Friday, March 15, 2019 | By | WP News | Comment

A Note from playwright, Rehana Lew Mirza, 3/14/19:

Last night we heard the news about the mosque shootings in New Zealand, and we were up all night overwhelmed with grief for the victims. My husband Mike and I had a long conversation about what we can do in the face of acts of hatred – and what role, if any, art can play in opening people’s hearts. I’ve been working my whole life to try to combat the “othering” of Muslims through my work, and when tragic events like this happen, you feel so helpless, and at a loss. I wish I could do more – more to create a safe space for people, more to combat hate and pain and suffering. I read that the first man who was shot greeted the gunman with, “Welcome, brother.” It was his last words, said with an open heart. I can only hope we all have open hearts, as we continue to take a stand against intolerance everywhere. The mosque is meant to be that safe space for community, the place to come together, to discuss what is happening in the world. For me, that’s the theater. And specifically for “Hatef**k” – to those who are yearning to see the good in Islam, who are hoping to learn more, feel more, be inspired more to actively rise up against hate… welcome.


Wednesday, March 06, 2019 | By | WP News | Comment

Look who is”Highbrow” AND “Brilliant”

Tuesday, May 08, 2018 | By | WP News | Comment

WP Theater Will Honor Daryl Roth at Women of Achievement Awards

The 40th anniversary gala evening will also honor Goldman Sachs treasurer Beth Hammack.

WP Theatre will honor Tony Award-winning producer Daryl Roth (The Normal HeartKinky Boots) and Goldman Sachs treasurer Beth Hammack with Women of Achievement Awards at its 40th anniversary season gala June 4 at the Edison Ballroom.

Each year WP Theater honors outstanding women “who have taken risks, pushed limits, and broken ground in a wide variety of fields.”

The 6:30 PM gala will be hosted by Tony Award winner Victoria Clark (The Light in the Piazza), and will feature a lineup of talent including Krysta Rodriguez (What We’re Up Against, Spring Awakening), Ariana DeBose (Summer, Hamilton), Damon Daunno (Hadestown, The Lucky Ones), Margo Seibert(In Transit, Rocky), and the Dolly Parton cover band, Doll Parts.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2018 | By | Blog, WP News | Comment

The Critics Love [PORTO]!


New Yorker


The setting of Kate Benson’s piece is a “serious” neighborhood bar, the kind with Edison lamps, a tin ceiling, foie gras, and a preposterously arrogant bartender (Noel Joseph Allain). The protagonist (Julia Sirna-Frest) is referred to as Porto, and she really doesn’t mean to drink alone there as often as she does. We learn all this—and much else, including a detailed recipe for sausage—by way of an invisible, omniscient, and wonderfully effective and immersive narrator (voiced beautifully by Benson), who offers a sharp-witted portrait of a woman paralyzed on her bar stool by book-fuelled ethical concerns. It all culminates in an uproarious imagined debate between Gloria Steinem and Simone de Beauvoir over how Porto should treat her one-night stand the morning after…[read original]

New York Times

‘[Porto]’ Features a Bar Regular Looking for Love


The Edison lights are a tipoff, glowing amber above the L-shaped, dark-wood bar. Also the foie gras sausage on the menu, and the snacks for nibbling: fried chickpeas, jerky popcorn. And no, that is not jerky as in beef.

“Venison,” the waiter says. “Duh.”

This neighborhood spot, in gentrifying Brooklyn, is “a boushy bar,” the unseen narrator tells us in Kate Benson’s stealthily ferocious, comfortingly hopeful, very funny new play, “[Porto].” The term “boushy” is a portmanteau, related to “bougie.”

Its ridiculous pretensions notwithstanding, the place is a kind of refuge for Porto (Julia Sirna-Frest), who would really like to be leading a healthier life in a slimmer body: less indulgence, more moderation.

