at the things he does, and Nirmala might not find them as amusing.

Nirmala gathers a lot of strength in order to manage a business by herself, support her brother, and care for her husband. Where do you think this strength comes from? 

Nirmala’s pretty businesslike and strong, yes. I think she feels she has to be – she has a lot of things to take care of. Duty and loyalty I think are important to her – more so than personal happiness perhaps. Put another way, it’s a kind of love that she might have grown up with – love as action, as doing, as being there when the chips are down – though I’m pretty sure this is my way of thinking. I know women like Nirmala who would roll their eyes if I were to use language like this in front of them.

How has your own personal background influenced your work in When January Feels Like Summer, since you and Nirmala both grew up in India?

I have had the good fortune to meet and interact with women like Nirmala, for whom family, duty and tradition are paramount. Smart, very capable women who choose every day to fulfill what they think are their responsibilities. I think mostly the accent work comes easily to me, because of my background. I think women like Nirmala exist everywhere in the world, in different cultures.

You’ve worked on some incredible projects in the past, both on stage and film. Do you have any advice for young artists looking to break into the theatrical scene? 

Don’t give up, have faith in yourself, take the long line, try and be kind to everyone including yourself, write your hate lists in pencil (the late Ms. Joan Rivers said that last one), work harder than you think you can, give over to this thing you love. Also, know that everything will work out and that you will be just fine. That’s my truth.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from theatre, either from When January Feels Like Summer or even beyond?

I’m part of a great tradition – what I do contributes a little bit to the tapestry – so I have to do my work well, but also know that without other people around me, supporting the story, it wouldn’t happen.  I think I’m talking about respect for the artist/craftsperson in myself and in other people. It’s also really fun and joyous, and it should be. I think that that’s right, it is ok, warranted and necessary to feel joy in this often brutal world. Oh, and also to drink lots of water.

For more information about the production, visit When January Feels Like Summer’s page.

Director Daniella Topol’s take on WHEN JANUARY FEELS LIKE SUMMER

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Daniella Topol, the director of When January Feels Like Summer, has given this play a world to exist in, creating a lively and colorful place true to Cori Thomas’ words.  Daniella discusses the creative process of the production.

What has been the most rewarding part about this production?

Daniella: Watching so many different audience members, of different ages and backgrounds, relate to this show. Don’t get me wrong – we had an amazing rehearsal process with fearless and talented actors and designers – but sharing the play with audiences has truly been the most unique aspect of making this play.

After the success of When January Feels Like Summer, how does it feel to have the play come back for another New York run?

Daniella: The audience reaction to When January Feels Like Summer the first go-round was so energizing, and there was a strong sense then that we were not done sharing it with audiences. But often you want a show to have a continued life and it just isn’t possible between wrangling actors’ schedules, theater availability, funding, etc. It is truly amazing that all of the key components have lined up to make this remount possible and that so many more audiences will now be able to experience this play.

What was your vision for this piece?

Daniella: When January Feels Like Summer is about change. About new beginnings. About shedding your old life, be it your boyhood, your manhood, your past marriage, your loneliness, your loss, your wrong choices. It’s about the ways in which the world around us can surprise us – be it the weather or the person that you are standing beside on the subway or a family member that you thought you knew well. It is about daring to transform. It is about finding meaning behind what we discard – the way in which we can recycle our life to find meaning once more.

Our production is fluid, surprising, honest, courageous. Cori has done such an amazing job depicting five unique, vibrant individuals with foibles and longings and artfully found ways for their worlds to collide. We think that this collision might be dangerous. But surprisingly, she finds a way for their collision to be transformative.

The play is about what it means to be discarded and then reborn. About intersecting lines and lives. About the complexities of how we love.

Where did you draw the inspiration for your vision?

Daniella: My biggest inspiration is living in NYC for 15 years. The ways in which our lives intersect with strangers in intimate and estranged ways.

What were some of the challenges of directing this piece?

