Lee Wilkof, Bobby Moreno and More Set for Playwrights Horizons' BOOTYCANDY and GRAND CONCOURSE
Playwrights Horizons has announced initial casting for its upcoming 2014/2015 Season. The announcement includes casting for the first two shows of the season: initial casting for BOOTYCANDY, the New York premiere of a new play written and directed by Obie Award winner Robert O'Hara (In the Continuum, Antebellum, Insurrection: Holding History); and initial casting for GRAND CONCOURSE, the World Premiere of a new play by playwright and two-time Obie Award-winning actress Heidi Schreck (There Are No More Big Secrets, Creature), directed by Kip Fagan (The Revisionist, Asuncion).
The cast of BOOTYCANDY will feature Phillip James Brannon (The City of Conversation, Belleville, Love and Information), Jesse Pennington (Rodney's Wife and Franny's Way at PH; Richard II), Audelco Award winner Benja Kay Thomas (Insurrection: Holding History, Unspeakable, Pearl's Gone Blue) and Lance Coadie Williams (New York debut). One final cast member will be announced in the coming weeks.
The production will begin previews Friday, August 22 with an Opening Night set for Wednesday, September 10. The limited engagement will play through Sunday evening, October 12 at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street).
Sutter (Phillip James Brannon) is on an outrageous odyssey through his childhood home, his church, dive bars, motel rooms and even nursing homes. A kaleidoscope of sketches that interconnect to portray growing up gay and black, Robert O'Hara's subversive, uproarious satire crashes headlong into the murky terrain of pain and pleasure and... BOOTYCANDY.
The performance schedule for BOOTYCANDY will be Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7PM, Thursdays and Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2:30 PM & 8PM and Sundays at 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM. Single tickets, $75-95, will go on sale to the general public starting the week of July 21. As of that week, single tickets may be purchased online via www.TicketCentral.com, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily) and in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).
The cast of GRAND CONCOURSE will feature Obie Award winner Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Mr. Burns and Far From Heaven at PH; In the Next Room...; Ruined), Bobby Moreno (Drama Desk nomination for Year of the Rooster) and Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner Lee Wilkof (Assassins and Glance of a Landscape at PH; Breakfast at Tiffany's, Wicked and Kiss Me, Kate on Broadway; the original Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors). One final cast member will be announced in the coming weeks.
The production will begin previews Friday, October 17 with an Opening Night set for Wednesday, November 12. The limited engagement will play through Sunday evening, November 30 at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 West 42nd Street).
Called to a life of religious service, Shelly (Ms. Bernstine) is the devoted manager of a Bronx soup kitchen, but lately her heart's not quite in it. Enter Emma: an idealistic teenaged volunteer with mixed intentions, whose recklessness pushes Shelley to the breaking point. With startling compassion, Heidi Schreck's play navigates the mystery of faith, the limit of forgiveness, and the pursuit of something resembling joy.
The performance schedule for GRAND CONCOURSE will be Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2 & 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2 & 7PM. Single tickets will go on sale to the general public starting the week of September 15. As of that week, single tickets may be purchased online via www.TicketCentral.com, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily) and in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).
As previously announced, the 2014/2015 Season will also include (in Season order): POCATELLO, the World Premiere of a new play by Obie and Lortel awards winner Samuel D. Hunter, directed by Davis McCallum; PLACEBO, the World Premiere of a new play by Obie Award winner Melissa James Gibson, directed by Obie Award winner Daniel Aukin; IOWA, the World Premiere of a new musical play by Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Commendation winner (2008) and finalist (2013) Jenny Schwartz, music and lyrics by Todd Almond, directed by two-time Obie Award winner Ken Rus Schmoll; and a new play to be announced by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Bruce Norris.
Subscription packages to Playwrights Horizons' 2014/2015 season are now available: Subscription Plus ($500 per package, four Mainstage and two Peter Jay Sharp Theater productions, regular Subscription benefits with additional amenities, including a tax-deductible donation of $255, to support Playwrights Horizons' programs and services); a 6-show Subscription package (starting at $260 for renewing subscribers, four Mainstage and two Peter Jay Sharp Theater productions); FlexPass (4+ tickets, $50 per ticket); and Membership ($60 membership fee + one ticket at $45 or less for each show, as desired). In addition, the company will continue to offer 30&Under Membership ($20 membership fee + one $20 ticket for each show, as desired); and Student Membership ($10 membership fee + one $10 ticket for each show, as desired). In addition to discounts on all Mainstage season attractions, subscribers receive priority booking and seating, ticket exchange privileges, parking and dining discounts, and exclusive mailings of Playwrights Horizons Bulletins. Packages will be available at www.TicketCentral.com shortly.
Patron Program Memberships begin at $1,500 (all but $550 is tax-deductible) and include two reserved house seats and personalized concierge service to all six Playwrights Horizons productions, and as well as a variety of exclusive benefits including invitations to attend special events with artists, staff and board members. Complete benefit list at www.PHnyc.org.
