John Kander's THE LANDING, Richard Nixon Drama & More Set for The Vineyard in 2012-2013
The award-winning Vineyard Theatre will celebrate its 30th anniversary season after its enormously successful 2011-12 season – which included the acclaimed debuts of THE LYONS, OUTSIDE PEOPLE, NOW. HERE. THIS. and the developmental lab of THE LANDING – with new works by Douglas McGrath, Rajiv Joseph and Jenny Schwartz, to be produced during 2012-13, it was announced by Douglas Aibel, Artistic Director, and Sarah Stern, Co-Artistic Director.
The season will lead off with the world premiere of CHECKERS by Douglas McGrath, directed by Terry Kinney, with performances scheduled to begin October 3. CHECKERS is set in 1952 as a young Richard Nixon is campaigning to be his party's candidate for Vice-President-with his wife Pat proudly at his side – when an accusation of financial impropriety almost ends his promising career. In a momentous speech, Nixon takes charge of his fate and changes the character of American politics forever. CHECKERS is a revelatory look at Nixon's drive, history and most surprisingly, his marriage to Pat, told with wit, insight and unexpected tenderness.
Playwright Douglas McGrath is an Academy award nominee for his collaboration with Woody Allen on the screenplay for BULLETS OVER BROADWAY. His first film as writer and director was the Oscar winning EMMA, from Jane Austen's novel. His other films include Dickens's NICHOLAS NICKLEBY, which won the Best Ensemble Cast from the National Board of Review, INFAMOUS and HIS WAY. He began his career as a writer for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE and has written numerous essays on the arts and politics for the New Republic, The New Yorker, The Nation, The New York Times and Vanity Fair.
Terry Kinney directed the Vineyard's productions of Gina Gionfriddo's AFTER ASHLEY and Nicky Silver's BEAUTIFUL CHILD and THE AGONY AND THE AGONY. Elsewhere Off-Broadway he directed 'reasons to be pretty' (also on Broadway) and EYES FOR CONSUELA at Manhattan Theatre Club. Mr. Kinney is a co-founder of Steppenwolf Theatre where his many directing credits include OF MICE AND MEN, FOOL FOR LOVE, STREAMERS, RECKLESS, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, THE VIOLET HOUR, and A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE.
THE NORTH POOL by Rajiv Joseph, directed by Giovanna Sardelli, will make its New York premiere at the Vineyard in February 2013. THE NORTH POOL was first developed at the Vineyard as part of Mr. Joseph's residency as the 2009 recipient of the Vineyard's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award. In this riveting psychological thriller, a high school Vice Principal and a Middle Eastern-born transfer student engage in a politically and emotionally charged game of cat and mouse, with dangerous consequences. Mr. Joseph is a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his play BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO. THE NORTH POOL received its world premiere at Palo Alto's Theatreworks and will also be seen this summer at Barrington Stage.
Rajiv Joseph's play, BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO, a 2010 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, played on Broadway last year, starring Robin Williams. His other plays include GRUESOME PLAYGOUND INJURIES, ANIMALS OUT OF PAPER, THE MONSTER AT THE DOOR, THE LEOPARD AND THE FOX (adaptation), ALL THIS INTIMACY and HUCK & HOLDEN. Rajiv has been awarded a United States Artists Grant and the Whiting Award. He has written for the Showtime award-winning series, "Nurse Jackie". He received his B.A. in Creative Writing from Miami University and his M.F.A. in Playwriting from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa.
