Amy Herzog & Sarah Ruhl World Premieres, ASSASSINS and More Set for Yale Rep's 50th Anniversary Season
YALE REPERTORY THEATRE announces its 50th Anniversary Season, which will include three world premieres commissioned by Yale Rep and two contemporary masterpieces.
"Yale Rep's 50th Anniversary Season will celebrate the exhilarating scope of imagination that has marked our theatre since 1966 and which will carry us-and the American theatre-into the future," says Artistic Director James Bundy. "These works martial a generous theatricality that connects us to our professional and political history, while humanely illuminating many of the most compelling questions of the world in which we live now. I am thrilled by the extraordinary range and power of the distinguished artists who will be represented on our stages, and by the opportunity to share their work with the widest possible audience."
The season opens with Scenes from Court Life, or the whipping boy and his prince
(September 30-October 22), an astonishing new play about two surprisingly similar political dynasties, by Sarah Ruhl, marking her sixth production at Yale, directed by Mark Wing-Davey, whose most recent work at Yale was directing Ms. Ruhl's Passion Play in 2008.
Seven Guitars (November 25-December 17)-the achingly soulful play by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson, who premiered six of his plays at Yale Rep over the course of three decades-will receive its first professional Connecticut production here, directed by Timothy Douglas, director of the Rep's world premiere of Wilson's Radio Golf in 2005.
Playwright Aditi Brennan Kapil and director Laurie Woolery will make their Yale Rep debuts with Imogen Says Nothing (January 20-February 11), a wildly theatrical and subversively comic feminist hijacking of Shakespearean history.
In the spring, Artistic Director James Bundy will stage Assassins (March 17-April 8), the Tony Award-winning musical masterpiece by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim that brings some of our nation's most notorious characters to life. Mr. Sondheim's first production at Yale Rep was 1974's The Frogs; this is Mr. Weidman's Yale Rep debut.
The season will conclude with the poignant and powerful Mary Jane (April 28-May 20), which reunites playwright Amy Herzog and director Anne Kauffman. Their previous collaboration at Yale Rep, Belleville, was hailed as the one of the Best Plays of 2011 and 2013 by The New York Times.
The events for Yale Rep's annual No Boundaries performance series will be announced at a later date.
ABOUT YALE REP'S 50th ANNIVERSARY SEASON
SCENES FROM COURT LIFE
or the whipping boy and his prince
By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Mark Wing-Davey
Commissioned by Yale Rep
September 30-October 22, 2016
University Theatre (222 York Street)
History, remixed. In 17th-century Great Britain, the Stuarts-Charles I and Charles II-defend their divine rights, with the help of a whipping boy. In our own time, Jeb and George W. Bush play hardball-both politics and tennis-battling for power, as siblings and statesmen. By turns intimate and epic, Sarah Ruhl's astonishing new play reveals the cost of dynastic privilege.
Sarah Ruhl (Playwright) is thrilled to be back at Yale Rep for the sixth time. Her plays include The Clean House (Yale Rep, world premiere, 2004; Susan Smith Blackburn Award, Pulitzer Prize finalist), Dead Man's Cell Phone, Dear Elizabeth (Yale Rep, world premiere, 2012), Demeter in the City (NAACP Image Award nomination), Eurydice (Yale Rep, 2006), In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) (Pulitzer Prize finalist; Tony Award nomination, Best Play), Late: a cowboy song, Orlando, Melancholy Play, Passion Play (Yale Rep, 2008; Fourth Forum Freedom Award from The Kennedy Center), and Stage Kiss. Her plays have produced internationally and translated into Arabic, German, Korean, Norwegian, Russian, and Spanish. Sarah is originally from Chicago and received her MFA from Brown University, where she studied with Paula Vogel. She is the recipient of a Helen Merrill Award, Whiting Writers' Award, PEN/Pels Foundation Award, and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. She is a proud member of New Dramatists and 13P and is an Associate Artist at Yale Rep.
Mark Wing-Davey (Director) lives in New York for most of the year, though he maintains a presence in the U.K. He first came to prominence in the United States with his highly acclaimed 1992 production of Caryl Churchill's Mad Forest at New York Theatre Workshop, following up with Owners and The Skriker. Committing much of his career to developing new plays, he has directed new work by Caryl Churchill, Sarah Ruhl, Mona Mansour, Naomi Iizuka, José Rivera, Anna Deveare Smith, Brett C. Leonard, Keith Reddin, Tony Kushner, Howard Korder, and Craig Lucas, amongst others. Mr. Wing-Davey is also the Chair of the Graduate Acting Program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where in 2010 he premiered Tony Kushner's music theatre work, The Henry Box Brown Play, and where he originally developed Adam Rapp's new play The Eggs: A Fantasy of Love & Death in the Age of Amelioration in 2013 and Sarah Ruhl's Scenes from Court Life, in 2015. He is currently working with Caryl Churchill on her version of a rarely performed Genet play.
Directed by Timothy Douglas
November 25-December 17, 2016
Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel Street)
Pittsburgh, 1948. Following the untimely death of Floyd "Schoolboy" Barton, a local blues guitarist on the edge of stardom, friends grapple with his legacy. The fifth chapter in August Wilson's epic Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning cycle, Seven Guitars strikes moving chords of the African American experience in the 20th century: faith, artistry, humor, oppression, brutality, and love.
August Wilson (Playwright) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II, and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of the descendants of Africans in North America, decade-by-decade, over the course of the twentieth century. His work garnered Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987) and The Piano Lesson (1990), a Tony Award for Fences, Great Britain's Olivier Award for Jitney, and eight New York Drama Critics Circle Awards. The cast recording of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and The Piano Lesson received a 1995 Emmy nomination. He received Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwriting, the Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award, 1999 National Humanities Medal from the President of the United States, numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, and the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. The Broadway theatre located at 245 West 52nd Street was renamed the August Wilson Theatre on October 16, 2005. He is survived by his two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero.
Timothy Douglas (Director) directed the world premiere of August Wilson's Radio Golf at Yale Rep and earned his MFA in Acting from Yale School of Drama. Recent credits include Disgraced, King Hedley II (Arena Stage); Father comes Home from the Wars Parts 1, 2, & 3, Two Trains Running (Roundhouse Theatre); the world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's The Lake Effect (Silk Road Rising; Jeff Award: Best New Work); and the Off-Broadway production of Bronte: A Portrait of Charlotte. He is currently an Associate Artist at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, where he has directed Mothers and Sons, The Trip to Bountiful, Clybourne Park, The North Pool, Buzzer, and the world premiere of Safe House. For three seasons he served as Associate Artistic Director at Actors Theatre of Louisville, where he directed a dozen productions including three Humana Festival premieres. He has directed projects for American Conservatory Theater, Guthrie Theater, Berkeley Rep, South Coast Rep, Steppenwolf, Playmakers Rep, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Downstage (New Zealand), Nationaltheatret (Norway), among many others; served as a Director-in-Residence at Center Theatre Group and New Dramatists as well as on the faculties of ACT, UNC School of the Arts, USC, New Zealand Drama School and Emerson College. TimothyDouglas.org
Please note: Seven Guitars is the first of Yale Rep's two 2016-17 WILL POWER! productions. The run includes 10:15AM performances on December 13 and 15, available only to high school groups. For information on WILL POWER!, please contact Roger-Paul Snell here.
IMOGEN SAYS NOTHING
By Aditi Brennan Kapil
Directed by Laurie Woolery
Commissioned by Yale Rep
January 20-February 11, 2017
Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel Street)
All the world's a stage, but in Elizabethan England, all the roles are given to men. Enter Imogen, who seizes a wordless walk-on in Shakespeare's new comedy and recasts herself in a ferocious real-life leading role. Imogen Says Nothing is the wildly theatrical and subversively funny tale of an unforgettable creature refusing to let history erase her part.
