Paul Muldoon and More Set for WP Theater's 'DEAR MISS BISHOP' Poetry Series Alongside DEAR ELIZABETH
Women's Project Theater, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Lisa McNulty and Managing Director Maureen Moynihan, in conjunction with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, has announced DEAR MISS BISHOP: Poets in Conversation with Sarah Ruhl's DEAR ELIZABETH, a series of conversations with important contemporary poets to accompany the current presentation of Sarah Ruhl's DEAR ELIZABETH, now playing at the WP's new artistic home, the McGinn/Cazale Theater.
Beginning today through November 7th, DEAR ELIZABETH stars Obie Award & Drama Desk Award winner J. Smith-Cameron (Juno and the Paycock, Fuddy Meers) as Elizabeth Bishop & Obie Award winner John Douglas Thompson (Othello, Satchmo at the Waldorf) as Robert Lowell.
On Saturdays at 4:30pm immediately following the matinee performance, the series will feature hour-long conversations with Guggenheim Fellow Saskia Hamilton (November 7) interviewed by DEAR ELIZABETH cast member Peter Scolari, poet Maureen McLane (November 21) interviewed by playwright and DEAR ELIZABETH cast member Ellen McLaughlin, and Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Muldoon (November 28) interviewed by DEAR ELIZABETH playwright Sarah Ruhl.
Written by two-time Pulitzer Nominee and Tony Nominee Sarah Ruhl (The Oldest Boy, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play) and directed by Kate Whoriskey (Ruined, Sweat), DEAR ELIZABETH is an insightful and impassioned examination of the famed correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell -- two of the twentieth century's most brilliant poets -- will be presented through December 5, 2015 with six rotating casts of stage and screen luminaries.
Performances began on October 26 featuring WP Theater founding artist, Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk, Obie & Outer Critics Circle Award winner Kathleen Chalfant (Wit, Angels in America) as Elizabeth and Drama Desk nominee Harris Yulin (Hedda Gabler, Diary of Anne Frank) as Robert. Following Chalfant & Yulin the roles of Elizabeth and Robert will be played by the following: from November 2 - 7 by Obie Award & Drama Desk Award winner J. Smith-Cameron (Juno and the Paycock, Fuddy Meers) & Obie Award winner John Douglas Thompson (Othello, Satchmo at the Waldorf); from November 16 - 21 by two-time Tony Award winner and Emmy Award winner Cherry Jones (Doubt, "24") & David Aaron Baker (Once Upon A Mattress, A Raisin in the Sun); from November 23 - 28 by real-life married couple Ellen McLaughlin (Angels in America) & Grammy winner and Pulitzer finalist Rinde Eckert (Slow Fire, And God Created Great Whales); and from November 30 - December 5 Obie & Lortel Award winner Mia Katigbak (Awake and Sing!). Helen Hayes Nominee Polly Noonan (Dead Man's Cell Phone) will play the "Stage Manager" role for all six weeks.
Tickets for DEAR ELIZABETH are on sale via WWW.WPTHEATER.ORG / (212) 765-1706. The performance schedule is as follows: Monday - Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm and Saturday at 3:00pm & 8:00pm.
ABOUT THE POETS:
SASKIA HAMILTON (NOVEMBER 7)
Born in Washington, DC, poet Saskia Hamilton earned a BA at Kenyon College and an MA at New York University. Her poetry collections include Canal: New and Selected Poems (2005), Divide These (2005), and As for Dream (2001). She coedited Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell (2008) with Thomas Travisano and edited The Letters of Robert Lowell (2005). Her work also appears in the anthology Joining Music with Reason: 34 Poets, British and American (2010). Hamilton's poems often use repetition and pattern, as well as punctuation, to trace the passages and intersections of multiple points of view and states of consciousness. "A formal tone, which incorporates a measure of discipline, distance, or restraint, creates particular complications, and the irony of Saskia Hamilton's poetry rests in how her language, superficially clean and direct, navigates them so ably," noted Raymond McDaniel in the Boston Review. "Hamilton's writing has been called spare and delicate," McDaniel continued, "but neither of these quite gets at the effect of her poems, which are delicate only in the way a suspension bridge is: neither is marked by unnecessary ornament or fragility, and it would be a mistake to regard either as anything other than rigorously tough." Hamilton's honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She has served on the staffs of the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Lannan Foundation. An editor for the journal Literary Imagination, Hamilton has taught at Barnard College, Kenyon College, and Stonehill College. She lives in New York City.
