STITCHING TOGETHER COMEDY AND FAMILY DRAMA
UNDER DIRECTION OF KAMILAH FORBES
APRIL 24-JUNE 7, 2015

*** All-female cast features Tonye Patano from Showtime’s Weeds

with Afi Bijou, Caroline Clay, Meeya Davis and Nikiya Mathis ***

(Washington, D.C.) Olivier Award-winning playwright Katori Hall returns to Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater with the world premiere of her most personal project to date—the fierce comedy-drama The Blood Quilt. Hall is an inaugural resident playwright of Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute, and The Blood Quilt is one of three plays from Hall receiving world premieres around the country this season. Hall reunites with director and Howard University alumna Kamilah Forbes (artistic director of the Hip-Hop Theater Festival) following their Broadway collaboration on The Mountaintop. The Blood Quilt runs April 24–June 7, 2015 in the Kreeger Theater.

Gathering at their childhood island home off the coast of Georgia, four disconnected sisters meet to create a family quilt to honor their recently deceased mother. When their reunion turns into a reading of their mother’s will, everyone must grapple with a troubling inheritance. Stitched with history and ritual, laughter and tears, will their “blood quilt” bind the family together or tear them apart forever?

The Jernigan sisters will be played by Tonye Patano (Heylia James on Showtime’s Weeds, recently The Public Theater/American Repertory Theater’s Father Comes Home From The Wars) as Clementine, the eldest sister; Caroline Clay (Broadway’s The Royal Family) as Gio, the second sister; Nikiya Mathis (Alliance Theatre’s By The Way, Meet Vera Stark) as Cassan, the third sister and Meeya Davis (a recent graduate of Rutgers University) as Amber, the youngest sister. Afi Bijou (Broadway’sHoller If Ya Hear Me and Fela!) will play Cassan’s teenage daughter Zambia.

“In this moment in time, baby boomers are experiencing the slow dance of death in the older generation as well as the shock of the unexpected death of a parent,” reflects Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith. “Katori’s story of four complex sisters delves into this issue and all its implications fearlessly and beautifully. This is a very personal play—personal for Arena as well, as the very first reading was held here and now we have the distinct pleasure to produce its world premiere.”

“I am so thrilled to be working with such an amazing ensemble of women. This is an invaluable opportunity to illuminate the voices, stories and folklore of such a rich and lush culture,” shares Forbes. “I am also thrilled to be collaborating with blues/folk/rock musician Toshi Reagon (daughter of Sweet Honey in the Rock Founder Bernice Johnson Reagon), as her knowledge of Geechee/Gullah history is only going to elevate the authenticity of the world that we will weave at Arena.”

“I’m honored that The Blood Quilt is premiering at Arena Stage as part of the 65th anniversary season,” says Hall. “Writing the play was a transformative experience for me, driving me to learn about the rich, cultural heritage of African-American quilters that extends even throughout my own family. I love each and every one of the Jernigan sisters as if they were my own, and I’m excited to share this new piece with D.C.-area audiences.”

Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad will serve as Honorary Chair for The Blood Quilt World Premiere Celebration on May 7, 2015, joining Event Chair and Arena Stage Board member Shawna Watley (Senior Policy Advisor with Holland & Knight). For additional details, please see the Special Events section below.

