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Tonya Pinkins, Chad Kimball, Max von Essen & More Featured in Roundabout Underground Reading Series

Tonya Pinkins, Chad Kimball, Max von Essen & More Featured in Roundabout Underground Reading Series

Performances begin tonight for Roundabout Theatre Company's third annual Roundabout Underground Reading Series. The actors involved in the series include: Pico Alexander, Fred Applegate, De'Adre Aziza, David Aaron Baker, Cassie Beck, Michael Chernus, Diane Davis, Dashiell Eaves, Ryan Eggold, Lisa Emery, Sue Jean Kim, Chad Kimball, Jessica Love, Lizbeth Mackay, Annie McNamara, Alex Mickiewicz, Aaron Clifton Moten, Olivia Oguma, Tonya Pinkins, Paul Pontrelli, Conrad Ricamora, Reg Rogers, Debra Jo Rupp, Campbell Scott and Max von Essen.

A limited number of tickets to the reading series are available to the general public.

Roundabout Underground Reading Series is a five night event that will include a nightly reading of a new play written and directed by an emerging artist, curtain speeches by Roundabout Underground artist alumni and a post-show reception.

The plays featured in the series include Max Posner's Judy, directed by Lila Neugebauer; Lindsey Ferrentino's Ugly Lies the Bone, directed by Patricia McGregor; Sarah Burgess' Liquidation Play, directed by Mike Donahue; Kyle Warren's Thoreau, and Other Assholes, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel and Philip Dawkins'Failure: A Love Story, directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar.


There will be one reading each night at 7pm from February 24 - February 28, in the Black Box Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 W46th St.). A limited number of tickets to the reading series will be available to general public.

These tickets can be reserved by emailing

The reading series includes the following plays:


Monday, February 24

By Max Posner; Directed by Lila Neugebauer

With Michael Chernus, Lisa Emery, Annie McNamara, Aaron Clifton Moten, Olivia Oguma and Paul Pontrelli

Winter 2040. Three grown siblings are spending lots of time in their basements. Timothy's wife Judy just left him. His daughter is rapidly entering adolescence. Tara, his sister, is starting a new religion and talking to doors. Their eldest sister Kris spends her nights alone, volunteering over the internet. Unfolding in three basements over four months, JUDY is a comic portrait of one family's struggle to reckon with and resurrect the past amidst breakdowns in their technological systems and verbal communication skills.

MAX POSNER (Playwright). Plays include The Thing About Air Travel, The Famished, Snore, Gun Logistics and Judy. They have been produced or developed at Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Page 73, Soho Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Hangar Theatre, Curious Theatre Company and Production Workshop. Max was the recipient of the 2012 P73 Fellowship, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and the 2011 Heideman Award from Actor's Theatre of Louisville. He is a current member of Ars Nova's Playgroup and is working on a commission from South Coast Rep. Max is a graduate of Brown University where he studied under Erik Ehn, Lisa D'Amour and Paula Vogel. He is a Lila Acheson Wallace Fellowship at The Juilliard School and an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. He was born and raised in Denver and lives in Brooklyn.

LILA NEUGEBAUER (Director) is a New York based director whose recent work includes Lucas Hnath's Red Speedo (The Studio Theatre, DC) and Zoe Kazan's Trudy & Max in Love (South Coast Rep). Other projects include: Dan LeFranc's Troublemaker (Berkeley Rep), Mallery Avidon's O guru guru guru (2013 Humana Festival), Annie Baker's The Aliens (SF Playhouse; The Studio Theatre, DC) and Circle Mirror Transformation (Juilliard), The Valley of Fear (Williamstown), Eliza Clark'sEdgewise (Cherry Lane Studio), and Associate Directing Karen O's Stop The Virgens (St. Ann's Warehouse; Sydney Opera House). As co-Artistic Director of The Mad Ones, Lila conceives/directs ensemble-devised works, including Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War (Ars Nova, The Brick, The New Ohio Theatre). She is an alum of the Drama League, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Lincoln Center Directors Lab; an Ensemble Studio Theatre member; a Time Warner Fellow with The Women's Project; New Georges Affiliated Artist; and a Princess Grace Award recipient. Upcoming: Dorothy Fortenberry's Partners (2014 Humana Festival) and a new collaboration with The Mad Ones at The New Ohio Theatre (May 2014).


Tuesday, February 25

By Lindsey Ferrentino; Directed by Patricia McGregor

With Cassie Beck, Michael Chernus, Diane Davis, Ryan Eggold and Lizbeth Mackay

Female soldier Jess returns from war severely burned only to find her Floridian hometown in a state of decay. With the use of virtual reality video game therapy, she desperately tries to restore her relationships, home, and all that was lost.