Daniella: The play asks for a lot production-wise – there are many different scenes and locales, and we are working in an intimate space, so creating a production that moves swiftly from one world to the next with specificity and innovation has been our biggest challenge. Fortunately, the entire design team found innovative ways to address this challenge.

How involved have you been with the developmental process of When January Feels Like Summer?

Daniella:  I have been working with Cori [Thomas] to develop the play since January, 2014. The play had an extensive development life prior to our work together (she can fill you in on this), but our work together has shaped and deepened the characters’ trajectories and the overall arc of the play.

What has been your favorite moment directing this play?

Daniella: I love the climax of the play – the ways that each of the characters and their storylines build to a dramatic catharsis. (I don’t want to spoil the end of the play for folks!)

This is your fifth production with WP Theater, along with being an alumnae of WP’s Lab.  Can you share with us what you enjoy about working with our company?

Daniella: Working with WP means working with an amazing community of artists who support the work and ask challenging questions.  I am so grateful to have this deep and ongoing relationship with a company who embraces visionary playwrights like Cori and who finds the resources to realize their work so fully.

For more information about the production, visit When January Feels Like Summer’s page.

WHEN JANUARY FEELS LIKE SUMMER: Debargo Sanyal, on playing the beautifully complex Indira

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Left to right: Debargo Sanyal as himself and as the character Indira

For seven years, Debargo Sanyal has seen the development and evolution of the beautifully complex character, Indira, in When January Feels Like Summer. His career as an actor is extensive (acting opposite of Robert De Niro is no small feat), and Debargo has given full life to this characterDebargo has graciously described his journey with this marvelous play.

After the success of When January Feels Like Summer, how does it feel to have the play come back for another New York run?

Debargo:  I am quite happy that When January Feels Like Summer has returned this fall. We had such a terrific time doing those initial twenty-six performances during the final weeks of spring.  The response to our run was so overwhelmingly warm and loving and heartfelt that we all started to hope that the journey with this production could somehow continue beyond that time. So, it feels really great that, after getting to recharge our batteries over the summer, we will be bringing it back to the stage this fall.

What has been the most rewarding part about this production?

Debargo:  There are a number of rewarding things about being in this particular production. One is that I love my cast mates– they are all such wonderful scene partners to play with every night on stage. Another is that I have been associated with this play/role for quite a while now, so it is very gratifying that this New York premiere full production is finally actually happening at all–especially considering that this play is very much a NYC play, set in the heart of Harlem.  Another major reward is the beautiful energy we get from audiences who are loving the experience of receiving the show as much as we are loving the experience of presenting it to them.

You’ve been playing Ishan/Indira off and on for seven years, both in New York and in Pittsburgh. How have you seen the character develop, both through rewrites and even for yourself as an actor?

Debargo:  I first played this role in the very first public reading presentation on September 28, 2007, right here on this very stage at EST, as part of their ‘Going to the River’ Festival…and then again, nine months later, on June 15, 2008, in the second-ever public reading presentation, which was at City Theatre in Pittsburgh, as part of their ‘Momentum’ Festival…and then, twenty months after that, in Feb-April 2010, for the world premiere full production back at City Theatre in Pittsburgh…and then, six months after that, on October 17, 2010, in a reading at the New Black Fest in Brooklyn… and then, three-and-a-half years after that, we commenced rehearsals for this current NY premiere full production at EST.  Every step of the way, there have, of course, been helpful edits and rewrites that have affected the development of all five characters in the script. Cori Thomas is a smart playwright, and she has been able to find great ways to clarify and streamline things in the story without sacrificing the unique core of what she had built in to her script from day one. As for me, personally, I know that I have certainly changed/grown/evolved as an artist (and, well, as a human being) over the past seven years–and I would like to believe that it has somehow resulted in a more interesting portrayal of ‘Indira’, a character that I have grown incredibly fond of.

What has been the most challenging thing about playing a character like Ishan/Indira?

Debargo:  Hair removal.