Katori Hall (Playwright) is a writer-performer hailing from Memphis, Tennessee. Hall’s plays include The Mountaintop (2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play), which ran on Broadway in 2011 starring Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson, Hurt Village (2011 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), Children of Killers, Hoodoo LoveSaturdayNight/Sunday MorningWHADDABLOODCLOT!!!, Our Lady of KibehoPussy Valley and The Blood Quilt. She is an inaugural resident playwright through Arena Stage’s American Voices New Play Institute. Her additional awards include the Lark Play Development Center Playwrights of New York (PoNY) Fellowship, Fellowship of Southern Writers Bryan Family Award in Drama, Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award and Columbia University John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement. She was a participant of the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab, where her play Hurt Village was developed into a film, and also Sundance’s inaugural Episodic Story Lab, where she developed her television show The Dial. Katori is currently developing Stephen L. Carter’s number one national best-seller The Emperor of Ocean Park into a television series for John Wells Productions. The Mountaintop and Katori Hall: Plays One are published by Methuen Drama. Katori is an alumna of the Lark Playwrights’ Workshop, where she developed The Mountaintop and Our Lady of Kibeho, and a graduate of Columbia University, the American Repertory Theater Institute at Harvard University and the Juilliard School. She is a proud member of the Ron Brown Scholar Program, the Coca-Cola Scholar Program, the Dramatists Guild and the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She is currently a member of the Residency Five at Signature Theatre in New York City. Katori will make her directing debut this fall with a film adaptation of Hurt Village, which received its world premiere at Signature in 2012.

Kamilah Forbes (Director)’s Broadway credits as associate director include Holler if Ya Hear Me, A Raisin in the SunLucky GuyStick FlyThe Mountaintop and Def Poetry Jam (tour). Recent directing credits include Sunset Baby (Labyrinth), Circle Unbroken (651 Arts), Sweet Billy and the Zooloos (Summer Stage) and Tribute to Marvin Gaye (Kennedy Center). Other credits include Lincoln Center Theater, Public Theater, Lark Play Development Center, Arena Stage and Artistic Director of Hip-Hop Theater Festival. TV credits include producer for HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and executive producer of HBO’s Brave New Voices. Kamilah is a graduate of Howard University.

Cast Biographies (in alphabetical order)
Afi Bijou (Zambia) was last seen at Arena Stage in Gilbert McCauley’s version of Holiday Heart, where she received a Helen Hayes Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress. Since then she has performed regionally at Yale Rep (Good GoodsCrumbs from the Table of Joy), MTC (Breath Boom) and the Ahmanson Theatre (Fela!tour). Other Off-Broadway appearances include New World Stages (Bullet for Adolf) and Playwrights Horizons (Taking Control). In the spring of 2014 she was blessed to return to Broadway at the Palace Theatre in Holler If Ya Hear Me. Her Broadway credits also include the Tony Award-winning Fela! and Once on This Island (original cast member). This fall she will appear on the new HBO miniseries Crime starring John Turturro and Michael K. Williams.

Caroline Clay (Gio)’s D.C. appearances include Clementine in the Lower Nine and Gidion’s Knot (2015 Helen Hayes Nominee for Best Actress in a Play) with Forum/Next Stop Theatre, the national tour of Doubt (Helen Hayes Award for Best Featured Actress) and productions at Woolly Mammoth and Shakespeare Theatre. Her Broadway credits include Doubt and The Royal Family. She has been seen Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop, Signature and Playwrights Horizons. Regionally she has performed with Yale Rep, McCarter, Long Wharf and Goodman. Her TV credits include Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, House of Cards (seasons 2 & 3) and The Knick.Her film credits include Everybody’s Fine, Sherrybaby and Morning Glory. Caroline is a native Washingtonian and a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and UMD (MFA, Specialization in Voice & Dialect ’13). She is proudly on faculty at both.

Meeya Davis (Amber) is from Detroit, MI and makes her Arena Stage debut. Her credits include Twelfth Night (Shakespeare’s Globe Theater), House for Sale (Rutgers Theater Company) and Cyrano (Mile Square Theater). Ms. Davis holds a BFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Nikiya Mathis (Cassan)’s makes her Arena Stage debut. Her Off-Broadway credits include In the Red and Brown WaterMarcus or the Secret of Sweet and Fidelis (The Public Theater); Milk Like Sugar (Playwright’s Horizons) and Seed (Classical Theater of Harlem). Her regional credits include By the Way Meet Vera Stark (Alliance Theater); The Mountaintop (Milwaukee Repertory Theater); Intimate Apparel (Two Rivers Theater);  EclipsedThe Brother Sister Plays and A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre); Milk Like Sugar (La Jolla Playhouse) and  Romeo and Juliet (Villa La Pietra, Florence Italy). Her television credits include Elementary (CBS), Person of Interest(CBS), Madam Secretary (CBS), and Crime (HBO). Her film credits include Compliance (dir. Craig Zobel) and Knucklehead (dir. Ben Bowman). Her commercial credits include Diet Coke “Capture the Flag” (national) and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese “Pregnant” (national). Nikiya is a proud graduate of Temple University and NYU’s Graduate Acting Program.

