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Breaking: Kenneth Lonergan's LOBBY HERO, Starring Michael Cera and Chris Evans, Will Kick Off Second Stage's Broadway Season

Second Stage Theater (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director; Casey Reitz, Executive Director) has announced productions for its inaugural Broadway season at the historic Hayes Theater on Broadway.

"Opening our new home on Broadway has been years in the making and I am beyond thrilled to begin this next phase in Second Stage's life," said Second Stage Founder and Artistic Director Carole Rothman.

"The Hayes will be dedicated to living American Playwrights: no British imports, no Chekhov translations, no classics - just contemporary works that provoke, stimulate and challenge from the finest playwrights our country has to offer. In addition to the plays we will be producing next year on Broadway, Second Stage is making a serious investment in the future by co-commissioning writers through our STAGE-2-STAGE initiative with Center Theater Group, ensuring that American Playwrights have a vital, continuing voice in the Broadway landscape, the world's biggest theatrical stage. We thank everyone who has helped bring us to this moment and we look forward to welcoming audiences to the Hayes - both those that have been with us over the years, as well as The Many new theatregoers we look forward to welcoming to our new home."

The Broadway season will kick off in March 2018 with Lobby Hero, written by Academy Award-winner Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Trip Cullman, and starring Michael Cera and Chris Evans.

Mr. Lonergan, whose history with Second Stage includes acclaimed original productions of This Is Our Youth and The Waverly Gallery, won the 2017 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Manchester by the Sea. Director Trip Cullman, who is currently represented on Broadway by Six Degrees of Separation and Significant Other, has directed six productions at Second Stage, including Leslye Headland's Bachelorette and Paul Weitz's Lonely, I'm Not.

What happens when emotions come in conflict with principles, and how do choices under pressure define who we really are? The lobby of a Manhattan apartment building is much more than a waiting area for four New Yorkers involved in a murder investigation. It's a testing ground for what happens when personal and professional personas find themselves at odds. A young security guard with big ambitions clashes with his stern boss, an intense rookie cop and her unpredictable partner in a play from the 2017 Oscar-winning writer of Manchester by the Sea.

The Broadway season will also include STRAIGHT WHITE MEN, written by Young Jean Lee and directed by Tony Award-winner Anna D. Shapiro, opening in July 2018.

With STRAIGHT WHITE MEN, Ms. Lee, in her Broadway debut, will also become the first female Asian-American playwright ever to be produced on Broadway. Anna D. Shapiro will be making her Second Stage directorial debut with this production. The Artistic Director of Steppenwolf Theatre, Ms. Shapiro won a Tony Award for her direction of August: Osage County in 2008.

It's Christmas Eve, and Ed has gathered his three adult sons to celebrate with matching pajamas, trash-talking, and Chinese takeout. But when a question they can't answer interrupts their holiday cheer, they are forced to confront their own identities. Obie Award-winning playwright Young Jean Lee takes a hilariously ruthless look at the classic American father-son drama. This is one white Christmas like you've never seen before.

This inaugural season kicks off Second Stage's mission of creating and building a permanent home on Broadway dedicated exclusively to American plays and living American Playwrights.

Second Stage Theater purchased the historic Hayes Theater, located at 240 W. 44th Street, in 2015. The company will continue to lease and operate their original theaters on the city's Upper West Side and in Midtown Manhattan. Second Stage Theater has enlisted David Rockwell and The Rockwell Group to make renovations and updates to the 104 year old landmark building. Renovations are currently underway in preparation for its inaugural production next year.

STAGE-2-STAGE - INVESTING IN NEW AMERICAN PLAYS FOR BROADWAY'S FUTURE

Second Stage Theater is investing in its future on Broadway by co-commissioning established playwrights through itsSTAGE-2-STAGE program, launching with Los Angeles's Center Theatre Group. This ongoing program will provide a pathway to Broadway, with each play receiving an initial production in Los Angeles at one of CTG's three theatres before moving to New York. The commissioned playwrights are Jon Robin Baitz, Will Eno, Lisa Kron, Young Jean Lee, Lynn Nottage, and Paula Vogel.

"Theatre is the most collaborative of all the arts, and to be successful at it requires partners that share not only compatible artistic ambitions, but also a spirit of earnest cooperation," said Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group. "I can think of no better person than Carole Rothman, and no better theatre than Second Stage, to join with on an artistic venture and adventure. I have the highest respect and admiration for the work they have done and the aspirations they have for the future."

Second Stage Theater is also co-commissioning a new work from Bess Wohl for Broadway, through a partnership with the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and new works for Broadway from Lydia R. Diamond and Dominique Morisseau, which will be developed in association with Kenny Leon's True Colors Theater.

Second Stage Theater will continue to produce at its off-Broadway home, the Tony Kiser Theater on West 43rd street. The upcoming season will include the previously announced 35th Anniversary production of Harvey Fierstein's TORCH SONG, directed by Moisés Kaufman. Performances will begin in September 2017.

It's 1979 in New York City and Arnold Beckoff is on a quest for love, purpose and family. He's fierce in drag and fearless in crisis, and he won't stop until he achieves the life he desires as a doting husband and a Jewish mother. Now, Arnold is back...and he's here to sing you a torch song. The Tony Award®-winning play that forever changed the trajectory of Broadway returns for a new generation.

The off-Broadway season will also include the New York Premiere of Tracy Letts's MARY PAGE MARLOWE in June of 2018. Mr. Letts' play, Man from Nebraska, just concluded a highly successful and critically acclaimed production at Second Stage. The director of MARY PAGE MARLOWE will be announced in the coming weeks.

If you looked back on eleven moments from your life, would you recognize yourself, or would you see a stranger? Mary Page Marlowe is a seemingly ordinary accountant from Ohio who has experienced pain and joy, success and failure. In this sweeping but intimate play, Tracy Letts gives us a haunting portrait of a complex woman, demonstrating how a series of forgotten moments can add up to one memorable life.

An additional off-Broadway production remains to be announced.

5-play subscription packages for Broadway and off-Broadway are $345 and are available by calling the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422 or visiting the company's website, www.2ST.com. All productions are staged at Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theater, 305 West 43rd Street (just west of Eighth Avenue).


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