GENERATIONS, WASHETERIA and More Set for Soho Rep.'s 2014-15 Season
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Sarah Benson and Executive Director Cynthia Flowers, Soho Rep. has continually produced work by bold artists who harness the intimate power of a 73-seat black box theater to create transformative experiences. Soho Rep.'s 2014-15 season, announced today, comprises three new works that each speak to the civic power of theater through their own distinctive form.
The U.S. premiere of debbie tucker green's generations (Sep 30-Oct 26), co-produced by Soho Rep. and The Play Company, invites the audience into a welcoming, fragrant kitchen to hear green's fierce text along with exuberant music written and arranged by Bongi Duma (The Lion King) and performed by a 12-person South African community chorus. The production reunites the playwright with director Leah C. Gardiner, who worked together on the OBIE Award-winning 2011 production of born bad.
In Winners and Losers (Jan 2-Feb 1, 2015), a New York premiere, innovative Canadian artists Marcus Youssef and James Long, directed by Chris Abraham, sit at a table and play an invented game called "winners and losers." They name people, places or things--Pamela Anderson, microwave ovens, their fathers, Goldman Sachs, Mexico-- pronouncing each one winner or loser. Their game turns both personal and epic as they mercilessly dissect each other's families, backgrounds and life choices.
In Anne Washburn's 10 Out of 12 (May-June 2015), a company of 14 is engaged in the very peculiar--and peculiarly impossible--task of making a new play. Based on notes Washburn took during her past tech rehearsals, this Soho Rep. world premiere commission directed by Les Waters is a wry and absorbing look at how work forms us and deforms us.
In Brooklyn, Soho Rep. will also present Washeteria (March 2015), a site-specific production created by designer Louisa Thompson (Blasted, Elective Affinities, Gatz). This unique pilot project is created with second grade students at Brooklyn Arbor PS 414 and is performed for an all-age audiences in a vacant South Williamsburg storefront, transformed into a fantastical laundromat. Artists including César Alvarez (An Octoroon, Good Person of Szechwan), Charise Castro Smith and Adrienne Kapstein will be commissioned to make theatrical "episodes," each the length of a wash cycle.
Benson remarked, "We're so excited to share with audiences the remarkable visions of this season's artists. Each play invites people into a holistic theatrical world that celebrates the proximity of the audience / performer relationship. These artists harness the exuberance and potency of theater through plays that can only be plays. We hope audiences will experience something they can take home with them."
Tickets to generations and Winners and Losers are currently on sale at sohorep.org and by calling 212.352.3101. Soho Rep is located at 46 Walker Street in Lower Manhattan. For additional information, call 212-941-8632 or visit www.sohorep.org. Soho Rep.'s 2014-15 season is produced in in association with John Adrian Selzer.
SOHO REP. 2014-15 PROGRAMMING
Productions at Soho Rep. (46 Walker Street)
Soho Rep. and The Play Company,
in association with John Adrian Selzer, present
generations (U.S. Premiere)
By debbie tucker green
Directed by Leah C. Gardiner
Composition, arrangement and music direction by Bongi Duma
Preview Performances: September 30-October 5 and October 7-12 at 7:30pm; October 11 at 4pm
Opening: Sunday, October 12 at 7:30pm
Regular Performances: Through October 26: Tuesday-Sunday at 7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday at 4pm
Soho Rep. and The Play Company, in association with John Adrian Selzer, present the U.S. premiere of debbie tucker green's generations. The production reunites the playwright with director Leah C. Gardiner, who worked together on the OBIE Award-winning 2011 production of born bad. The production features a 12-person community chorus led by music director Bongi Duma (The Lion King).
In generations, audiences are invited into a kitchen in a South African township where a fragrant meal is being prepared. As they cook, three generations of a close-knit family banter and share stories and food. Both urgent and exuberant, green's formally daring play tackles what's transmitted and lost through generations of a family-and a nation. Join us after every performance to share South African food from Madiba Restaurant, drink and music.
debbie tucker green (Playwright) For Soho Rep.: The U.S. premiere of born bad, for which she won a 2011 Obie award for playwriting. UK writing/directing credits include nut (Royal National Theatre - Shed) and truth and reconciliation(Royal Court Theatre). Select UK playwriting credits include random (Royal Court Theatre); generations (Young Vic); trade (RSC New Work Festival - Stratford); stoning mary (Royal Court Theatre Downstairs); born bad (Hampstead Theatre); dirty butterfly (Soho Theatre). TV/Film: second coming (Writer/Director); random (Writer/Director), which won a 2012 Bafta Award for Best Single Drama; heat (Writer/Director); and spoil (Writer). Radio credits include: gone, random, handprint and freefall (BBC Radio 3); to swallow (BBC Radio 4).
