Andre De Shields Leads Robert O'Hara's MANKIND, Beginning Tonight at Playwrights Horizons
Playwrights Horizons presents Mankind, the world premiere of a new play written and directed by two-time Obie Award winner Robert O'Hara (Bootycandy, Bella: An American Tall Tale at Playwrights; Barbecue, In the Continuum, The Brother/Sister Plays).
Commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, the play will be the third production of the theater company's 2017/2018 Season.
The cast of Mankind features two-time Tony Award nominee, Emmy Award and Obie Award winner André De Shields (The Wiz, Ain't Misbehavin', The Full Monty, Play On!), Bobby Moreno (Grand Concourse at Playwrights, Fulfillment Center,Lazarus, The Year of the Rooster), Anson Mount (Corpus Christi, Three Sisters, star of the series "Hell on Wheels," "Marvel's Inhumans" and "Conviction"), Stephen Schnetzer (Oslo, Wit, The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?, Filomena), Ariel Shafir (Medea in Jerusalem, Craft, The Pirandello Project, "Orange Is the New Black") and David Ryan Smith (One Man, Two Guvnors; Passing Strange; Twelfth Night; Marat/Sade).
The production begins previews tonight, December 15, with an Opening Night set for Monday, January 8 at 7PM at the company's Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street). The limited engagement is currently scheduled to play through Sunday, January 28.
Mark (Mr. Mount) and Jason (Mr. Moreno) were keeping things casual until Jason got pregnant. But however unplanned the pregnancy was, nothing could be less expected than the chain of events it would set in motion. Robert O'Hara's audacious, hilarious allegory envisions an uncannily familiar future - one long after women have gone extinct from centuries of mistreatment - where man's capacity to f**k everything up soars to new heights.
The production will feature scenic design by Tony Award winner Clint Ramos, costume design by Dede M. Ayite, lighting design by Alex Jainchill, sound design by Lindsay Jones and video design by Jeff Sugg. Hair, wig and makeup design by J. Jared Janas and Dave Bova. Production Stage Manager is Erin Gioia Albrecht.
MANKIND was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons with the support of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Currently playing at the Playwrights Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theater is the critically-acclaimed world premiere of THE TREASURER, a Playwrights Horizons commissioned new play by Max Posner, directed by three-time Lortel Award winner David Cromer, featuring Marinda Anderson, Pun Bandhu, Tony Award winner and Olivier Award nominee Deanna Dunagan and Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner Peter Friedman (extended through November 5). Following THE TREASURERand Mankind, the Playwrights Horizons 2017/2018 Season will continue with THIS FLAT EARTH, the world premiere of a new play by Lindsey Ferrentino, directed by Tony Award winner Rebecca Taichman (March 2018); DANCE NATION, the world premiere of a new play by Obie Award winner Clare Barron, directed by Obie Award winner Lee Sunday Evans (April 2018); and conclude with LOG CABIN, the world premiere of a new play by Pulitzer Prize finalist Jordan Harrison, directed by Tony Award and Obie Award winner Pam MacKinnon, featuring Jesse Tyler Ferguson (June 2018).
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Robert O'Hara (Playwright & Director). Playwrights Horizons: Bootycandy (writer and director), Bella: An American Tall Tale (director). He has received the NAACP Best Director Award, the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, two Obies and the Oppenheimer Award. He directed the world premieres of Nikkole Salter and Dania Guiria's In the Continuum, Tarell McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays (Part 2), Colman Domingo's Wild with Happy, Kirsten Childs' Bella: An American Tall Tale, as well as his own plays, Bootycandy and Insurrection: Holding History. His new plays Zombie: The American and Barbecue world premiered at Woolly Mammoth Theater and New York Shakespeare Festival, respectively.