But the warmly lit bar promises company and conversation. And the main voice in Porto’s head — a.k.a. the narrator (Ms. Benson), who wields a godlike influence — makes a compelling argument involving the actress Lillie Langtry, who, in the early 1900s, sued Keens Steakhouse to force it to admit women. “So really,” the narrator says. “You sitting alone at the bar: A feminist act. Do it.” Porto does…[continue reading]

New York Magazine

[PORTO] Gets the Urban Millennial Woman Exactly

By Sara Holdren

I am a Brooklyn-dwelling, 30-something white woman sitting in a hip Brooklyn coffee shop to write about a play about a Brooklyn-dwelling, 30-something white woman that takes place in a hip Brooklyn bar. It gets worse. I just ate avocado toast.

If you’re put off by the above, I don’t blame you. (And honestly, the toast was only okay; I know, I know, I should just make it at home.) You might be feeling like I was as I walked into Kate Benson’s [PORTO] at the Women’s Project, a play that bills itself as “an upside-down romantic comedy” about a regular in a “serious” bar — “a staple of a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood.” I admit to squirming slightly as I took my seat: It all felt a touch solipsistic. But you — and I — would be wrong to let our doubts win the day. [PORTO] sneaks up on you: For all its hyper-self-awareness, it’s ultimately a play about learning to look out rather than always, always in. It’s a smart, surprising ode to the modern woman’s anxious, circuitous quest for simultaneous self-actualization, pleasure, and perhaps even love — an examination of the conditioning we receive, the ways in which we wake up to it (or don’t), and what we decide to do about it…[continue reading]

Time Out New York

By Helen Shaw

Playwright Kate Benson and director Lee Sunday Evans, who scored in 2015 with the sports-infused American-family spectacle A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes, reteam for this feel-weird comedy that exposes the underbelly of meet-cute romance. Benson likes to play with metanarration, and here she provides stage directions in a voiceover that sometimes seems audible to the characters. While presenting as adorable, the show also forces us to feel revulsion at our basic pleasures, whether that means bacon or sex or company. After a festival run last year, the piece now returns for a full encore engagement…[continue reading]


An Enticing Voice Emerges from the Darkness in [PORTO]

By Zachary Stewart

Boushy, we learn in the opening moments of Kate Benson’s [PORTO], is a hybrid of the words “bourgeois” and “douchey,” and it describes any number of bars in recently gentrified American cities. They are to Bushwick (where the play originated a year ago) what churches are to Rome — ubiquitous and, to the foodie faithful, sacred. Of course, there are plenty of boushy bars on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where [PORTO] is making its triumphant return in an enhanced production by WP Theater and the Bushwick Starr, in association with New Georges. You might even enjoy a pre-theater drink at one before viewing this comedy that dissects its audience with uncomfortable and uproarious precision…[continue reading]

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 | By | WP News | Comment

Get a First Taste of Rehearsals for PORTO at WP Theater

The cast of [PORTO] enjoyed foie gras sausage, hasenpfeffer, and more delicious bites that they will eat on stage each night during rehearsal last week at WP Theater. [PORTO] begins performances this Sunday, January 28 and runs through Sunday February 25 at WP Theater (2162 Broadway).

A woman walks into a bar. Her name is Porto. She’s a regular. She likes this bar: serious food, serious wine, serious bartender–a staple in a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood (perhaps Bushwick?). Her friends, her wine, and her artisanal snacks are there; her doubts about being a Modern Woman are put on snooze. A handsome stranger walks in and orders something special. Disruption ensues: an upside-down romantic comedy unfolds inside and outside her head. Desires of all kinds are awakened with a ferocious thump. A nice smile is a nice smile, but can we enjoy the sausage once we know how it’s made? [PORTO] reunites Benson and Evans, whose last collaboration, the Obie Award-winning A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes, was a smash success at WP Theater in 2015.

