Annual 'Playwrights for a Cause', Benefitting New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, to Be Held in July

The annual Playwrights for a Cause benefit will be Sunday, July 24th at 7:30 pm at the Atlantic Theatre (Linda Gross Theater), 336 West 20th Street, NYC 10011. The special performance will include six original plays. This year the playwrights for the benefit will include: Israel Horovitz, Dominique Morisseau, Antoinette Nwandu, John Patrick Shanley, Regina Taylor as well as an award-winning writer from the Planet Connections community that will be announced later.

The new plays for Playwrights for a Cause will include: Security by Israel Horovitz; Jezelle the Gazelle by Dominique Morisseau; ROOM 206 by Antoinette Nwandu; Doublecross by John Patrick Shanley; and Biting the Bullet by Regina Taylor

Founded and curated by Glory Kadigan, Playwrights for a Cause is the annual benefit hosted by Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. This year the event will benefit the wonderful group - New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. There will be a reception following the performance. The cast and production team will be announced soon. Benefit tickets for reserved seating will be $20 - $125. The tickets will be on sale at a later date.


Playwright-director Israel Horovitz's plays have been translated and performed in as many as 30 languages, worldwide. Best-known plays include Line (now in its 45th year, off-Broadway, the longest-running play in NYC history), The Indian Wants The Bronx, Rats, The Primary English Class, The Wakefield Plays, The Widow's Blind Date, The Growing Up Jewish Trilogy, Park Your Car In Harvard Yard, North Shore Fish, Fighting Over Beverley, Lebensraum, My Old Lady, and The Secret of Mme. Bonnard's Bath. Recent plays include Sins of the Mother, What Strong Fences Make, The P Word, Virtual Alex, and Gloucester Blue. Screenplays include "Author! Author!", "The Strawberry Statement" (Prix du Jury, Cannes Film Festival), Sunshine (European Academy Award - Best Screenplay), "New York, I Love You", "James Dean", "3 Weeks After Paradise". Horovitz wrote and directed his first feature film "My Old Lady", starring Maggie Smith, Kevin Kline and Kristin Scott-Thomas. Horovitz's memoires Un New-Yorkais a Paris were published in France, where he is the most-produced American playwright in French theatre history. Horovitz was decorated as Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France's highest honor awarded to foreign artists. He is Founding Artistic Director of Gloucester Stage, and active Artistic Director of the New York Playwrights Lab, and is co-artistic director of Compagnia Horovitz-Paciotto in Italy. NYC's Barefoot Theatre celebrated Horovitz's 70th birthday by organizing The 70/70 Horovitz Project, a year-long event with 70 Horovitz plays having had readings and/or productions by theatres around the globe. His newest play Out Of The Mouths of Babes opens at the Cherry Lane Theatre in June starring Estelle Parsons and Judith Ivey.

Dominique Morisseau, Playwright/Actress, is alumni of the Public Theater Emerging Writer's Group, Women's Project Lab, and Lark Playwrights Workshop. Credits include: Skeleton Crew (Sundance; Lark Barebones; Atlantic Theater Company (Scott Rudin); Detroit '67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem/NBT); Sunset Baby (Gate Theater; LAByrinth Theatre); Follow Me To Nellie's (O'Neill; Premiere Stages). She has produced other original works with the Hip Hop Theater Festival, Penn State University, American Theatre of Harlem and The New Group. Her 3-play cycle, entitled "The Detroit Projects" include Detroit '67, Paradise Blue, and Skeleton Crew.Paradise Blue premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in July 2015 starring Blair Underwood and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Dominique is currently the Story Editor on the Showtime series "Shameless." Awards: Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, two-time NAACP Image Award, Primus Prize commendation, Stavis Playwriting Award, Spirit of Detroit Award, U of M Emerging Leader Award, Weissberger Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper New American Play Prize, The Graham F. Smith Peace Foundation Award, and the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama.

Antoinette Nwandu is a New York-based playwright via Los Angeles. She is a second-year member of the Ars Nova Play Group, the 2015-16 Naked Angels Issues PlayLab Resident Playwright, and a Dramatists Guild Fellowship alum. Her plays have been produced and developed by Page73, Ars Nova, The Flea, Naked Angels, Fire This Time, The Movement Theater Company, WordBRIDGE and Dreamscape Theatre. Honors include the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, the Negro Ensemble Company's Douglas Turner Ward Prize and a Literary Fellowship at the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference.Upcoming projects: A Cherry Lane Mentor Project workshop of new full length play Pass Over (mentor: Katori Hall) before it's summer 2017 world premiere at Steppenwolf.

John Patrick Shanley is from The Bronx. His plays include Outside Mullingar (Tony nomination), Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Savage in Limbo, Italian-American Reconciliation, Welcome to the Moon, Four Dogs and a Bone, Dirty Story, Defiance, and Beggars in the House of Plenty. His theatrical work is performed extensively across the United States and around the world. For his play, Doubt, he received both the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In the arena of screenwriting, he has nine films to his credit, most recently "Doubt," with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis; "Doubt," directed by Mr. Shanley, was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay. Other films include "Five Corners" (Special Jury Prize, Barcelona Film Festival), "Alive," "Joe Versus the Volcano" (which he also directed), and "Live From Baghdad" for HBO (Emmy nomination). For his script of "Moonstruck" he received both the Writers Guild of America Award and an Academy Award for best original screenplay. In 2009, The Writers Guild of America awarded Mr. Shanley the Lifetime Achievement In Writing.

Regina Taylor: With work encompassing film, television, theater, and writing, Regina Taylor's playwriting credits include Crowns (four Helen Hayes awards), Trinity River Plays (Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award), Oo-Bla-Dee (Steinberg-ATCA New Play Award), Drowning Crow (Broadway), and stop. reset., which Taylor directed at NYC's Signature Theatre Company and Goodman Theatre. As a Goodman Theatre Artistic Associate, Regina Taylor is one of its most produced playwrights. She is a resident playwright at NYC's Signature Theatre. She has received a Golden Globe, two Emmy nominations, and an NAACP Image Award. Television credits include "I'll Fly Away"; "The Unit"; "Dig".

Planet Connections Theatre Festivity is New York's premiere socially-conscious theatre, music and film festival. The entire festival is aligned to help artists shine a light on the issues facing our society and support the organizations working to make a difference. The 2016 Theatre Festivity will run from June 13th-July 10th at the Paradise Factory (located at 64 East 4th Street between the Bowery and 2nd Avenue), and will also play host to special events at various locations in New York City's East Village. The full lineup for the Festivity will be announced shortly. For more information on Planet Connections visit:

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