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.

Thursday, September 10, 2015 | By | Blog, 2015-2016 Season, Dear Elizabeth | Comment

Video: Sarah Ruhl on DEAR ELIZABETH

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


Wednesday, September 09, 2015 | By | Blog, 2015-2016 Season, Dear Elizabeth | Comment

Get to Know 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.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015 | By | Blog, 2015-2016 Season, Dear Elizabeth | Comment

Get to Know 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.