MAUREEN MCLANE (NOVEMBER 21)
Maureen N. McLane grew up in upstate New York and was educated at Harvard, Oxford, and the University of Chicago. She is the author of World Enough (2010), and Same Life: poems (2008); and This Blue (2014); as well as the poetry chapbook, This Carrying Life (2006). She has also published two books of literary criticism, Balladeering, Minstrelsy, and the Making of British Romantic Poetry (2008) and Romanticism and the Human Sciences (2000), and coedited The Cambridge Companion to British Romantic Poetry (2008). Her book, My Poets (2012)-an experimental hybrid of memoir and criticism-was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award in autobiography. World Enough was named one of 2010's Five Best Poetry Books by Library Journal and one of the year's 10 Best Books of Poems by Paul Muldoon in The New Yorker. Same Life-finalist for both The Lambda Literary Award and The Publishing Triangle Audre Lorde Award-was also named one of the year's best books by the Chicago Tribune. This Blue is a finalist for the National Book Award. A contributing editor at Boston Review and poetry editor at Grey, she has published widely on poetry, contemporary fiction, and sexuality in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Boston Review, the Washington Post, American Poet, and elsewhere. In 2003 she won the National Book Critics Circle's Nona Balakian Award for Excellence in Book Reviewing. Currently an associate professor of English at NYU, she has taught at Harvard, the University of Chicago, MIT, and the East Harlem Poetry Project.
PAUL MULDOON (NOVEMBER 28)
Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet and professor of poetry, as well as an editor, critic, and translator. Muldoon is the author of twelve major collections of poetry, including One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (2015), Maggot (2010), Horse Latitudes (2006), Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Hay (1998), The Annals of Chile (1994), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), Meeting the British (1987), Quoof (1983), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Mules (1977) and New Weather (1973). He has also published innumerable smaller collections, works of criticism, opera libretti, books for children, song lyrics and radio and television drama. His poetry has been translated into twenty languages. Muldoon served as Professor of Poetry at Oxford University from 1999 to 2004. He has taught at Princeton University since 1987 and currently occupies the Howard G.B. Clark '21 chair in the Humanities. He has been poetry editor of The New Yorker since 2007. In addition to being much in demand as a reader and lecturer, he occasionally appears with a spoken word music group, Rogue Oliphant. Paul Muldoon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he has received an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature, the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the 2004 Shakespeare Prize, the 2005 Aspen Prize for Poetry, and the 2006 European Prize for Poetry. He has been described by The Times Literary Supplement as "the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War."
WOMEN'S PROJECT THEATER (WP) is the nation's oldest and largest theater company dedicated to developing, producing and promoting the work of female theater artists at every stage in their careers. WP Theater supports female-identified theater artists and the world-class, groundbreaking work they create, and provides a platform where their voices can be heard and celebrated on the American stage.
Founded in 1978 by visionary producer, Julia Miles, WP has been the launching pad for many of our nation's most important theater artists. Eve Ensler, María Irene Fornés, Katori Hall, Pam MacKinnon, Lynn Nottage and Leigh Silverman, among many, many others, all found early artistic homes here. Throughout its 38 year history, WP has produced over 600 main stage productions and developmental projects, and published 11 anthologies of plays. No other producing institution in the country can claim this kind of ongoing history of advocacy and support for women in the theater, and we look ahead to the next generation of artists who will also begin their careers here.
WP Theater accomplishes its mission through several fundamental programs: the WP Lab, a two-year mentorship and new play development program for women playwrights, directors, and producers; the Playwright In Residence commissioning program; the Developmental series; and the Main Stage series, which features a full season of Off-Broadway productions written and directed by extraordinary theater artists.
LISA MCNULTY (Producing Artistic Director). Lisa is in her second season as Producing Artistic Director of Women's Project Theater. Lisa comes to WP from MTC, where she served as Artistic Line Producer for eight seasons, working on more than 30 productions both on and off Broadway, including plays by Lynn Nottage, Sarah Treem, Harvey Fierstein, and Tarell Alvin McCraney, among many, many others. Lisa has a long history with WP Theater. She was originally hired by the company's founder, Julia Miles, as the Literary Manager from 1997-2000, where she dramaturged work by María Irene Fornés, Julie Hébert, and Karen Hartman, among others, and in 2004, she returned to WP as its Associate Artistic Director. From 2000-2004 she was McCarter Theater's Producing Associate, and her independent producing career includes projects with Sarah Ruhl, Todd Almond, and Lucy Thurber.
MAUREEN MOYNIHAN (Managing Director) Maureen started her career in Chicago working for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and commercial producer Fox Theatricals. Prior to joining WP Theater, Maureen spent over a decade working for Blue Man Productions in several positions including serving as their Executive Director for five North American Productions. Since moving to New York, she has worked for several nonprofit and commercial organizations including Manhattan New Music Project, York Theatre Company and the immersive theatrical experience Queen of the Night.