How has the experience in Pittsburgh to NYC been different? Either audience reaction, overall success, general sentiments… etc.

Debargo:  The experiences in Pittsburgh and NYC have felt quite different. Four full years elapsed in between our world premiere full production in Pittsburgh and this New York premiere full production at EST. In Pittsburgh, my four wonderful castmates were Gita Reddy & John Marshall Jones & Joshua Elijah Reese & Carter Redwood, and our director was the wonderful Chuck Patterson; here in NYC, my four awesome castmates are Mahira Kakkar & Dion Graham & Maurice Williams & J Mallory McCree (and now again Carter Redwood) and our fantastic director is Daniella Topol. While it has been a rather unique and unfamiliar experience to perform the same play/role with a completely new set of collaborators and with such a large time gap in-between regional and NYC productions, it has also, ultimately, been a valuable learning experience that has taught me a lot. With each new collaborator comes a new energy and a new way of looking at the characters and story, and that has turned out to be quite informative over the years. And, of course, the main unifying entity throughout it all has been this beautiful script (and its talented playwright, who I am very glad invited me along on this seven-year journey).

Ishan/Indira is a rather fiesty character with some great lines. Do you have a favorite?

Debargo:  I don’t really have a single favorite line, per se. I guess my favorite thing about almost everything that comes out of Indira’s mouth is that it is usually coming from a very brave place of eagerly embracing huge (and necessary) life changes at all costs. She knows exactly what she (and, sometimes others, like her sister) must do in order to find love and happiness, and she makes a very conscious choice to not be afraid to doggedly pursue this, no matter what anyone else may think… sometimes this lands her in humorous situations, and sometimes it lands her in rather serious ones… but, regardless, she always has the guts to really go for it. I genuinely admire that about Indira.

You’ve worked on some incredible projects in the past, both on stage and film. Do you have any advice for young artists looking to break into the theatrical scene?

Debargo:  Be unique. Be informed. Be personable. And have a thick skin (…that you, like, moisturize as well.)

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from theatre, either from When January Feels Like Summer or even beyond?

Debargo:  Life, like theatre, is a team sport. You could try to do it alone, but that’s just not nearly as much fun…playing well with others is much more interesting and enlightening and gratifying… and it does require more work sometimes… but it is usually so worth it (or, at the very least, it can make for a good story later).

For more information about the production, visit When January Feels Like Summer’s page.

Meet the Playwright: WHEN JANUARY FEELS LIKE SUMMER’s Cori Thomas

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“This play, of all my plays, is the one I wanted to see in New York.”

Edited and Interviewed by Blair Nodelman

Cori Thomas is the playwright of New York Times Critics’ pick and smash hit When January Feels Like Summer. Cori joined me to discuss the success of her play and the world within New York that often goes unseen.

In When January Feels Like Summer, we see a whole world within New York City that is largely unknown to the typical audience member. How did go you about creating/representing this diverse environment?

Cori: I don’t think I ever actively consciously think about what I’m going to write. What I do is an organic representation of what I know and what I see and the world that I live in. Because I live in New York and I come from a family that’s very multicultural, I think it’s just the way that I see the world. Someone pointed it out to me that my plays always have these mixes of people that you don’t usually see one, on stage, or two, together.

The play covers a wide range of topics, from sexuality to race and even religion that are weaved brilliantly together. How did you organize the many layers of this play?

Cori: I wish I was a person that sat down and mapped out a play and knew what it was about before I sat down to write it. I never do. I have some idea or character or a line or something just pops into my head and I try to follow it as blindly as possible. The more I stay out of the way the better it usually ends up being. It feels almost like channeling when I’m writing. I listen to characters and voices, and I write what they say without judgment. In the beginning, it comes from some internal place. I can see the root of it.

What was the inspiration or impetus for When January Feels Like Summer?