LINDSEY FERRENTINO (Playwright) is a New York based playwright whose work has been developed/performed at Atlantic Theater Company, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, 3LD Art and Technology Center, Manhattan Repertory Theater, and The Marilyn Monroe Theater in New York. She is 2014 Kendeda Playwright and is headed to The Alliance in February 2014 for a reading of her play Magic Man, as part of the Kendeda Playwrights Week. Her work has been seen regionally at The Kennedy Center in DC, The Blank Theater in LA, The Florida Studio and The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. She is a current semi-finalist for the 2014 O'Neill and is a past finalist of Kendeda, Princess Grace Award, Terence McNally Playwriting Award, and Leah Ryan Award. She has received commissions from The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and is a recipient of the Edward Albee Playwriting Fellowship and Residency as well as The Blue Ridge Summer Theater Festival's Playwriting Fellowship. Her short stories have been published in New York Magazine and Aaduna Literary. Ferrentino is a current faculty member at The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and Tres Artis/. She holds a BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and an MFA from Hunter College and Yale School of Drama (2016).

PATRICIA McGREGOR (Director) is a Harlem based director, writer, and deviser of new work. She is currently working on Marcus Gardley's The House That Will Not Stand for Berkeley Rep and Yale Repertory Theatre. Recent credits include The Mountaintop at Philadelphia Theatre Company, Spunk at California Shakespeare Theatre, and the world premier of Hurt Village at Signature Theatre Center. As Associate Director of Fela! on Broadway, she coached Patti LaBelle in the role of Funmailayo. Other directing credits include Holding it Down with Grammy Award Nominee Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd at Harlem Stage, In the Cypher at the Drilling Company, Girl Shake Loose Her Skin with Sonia Sanchez, Zakiyyah Alexander and Imani Uzuri, Jelly's Last Jam, Romeo and Juliet, Four Electric Ghosts, Cloud Tectonics, Eleemosynary, The French Play, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Sidewalk Opera, Dancing in the Dark, The Covering Skyline, In the Meantime. Patricia has worked at venues including Broadway, NYSF Shakespeare in the Park, BAM, Second Stage, The Public Theater, The Kitchen, The O'Neill, Lincoln Center Institute, Exit Art, and Nuyorican Poetry Cafe. She co-founded Angela's Pulse with her sister, choreographer Paloma McGregor. Angela's Pulse creates vital choreoplays and fosters collaboration among artists, educators, organizers, academics and other diverse communities in order to illuminate under told stories, infuse meaning into the audience experience and animate progress through the arts. Patricia attended the Yale School of Drama where she was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow and Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret.


Wednesday, February 26

By Sarah Burgess; Directed by Mike Donahue

With Chad Kimball, Jessica Love and Campbell Scott

When a family-owned suitcase company accepts a buyout from a Manhattan private equity firm, it seems like a win-win deal. But nervous investors, philosophical clashes, and concealed ambitions ensure that no one is working with the same information.

SARAH BURGESS' (Playwright) work has been developed and performed in New York, Chicago and Boston. Her plays include Camdenside (The Ground Floor 2013, Berkeley Rep), Earthsiege: Commence (Steep Theatre workshop; Naked Angels' First Mondays), FAIL: Failures (ANT Fest), and Liquidation Play (Out Loud workshop, Ars Nova). Sarah was a writer for The Tenant (Woodshed Collective), The Living Newspaper (Joe's Pub), and "Naked Radio," Naked Angels' monthly podcast series. In 2013, she was a Working Farm resident at SPACE on Ryder Farm in Brewster, NY. Ars Nova Play Group alum (2012/2013). BFA, NYU Film - Faculty Commendation for Body of Work.

MIKE DONAHUE (Director). Upcoming: Jen Silverman's The Hunters (Cherry Lane Mentor Project); Assassins (PlayMakers Rep); Annie Baker's adaptation of Uncle Vanya with Campbell Scott and Kathleen McElfresh-Scott (Weston). Productions include: world premiere of Matthew Lopez's The Legend of Georgia McBride(Denver Center), Jen Silverman's Phoebe in Winter (Clubbed Thumb), world premiere of Lauren Feldman's Grace, or the Art of Climbing (Denver Center), Ethan Lipton's Red-Handed Otter (Playwrights Realm), Shostakovich's Moscow, Cheryomushki with new libretto by Meg Miroshnik (Chicago Opera Theatre), and Henry IV & V (co-director) and A Number (Playmakers Rep, 2011/12 Distinguished Guest Artist). Mike has directed readings/workshops for NYTW, MCC, Soho Rep (Writer/Director Lab), Williamstown, The O'Neill, Clubbed Thumb, Denver Center, The Lark, Ars Nova, Dramatists Guild, Chautauqua, TheatreWorks, Working Theatre, Studio 42, and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Mike is recipient of a Fulbright to Berlin, the Dramaleague Fall Fellowship, The Boris Sagal Fellowship at Williamstown, an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, winner of the Inaugural Opera America Director-Designer Showcase Award, and was the artistic director of the Yale Summer Cabaret for two seasons. Mike is a graduate of Harvard University (Louis Sudler Prize for Artistic Excellence) and the Yale School of Drama (MFA).