[PORTO] stars Noel Joseph Allain (Luft Gangster, Queerspawn), Kate Benson, Ugo Chukwu (Ripcord, JOB), Jorge Cordova (Moment of Zen, Hillary), Leah Karpel (The Harvest, Pocatello) and Julia Sirna-Frest (Welcome to the Gun Show, A Tunnel Year). It features set design by Kristen Robinson (Company – Barrington, Esais’ Table) costumes by Obie Award winner Ásta Bennie Hostetter (The Wolves, Smokefall, John), lighting byAmith Chandrashaker (Twelfth Night – The Public, Her Requiem), and sound design by Kate Marvin (Somebody’s Daughter, Happy Days).

[PORTO] is presented by WP Theater & The Bushwick Starr in association with New Georges. It will feature set design by Kristen Robinson(Company – Barrington, Esais’ Table) costumes by Obie Award winner Ásta Bennie Hostetter (The Wolves, Smokefall, John), lighting by Amith Chandrashaker (Twelfth Night – The Public, Her Requiem), and sound design by Kate Marvin (Somebody’s Daughter, Happy Days). WP Lab alumRachel Karpf (Stuffed, Queens) and John Del Gaudio (the food was terrible, Comfort Dogs: Live from the Pink House) are the line producers for this production

Photo credit: Stephen Cyr

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Monday, January 08, 2018 | By | WP News | Comment

Vulture ranked [PORTO] among the “23 Exciting Theater Productions Taking the Stage in 2018!”

“[PORTO] (January 28)
Under the direction of Lee Sunday Evans, Kate Benson’s smart, soulful new play about food, sex, gentrification, and an unexpected encounter between a regular and a stranger at a bar in an all-too-recognizable Brooklyn neighborhood won wide acclaim with its original production at the Bushwick Starr last year. Now it transfers to the Women’s Project, in association with the Bushwick Starr and New Georges, for its much-anticipated Off Broadway premiere.”

Read full article at:


Monday, December 11, 2017 | By | Blog, WP News | Comment

How One Off-Broadway Theatre Ensures The Future is Female

Artistic director Lisa McNulty has refocused the mission of New York City’s WP Theater.

Lisa McNulty, Artistic Director of the Women’s Project Theater Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Lisa McNulty still owns a hoodie that was given to her by WP Theater’s founder Julia Miles in 1999, emblazoned with “21 Years of Making Work by Women!” At the time, McNulty was the institution’s literary manager, her first paying job in the theatre. After running the literary department, she left, only to return a few years later as the company’s associate artistic director. After leaving once more to work as a producer on and Off-Broadway, in 2014 McNulty was back again—this time as artistic director.

“It seems kind of crazy that my entire professional career has surrounded this institution for 20 years,” says McNulty, who is now leading WP into its 40th anniversary season. “WP’s mission, what this institution is trying to do, has shaped me as a person of the theatre.”

Though the organization has undergone a recent name change—from Women’s Project Theater to simply WP—its mission has remained constant: develop, produce, and promote the work of women artists (and now female-identifying and trans artists) at every stage in their careers.

McNulty says the name change was not so much a rebranding as a way to indicate a new phase for the institution. She realized that theatregoers had preconceived notions about what type of work a “women’s theatre” might produce—something she is determined to dismantle through more eclectic and diverse programming. A look at WP’s 2018 season, with its mix of dance, new work, revivals, and both early-career and established artists, is a shining example. In addition to the annual Pipeline Festival, WP presents PORTO from Obie-winning playwright Kate Benson and directed by Susan Stroman Directing Award winner Lee Sunday Evans—both women on the rise.

“By presenting as broad a spectrum of work and human beings as possible,” says McNulty, “I’m trying to combat the idea that a theatre which supports women is one thing.”

McNulty says that the most important thing she does at WP, however, is the Lab, the theatre’s two-year residency for early-career playwrights, directors, and producers. In an attempt to combat the idea there aren’t enough women theatremakers, the initiative culminates in a biannual festival of new works showcasing their talent. The program also prioritizes community. “Beyond introducing those artists to the field, I’m graduating a cohort of 15 folks who become each other’s primary collaborators,” says McNulty.