Robert O'Hara (Playwright & Director) received an Obie Award for his direction of In the Continuum (Primary Stages/Perry Street Theatre). Other directing credits include Wild with Happy (The Public), The Mountaintop (Alley Theatre/Arena Stage), Tough Titty (Magic Theatre), The Brother/Sister Plays (McCarter Theatre/NYSF co-production), The Brothers Size (City Theatre) and Slavey (Clubbed Thumb). His play Antebellum received a World Premiere production from Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and he rewrote The Wiz for its revival at the La Jolla Playhouse. He wrote and directed the World Premiere of Insurrection: Holding History (NYSF/Public Theater, Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Play, published by TCG and Dramatists Play Service). Mr. O'Hara has also directed for New York Shakespeare Festival, Primary Stages, Yale Rep, Woolly Mammoth, CTG, ACT, the Magic Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Market Theatre in Johannesburg, The Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, The Culture Project, The Flea, Athenaeum Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company and The Goodman. He has been an Artist in Residence at ACT, NYSF and Theater/Emory, as well as a Visiting Professor at DePaul University School of the Arts. His plays have been produced around the world and he has been awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship, TCG Extended Collaboration Grant, NEA/TCG Fellowship, a Van Lier Fellow at New Dramatists, the first Sherwood Award from the Mark Taper Forum and the TANNE Award for Exceptional Body of Work.
Phillip James Brannon (Sutter/Actor 2). Playwrights Horizons debut. Off-Broadway: The City of Conversation, Love and Information, Belleville, We Are Proud to Present. Regional: Bootycandy (Woolly Mammoth and The Wilma); Immediate Family, The Ballad of Emmett Till, The Cook (Goodman); The March, The Brother/Sister Plays (Steppenwolf); As You Like It (Chicago Shakespeare). Film/TV: Contagion, "Law & Order: SVU."
Jesse Pennington (Actor 5). Playwrights Horizons: Franny's Way (also Geffen Playhouse), Rodney's Wife. Other Off-Broadway: Richard II, The False Servant, The General from America (also Alley), A Place at the Table, The Winter's Tale, The Taming of the Shrew. Regional: Maple and Vine (Actors Theater of Louisville), Vera Laughed (NYS&F), Major Barbara (Guthrie), James Joyce's The Dead (Huntington/ACT), Goodnight Children Everywhere (ACT).
Benja Kay Thomas (Actor 3). Playwrights Horizons debut. New York: Insurrection: Holding History (Audelco Award, Outstanding Ensemble), Unspeakable (FringeNYC and The Apollo), God, The Crack House and The Devil (Circle Rep), Pigfoot Mary Says Goodbye (Metropolitan Playhouse), Pearl's Gone Blue (FringeNYC, Best Musical), American Menu (New Federal Theatre). Regional: Intimate Apparel (Stamford Theatre Works). Film: The Cycle, The Dying Truth.
Lance Coadie Williams (Actor 4). Playwrights Horizons debut. Regional: Bootycandy, The Convert (The Wilma); Sucker Punch, Marcus or the Secret of the Sweet (Studio Theatre); The Oedipus Plays (Shakespeare Theatre); My Children! My Africa!, The Children's Hour, Fences (Everyman Theatre); Jitney (Ford's Theatre), Fences (Roadhouse Theatre); Hamlet (title role, Baltimore Shakespeare Festival). TV: "The Wire."
BIOGRAPHIES: GRAND CONCOURSE
Heidi Schreck (Playwright) is a playwright and two-time Obie Award-winning actor. Her first play Creature was produced in New York by New Georges and Page 73 in a well-received production directed by Leigh Silverman; her second, There Are No More Big Secrets, directed by Kip Fagan, premiered at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre, and was a New York Magazine and Time Out New York Critic's pick. Most recently, The Long Wharf produced her dark recession-era comedy, The Consultant, also directed by Fagan. A former Page 73 Playwriting Fellow and Sundance artist, Heidi is currently working on commissions for South Coast Repertory Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club/Sloan Foundation, and True Love Productions. Grand Concourse marks her return to Playwrights Horizons after appearing as an actor in Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation (Theatre World Award) in 2010. She has also performed extensively at theaters such as The Public (Shakespeare in the Park), Manhattan Theatre Club, Two-Headed Calf, The Foundry, Clubbed Thumb, The Women's Project, The Roundabout, Williamstown, Berkeley Rep and Center Theatre Group. On television, Heidi has appeared on "The Good Wife," "Law & Order: SVU" and Showtime's "Nurse Jackie," where she has also worked as a writer. Heidi is Playwrights Horizons' first Tow Foundation Playwright in Residence.