Tonye Patano (Clementine) makes her Arena Stage debut. Tonye appeared on Broadway in Neil Simon’s 45 Seconds from Broadway. Recent Off-Broadway and regional credits include Father Comes Home from the Wars (The Public & ART) and The Last Goodbye (Old Globe). Tonye starred in the national tour of Legends (The National Theatre) and the award-winning play Ruined as Mama Nadi (recognized by multiple critics Associations for Best Lead Actress). Her film work includes roles in Diving Normal, Ponies, The Hurricane, The Savages, Little Manhattan, The Taking of Pelham 123, Company Men, Every Secret Thing, Time Out of Mind and the upcoming Jack of the Red Hearts. Her TV credits include recurring and guest star roles on One Life to Live, Sex and the City, Eli Stone, Monk, Law & Order: SVU, The Americans and most notably as series regular Heylia James on Showtime’s critically acclaimed Weeds.

The creative team for The Blood Quilt includes set designer Michael Carnahan, costume designer Dede Ayite, lighting designer Michael Gilliam, sound designer Timothy M. Thompson, composer and vocal consultant Toshi Reagon, New York casting director Geoff Josselson, stage manager Kurt Hall and assistant stage managerKristen Mary Harris.

For full company biographies and additional production information visit arenastage.org/shows-tickets/the-season/productions/the-blood-quilt/.

The Blood Quilt is generously sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works and is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award. Additional support is provided by the David Bruce Smith Foundation.

The Blood Quilt Special Events
The Blood Quilt World Premiere Celebration—May 7, 2015
Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad will serve as Honorary Chair for The Blood Quilt World Premiere Celebration on May 7, 2015, joining Event Chair and Arena Stage Board member Shawna Watley (Senior Policy Advisor with Holland & Knight). The evening includes a pre-show cocktail reception, three-course seated dinner and the official opening night performance of The Blood Quilt, followed by a dessert reception with the production’s cast and artistic team. For further information and to secure tickets, contact Maria Corso at 202-600-4176 or email rsvp@arenastage.org. For additional details, visit arenastage.org/donate/special-events/blood-quilt-opening-night/index.shtml.

Post-Show Conversations
Connect with our shows beyond the performance at a post-show conversation with artists and staff. May 5, 6 & 13 following the noon performance; May 14 following the8:00 p.m. performance and May 26 following the 7:30 p.m. performance.

Production Information
The Blood Quilt
By Katori Hall
Directed by Kamilah Forbes
April 24-June 7 in the Kreeger Theater

ABOUT: Inaugural resident playwright Katori Hall (The Mountaintop) is once again “fearlessly redefining theater” (Washington Post) with this funny and fierce world premiere. Welcome to the Jernigan Gals’ Quilting Corner. Gathering at their childhood island home off the coast of Georgia, four disconnected sisters meet to create a family quilt to honor their recently deceased mother. When their reunion turns into a reading of their mother’s will, everyone must grapple with a troubling inheritance. Stitched with history and ritual, laughter and tears, will their “blood quilt” bind the family together or tear them apart forever?

CAST:
Zambia: Afi Bijou
Gio: Caroline Clay
Amber: Meeya Davis
Cassan: Nikiya Mathis
Clementine: Tonye Patano

CREATIVE TEAM:
Director: Kamilah Forbes
Set Designer: Michael Carnahan
Costume Designer: Dede Ayite
Lighting Designer: Michael Gilliam
Sound Designer: Timothy M. Thompson
Composer and Vocal Consultant: Toshi Reagon
New York Casting Director: Geoff Josselson
Stage Manager: Kurt Hall
Assistant Stage Manager: Kristen Mary Harris

Plan Your Visit
TICKETS: Tickets for The Blood Quilt are $45-$90, subject to change and based on availability, plus applicable fees. For information on savings programs such as student discounts, Southwest Nights, Pay-Your-Age tickets and Hero’s Discounts, visit arenastage.org/shows-tickets/single-tickets/savings-programs/Tickets may be purchased online at arenastage.org, by phone at 202-488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth St., SW, D.C.