As McNulty reflects on her time at WP, as well as a tumultuous political year, she can’t help but feel proud of the theatre’s enduring mission. “It’s exciting to be leading an institution that has a mission that is beyond just making important work,” she says. “To focus on providing space for artists who don’t get space elsewhere feels really important me—and it feels particularly important right now.”


Monday, November 06, 2017 | By | WP News | Comment

What We’re Up Against on Fox 5!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 | By | WP News | Comment

Broadway World Interviews the creative team of “What We’re Up Against”

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 | By | WP News, WP News | Comment

Skylar Astin, Krysta Rodriguez, and More to Star in Theresa Rebeck’s “What We’re Up Against” Off-Broadway

Adrienne Campbell-Holt is set to direct Rebeck’s dark comedy of gender politics this fall.

Krysta Rodriguez (Joseph Marzullo/WENN)

WP Theater has teamed up with Segal NYC Productions to present the Off-Broadway premiere of What We’re Up Against by Pulitzer Prize nomineeTheresa Rebeck (MauritiusSeminar, NBC’s Smash).

Adrienne Campbell-Holt (Dry Land, Empathitrax) will direct a cast lead by Teen Choice Award winner Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect, Spring Awakening), Jim Parrack (True Blood, Of Mice and Men), and Krysta Rodriguez (Spring Awakening, Trial & Error, Quantico).

Skylar Astin (Eugene Gologursky / Getty Images)

The four-week limited engagement will kick off October 28, with an opening night set for November 8. The play will run through November 26 at WP Theater (2162 Broadway).

Further casting will be announced at a later date.

Written by Rebeck in 1992, What We’re Up Against premiered in San Francisco nearly 20 years later and has since gone on to have acclaimed regional productions. The play is set in a small architecture firm, where new recruit Eliza is struggling to get a foothold; it is billed as a “darkly funny and all-too-relevant comedy of gender politics.”

“We’re delighted to have this ferocious and sharp play at WP this fall,” says Lisa McNulty, producing artistic director at WP Theater. “Theresa’s words are just as potent and relevant now as they were when the play is set, and we couldn’t be prouder to work with her and WP Lab alumni Adrienne, giving new life to this story.”

“Now more than ever it is vitally important for stories of women to be told, and it is particularly exciting to share What We’re Up Against, which is filled with Theresa’s extraordinary warmth, passion and humor,” added Jenna Segal of Segal NYC Productions. “I’m so pleased to be teaming up with WP Theater on this incredibly important piece of theater and to continue this crucial dialogue.”

The production will feature scenic design by Drama Desk Award nominee Narelle Sissons (All My Sons, How I Learned to Drive), costume design by Lortel Award nominee Tilly Grimes (Small Mouth Sounds), lighting design by Grant Yeager (Now. Here. This), and sound design by Lortel Award winner M.L. Dogg (Oh, Hello on Broadway; Here Lies Love). Casting is by Kelly Gillespie, C.S.A.

Tickets for What We’re Up Against are now on sale via, or by calling (212) 765-1706.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017 | By | WP News | Comment

Monica Bill Barnes & Company in the New York Times

From left, Anna Bass, Monica Bill Barnes and Robert Saenz de Viteri, who are collaborating on “One Night Only (Running as long as we can).” CreditVincent Tullo for The New York Times

A work by Monica Bill Barnes warrants certain expectations. It will be humorous, it will be fun and, despite your cynical self, you will laugh.

But the first time she and her longtime dance partner, Anna Bass, showed their creative producing director what they had been working on in private — the seed of their newest piece — he was perplexed.

“Honestly, you did all these moves for like an hour,” Robert Saenz de Viteri told the two over coffee in a cafe near their Manhattan storage unit. (Ms. Barnes loves props.) He was trying to muster a kindly expression. “But the moves were so repetitive and rigorous,” he continued, “and there was an aggressive personality to it.”

No, this one wasn’t the least bit fun.