Cori: The background of this particular play is that I was on a train and I was sitting across from two young African-American men and they were speaking really disrespectfully about a woman who had very bad teeth. They offended and scared me a little bit because they were using really harsh words and bad language to describe her as a woman. I went to turn my iPod on so I could just block them out. Instead, I listened to them, and all of the sudden, I started to be able to translate what they were saying. The language that they spoke, they weren’t saying anything bad about her, they actually were trying to express that they were worried about her and her future, how was she going to get by in the world, how is she ever going to meet someone. It was so unusual to just sit there and have an experience of taking time to listen to what people are saying instead of judging how they’re saying it; to try and understand what they’re saying and to sort of see into them. It was just a little moment but it just affected me very deeply and I started then judging myself and realizing that I sat there and made a judgment about them without knowing them or giving them a chance. Especially, I think, African-Americans and especially young male African-Americans, have this reputation in the world and are seen in this certain way in society, in literature, in drama. I think I’m trying in my own way to just see if there’s any way we can see past that

But it wasn’t a conscious inspiration. I think in a way, it made me question myself, made me question the environment I live in. I started thinking about everyone. You know, how you ride on the subway you don’t know who these people are and what they’re going through in their lives.

Which character was the hardest/easiest to write for?

Cori: I think the hardest character was Joe, the sanitation worker. He’s the least, in a certain way, complicated. I think the other characters were clearer. The two young men were the easiest. They’re the ones who spoke to me first. I just love them. There are some people who have been offended by them. They don’t understand that I’m trying to let you go through what I went through which is to be offended by them and then if you just stay with them you will grow to love them and see the inside of them hopefully and respect them actually. I really care very much about them, but also all of the characters in this play. Each and every one of them showed me their heart. It was always my wish that the audience would see that and care about them also.

How has the play developed into what it is today? Has it stayed mostly the same or has it seen many different evolutions?

Cori: The very original reading of the play was at EST seven years ago. It was at a “Going to the River Festival”, which is a festival of African-American female playwrights. After that, fairly quickly, it got accepted into Sundance. It was also in Pittsburgh. They have a reading series called “Momentum.” Then it got produced in Pittsburgh, at Pittsburgh City Theatre. By the time it came here it had already had a production. It had a really great developmental process. There were changes between Sundance and the production. And then there were changes between the first production in Pittsburgh and here. Here it is also now four years later and we’re in New York. It’s very intimate space here. There are things that could be very broad that worked in Pittsburgh that had to be honed down a little bit to make sure that it worked here. Different actors have different strengths as well. I try really hard to pay attention to actors because they’re the ones who are going to be saying my words and I want them to be comfortable and enjoy doing it. I was an actor for so many years, and I still think that way. I feel like they’re the ones who have to be up there. I respect that so much.

After the success of When January Feels Like Summer, how does it feel to have the play come back for another New York run?

Cori: I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting that is. There a lot of people who I know who said, “I really wanted to see it, and I didn’t get to see it.” I’m very proud of our work on it. I enjoyed the process immensely. I’m so embarrassed, almost. I can’t tell you how many times I came to see my own play. I enjoy it. I’m watching, because I like it. I enjoy watching these people there.

What has been the most rewarding part about this production?

Cori: This play, of all my plays, is the one I wanted to see in New York. I’ve had plays done outside of New York and three regional productions. It’s weird, because I’ve almost gone backwards. You start in New York, and then you go out. I’ve been regional, and now I’m finally getting to come to New York. In a way, I’m still very unknown. It’s very exciting to have a play that means a lot to me that I love and a production that I love so much being done in my hometown where my friends and family and people I know and respect can come see it.

What have you enjoyed about working with Women’s Project Theater?

Cori:  It is an organization I have long admired. As a woman, the concept of an organization that supports and promotes the work of women is very exciting. Especially because in the “real” world we don’t always get the same consideration. And the quality of the work is high!!! It’s a great company and I have been thrilled to have my work join their great oeuvre.

For more information about the production, visit When January Feels Like Summer’s page.

Artist Vignettes with SMUDGE director Pam MacKinnon

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Pam MacKinnon having dinner with Edward Albee.

We sat down with director and WP Lab alum, Pam MacKinnon, and asked her to share a few of her favorite things with you…

What’s your favorite NYC pastime?

Exploring different neighborhoods on foot or by bike.

Best neighborhood restaurant?

Picnic on Broadway and 102nd. Get the steak frites.

Cocktail hot spot?

54 Below or The Harrison

Theater that’s inspired you lately?

BLOOD PLAY by the Debate Society at the Bushwickstar and HIM by Daisy Foote at Primary Stages.

Who’s on your fantasy dinner party guest list?

Elizabeth Warren, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, and a group of my closest friends.

What’s on your playlist for walking around NYC?

Beethoven quartets recorded by the Emerson Quartet

Dream holiday destination?

Easter Island

A quote you love?

“I am the earth mother, and you’re all flops” – from WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, playing at the Booth.

Pam MacKinnon’s won a Tony for the Broadway production of WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?. She directed Rachel Axler’s SMUDGE for Women’s Project Theater in 2010 and is a WP Lab alumna. Pam is a frequent interpreter of the plays of Edward Albee. She also recently directed Bruce Norris’s Tony-winning CLYBOURNE PARK (Broadway, Tony and Lortel nominations for direction, Obie Award; Taper; Playwrights Horizons).

Artist Vignettes with COLLAPSE actor Nadia Bowers

We sat down with actor, Nadia Bowers, and asked her to share a few of her favorite things with you…

Favorite NYC pastime:
By myself: trolling my favorite thrift stores for good finds, then eating at Veselka. Not alone: bike rides all around and over bridges with my boyfriend.

Best neighborhood restaurant:
Scalino on 7th Ave. in Park Slope. Great relaxed vibe, terrific food. A standby.

Cocktail hotspot:
My stoop in Brooklyn.

Theater that’s inspired you lately:
I really loved “Belleville” by Amy Herzog at NYTW. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time which I find rare. They all did such a wonderful job conveying this bubbling dread under the characters’ efforts toward normalcy. And “The Flick” by Annie Baker. She has so much love and respect for her characters no matter how flawed. Her plays are a beautiful, human event.

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Artist Vignettes with JACKIE Wig & Wardrobe Supervisor Genavieve White

Genavieve

We caught up with Jackie wig & wardrobe supervisor, Genavieve White, and asked her to share a few of her favorite things with you…

Favorite NYC pastime:
When the weather’s not having a fit, I love biking around the city. It’s cheap, scenic and no sudden service changes.

Best neighborhood restaurant:
Jimmy’s Diner in Williamsburg is a great little hole in the wall that’s staying strong while condos sprout up around it. The wait staff are rad, and with a dish called ‘the hangover helper’ you can’t really go wrong.

Cocktail hotspot:
I’m a dive bar girl myself, but I really like the Japanese ‘speakeasy’ Angel’s Share on 9th and 3rd. It’s tiny and can be packed, but if you can get a spot at the bar and watch the bartenders do their stuff it’s totally worth it.

Theater that’s inspired you lately:
I don’t know about recently, but I grew up in Atlanta, and the Fox theater was a huge inspiration for me getting into theater. The building itself was just as much a draw as whatever was playing.

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Artist Vignettes with BETHANY director Gaye Taylor Upchurch

We sat down with director, Gaye Taylor Upchurch, and asked her to share a few of her favorite things with you…

Favorite NYC pastime:
Walking/biking along the Hudson at Riverside Park, searching for the best burger, reading at my coffee shop/office, a bloody mary brunch with friends.

Best neighborhood restaurant:
Toss up between Fred’s and Good Enough to Eat (Upper West Side)

Cocktail hotspot:
My kitchen

Theater that’s inspired you lately:
Ann Hamilton at the Armory: the event of a thread; Melissa James Gibson’s What Rhymes with America (directed by Daniel Aukin); Dave Malloy’s Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 (directed by Rachel Chavkin)

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