Sales Office/Subscriptions: 202-488-3300
Group Sales Hotline for 10+ Tickets: 202-488-4380
TTY for deaf patrons: 202-484-0247
Info for patrons with disabilities: 202-488-3300

PERFORMANCE DATES:
Sunday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
Weekday matinees at noon on Tuesday, 5/5; Wednesday, 5/6 & Wednesday, 5/13
Full calendar: http://tickets.arenastage.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=18382

Open-captioned performances: 5/21 at 8:00 p.m. & 5/27 at 7:30 p.m.
Audio-described performance: 5/9 at 2:00 p.m.

CATWALK CAFÉ: Prix fixe meals are now available at the Catwalk Café and include a choice of soup or salad, main entrée and dessert. Pre-ordered meals are only $22 ($25 if purchased that day). To pre-order and see the menu, call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org/plan-your-visit/the-cafe/. The Catwalk Café opens two hours before the show, and reservations are recommended.

To pre-order drinks from the Catwalk Café for up to 50% savings ($6 house wine and beer), visit tickets.arenastage.org/cart/precart.aspx?p=1007.

METRO: Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater is only one block from the Waterfront-SEU Metro station (Green Line). When exiting the station, walk west on M Street toward Sixth Street, and the main entrance to the Mead Center is on the right.

PARKING: Parking is available in Arena Stage’s on-site garage. Subscribers may purchase parking in advance for $16. Single ticket buyers may purchase parking in advance for $18 or on the day of the performance for $20 on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited handicapped parking is available by reservation. Advanced parking must be reserved by calling 202-488-3300. The entrance to the Mead Center garage is on Maine Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets, and the garage closes one hour after the day’s last performance ends. Patrons can also park at the Public Parking Garage at 1101 Fourth Street, one block from the Mead Center, for $11. Street parking is also available along Maine Avenue and Water Street.

VALET PARKING: Arena Stage offers valet service at no additional cost to patrons with accessibility needs who call 202-488-3300 in advance to request valet parking. On days when valet parking is being used for accessibility, it is also available to general patrons one hour prior to show time for $25, based on availability. To use valet parking, pull up to the main entrance on Sixth Street.

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Producer Edgar Dobie, is a national center dedicated to American voices and artists. Arena Stage produces plays of all that is passionate, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit, and presents diverse and ground-breaking work from some of the best artists around the country. Arena Stage is committed to commissioning and developing new plays through the American Voices New Play Institute. Arena Stage impacts the lives of over 10,000 students annually through its work in community engagement. Now in its seventh decade, Arena Stage serves a diverse annual audience of more than 300,000. arenastage.org.

 

Written on March 19th, 2015 , Events


FOR TICKETS INFORMATION CLICK HERE NOW!!!

Written on November 24th, 2014 , Events, Media, New Productions

Katori Hall To Give Keynote Address At 2012 Fall Forum

by Dafina McMillan

in Fall Forum

Post image for Katori Hall To Give Keynote Address At 2012 Fall Forum

We are thrilled to announce that the keynote speaker for the 2012 TCG Fall Forum on Governance: Leading the Charge will be Katori Hall! Not only an award-winning playwright of plays like The Mountaintop and Hurt Village, Hall is also a noted journalist, publishing articles in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Newsweek and more. As one of our theatre movement’s most electric new voices, she is the perfect person to kick-off the Forum and help us lead the charge.