Ms. Barnes, whose company’s motto is “bringing dance where it doesn’t belong,” has no interest in boring people, but she does want to make them think. She recalled her response to Mr. Saenz de Viteri: “I said in a slightly defensive voice: ‘I’m not in the mood to make something fun. Come on Anna, let’s go!’”

They went — and kept at it. The resulting show, “One Night Only (Running as long as we can),” will be Monica Bill Barnes & Company’s Off Broadway debut when it opens in previews on Saturday, Sept. 9 at the WP Theater. For just over an hour, “One Night Only” will explore — through sports and, of course, highly refined choreography — the aging body, something Ms. Barnes, 44, and Ms. Bass, who will turn 40 during the run, are all too familiar with.

“We are athletes,” Ms. Bass said. “We’re also well over the age of retirement.”

Lisa McNulty, the theater’s producing artistic director, said the piece was not only about using the language of sports to describe the life of a dancer, but also about investigating “what it means to live a life of physical pursuit, and the beauty and the tragedy of that.”

And it’s still funny. Ms. Barnes is capable of that rare thing in modern dance: appealing to a broad audience.

Her recent hits include “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host,” created with Ira Glass of “This American Life”; and “Happy Hour,” an immersive office party that features Ms. Barnes and Ms. Bass dressed as men. In “The Museum Workout,” a collaboration with the author and illustrator Maira Kalman, Ms. Barnes and Ms. Bass lead participants on a two-mile trek — part guided tour and part workout — through galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

There, the idea was to create a way for people to be physical in a museum, which had the potential to change their experience of looking at art. (It was a success: The show has also been extended into December.)

In “One Night Only,” there is as much rigor and repetition as there was in its early iteration, but, Ms. Barnes said, they found the humanity in it. “That’s so much why I think humor feels useful and not just fun,” she said. For her, laughter is a sign that audience members are paying attention. “They understood something,” she said, and they also feel like, yeah, I’ve had a similar experience.”

In the show, Mr. Saenz de Viteri plays the announcer, improvising large parts of his script. Ms. Barnes and Ms. Bass engage in competitive running, spinning and the snapping of fingers.

Ms. Bass, left, and Ms. Barnes. CreditVincent Tullo for The New York Times

If Mr. Saenz de Viteri sensed a no-nonsense approach in their performance early on, he chalked it up to how this show in particular speaks to the reality of their lives: Their bodies require hours of maintenance and training.

“The culture believes there is a limitation to how long you can do this kind of thing for your job and to be onstage performing dance,” he said. “How do we make that interesting? Both because of the movement and because of that idea, we just started talking about athletes and sports.”

The collaborators began to consider how different the world of sports is from that of dance, though in both practitioners tend not to talk or to play a character but to move. That realization resulted in the question for the piece: How can you create an emotional arc around movement?

“Can you open up an audience to feel like they want to jump out of their seats at one moment?” Mr. Saenz de Viteri asked. “Or even boo, and feel like something is totally failing onstage? And can this movement that is so athletic lead us into a direction that creates a totally different relationship with an audience?”

There’s a personal experience buried in the work too. Ms. Barnes’s father was a marathon runner. “He’s in his late 70s now and has always had heart disease,” she said. “He isn’t running anymore.”

But she said that he was an inspiring athlete: “I couldn’t keep up with him. Even in high school, he was always outrunning me and I just felt like, God, if I could get as strong as my dad, I would be really strong.”

His speed began to dissipate until finally she was the one running faster. “Just seeing him and experiencing his frustration with not having the ability to be physical — I can only imagine his feeling,” Ms. Barnes said. “And I think being 44 and feeling so strong right now and having such a physical memory of how strong he was at 44 — there’s something about an understanding of how this is temporary.”

As she sees it, the severity of her early movement experiments for the show was something of a test. “Can we run in place for this entire song as fast as we can?” she asked. “We can. Great. Can we throw our right shoulder 800 times to this really fast song? We can. Great. It felt like I was setting up physical tasks.”

While those moments are no longer in the show — as Ms. Barnes put it, “who wants to watch that?” — they played an important part in creating it.