Kip Fagan (Director) most recently directed the World Premiere of Heidi Schreck's The Consultant at Long Wharf Theatre. Upcoming: Bull Durham, a new musical at The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. At the Rattlestick Theatre in NYC: The Revisionist with Vanessa Redgrave and Asuncion, both plays written by and starring Jesse Eisenberg, There Are No More Big Secrets by Heidi Schreck, How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them by Halley Feiffer, That Pretty Pretty by Sheila Callaghan. Other NYC Credits: Jack's Precious Moment by Samuel D. Hunter, Reborning by Zayd Dohrn, Cipher by Cory Hinkel, Recess and Roadkill Confidential by Sheila Callaghan, The Young Left by Greg Keller, Nelson by Sam Marks and the premiere of Christopher Durang's Not a Creature Was Stirring. Regional credits include A Permanent Image by Samuel D. Hunter, Caravan Man, a musical by Tommy Smith and Gabriel Kahane (Williamstown), Venus in Fur (George Street Playhouse and Philadelphia Theater Company), Maple and Vine (City Theatre, Pittsburgh), Circle Mirror Transformation (Marin Theatre Co), Small Tragedy (Playwrights Center, MN, World Premiere), The Waverly Gallery (Empty Space Theatre), Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom and Michael Von Siebenburg Melts Through the Floorboards (Humana) and many plays with Printer's Devil Theatre in Seattle, which he co-founded. Kip was a 2003-2004 NEA/TCG directing fellow and the 2007 Bill Foeller directing fellow at The Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Shelly). Playwrights Horizons: Mr. Burns, Far From Heaven. Broadway: In the Next Room, or the vibrator play. Other Off-Broadway: Ruined (Obie Award); Neva (Lortel nomination); We Are Proud to Present a Presentation; Born Bad; Love, Loss and What I Wore; Dreams of Flying, Dreams of Falling; Family Week; The Misanthrope. Regional: Far From Heaven (Williamstown), Intimate Apparel (Alliance). Film: Rachel Getting Married.
Bobby Moreno (Oscar). Playwrights Horizons debut. New York: Year of the Rooster (Drama Desk nomination), Hand to God, Invasion!, Red-Handed Otter, Okay, Luther, Phoebe in Winter, I.E. - in Other Words. Regional: Leveling Up (Cincinnati Playhouse, Best Featured Actor nomination), Goldor $ Mythyka (New Georges), Cyrano (The Folger), Re-entry (CenterStage). TV: "The Good Wife," "Kings."
Lee Wilkof (Frog). Playwrights Horizons: Assassins (Drama Desk nomination), Glance of a Landscape. Broadway: Kiss Me, Kate (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), Breakfast at Tiffany's, Wicked, The Odd Couple, Democracy, The Boys from Syracuse. Other Off-Broadway: The Present Tense (Obie Award, Drama Desk nomination), Little Me (Encores!), The Underpants, Chaucer in Rome, The Front Page, June Moon, original Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors.
Playwrights Horizons is a writer's theater dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American playwrights, composers and lyricists and to the production of their new work. Under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus, the theater company continues to encourage the new work of veteran writers while nurturing an emerging generation of theater artists. In its 43 years, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of more than 400 writers and has received numerous awards and honors, including a special 2008 Drama Desk Award for "ongoing support to generations of theater artists and undiminished commitment to producing new work." Notable productions include six Pulitzer Prize winners - Annie Baker's The Flick (2013 Obie Award, 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park (2012 Tony Award, Best Play), Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles (1989 Tony Award, Best Play), Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George - as well as Ms. Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation (three 2010 Obie Awards including Best New American Play); Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Lisa D'Amour's Detroit (2013 Obie Award, Best New American Play); Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale (2013 Lortel Award, Best Play); Kirsten Greenidge's Milk Like Sugar (2012 Obie Award); Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss and Dead Man's Cell Phone; Gina Gionfriddo's Rapture, Blister, Burn; Dan LeFranc's The Big Meal; Amy Herzog's The Great God Pan and After the Revolution; Bathsheba Doran's Kin; Adam Bock's A Small Fire; Edward Albee's Me, Myself & I; Melissa James Gibson's This (2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist); Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens (three 2007 Tony Awards); Craig Lucas's Prayer For My Enemy and Small Tragedy (2004 Obie Award, Best American Play); Adam Rapp's Kindness; Lynn Nottage's Fabulation (2005 Obie Award for Playwriting); Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero; David Greenspan's She Stoops to Comedy (2003 Obie Award); Kirsten Childs's The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (2000 Obie Award); Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey's James Joyce's The Dead (2000 Tony Award, Best Book); Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins; William Finn's March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland; Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You; Richard Nelson's Goodnight Children Everywhere; Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's Once on This Island; Jon Robin Baitz's The Substance of Fire; Scott McPherson's Marvin's Room; A.R. Gurney's Later Life; Adam Guettel and Tina Landau's Floyd Collins; and Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos