MARIE ANTOINETTE with Marin Ireland and World Premiere of AN OCTOROON Set for Soho Rep's 2013-14 Season
Perhaps the defining characteristic of Soho Rep, under the artistic direction of Sarah Benson, is the institution's commitment to artists creating surprisingly big theatrical events in its very small space on Walker Street. Soho Rep's 2013-14 season, announced today, provides ample evidence of that commitment, comprising two shows that are among the biggest the organization has ever produced: the New York premiere of David Adjmi's Marie Antoinette, directed by Rebecca Taichman and featuring Marin Ireland (Blasted); and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' An Octoroon, directed by Benson.
Benson remarked, "One of the joys of being Artistic Director at Soho Rep is getting to marvel at the brilliant artists who do the impossible here every year. I'm consistently astonished by the incredible worlds each team creates in our Little Room, on a modest budget and with vast imagination. This season epitomizes that experience."
Both productions feature enormous casts and challenge actors to take epic journeys; both transport audiences across multiple centuries; and both are wildly inventive with theatrical form. Both also transform stories about (in)famous historical characters into plays about us-here and now.
The season is also a testament to Soho Rep's Writer/ Director Lab, currently helmed by co-chairs Jenny Schwartz and Ken Rus Schmoll. Adjmi and Jacobs-Jenkins are both alumni of the Lab, and it is where Adjmi wrote the first draft of Marie Antoinette. Furthermore, the upcoming season will include Write with Us, a new series of free workshops led by distinguished Lab alumni.
Soho Rep will hold its annual spring gala on March 31, 2014 honoring Board Chair Jon Dembrow. Participants and performers will be announced at a later date.
Tickets to Marie Antoinette, $35-$50, are on sale now at sohorep.org and 212.352.3101. $0.99 Sunday tickets will be offered for performances on October 13 and 27 and are not available online or in advance. Soho Rep is located at 46 Walker Street in Manhattan.
Soho Rep's 2013-14 season is produced in in association with John Adrian Selzer.
Soho Rep 2013-14 PROGRAMMING
with John Adrian Selzer, presents
Marie Antoinette (New York Premiere)
by David Adjmi
Directed by Rebecca Taichman
October 9 - November 3
Opening: October 20
Performance Schedule: Tues-Sun at 7:30p, Saturday at 3p
In association with American Repertory Theater and Yale Repertory Theatre
I wasn't raised I was built: I was built to be this thing; and now they're killing me for it.
The eyes of the court are on her, and nothing good can come of it. They used to love Marie just the way she was. But now change is in the air and things are about to be different for France's isolated young Queen. Things are about to be different for everybody. Aren't they?
The New York premiere of Marie Antoinette, which marks the return of Marin Ireland (Blasted) and David Adjmi (Elective Affinities) to Soho Rep, is a raw, fantastical, and funny production about a moment in time when the political suddenly got very personal. There has never been a history play quite like this.
The cast features Marin Ireland as Marie, Steven Rattazzi as Louis XVI, David Greenspan as A Sheep, Marsha Stephanie Blake as Yolande de Polignac/Mrs. Sauce, Karl Miller as Joseph/ Mr. Sauce, Jen Ikeda as Therese de Lamballe, Aimee Laurence as Dauphin and more to be announced.
The creative team includes Riccardo Hernandez (sets), Anka Lupes (costumes), Stephen Strawbridge (lights), Matt Hubbs (sound), Amanda Miller(wigs), Jon Knust (props), Sam Pinkleton (choreography), and Amanda Spooner (stage management).
Soho Rep's FEED program offers companion programming to enrich the audience's engagement with each of the theater's main stage productions. Marie Antoinette events will include private tours of The Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibit Artists and Amateurs: Etching in Eighteenth-Century France; a creativity workshop with David Adjmi; "The Letters of Marie Antoinette," with French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF); and more. Visit sohorep.org/feedme.
Sarah Benson says of the production, "We're thrilled to bring David's fierce and funny play to New York audiences in a radically re-imagined, stripped down version at Soho Rep. It's very exciting for Rebecca to build on her gorgeous work at A.R.T. and Yale and at the same time have the chance to create something entirely new. We're delighted to be part of the evolution of the life of the play-especially since David Originally wrote Marie Antoinette in our Writer/ Director Lab. It's also a joy to welcome back Marin Ireland to take on this wild, enormous role in our tiny space."
Marie Antoinette was commissioned by Yale Repertory Theatre and premiered in a co-production with American Repertory Theater in 2012. Funding for this production is provided in part by Yale's Binger Center for New Theatre.
Write With Us
A weeklong festival of free writing workshops
with Soho Rep. Writer/ Director Lab alumni
February 18 - 22, 2014
Soho Rep, which has invited audiences to its hyper-intimate Walker Street space to experience the work of exciting contemporary theater artists at close range, deepens the welcome with Write With Us, in which such some of these luminaries will give free writing workshops open to the public. Instructors will include Lab Co-Chair Jenny Schwartz, plus Eisa Davis, Dan Le Franc, Anne Washburn (teaching a Saturday morning class for elementary school students) and more. Reservations will be possible in January at sohorep.org.
In association with John Adrian Selzer, presents
An Octoroon (World Premiere)
by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Directed by Sarah Benson
April - May, 2014
What you gonna do once you free? You just gonna walk up in somebody house and be like, "Hey. I'm a slave. Help me?"
1859: A famous Irishman writes a play about America. It's a huge hit!
2014: An American tries to write his own version. Does anyone still care?
A world-premiere, old-fashioned, meta-melodrama with Humor! Feelings! Live Music! Wigs! Sensation Scenes! Slave Auctions! Exploding Steamboats! Photography! And More!
The design team will include Mimi Lien (sets). Cast and additional designers will be announced soon.
Special thanks to Signature Theatre, where Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is part of Residency Five. Residency Five is a unique program that guarantees playwrights three premiere productions of new plays over the course of a five-year residency. Residency Five enables a diverse community of playwrights to build bodies of work, and each playwright receives a significant cash award, full health benefits, a stipend to attend theatre, access to Signature's resources and staff, and a place at the center of the artistic process.
David Adjmi (Playwright, Marie Antoinette): David Adjmi's play Marie Antoinette received a world premiere co-production with A.R.T. and Yale Rep. The play received three Connecticut Critics Circle Awards including Best Play. His other plays include Elective Affinites (Royal Shakespeare Company, Soho Rep with Piece by Piece and Rising PhoenixRep), 3C (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre with Piece by Piece and Rising Phoenix Rep), Stunning (Lincoln Center Theater, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company), The Evildoers (Sundance, Yale Rep), Caligula (Soho Rep Studio Series) and Strange Attractors (Empty Space).
Adjmi was selected as one of only 14 playwrights across the country to receive a Mellon Foundation Playwrights Residency and will be in residency at SohoRepertory Theater from 2013 - 2016. , He was also awarded multiple residencies from the MacDowell Colony, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writers' Award and the Steinberg Playwright Award (the "Mimi"). He currently holds commissions from Broadway Across America, Lincoln Center Theater, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep, the Royal Court, and Center Theatre Group.
He is a member of New Dramatists, the Dramatists Guild and MCC Theater Playwrights' Coalition. Stunning and Other Plays is published by TCG, and his work is included in The Methuen Drama Book of New American Plays. Adjmi's memoir is forthcoming from HarperCollins, and a second play collection from TCG will be published in 2014.
Rebecca Taichman (Director, Marie Antoinette): Upcoming: Stage Kiss by Sarah Ruhl at Playwrights Horizons; and Time and the Conways by JB Priestley at The Old Globe. Recent theater and opera includes: Luck of the Irish (LCT3); Milk Like Sugar (Playwright's Horizons); Rappacinni's Daughter (Gotham Opera); Orpheus (NYC Opera); Orlando (CSC);Dark Sisters (Nico Muhly & Stephen Karam; world premiere); The Scene (2econd Stage); Menopausal Gentleman (Ohio Theater/world premiere). Regional credits include world premieres of Marie Antoinette at Yale Repertory Theater & ART; The Clean House and the world premiere of Dead Man's Cell Phone(Woolly Mammoth - both Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Resident Play); Mauritius and The Scene by Theresa Rebeck (both world premieres); Sleeping Beauty Wakes by Rachel Sheinkin and Groove Lilly (world premiere at McCarter and LaJolla Playhouse), Milk Like Sugar; She Loves Me; as well as new productions of Winter's Tale, Cymbeline, Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew at The Shakespeare Theatre. Further credits, amongst others, include The Evildoers by David Adjmi at YRT; The Green Violin by Elise Thoron, music by Frank London At The Prince Music Theater (2003 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical/world premiere). Currently co-creating Rehearsing Vengeance with Paula Vogel for OSF and YRT. Rebecca is a TCG New Generations Grant Recipient/Woolly Mammoth, Drama League Directing Fellowship, and Yale School of Drama graduate.
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Playwright, An Octoroon): Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' other plays include Neighbors, Appropriate and Gloria. His work has been or will be seen at The Vineyard Theater, The Public Theater, The HighTide Festival (UK) the Actor's Theater of Louisville, Victory Gardens in Chicago, and the Woolly Mammoth in DC. He is a Lila Acheson Wallace fellow at the Juilliard School and a playwright-in-residence at The Signature Theater. Recent honors include the Tennessee Williams Award, the Paula Vogel Award and the Helen Merill Award for Emerging Playwrights.
Sarah Benson (Director, An Octoroon): Sarah Benson has been the Artistic Director of Soho Rep since 2007. For Soho Rep, she has directed David Adjmi's site-specific Elective Affinities with Zoe Caldwell; Sarah Kane's Blasted (OBIE Award, Drama Desk nomination); Gregory Moss' Orange, Hat & Grace; and last season's world premiere of Lucas Hnath's A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney. 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 Basetrack (2014, BAM's Next Wave Festival), The Lisps' Futurity in New York and Richard Maxwell's Samara.
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. They perform to one of the youngest adult audiences in New York City, with over half aged 18-40.
Over the last decade, Soho Rep productions have garnered 15 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 Annie Baker, Lucas Hnath, Sarah Kane, Daniel Alexander Jones, Debbie Tucker Green, Mac Wellman, Young Jean Lee, Nature Theater of Oklahoma and Jackie Sibblies Drury.