Register by Friday, September 28th to receive the Early Bird Discount — and join this intimate gathering of theatre trustees, senior staff and dynamic speakers in New York.  Over three days, we will explore the “charge” of diversity – the magnetic, electric current that occurs when we bring people of differing perspectives and experiences into a room together.  How can we harness that energy to power our artistry, our organizations and our communities?  Space is very limited, so register now. There are also a limited number of scholarships available to help staff from TCG Member Theatres attend, by waiving the registration fee.  Scholarship applications are due by Friday, September 21st.

This year’s Fall Forum will provide working models to tackle questions like:

• How can we ensure more diversity in positions of leadership at our theatres?
• How do we ensure our boards represent a diversity of thought and perspective?
• How can we make diverse audiences an integral part of our communities?
• How do we welcome artists of all backgrounds to the table?

Above all, you’ll be able to identify what diversity means to you and your theatre.  Every community has its own unique challenges and opportunities, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  Embracing diversity and becoming truly inclusive takes intentionality.  And it begins with theatre leaders adapting these values to meet their local circumstances and make them truly their own.

Diversity has been a long-standing core value for TCG and a priority focus of our new strategic plan. Coming out of robust and meaningful conversations at the 2012 National Conference in Boston, we hope to continue the momentum and empower attendees with the models and tools needed to lead the charge.  So please join us in New York City this November!

Written on October 9th, 2012 , Events, Uncategorized

June 4, 2012, 6:38 PM

‘Lilly’ Awards Given to Arianda, Paulus, Hall and More

By PATRICK HEALY

An organization that honors women working in the theater will present the third annual Lilly Awards on Monday evening to nine recipients, including the 2012 Tony-nominated actresses Cristin Milioti (“Once”) and Nina Arianda (“Venus in Fur”) and director Diane Paulus (“The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”).

The group, the Committee for Recognizing Women in Theater, was founded in 2010 by the writers Marsha Norman and Theresa Rebeck, Playwrights Horizons artistic director Tim Sanford, and other artists at a time of growing complaints among some playwrights and directors that women were underrepresented on New York stages. The committee created the Lillys, named after Lillian Hellman, as a way to draw attention.

Other recipients this year are the playwrights Katori Hall (“The Mountaintop”) and Leslye Headland (“Assistance”); the director Sarah Benson (“Elective Affinities”); and the veteran set designer Heidi Ettinger. Lifetime achievement awards are also being given to Academy Award-winning actress Estelle Parsons, who is now performing in the Broadway musical “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Tina Howe, who had an Off Broadway revival of her play “Painting Churches”this year.

Ms. Howe was one of the founding members of the committee, but she does not take part in the voting process for the awards, which are chosen by 25 people working in theater. The Lillys ceremony will be held at Playwrights Horizons.

 

Written on June 5th, 2012 , Events

Playwright Katori Hall and producer/directorWoodie King, Jr. will be honored with All Stars Project Groundbreakers Awards at the All Stars Project’s national gala benefit entitled, Big Builders for Young People, to be held at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, on on Monday, May 7. The evening will begin with cocktails at 6pm followed by dinner and program at 7pm.

The Gala will be hosted by Roscoe Orman, best known as Gordon on Sesame Street, and will feature hip-hop, rap and dance performances by youth of the All Stars. Renowned dancer, Desmond Richardson has choreographed a special dance piece featuring 11 inner-city youth performers from the All Stars Project.

Hall – who was represented earlier this season on Broadway with The Mountaintop and Off-Broadway with Hurt Village — is being recognized for her work in helping to open doors for new voices in the American theatre. Her play Children of Killers will make its American premiere at the Castillo Theatre in September 2012.

King, who is Founder and Producing Director of the New Federal Theatre, is being recognized for his pioneering efforts and outstanding accomplishments in Black theatre.

Groundbreaker Awardees will also include David C. Banks, President and CEO, Eagle Academy Foundation, Valerie and William Bell, Founders, Sean Elijah Bell Community Center and Anderson J. Franklin, Ph.D. Honorable David S. Nelson Professor of Psychology and Education, Boston College.

For tickets and more information, call 212-356-8449.