While “One Night Only” does have an end date (Oct. 8), the plan is to perform it as if each night were its last. And there will not be a point at which the show is frozen — meaning in a final version and ready for critics.

“I keep putting my fingers in my ear and going la la la la la,” Ms. McNulty said. “I’m a realist and I know that this company works outside of the traditional frame of a theatrical collaboration. I’m just going to pretend that it’s not happening. I’m going to treat it like a living, breathing entity.”

In a way, Ms. Barnes is being subversive. But it’s really just the way she operates: You show up and figure it out onstage in front of people.

“Even though we obsessively rehearse every detail, we’re trying to put ourselves in a situation where we’re nervous enough about what we’re doing so that we are so awake to what’s happening,” she said. “The way we’re really trying to undermine the Off Broadway run is to keep each show truly feeling like it is only happening this night.”

Read Original Article Here:

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 | By | WP News | Comment


WP theater is so thrilled to see all of these brilliant women of color celebrated!

Even more exciting, all of our current, eligible, 2016-2018 WP Lab members, D Lavinia Grays, Sylvia Khoury, and Leah Nanako Winkler are front and center, alongside our rock star Lab alums Carla Ching, Dipika Guha, Soon He Stanton, and, Lauren Yee.


We at WP Theater would like to thank the Kilroys for taking action to achieve gender parity in theater and for their celebration of this work, particularly WP board member and warrior, Kelly Miller

The complete Kilroys List for 2017 is below. Click here for show descriptions:

Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee
The Great Leap by Lauren Yee
Yoga Play by Dipika Guha
Thirst by C.A. Johnson
Blks. by Aziza Barnes
If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka by Tori Sampson
Is God Is by Aleshea Harris
We, the Invisibles by Susan Soon He Stanton
Queen by Madhuri Shekar
The Opportunities of Extinction by Sam Chanse
Hang Man by Stacy Amma Osei-Kuffour
Last Night and the Night Before by Donnetta Lavinia Grays
El Huracán by Charise Castro Smith
Two Mile Hollow by Leah Nanako Winkler
Black Super Hero Magic Mama by Inda Craig-Galván
Endlings by Celine Song
Eve’s Song by Patricia Ione Lloyd
To the Yellow House by Kimber Lee
Florissant & Canfield by Kristiana Rae Colón
Les Freres by Sandra A. Daley-Sharif
Redwood by Brittany K. Allen
The Homecoming Queen by Ngozi Anyanwu
Burned by Amina Henry
Hatefuck by Rehana Lew Mirza
Magic City or Julie in Basel by Hilary Bettis
Nomad Motel by Carla Ching
Noura by Heather Raffo
Usual Girls by Ming Peiffer
Azul by Christina Quintana
Breach by Antoinette Nwandu
How to Catch Creation by Christina Anderson
Nike, or We Don’t Need Another Hero by Ngozi Anyanwu
Selling Kabul by Sylvia Khoury
Somebody’s Daughter by Chisa Hutchinson
The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin by Jessica Huang
The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse
Unreliable by Dipika Guha

The Kilroys is made up of playwrights and producers Zakiyyah Alexander, Bekah Brunstetter, Sheila Callaghan, Carla Ching, Annah Feinberg, Sarah Gubbins, Laura Jacqmin, Joy Meads, Kelly Miller, Meg Miroshnik, Daria Polatin, Tanya Saracho, and Marisa Wegrzyn.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 | By | WP News, WP News | Comment

We’re so pleased to support the work of this influential human!


The Most Influential People in Dance Today: Monica Bill Barnes

“When it feels like everything’s already been done, Monica Bill Barnes still pushes boundaries. Her hit collaboration with “This American Life” host Ira Glass mixed dance with radio-style storytelling, and her Happy Hour series embraced the idea of an office-party-meets-karaoke-meets-dance experience. And although plenty of choreographers are setting site-specific work in museums these days, Barnes takes it a few steps further—and leads her audience through an aerobic workout in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.”

Read the original article HERE

Check out Monica’s upcoming show at WP Theater ONE NIGHT ONLY (running as long as we can)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 | By | WP News, WP News | Comment

Congratulations on Your Tony Wins!

Congratulations to two members of the WP creative family for their big Tony wins last night! Rebecca Taichman (Best Direction of a Play, Indecent) and Mimi Lien (Best Scenic Design of a Musical, The Great Comet of 1812). These rock stars previously collaborated on WP’s 2011 Milk Like Sugar, a co-production with Playwrights Horizons, by Kirsten Greenidge, and we couldn’t be any prouder.

While we celebrate, let’s take a moment to note that, of the 73 people credited as writers on shows currently on Broadway, only 7 of those artists are women. Shout out to those seven women on making art for change on the Great White Way, but there is still a long way to go.

Let’s celebrate these powerful ladies, and don’t forget to join us in our upcoming season to make some noise for women in theater!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 | By | WP News | Comment

And you saw it here first!

Lisa Lampanelli’s play Stuffed will open off-Broadway this fall in a new production at the Westside Theatre beginning October 6. Directed by Jackson Gay and featuring additional material by Ashley Austin Morris, the work premiered in a WP Theater production in fall 2016.

The work is described as follows: “The four characters in Stuffed are a lifelong dieter, a bulimic, a confident overweight gal, and a permanent size-zero. The play features Lampanelli’s famously irreverent voice, signature wit, and an extra-large scoop of razor-sharp insight into the crazy-making world of our relationships with food. With Lisa onstage, alongside a talented cast, Stuffed doesn’t shy away from tough questions like: Is eating an ice cream sandwich in the shower as emotionally fulfilling as it sounds? When it comes to jeans, what’s better — muffin top or camel toe? And, if Oprah, the most powerful person in the world, can’t conquer her food issues, what can the rest of us do but laugh as we try?”

Casting and creative team will be announced in the coming months. The WP Theater production starred Lampanelli alongside Ann Harada, Zainab Jah, and Jessica Luck.

(Read original article here)

Monday, May 22, 2017 | By | WP News | Comment

PLAYBILL NEWS: WP Theater Announces 2017–2018 Season

The lineup includes a world premiere, a sold-out hit, and the return of the Pipeline Festival.

WP Theater has announced its 2017–2018 lineup of productions. The 40th anniversary season will consist of the world premiere of Monica Bill Barnes & Company’s One Night Only (running as long as we can); a return engagement of Kate Bensons’ sold-out hit [Porto], co-produced with The Bushwick Starr and New Georges; and the second biennial Pipeline Fesitval of new plays by WP Lab artists.

WP Theater has also teamed up with fellow Off-Broadway company Colt Coeur to present the Parity Plays Reading Series, which will celebrate new work by female and trans playwrights and directors this fall.

The season will kick off in September with One Night Only, marking the Off-Broadway debut of dance group Monica Bill Barnes & Company. The new piece is co-created by Barnes and Anna Bass, who also perform, and Robert Saenz de Viteri. Barnes choreographs with design by Kelly Hanson and Jane Cox. In One Night Only, everyday movement is taken to monumental new heights as longtime performing partners Bass and Barnes explore the ephemeral nature of life onstage.

Also slated for the fall will be the Parity Plays, created by WP Lab alum Adrienne Campbell-Holt. The annual play reading series will present four new works co-curated by Campbell-Holt’s company Colt Coeur and WP Theater.

In January 2018, WP Theater will team up with The Bushwick Starr to present the Off-Broadway debut of [Porto], which debuted at the Bushwick Starr earlier this year and sold out its premiere engagement. Directed by Lee Sunday Evans, the play sees a woman walk into a Brooklyn bar; when a handsome stranger arrives, disruption ensues. The show will be presented in association with New Georges.

The season will conclude next March with the return of the WP Pipeline Fetival, which will feature five new works written, directed, and produced by the 2016–2018 WP Lab artists. The current lab artists are playwrights Donnetta Lavinia Grays, MJ Kaufman, Sylvia Khoury, Zoe Sarnak, and Leah Nanako Winkler; directors Melissa Crespo, Morgan Gould, Ellie Heyman, Tyne Rafaeli, and Mo Zhou; and producers Roxanna Barrios, SallyCade Holmes, Nidia Medina, Laura Ramadei, and Yuvika Tolani.

Season passes begin at $99.

(Read original article here)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 | By | WP News | Comment

American Theatre Wing: Programming a Season with Lisa McNulty and BAM’s Joseph Melillo!

Lisa McNulty and BAM’s Joseph Melillo in this beautifully produced bit of documentary film on programming for the theater, from American Theatre Wing!

Wednesday, April 05, 2017 | By | Blog, WP News | Comment

Debra Messing Acceptance Speech

“Storytelling can change lives.” -Debra Messing
Listen to what more Debra, one of two honorees, had to say  about the importance of storytelling at the 2017 Gala held on March 27th.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 | By | Blog | Comment

PLAYBILL NEWS: WP Gala Photos Are In…Debra Messing and more!


WP Theater (formerly Women’s Project Theater) honored Emmy-winning Broadway alum Debra Messing and President of BBC Worldwide North America Ann M. Sarnoff with Women of Achievement Awards at its 32nd annual gala. Hedwig and the Angry Inch Tony winner Lena Hall hosted the event at the Edison Ballroom.

Flip through photos from last night here

Wednesday, March 15, 2017 | By | Sundown | Comment

The New York Times Review: Songs Say What a Family Can’t in ‘Sundown, Yellow Moon’

“To love is to worry in “Sundown, Yellow Moon,” Rachel Bonds’s quietly perceptive portrait of a family in simmering crisis at the McGinn/Cazale Theater. The characters in this beautifully acted production from Ars Nova and WP Theater, directed with probing sensitivity by Anne Kauffman, are united by a web of mutual concern that is as exasperating as it is reassuring.

When a father and his grown daughter bid good night to each other in an insomniac haze, this is their exchange of endearments: “I’m worried about you”; “I’m worried about you, too.” There’s a competitive passive aggression in their solicitude, and plenty of ego within their altruism. That doesn’t make their shared affection any less deep or genuine…” Read more

Monday, March 13, 2017 | By | Sundown | Comment

What audiences are saying about Sundown, Yellow Moon…

Thursday, March 02, 2017 | By | Blog | Comment

The Special Unicorn of Artistic Directors….

Take a break and listen to this interview with Lisa McNulty with Eliza Bent on her video series!!

Real Talk / Kip Talk – Artistic Directors on Divans – #02 With Lisa McNulty from Eva von Schweinitz on Vimeo.

Monday, January 23, 2017 | By | Blog, WP News, Sundown | Comment

Playbill News: Cast Announced for “Sundown, Yellow Moon”!

Lilli Cooper and Anne L. Nathan (© David Gordon)

The world premiere of the night-time play with songs, SUNDOWN, YELLOW MOON casting and creative teams have been announced on Playbill! You don’t want to miss the real, honest, funny and sad play about seeing old faces with new eyes, and the liminal space between loss and letting go.

“The cast includes Eboni Booth (Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.), Lilli Cooper (The Spongebob Musical), Peter Friedman (Synecdoche, New YorkThe Savages), Greg Keller (Our Mother’s Brief Affair), Anne L. Nathan (It Shoulda Been You), Michael Pemberton (Veep), and JD Taylor….” Click here for more information!

Friday, November 04, 2016 | By | Blog, 2016-2017 Season, Stuffed | Comment

WATCH! Stuffed’s Lisa Lampanelli on METROFOCUS on PBS

Tuesday, November 01, 2016 | By | Blog, 2016-2017 Season, Stuffed | Comment

WATCH Lisa Lampanelli Talks New Off-Broadway Play “Stuffed” on the ELVIS DURAN SHOW!