Aditi Brennan Kapil (Playwright) is a writer, actress, and director of Bulgarian and Indian descent. She was raised in Sweden, resides in Minneapolis, MN, and her work is produced nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. Love Person, a four-part love story in Sanskrit, ASL, and English, received the Stavis Playwriting Award in 2009. Agnes Under The Big Top, a tall tale was selected as a 2009 Distinguished New Play Development Project by the NEA New Play Development Program hosted by Arena Stage and premiered at Mixed Blood Theatre and Long Wharf Theatre (CT) in 2011, and Borderlands Theater (AZ) in 2012 in a National New Play Network rolling world premiere. The "Displaced Hindu Gods" Trilogy plays have been produced across the U.S. and in the U.K. Brahman/i and The Chronicles of Kalki received an unprecedented double nomination for the James Tait Black Prize, University of Edinburgh, U.K. Aditi has commissions with Yale Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Repertory Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and is the Playwright-in-Residence at Mixed Blood Theatre, an Artistic Associate at Park Square Theatre, a Core Writer at the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, and a Resident Playwright at New Dramatists. aditikapil.com
Laurie Woolery (Director) is a director, playwright, educator, facilitator, community organizer, and producer who has worked at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater, Goodman Theatre, Cornerstone Theater Company, South Coast Repertory, Mark Taper Forum, Denver Center, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Inge Center for the Arts, Plaza de la Raza/RedCAT, Fountain Theater, Greenway Center for the Arts, Ricardo Montalban Theatre, Deaf-West Theatre, Highways Performance Space, Sundance Playwrights Lab as well as the Sundance Children's Theater. Her solo play Salvadorian Moon/African Sky was commissioned by Cornerstone Theater Company and performed in their citywide Festival of Faith. Currently, Laurie is the Associate Director of Public Works at The Public Theater. Ms. Woolery is the former Associate Artistic Director of Cornerstone Theater Company, artist-in-residence at Hollygrove Children's Home in Los Angeles and former Theatre Conservatory Director at South Coast Repertory. Laurie has taught at NYU, USC, Cal Arts, Citrus College, California State University at Northridge and Los Angeles and serves on the Board of the Latino Producers Action Network, Network of Ensemble Theaters and the Children's Theatre Foundation of America. Ms. Woolery is the recipient of the Fuller Road Fellowship for Female Directors of Color.
Book by John Weidman
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by James Bundy
March 17-April 8, 2017
University Theatre (222 York Street)
United in states of disillusionment and alienation, nine men and women emerge from the shadows of the 19th and 20th centuries to take what they believe is their best-and only-shot at the American Dream. Fueled by our national populism in politics and in song, this Tony Award-winning musical masterpiece is a bone-chilling thrill ride through U.S. history.
Assassins is supported in part by a generous gift from The Ted & Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund.
John Weidman (Book Writer) has written the books for a wide variety of musicals, among them Pacific Overtures (Tony nomination, Best Book), Assassins (Tony Award, Best Musical Revival), and Road Show (Lucille Lortel nomination, Best Musical), all with scores by Stephen Sondheim; Contact (Tony nomination, Best Book; Tony Award, Best Musical), co-created with director/choreographer Susan Stroman; Happiness, score by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman; Take Flight and Big (Tony nomination, Best Book), scores by Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire; and the new book, co-authored with Timothy Crouse, for the Lincoln Center Theater and Roundabout Theatre revivals of Cole Porter's Anything Goes (Tony Award, Best Musical Revival; Olivier Award, Best Musical Production). Since his children were preschoolers, Weidman has written for Sesame Street, receiving more than a dozen Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Children's Program. From 1999 to 2009 he served as President of the Dramatists Guild of America.
Stephen Sondheim (Composer and Lyricist) wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night (1954), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962), Anyone Can Whistle (1964), Company (1970), Follies (1971), A Little Night Music (1973), The Frogs (1974), Pacific Overtures (1976), Sweeney Todd (1979), Merrily We Roll Along (1981), Sunday in the Park with George (1984), Into the Woods (1987), Assassins (1991), Passion (1994), and Road Show (2008), as well as lyrics for West Side Story (1957), Gypsy (1959) and Do I Hear a Waltz? (1965), and additional lyrics for Candide (1973). Anthologies of his work include Side by Side by Sondheim (1976), Marry Me a Little (1981), You're Gonna Love Tomorrow (1983), Putting It Together (1993/99), and Sondheim on Sondheim (2010). He composed the scores of the films Stavisky (1974) and Reds (1981) and songs for Dick Tracy (1990) and the television production Evening Primrose (1966). His collected lyrics with attendant essays have been published in two volumes: Finishing the Hat (2010) and Look, I Made A Hat (2011). In 2010 the Broadway theatre formerly known as Henry Miller's Theatre was renamed in his honor.
James Bundy (Director) is in his 14th year as Dean of Yale School of Drama and Artistic Director of Yale Repertory Theatre. In his first 13 seasons, Yale Rep has produced more than 30 world, American, and regional premieres, eight of which have been honored by the Connecticut Critics Circle with the award for Best Production of the year and two of which have been Pulitzer Prize finalists. During this time, Yale Rep also has commissioned more than 50 artists to write new work and provided low-cost theatre tickets to thousands of middle and high school students from Greater New Haven through WILL POWER!, an educational program initiated in 2004. In addition to his work at Yale Rep, he has directed productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Great Lakes Theater Festival, The Acting Company, California Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and The Juilliard School Drama Division. A recipient of the Connecticut Critics Circle's Tom Killen Award for extraordinary contributions to Connecticut professional theatre in 2007, Mr. Bundy served from 2007-13 on the board of directors of Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization for nonprofit theatre. Previously, he worked as Associate Producing Director of The Acting Company, Managing Director of Cornerstone Theater Company, and Artistic Director of Great Lakes Theater Festival. He is a graduate of Harvard College; he trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and Yale School of Drama.
Please note: Assassins is the second of Yale Rep's two 2016-17 WILL POWER! productions. The run includes 10:15AM performances on April 4 and 6, available only to high school groups. For information on WILL POWER!, please contact Roger-Paul Snell here.
By Amy Herzog
Directed by Anne Kauffman
Commissioned by Yale Rep
April 28-May 20, 2017
Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel Street)
As Mary Jane navigates both the mundane and the unfathomable realities of caring for Alex, her chronically ill young son, she finds herself building a community of women from many walks of life. Mary Jane is Pulitzer Prize finalist Amy Herzog's remarkably powerful and compassionate portrait of a contemporary American woman striving for grace.
Amy Herzog (Playwright) Plays include 4000 Miles (Lincoln Center Theater; OBIE Award for the Best New American Play, Pulitzer Prize Finalist), After the Revolution (Williamstown Theater Festival; Playwrights Horizons; Lilly Award), The Great God Pan (Playwrights Horizons), and Belleville (Yale Rep; New York Theatre Workshop; Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist; Drama Desk Nomination). Amy is a recipient of the Whiting Writers Award, the Benjamin H. Danks Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Helen Merrill Award, the Joan and Joseph Cullman Award for Extraordinary Creativity, and the New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award. She is a Usual Suspect at NYTW and an alumna of Youngblood, Play Group at Ars Nova, and the SoHo Rep Writer/Director Lab. She received her MFA in Playwriting from Yale School of Drama, where she currently teaches.
Anne Kauffman (Director) Previous Yale Rep productions include Belleville (also New York Theatre Workshop, Steppenwolf Theatre Company) and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Other credits include Maple and Vine, Detroit, Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra, Marjorie Prime (Playwrights Horizons); The Nether (MCC Theater); Smokefall (MCC, Goodman Theatre, South Coast Rep); Buzzer (The Public Theater); You Got Older (P73 Productions); 100 Days, a new musical by The Bengsons (Z Space, The Know Theater); The Muscles in Our Toes (Labyrinth Theater Company); Somewhere Fun (Vineyard Theatre); God's Ear (Vineyard, New Georges); Stunning, Slowgirl (LCT3); You Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce (The Civilians at Williamstown Theatre Festival, ArtsEmerson, The Flea). Upcoming: The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window (Goodman Theatre), And No More Shall We Part (Williamstown); A Life (Playwrights Horizons). She recently directed her first film, Buzzer, a short based on the play by Tracey Scott Wilson. Anne is a founding member of the Civilians, a Clubbed Thumb Associate Artist, where she helped create the CT Directing Fellowship, a New Georges Associate Artist, a Sundance Program Associate, member of the Artistic Council of Soho Rep, and an Executive Board Member of the SDC. Awards include OBIEs for Directing and for Sustained Excellence, the Joan and Joseph Cullman Award for Exceptional Creativity from Lincoln Center, the Alan Schneider Director Award, and two Barrymore Awards.