Thursday, February 27

By Kyle Warren; Directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel

With Pico Alexander, Fred Applegate, David Aaron Baker, Dashiell Eaves, Sue Jean Kim, Alex Mickiewicz and Debra Jo Rupp

Popular spy novelist Jean DeBernis has finally written his first 'legitimate' novel, the magnum opus that'll put him on the literary map. But when he discovers the exact same book published at the exact same time under another author's name, Jean finds himself thrust head to head with a scheming lawyer whose ambitions are more nefarious than even Jean could imagine. Soon, Jean's struggle to protect his work explodes into a battle for his livelihood, his relationship, and, ultimately, the very thoughts in his head.

KYLE WARREN (Playwright). Warren's play Thoreau, and Other Assholes was presented at the Public Theater's 2013 Spotlight Series Readings. His political drama#nyc was workshopped during the Lark Play Development Center's 2012 Playwrights' Week and at a reading at the New York Theatre Workshop. Other plays includeCephalopod (NY International Fringe Festival); Occupation (Ugly Rhino, NY); In the Static, or Listening With Rabbit Ears (Mixtape Theatre, LA); Divine Intervention(Reading: Chicago Dramatists); and God Bless the Boy Beneath the Cotton Sheet! (CollaborationTown, NY). Kyle also created and wrote the web comedy series, Meet Norma St. Cleod. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Creative Writing for the Media Program, and was a member of the Public Theater's 2013 Emerging Writers Group.

MORITZ VON STUELPNAGEL (Director) is the Artistic Director of Studio 42, NYC's producer of "unproducible" plays. His acclaimed production of Robert Askins'Hand to God at Ensemble Studio Theatre was named one of the best productions of the year by New York Magazine, Time Out, and the Huffington Post, and is being remounted at MCC Theatre this February and March. Other recent New York productions include Mike Lew's Bike America at Ma-Yi Theatre, Nick Jones' Trevor at Lesser America, Robert Askins' Love Song of the Albanian Sous Chef and Daniel Reitz's Turnabout both at EST, Mel & El at Ars Nova, Gary Sunshine's Best Sex Ever at Rising Phoenix Rep, Michael Mitnick's Spacebar and Adam Szymkowicz's My Base and Scurvy Heart both at Studio 42. Regionally, his work has been seen at the Alliance, Williamstown, Kennedy Center, Millbrook Playhouse, American Stage Festival, Red Barn, Allentown Shakespeare, and Boston Playwrights. He has helped develop new plays at the Lark, MTC, NYTW, Playwrights Horizons, Vineyard, Williamstown, Huntington, Primary Stages, EST, Dramatists Guild, Ars Nova, Ma-Yi, New River Dramatists, Partial Comfort, 2G, Apothetae, TBTB, APAC, Goethe Institute, Southampton Writers Conference, Studio 42, and Young


Friday, February 28

By Philip Dawkins; Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar

With De'Adre Aziza, Tonya Pinkins, Conrad Ricamora, Reg Rogers and Max von Essen

This magical fable of love and death tells the tale of the three Fail sisters, each of whom meets her untimely end in the year 1928. Living above the family clock shop by the Chicago River, each sister will become all too aware of how quickly happiness can arrive, how long it takes for sorrow to fade, and how suddenly our lives can change.

PHILIP DAWKINS' (Playwright) critically-acclaimed plays The Homosexuals and Failure: A Love Story both received Joseph Jefferson Nominations for New Work after their world premieres with About Face Theatre (2011) and Victory Gardens Theater (2012) respectively. Philip is an Ensemble Playwright at Victory Gardens Theater and an Artistic Associate at About Face Theater. His plays for young folks are published through Playscripts, Inc. Philip teaches playwriting at Northwestern University, Loyola University Chicago (of which he is an alum) and through the Victory Gardens ACCESS Program for writers with disabilities.