 

Written on May 4th, 2012 , Events

 

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, New York City Councilman  Ruben Wills (Queens District 28) will present a New York City Proclamation to  the Broadway production of The Mountaintop by Katori Hall. Citations will be  given to cast members Samuel L. Jackson, Angela Bassett, director Kenny Leon and  producers Jean Doumanian and Sonia Friedman, following the Sunday matinee  performance, January 15th.

The Mountaintop by Katori Hall, stars Samuel L. Jackson as Dr. Martin Luther  King, Jr., and Angela Bassett, and is directed by Tony Award® nominee Kenny Leon  (Stick Fly, Fences, A Raisin in the Sun). It began performances on September 22,  2011 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre and opened on Thursday, October 13, 2011  for a limited engagement through January 22, 2012. Upon closing The Mountaintop  will have played 24 preview and 117 regular performances.

Taking place on April 3, 1968, The Mountaintop is a gripping reimagining of  events the night before the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin  Luther King, Jr. After delivering one of his most memorable speeches, an  exhausted Dr. King (Samuel L. Jackson) retires to his room at the Lorraine Motel  while a storm rages outside. When a mysterious stranger (Angela Bassett) arrives  with some surprising news, King is forced to confront his destiny and his legacy  to his people.

Tickets for The Mountaintop are available at Telecharge.com, by calling (212)  239-6200, or at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre box office (242 West 45th Street).  Prime tickets to The Mountaintop are reserved for each and every performance,  even in cases when the show is otherwise sold-out, for the low price of $34.50:  Twenty Same-Day Reserve tickets will be available each day when the Bernard B.  Jacobs Theatre box office opens at 10:00 a.m. (Noon on Sundays) for that day’s  performance(s). They can be purchased with cash or a credit card on a  first-come, first-served basis. There is a limit of two Same-Day Reserve tickets  per person.
For all sold-out performances, 25 standing room tickets will be  made available at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre box office for $26.50 each.

The Mountaintop is produced by Jean Doumanian, Sonia Friedman Productions,  Ambassador Theatre Group, Raise the Roof 7, Ted Snowdon, Alhadeff  Productions/Lauren Doll, B Square + 4 Productions/Broadway Across America, Jacki  Barlia Florin/Cooper Federman, Ronnie Planalp/Moellenberg Taylor, and Marla  Rubin Productions/Blumenthal Performing Arts

Read more: http://broadwayworld.com/article/Ruben-Wills-to-Speak-at-THE-MOUNTAINTOP-for-MLK-Day-20120111#ixzz1jBkvxX3W

Written on January 11th, 2012 , Events

The Signature Theatre Company will populate its 2012 season at the brand-new Signature Center with three Athol Fugard dramas, as well as premieres by Edward Albee, Kenneth Lonergan, Will Eno and Katori Hall.

Fugard’s 1961 play Blood Knot will open the season Jan. 31, 2012. The Tony-winning South African playwright will direct his work about two biracial brothers during the apartheid. Also planned is Fugard’s 1989 work about racial tensions, My Children! My Africa!, to be directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Seven Guitars, Stick Fly). It will begin performances May 1, 2012.

Fugard will also direct the New York premiere of The Train Driver, which had its South African world premiere in 2010 at the theatre named in his honor. The two-man drama centers on a grief-stricken train driver searching for the identities of a mother and child he unintentionally killed. Previews begin Aug. 14, 2012.

Patricia McGregor will direct the world premiere of Mountaintop playwright Hall’s Hurt Village, which will begin Feb. 7, 2012. According to the Signature, “It’s the end of a long summer in Hurt Village, a housing project in Memphis, Tennessee. A government Hope Grant means relocation for many of the project’s residents, including Cookie, a thirteen year-old aspiring rapper, along with her mother Crank and great-grandmother Big Mama. As the family prepares to move, Cookie’s father Buggy unexpectedly returns from a tour of duty in Iraq. Ravaged by the war, Buggy struggles to find a position in his disintegrating community, along with a place in his daughter’s wounded heart.”