Leah C. Gardiner (Director) For Soho Rep.: The U.S. premiere of debbie tucker green's born bad, for which she won a 2011 Obie award for direction. Recent New York credits include The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Atlantic Theater Company); Kent, CT (Zipper Theater); The Ghost of Enoch Charlton, (Keen Company); Bulrusher (Urban Stages, World Premiere and Pulitzer finalist). National credits include: Antony and Cleopatra, Othello (Houston Shakespeare Festival); By the Way Meet Vera Stark (Alliance Theater); Fences (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Sucker Punch (Studio Theatre, U.S. Premiere); Clementine in the Lower Nine (TheatreWorks, World Premiere); The Last Five Years (Crossroads Theatre); Streetcar Named Desire (Pillsbury House Theatre); Piano Lesson (Madison Rep); Blue Door (South Coast Repertory, World Premiere and Pulitzer finalist); Topdog/Underdog (Philadelphia Theatre Company); Birdie Blue (City Theatre); Orange Flower Water (Contemporary American Theatre Festival, World Premiere); The Flag Maker of Market Street (World Premiere, Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Angels in America, Parts I and II (Connecticut Repertory Theatre); (Re-staging Director) Broadway's The Normal Heart (Arena Stage, American Conservatory Theater); National Tour, Wit (Kennedy Center, Ordway, among others). Select film directing credits include: Cultures Collide (Sony Entertainment); The Belle of New Orleans (Alliance Theater). Leah was a producer on the Sundance Festival award-winning film Mother of George. MFA in Directing from the Yale School of Drama.
Bongi Duma (Music Director) Broadway performance credits include The Lion King (2001-present). Musical Direction: Sheila's Day (Lincoln Center Theater). Dumawas composer, music director, and choreographer for The Mighty Zulu Nation and Africa Africa (Storey Productions - UCA Productions). His film credits include bring songwriter and vocal arranger for the soundtrack to the Jamaican Rasta documentary Bad Friday (2013). Bongi music-directed an African music performance for the Queen at Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Conference in 2000 and a South African performance at the Bambi Awards in Hamburg, Germany in 2002. He is a composer and performing artist at Carnegie Hall's annual kids concert series Music Explorers. He is the founder of African Heroes, a South African a cappella group, which was a semi-finalist in the 1998 Shell Road to Fame national competition. He is also a tenor/baritone soloist and choir conductor for the Music Paragons adult choir. Born in Umlazi township in South Africa, Duma has worked as a mentor and vocal coach of South African singing technique to students from South Africa and the UK.
Winners and Losers (New York Premiere)
Created and performed by Marcus Youssef & James Long
Directed by Chris Abraham
Produced in association with Theatre Replacement and Neworld Theatre
January 2-February 1, 2015
Opening: Sunday, January 4 at 7:30pm
Wednesday-Sunday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 3pm
Additional performance Tuesday January 6 at 7:30pm
Mexican food. Beyoncé Knowles. Your father. Winners or losers? Longtime collaborators Marcus Youssef and James Long play a simple game that becomes anything but. A fierce and funny epic about what friendship can sustain.
On the cusp of turning 40, Youssef and Long got an email from a mutual friend touting a self-help pyramid scheme. This unexpected note inspired the two men to take a frank look at their own lives. Directed by Chris Abraham, Winners and Losers brings three of Canada's most innovative and exciting theater artists to Soho Rep. for first time.
Marcus Youssef's plays include Ali and Ali & the aXes of Evil, How Has My Love Affected You?, A Line in the Sand, Peter Panties, Jabber, Chloe's Choice, and Adrift. They have been performed at festivals and theatres across North America, Europe and Australia, and are published by Talonbooks and Playwrights Canada Press. His awards include Rio-Tinto Alcan Performing Arts, Chalmers' Canadian Play, Seattle Times Footlight, Vancouver Critics' Innovation (three times), an Arts Club Silver Commission, and numerous local theatre awards in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Youssef has been artistic director of Neworld Theatre since 2005, and co-founded the East Vancouver artist-run production centre PL1422 in 2009. He sits on the advisory board of the Canadian Theatre Review, and is chair of the City of Vancouver's Arts and Culture Policy Council. Marcus teaches regularly at Studio 58 and the National Theatre School of Canada, which he graduated from more than two decades ago.