ED SYLVANUS ISKANDAR (Director) is a two-time Drama Desk nominee for his direction of Amy Freed's Restoration Comedy and Sean Graney's These Seven Sicknesses at The Flea (NY Times Critics' Picks). As Founding Artistic Director of invite-only company Exit, Pursued By a Bear (EPBB), he has served over 10,000 home-cooked meals over the course of staging 8 Labs and 40 Salons (all NY premieres), including collaborations with Tony winners Billy Porter and Jeff Whitty, and two-time Tony nominee Anthony Heald. Ed is currently under commission by The Flea to reinvent the English Corpus Christi cycle with over fifty American playwrights contributing new episodes to a marathon evening entitled The Mysteries (Easter 2014). He is also reimagining Restoration Comedy as an immersive nightlife adventure in collaboration with The Scissor Sisters. Ed is a New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) Usual Suspect and Artist-in-Residence at Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT) where he is cultivating a creative pipeline of Singapore - US collaborations. Past honors: NYTW Emerging Artist Fellow, Drama League Directing Fellow, two-time Resident Director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), alumnus of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, and recipient of the Robert M. Golden Medal and the Sherifa Omade Edoga Prize. Ed has taught at Stanford (BA Modern Thought & Literature, and Drama) and Carnegie Mellon (MFA Directing). Beyond 2014, he is developing Sabina Berman's Light, a duel-of-words between Moliere and Racine that will premiere at the 2014 Festival Cervantino; Jason Williamson's Lesser Mercies trilogy, a chronicle following two mixed race brothers before, during and after the Civil War; Gabriel Jason Dean's Jaavaneh (In Bloom), a political thriller about American altruism in the world of Afghan dancing boys; Sean Graney's All Our Tragic, a 2-day play based on all the surviving Greek tragedies; and Roger Kumble's stage adaptation of his film Cruel Intentions.

Roundabout Underground is an initiative launched in 2007 to introduce and cultivate artists in Roundabout's 62-seat Black Box Theatre, at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street, NYC, NY, 10036). Prior productions include the acclaimed world premieres of Stephen Karam's Speech & Debate (2007); Steven Levenson's The Language of Trees (2008); Adam Gwon's Ordinary Days (2009); Kim Rosenstock's Tigers Be Still (2010); David West Read's The Dream of the Burning Boy (2011); Andrew Hinderaker's Suicide, Incorporated (2011); Joshua Harmon's Bad Jews (2012) and Meghan Kennedy's Too Much, Too Much, Too Many (2013). Bad Jews, which went on to critically acclaimed sold-out runs at both Roundabout Underground and at Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre, debuted at the first Roundabout Underground Reading Series.

Major support for Roundabout Underground provided by Jodi and Dan Glucksman. New plays are supported by Roundabout Leaders for New Works: Alec Baldwin, Lois and Irvin Cohen, Peggy and Mark Ellis, Jodi Glucksman, Sylvia Golden, Caryn and James Magid, Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, Laura S. Rodgers, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Yolanda R. Turocy, Lori Uddenberg, Deborah and Thomas Wallace, and Xerox Foundation.

The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre opened in March 2004 with an acclaimed premiere of Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel starring Viola Davis, directed by Dan Sullivan. In the ten years since that landmark production, the center has expanded beyond the Laura Pels Theatre to include the Black Box Theatre and now a new education center. The Steinberg Center continues to reflect Roundabout's commitment to produce new works by established and emerging writers as well as revivals of classic plays. This state-of-the-art off-Broadway theatre and education complex is made possible by a major gift from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The Trust was created in 1986 by Harold Steinberg to promote and advance American Theatre as a vital part of our culture by supporting playwrights, encouraging the development and production of new work, and providing financial assistance to not-for-profit theatre companies across the country. Since its inception, the Trust has awarded over $70 million to more than 125 theatre organizations.

Roundabout Underground is an initiative to showcase new plays that will either allow an experienced director to go back to his/her creative roots or give a debut production to an emerging writer or director. Robyn Goodman (Artistic Consultant to the Roundabout), who has significant artistic development experience, produces the initiative that continues to be a creative breeding ground for nurturing new talent.

The 62-seat Black Box Theatre, below the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, allows Roundabout to take artistic risks that are better suited for a more intimate space.

Roundabout Theatre Company presents a variety of plays, musicals, and new works on its five stages, each of which is specifically designed to enhance the needs of Roundabout's mission. Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design, is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics. Roundabout's Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions. The Stephen Sondheim Theatre offers a state of the art LEED certified Broadway theatre in which to stage major large-scale musical revivals. Together these distinctive homes serve to enhance Roundabout's work on each of its stages.

American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Roundabout's 2013-2014 season includes Sophie Treadwell's Machinal, starring Rebecca Hall and directed by Lyndsey Turner; Donald Margulies' Dinner with Friends, directed by Pam MacKinnon; Masteroff, Kander & Ebb's Cabaret, starring Alan Cumming, Michelle Williams, directed by Sam Mendes & Rob Marshall (co-director/choreographer); Tesori & Crawley's Violet, starring Sutton Foster, directed by Leigh Silverman; and Just Jim Dale, starring Jim Dale, directed by Richard Maltby Jr.

Roundabout's 2014-2015 season includes Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing starring Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal and directed by Sam Gold; Tom Stoppard's Indian Ink, directed by Carey Perloff; and Michael Frayn's Noises Off starring Andrea Martin and directed by Jeremy Herrin.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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