David Esbjornson (The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia?) will direct the world premiere of Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Albee’s Laying an Egg, which will begin previews Feb. 14, 2012. Here’s how the work is billed: “Faced with a domineering mother, an adoring husband, and the damning conditions of her late father’s will, a middle-aged woman renews her vow to get pregnant with chaotic results.

Middletown playwright Eno will be represented with the U.S. premiere of Title and Deed, to be directed by Judy Hegarty Lovett beginning May 1, 2012. According to the Signature, “A nameless traveler from a far off place searches for connection and solace in an unknown country in this funny and sad meditation on mortality, loneliness, innocence, home, family, love, funerals, words, and the world.”

Beginning May 15, 2012, the Signature will stage an untitled world premiere by Academy Award nominee Lonergan (“You Can Count On Me,” This Is Our Youth, The Starry Messenger).

The Signature has also announced the creation of A Decade of Access, a new ticket initiative that will price all seats at $25 for the initially scheduled performances of each production for the next ten years. Single tickets are normally priced $75 prior to extensions.

The 2012 season marks the organization’s first at the Signature Center, a new 70,000 square foot venue, with three intimate theatres and a studio theatre designed by acclaimed architect Frank Gehry, located at 480 West 42nd Street.

For tickets and more information visit SignatureTheatre.

Written on October 10th, 2011 , Events

The Lark Play Development Center will host a special event on October 11th celebrating playwright Katori Hall on her Broadway debut with The Mountaintop. (The Mountaintop was extensively developed at the Lark.) Lark board member and playwright Sandi Goff Farkas will also be honored at the October 11th event with the first every Lark Risktaker Award for her creation of the Playwrights of New York (PONY) Fellowship. The Risktaker Award recognizes the leadership, vision and commitment of an individual who has defied convention in making a major contribution to supporting daring new voices in the American theater.

The evening will include a pre-show party and award presentation at the Lark’s new midtown Manhattan home, followed by a performance of Hall’s The Mountaintop, featuring Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson. Tickets are $1,000 each and benefit Lark’s extensive program portfolio fostering bold voices in the American theater. Tickets are extremely limited. For information about the event, visit: www.larktheatre.org/supportus/donate.htm or call Lark’s Development Manager Deborah Philips at 212-246-2676 x227.

The PONY Fellowship was born out of a partnership between the Lark and Playwrights of New York, a not-for-profit organization founded by Sandi Goff Farkas. This one-of-a-kind opportunity deepens support for emerging writers by providing housing for a year in the PONY apartment, a monthly living stipend, and extensive artistic support at the Lark followed by two years of additional support and advocacy.

Katori Hall was the third recipient of the PONY Fellowship. During Hall’s time as the PONY Fellow, she developed a number of works including Children of Killers, Our Lady of Kibeho, Pussy Valley and The Mountaintop, which was presented as a Lark BareBones® before receiving a full production on London’s West End for which it won the 2010 Olivier Award for Best New Play.

She said of the experience, “When I told my Lark family this story [about The Mountaintop] they gave me space and the artistic support I needed to tell a very personal and important story that was inspired by our history. The greatest cocoon that they gave me was the PONY Fellowship-the ultimate gift for a writer who is desperate to do just that-write.”

Katori Hall is an award-winning playwright hailing from Memphis, TN. She has been involved with the Lark since 2006 and was awarded the PONY Fellowship in 2009. In 2011, Hall received the Susan Smith Blackburn prize of her play Hurt Village, and was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Katori is a member of the Ron Brown Scholar Program, a graduate of Columbia, Harvard, and the Juilliard School. Katori was recently added to the Lark’s Board of Directors.

Sandi Goff Farkas came to the Lark as a playwright in 2005 to develop her plays and has been part of the growth and development of the organization ever since. She is a Lark Board Member, a writer for stage and film, and a visionary in supporting new work for the theater. In 2007 she founded Playwrights of New York (PONY), an organization dedicated to supporting emerging playwrights. In partnership with the Lark, she created the PONY Fellowship.