James Long founded Theatre Replacement with Maiko Bae Yamamoto in 2003. The company's work has been presented in multiple cities across North America and Europe and includes Clark and I Somewhere in Connecticut, Sexual Practices of the Japanese, Train, BIOBOXES: Artifacting Human Experience, WeeTube, Dress me up in your love and Kate Bowie among others. Long has taught performance and methods of creation to established artists across Canada and to students at The University of British Columbia, The University of Regina, Simon Fraser University, Studio 58 and Seattle's Cornish College of the Arts. As a freelance artist he has worked as a director, writer and actor with Rumble Productions, Neworld, urban ink, The Only Animal, Boca Del Lupo, The Chop Theatre, CBC radio and The Electric Company, among others. He is a graduate of SFU's School of Contemporary Arts.
Chris Abraham is a multi-award winning theatre and film director, dramaturg and teacher who has worked with Canada's foremost artists and theatres, including the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Canadian Stage Company, Tarragon Theatre, Segal Centre, Centaur Theatre, Globe Theatre, Theatre Junction, among many others. In 2000, he co-founded and was the Co-Artistic Director of Bill Glassco's Montreal Young Company. In 2003, Chris directed the film adaptation of Kristen Thomson's award winning hit I, Claudia for which he won a Gemini award. The film was also names one of 2004?s top ten Canadian films by the Toronto International Film Festival. A graduate of the National Theatre School's directing program, Abraham later served as Co-Director of the school's renowned directing program (2006-2010). He was the recipient of the John Hirsch and Ken MacDougall awards and the Siminovitch award for Directing in 2013, as well as the Siminovitch protege award in the award's inaugural year. Abraham has directed the highly lauded Stratford Shakespeare Festival productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, For The Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, The Little Years, The Matchmaker, Othello.
10 Out of 12 (World Premiere Commission)
By Anne Washburn
Directed by Les Waters
A play about work. A play about play. A play about plays.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to tech. Around you, a company of 14 is engaged in the very peculiar--and peculiarly impossible--task of making a new play. You'll have a seat next to the sound designer as he mixes cues. You'll eavesdrop on backstage gossip as it happens over headset. You'll watch the director struggle to contain the uncontainable.
Anne Washburn (Mr. Burns) took notes during her tech rehearsals over the years. Directed by Les Waters, 10 out of 12 is a wry and absorbing look at how work forms us and deforms us.
Anne Washburn's plays include Mr. Burns, The Internationalist, A Devil at Noon, Apparition, The Communist Dracula Pageant, I Have Loved Strangers, The Ladies, The Small and a transadaptation of Euripides' Orestes. Her work has been produced by 13P, Actors Theater of Louisville, The Almeida, American Repertory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, Dixon Place, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Folger, London's Gate Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, DC's Studio Theater, Two River Theater Company, NYC's Vineyard and Woolly Mammoth. Awards include a Guggenheim, a NYFA Fellowship, a Time Warner Fellowship, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, and residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo. She is an associated artist with The Civilians, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Machiqq, and is an alumna of New Dramatists and 13P.
Obie Award winning director and Artistic Director at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Les Waters recently directed Lucas Hnath's The Christians, Thornton Wilder's Our Town, Will Eno's Gnit, Todd Almond's Girlfriend and Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night at Actors Theatre. Waters also previously directed Big Love by Charles L. Mee at the Humana Festival in 2000, and the site-specific production of Naomi Iizuka's At the Vanishing Point, a play about Lexington photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard and the community of Butchertown, at the 2004 Humana Festival. From 2003 to 2011, he served as Associate Artistic Director at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. In the last 10 years, his shows have ranked among the year's best in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Time Out New York, Time Magazine and USA Today. His productions have been seen in New York at The Public Theater, Second Stage, Manhattan Theatre Club, Connelly Theater and Clubbed Thumb, and regionally at theatres such as Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse and American Repertory Theater. In 2009, he made his Broadway debut with In the Next Room or the vibrator play. He led the M.F.A. directing program at University of California, San Diego from 1995 to 2003 and is an associate artist of The Civilians.
Created by designer Louisa Thompson (Blasted, Elective Affinities, Gatz)
with Sarah Benson and Adrienne Kapstein
Weekends in March 2015 in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Created with 2nd Graders and accessible to all ages as well as both English and Spanish speakers.