Giovanna Sardelli has collaborated with Rajiv Joseph on his plays ANIMALS OUT OF PAPER (Joe A.. Callaway Award, Outstanding Director) and ALL THIS INTIMACY (both at Second Stage); THE LEOPARD AND THE FOX (AlterEgo), HUCK & HOLDEN (Cherry Lane), and THE NORTH POOL (TheatreWorks). Other world-premieres include Theresa Rebeck's DEAD ACCOUNTS (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); SOMEWHERE and the West Coast premiere of THE WHIPPING MAN (NAACP nomination Best Director), both by Matthew Lopez (both at Old Globe); Lynn Rosen's APPLE COVE (Women's Project); James McLindon's SALVATION (Hudson Stage), Christopher Wall's DREAMS OF THE WASHER KING (Playwrights Realm), Lila Rose Kaplan's WILDFLOWER (Second Stage); Zoe Kazan's ABSALOM (Humana); and Adriana Sevan's TAKING FLIGHT (Center Theatre Group and others). Ms. Sardelli spent two seasons as Director of the Shakespeare Sedona Institute and two seasons as the Artistic Director of Studio Tisch, and was recently named Resident Director at The Dorset Theatre Festival.
SOMEWHERE FUN, by Jenny Schwartz, directed by Anne Kauffman, will begin previews May 1, 2013 in its world premiere production. SOMEWHERE FUN concerns two New Yorkers, Rosemary and Evelyn, friends from a 'hundred thousand years ago' whose orbits intersect again on a windy fall day. With their children grown and the world changing rapidly around them, each finds herself coming face to face with the terrors, joys and surprises of life and time. SOMEWHERE FUN marks a return to the Vineyard for Ms. Schwartz and Ms. Kauffman, who collaborated on the critically-acclaimed GOD'S EAR, Ms. Schwartz's powerful and comic play that was produced at the Vineyard in 2008 and which Time Out NY called "tremendous… profoundly moving."
In addition to GOD'S EAR (Vineyard, New Georges), Jenny Schwartz is the author of CAUSE FOR ALARM, directed by Ken Rus Schmoll at FringeNYC. With Todd Almond she is working on a musical entitled IOWA, for which they received the 2012 Frederick Loewe Award for Musical Theatre. Ms. Schwartz has received a Kessellring honor, a Susan Smith Blackburn commendation, the Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellowship and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Benjamin H. Danks Award in Drama.
Anne Kauffman is an OBIE Award-winning director whose many credits include Greg Pierce's SLOWGIRL, Jordan Harrison's MAPLE AND VINE, The Civilians' TALES FROM MY PARENTS DIVORCE, Chloe Moss' THIS WIDE NIGHT, Gina Gionfriddo's BECKY SHAW, David Adjmi's STUNNING, Dan LeFranc's SIXTY MILES TO SILVER LAKE, Adam Bock's THE THUGS and the musical WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN A CASTLE at Yale Rep. Casting and creative team for all 2012-13 productions to be announced.
As part of the celebration of the Vineyard's 30th anniversary, the company will soon be announcing additional special anniversary events as well as several developmental projects in the 2012-13 season, most notably a new play by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, recipient of the Vineyard's 2011 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award. Playwright Erika Sheffer will also be developing new work in residence as the 2012 recipient of the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award.
In addition, the Vineyard is planning a full production of THE LANDING at the start of the 2013/14 season. John Kander and Greg Pierce's new musical just completed a developmental Lab run at the Vineyard with Walter Bobbie directing, and the Vineyard plans to reunite the creative team and cast for a mainstage production to launch the 13/14 season. Details to be annnounced.
Vineyard Theatre's 2011-12 season began with the critical and popular hit production last fall of Nicky Silver's comedy THE LYONS, which The Vineyard is now producing on Broadway at the Cort Theatre with a cast starring Tony winners Linda Lavin and Dick Latessa. Zayd Dohrn's OUTSIDE PEOPLE, a critically-acclaimed new play about a young American in Beijing, followed. This spring The Vineyard presented the world-premiere of NOW. HERE. THIS. by the cast/creators of [title of show]. The theatre recently concluded the season with the developmental lab production of THE LANDING with music by John Kander and book and lyrics by Greg Pierce.
One of the nation´s leading non-profit theatre companies dedicated to new plays and musicals and bold programming, The Vineyard has consistently premiered provocative, groundbreaking works, and is thrilled to be celebrating its 30th anniversary season. For performance and ticket information, call the box office at 212 353 3366 or go online: www.vineyardtheatre.org.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.