André De Shields (Jason's Father and others) is an award-winning actor, director, choreographer and educator. Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway includes The Wiz, Ain't Misbehavin' (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony nomination) and The Full Monty (Tony nomination). Recent Off-Broadway: As You Like It, 1776, Fortress of Solitude. Three Joseph Jefferson Awards, nine Audelco Awards, five Drama Desk noms., Obie Award for Sustained Excellence.
Bobby Moreno (Jason). Playwrights Horizons: Grand Concourse. New York Theater: Fulfillment Center, Alligator, Lazarus, The Year of the Rooster (Drama Desk nomination), Hand to God, Luther, Phoebe in Winter, I.E. - In Other Words. Film/Television: L.V.J., Five Nights in Maine, How He Fell in Love, Private Romeo, Kings, "Homeland," 'Elementary," "The Good Wife," "Law & Order."
Anson Mount (Mark). Playwrights Horizons debut. Off-Broadway: Three Sisters, Mourning Becomes Electra, Elle, Corpus Christi, Cymbeline. Other Theater: Venus in Fur, Fifth of July. Television: Cullen Bohannon on "Hell on Wheels," Black Bolt on "Marvel's Inhumans," Jim Steele on "Conviction," Roy Ravelle on "Line of Fire," Dr. Montville on "Third Watch." Film: Mr. Right, The Forger, Non-Stop, Supremacy, Cook County, Tully, City by the Sea.
Stephen Schnetzer (Mark's Father and others). Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway: Oslo, Wit, The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?, Filomena. Off-Broadway: Yours Unfaithfully, Tribes, We Live Here, Fallen Angel, Miss Julie. Film/Television:Aardvark, Ben's Plan, Lobster Farm, Hail, "Blue Bloods," "The Blacklist," "Flesh and Bone," "Homeland," "The Good Wife," "Fringe," "Damages," "The Wire," "Law & Order."
Ariel Shafir (Detective and others). Playwrights Horizons debut. New York Theater: Victoria & Frederick for President, The Elephant in the Room, Medea in Jerusalem, American Maul, Craft, Pieces of the Throne, The Pirandello Project, Setting Fires. Regional: titles roles in Macbeth and Picasso at the Lapin Agile, John Proctor in The Crucible. Film/Television: What Happens Next, Bride Wars, What Happens in Vegas, "Orange Is the New Black," "30 Rock."
David Ryan Smith (OBGYN and others). Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway: One Man, Two Guvnors; Passing Strange. New York Theater: Twelfth Night, The Death of the Last Black Man, Romeo and Juliet, The Glory of the World, Comedy of Errors, Cymbeline, Pericles, The Steadfast, The Rover, Marat/Sade. Extensive Regional credits including Seattle Rep, Berkeley Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Barrington Stage Company, American Conservatory Theater.
Playwrights Horizons is dedicated to cultivating the most important American Playwrights, composers and lyricists, as well as developing and producing their bold new plays and musicals. Under Artistic Director Tim Sanford and Managing Director Leslie Marcus, Playwrights builds upon its diverse and renowned body of work, counting 400 writers among its artistic roster. In addition to its onstage work each season, Playwrights' singular commitment to nurturing American theater artists guides all of the institution's multifaceted initiatives: our acclaimed New Works Lab, a robust commissioning program, an innovative curriculum at its Theater School and more. Playwrights has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including six Pulitzer Prizes, 13 Tony Awards and 39 Obie Awards. Prior artistic directors include André Bishop and Don Scardino. Robert Moss founded Playwrights Horizons in 1971 and oversaw its first decade, cementing the mission that continues to guide the institution today.
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); 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'sMilk Like Sugar (2012 Obie Award); Jordan Harrison's Marjorie Prime (2015 Pulitzer finalist); Lucas Hnath's The Christians (2016 Obie Award, 2016 Outer Critics Circle Award, 2015 Kesselring Prize); Robert O'Hara's Bootycandy (two 2015 Obie Awards); Adam Bock's A Life and A Small Fire; Taylor Mac's Hir; Danai Gurira's Familiar; Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns, a post-electric play; 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; 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.
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