About the Lark Play Development Center. A laboratory for new voices and new ideas, the Lark provides playwrights with indispensable resources to develop their work, nurturing artists at all stages in their careers, and inviting them to express themselves freely in a supportive and rigorous environment. The Lark reaches into untapped local populations and across international and cultural boundaries to seek out and embrace unheard voices and diverse perspectives, celebrating differences in language and worldviews. By encouraging artists to define their own goals and creative processes in pursuit of a unique vision, we believe we are reinvigorating the theater’s ancient and enduring role as a public forum for discussion, debate and community engagement. www.larktheatre.org

Playwrights of New York (PONY). Founded by Sandi Goff Farkas, Playwrights of New York seeks to provide revolutionary support for playwrights by economically freeing them to pursue their careers. Through the Playwrights of New York Fellowship, in partnership with the Lark Play Development Center, PONY provides playwrights with a year of housing, living stipend, and artistic support as well as continued support in the two years following the Fellowship. PONY Fellows include: Carson Kreizter (2007), Samuel D. Hunter (2008), Katori Hall (2009), Tommy Smith (1010), A. Rey Pamatmat (2011) and Special Jury Prize winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (2009). www.playwrightsofnewyork.org

Written on October 10th, 2011 , Events

THE MOUNTAINTOP

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!!!

TAKING PLACE ON APRIL 3, 1968, THE MOUNTAINTOP IS A GRIPPING REIMAGINING OF EVENTS THE NIGHT BEFORE THE ASSASSINATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AFTER DELIVERING HIS LEGENDARY ‘I’VE BEEN TO THE MOUNTAINTOP’ SPEECH, AN EXHAUSTED DR. KING RETIRES TO HIS ROOM AT THE LORRAINE MOTEL IN MEMPHIS WHILE A STORM RAGES OUTSIDE. WHEN A MYSTERIOUS YOUNG WOMAN DELIVERS ROOM SERVICE, KING IS FORCED TO CONFRONT HIS PAST, AS WELL AS HIS LEGACY TO HIS PEOPLE.

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Written on September 15th, 2011 , Events

CHILDREN OF KILLERS

The president of Rwanda is releasing the killers. Years after the Tutsi genocide, the perpetrators begin to trickle back into the countryside to be reunited with their villages. A trio of friends, born during the genocide’s bloody aftermath, prepare to meet the men who gave them life. But as the homecoming day draws closer the young men are haunted by the sins of their fathers. Who can you become when violence is your inheritance?

Katori Hall’s new play Children of Killers was commissioned by the London’s National Theatre where it was included in their Connections program.   The Connections Festival is the culmination of the National’s year-long, nationwide celebration of new writing for young performers. The festival brings ten young companies from across the UK to the National’s stages to perform ten thrilling new plays, commissioned especially for Connections.

Eight productions of the play have been performed in London with one from the youth theatre at the Bristol’s City Academy students directed by Miranda Cromwell They have been invited to perform at the National on July 1, 2011.  Learn more about the Bristol City Academy  at  http://www.bristol247.com/2011/06/10/bristol-students-take-to-the-stars-at-national-theatre/)

Children Of Killers was inspired by a trip to Rwanda in 2009 where Hall attended a genocide studies conference and spoke with victims and perpetrators of  genocide. The play is now being peformed all across the world. It was translated into Portuguese by Francisco Frazao as part of Portugal youth theatre program similar to UK’s Connections.  Over 30 productions of Children of Killers was performed. Three were chosen for the final festival Culturgest where youth programs from all across the nation descended upon Lisbon.

Children of Killers is slated to have its American premiere in May 2012 at Castillo Theatre in conjunction with YouthOnstage.

The script, included in the National Theatre’s Connections collection, is available for purchase online on Amazon.com

 

 

 

To find out more about Children Of Killers in London visit The National Theatre’s website

 

Group : Na Xina Lua da ES Tondela

Photos by : Carlos Teles

 

 

Written on June 10th, 2011 , Events
Katori Hall on Twitter