Step off the street and enter Washeteria. An unused neighborhood storefront in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. A fantastical Laundromat. A rehearsal space. A theater. Here new theatrical "episodes"--each the length of a wash cycle--are spun together for an all-age audience to experience, re-mix and revisit again and again.
Featuring episodes by César Alvarez, Charise Castro Smith and Adrienne Kapstein and developed with Brooklyn Arbor PS414, Washeteria invites all-age audiences to experience new theatrical work together in a new way.
Washeteria is made possible through the leadership support of the Children's Theater Foundation of America who recognized the project with their inaugural Art of the Matter award. This $40,000 grant represents the largest single grant in the Foundation's 56 year-old history.
Louisa Thompson: For Soho Rep., she designed Sarah Kane's Blasted (2009 OBIE Award & Hewes Award) and David Adjmi's site-specific Elective Affinities with Zoe Caldwell. Her New York City set and costume design credits include Playwrights Horizons, Elevator Repair Service (Gatz), The Play Company, Target Margin Theater, Clubbed Thumb, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Theatreworks USA, The Foundry Theater Company and MCC Theatre. Regional credits include Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Arden Theatre, Bard Summerscape, The McCarter Theatre, The Papermill Playhouse, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, La Jolla Playhouse, The Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Geva Theatre, Triad Stage, The Empty Space Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre and The Juilliard School. She holds an M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama and is an Associate Professor at Hunter College.
Sarah Benson has been the Artistic Director of Soho Rep since 2007. For Soho Rep., she has directed Branden Jacobs-Jenkins's An Octoroon, Lucas Hnath A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney, David Adjmi's site-specific Elective Affinities with Zoe Caldwell; Sarah Kane's Blasted (OBIE Award, Drama Desk nomination); and Gregory Moss' Orange, Hat & Grace. Other recent credits include: Futurity a musical by The Lisps (A.R.T. & Walker Arts Center), Polly Stenham's That Face (MTC), Gregory Moss' House of Gold (Woolly Mammoth) and Sophocles' Ajax (A.R.T.). Upcoming projects include The Lisps' Futurity in New York and Richard Maxwell's Samara.
Adrienne Kapstein is an award-winning director specializing in the creation of new work. She is a physical theater Lecoq-trained practitioner who has directed work across the country and internationally. She is a co-founder of Movement Theater Studio NYC and Shoehorn Theater (2013/2014 New Victory Theater LabWorks recipients). She was the Associate Director of Movement and Horse Choreography on War Horse (Lincoln Center, National Tour) and was the Artistic Director of SaBooge Theatre. She is currently directing Light, A Dark Comedy developed by Shoehorn. Adrienne is an Assistant Professor in the International Performance Ensemble Program at Pace University.
About Soho Rep. - Founded in 1975, and in its theater on Walker Street since 1991, Soho Rep. has built an outstanding reputation for being at the forefront of new and innovative theatre, serving as a vital center for contemporary theatre artists.
Soho Rep. is dedicated to cultivating and producing visionary, uncompromising, and exuberant new plays, performing to one of the youngest adult audiences in New York City, with over half aged 18-40.
Critics continue to herald Soho Rep. as a go-to theatre destination for new and original works. New York Magazine has said, "this indispensable theater offers more excitement per chair than any space in town," Time Out New York says, "Soho Rep is the best theater in NYC," and The New York Times declares Soho Rep. to be "a first-class downtown company" and "The downtown powerhouse...regularly outclasses the work done on many of the city's larger stages." In 2013, Time Out New York declared Soho Rep. as the "Best Downtown Theater Institution."
In 2014, Soho Rep. was honored with a Drama Desk Award for Sustained Achievement. Over the last decade, Soho Rep. productions have garnered 18 OBIE Awards; nine Drama Desk nominations, two Kesselring Awards, The New York Times Outstanding Playwriting Award for Dan LeFranc's Sixty Miles To Silverlake and, a special citation in The New York Drama Critics' Circle's 2012-13 awards. In recent years, Soho Rep. has presented plays by established and emerging theatre artists such as David Adjmi, Annie Baker, Lucas Hnath, Branden Jacobs Jenkins, Sarah Kane, Daniel Alexander Jones, debbie tucker green, Young Jean Lee, Nature Theater of Oklahoma and Jackie Sibblies Drury.