Candis C. Jones, Jesca Prudencio, and More Complete The Drama League's 'Directorfest 2016' Line Up

The Drama League (Executive Artistic Director Gabriel Stelian-Shanks) has announced full casting for DirectorFest 2016: The 33rd Annual Directors Festival, an evening of four short plays staged by The Drama League Directors Project Fall Directing Fellows Candis C. Jones, James Dean Palmer, Jesca Prudencio, and Shaun Patrick Tubbs. DirectorFest 2016 will be presented for a strictly limited 5-performance engagement, December 10-13, 2016 at TBG Theater (312 West 36th Street, between 8th & 9th Avenues). Tickets are $18 and may be reserved by visiting, or by calling (212) 244-9494, ext 101.

The four plays in this year's festival include rarely-performed works: Bondage by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Chinglish), directed by Ms. Prudencio; Grief by three-time Tony Award nominee Craig Lucas (Reckless, Prelude to a Kiss), directed by Mr. Palmer; New Shoes by Princess Grace Award-winner Sheila Callaghan (That Pretty Pretty, or the Rape Play), directed by Ms. Jones; and Hop Tha A by Paul Robeson Award-winner James Anthony Tyler (Dolphins and Sharks), directed by Mr. Tubbs.

The Acting Company includes Justin Adams, Patrice Bell, Marcus Choi, Anne-Marie Cusson, Melissa David, Cindy De La Cruz, Mary Glen Frederick, Walker Hare, Brian Keys, Todd Lawson, and ChristIan Ryan.

The DirectorFest 2016 performance schedule is as follows: Saturday, December 10 at 7:00 p.m., Sunday, December 11 at 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m., Monday, December 12 at 7:00 p.m., and Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. There will also be a free Panel Discussion, "The Directors Roundtable," scheduled for Sunday, December 11 at 4:15 p.m., which will feature Ms. Jones, Ms. Prudencio, Mr. Palmer and Mr. Tubbs in conversation about their experiences as emerging directors.

Every performance includes all four one-act plays. Tickets are priced at $18 and may be purchased by visiting, or by calling (212) 244-9494, ext 101.

DirectorFest 2016 offers an exciting glimpse into the future of American theatre by presenting one-ACT Productions staged by four of the nation's most promising young directors. This year, directors Candis Jones, James Dean Palmer, Jesca Prudencio, and Shaun Patrick Tubbs join the ranks of the program's illustrious alumni of The Drama League Directors Project, including Tony Award winners Diane Paulus (Waitress), Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812), Pam Mackinnon (Amelie), Alex Timbers (Here Lies Love), John Rando (On The Town), Moritz von Steulpnagel (Hand To God), and Mark Brokaw (Heisenberg), to name only a few.

"Chosen from hundreds of applicants last spring, these four brilliant early-career directors - Candis, James, Jesca and Shaun - give me great hope for the future of the American theater," said Mr. Stelian-Shanks. "DirectorFest is not only the best opportunity in New York City to experience fresh new directing talent, but a fantastic moment, as 2016 comes to an end, to see a wide breadth of playwrights envisioning our shared world. We are thrilled to welcome David, Craig, Sheila and James Anthony to DirectorFest this year, and to see what these tremendously exciting directors will do with their plays."

The creative team for DirectorFest 2016 includes Reid Thompson (sets), Lauren Gaston (costumes), Melissa Mizell (lights), Mark Van Hare (sound), Jessica Adams (props), Sean Bradley (Fight Director), Brandon Pape (Production Manager), Sean Gorski (Technical Director), with Travis LeMont Ballenger (Associate Producer), Gabriel Stelian-Shanks (Executive Artistic Director), and Sherri Eden Barber (Program Director).


Bondage by David Henry Hwang

Directed by Jesca Prudencio

The two-member cast features Marcus Choi as Mark and Mary Glen Frederick as Terri. The Stage Manager is Melanie Aponte.

Written in 1992, Bondage takes a comedic look at racial stereotypes and power, through the relationship between a dominatrix and her submissive. With their identities fully concealed, Mark and Terri's kinky role play suddenly fails as their own values get in the way of the game

New Shoes by Sheila Callaghan

Directed by Candis C. Jones

The four-member cast features Patrice Bell as Lucille, Melissa David as Gertie, Walker Hare as Richard and ChristIan Ryan as William. The Stage Manager is Will Chaloner.

An absurd comedy about Richard, a middle-aged Vietnam vet, who longs for his ex-lover and his beloved shoes from 1963.

Grief by Craig Lucas

Directed by James Dean Palmer Choreography by Myah Shein

The three-member cast features Justin Adams as Adam, Anne-Marie Cusson as Jean, and Todd Lawson as Marc. The Stage Manager is Sarah Marilyn Brown.

On the day of her husband's funeral, Jean, a trophy wife with her 'best years' behind her, resolves to take back what's left of her life...even if it means destroying her entitled sons. In this seldom seen one act, Craig Lucas asks if it's ever too late to find your true self.

Hop Tha A by James Anthony Tyler

Directed by Shaun Patrick Tubbs

The two-member cast features Cindy De La Cruz as Niesha and Brian Keys as Tyrone. The Stage Manager is Emily Roth.

A typical ride uptown becomes something more. As the train stops pass them, Tyrone and Niesha are pulled deeper into each other's lives and into discussions about family relationships, racial linguistics, and the politics of loneliness.

Join The Drama League for the free Panel Discussion, "The Directors Roundtable," scheduled for Sunday, December 11 at 4:15 p.m., which will feature Ms. Jones, Ms. Prudencio, Mr. Palmer and Mr. Tubbs in conversation about their experiences as emerging directors.

For additional information, please visit the website at

The alumni of The Drama League Directors Project, which now number over 300, can be found working in all aspects of the entertainment profession. 'Drama League Directors' are directing on Broadway, Off-Broadway, at regional theaters across the country, and in film and television. They are the artistic directors and associates at 58 regional theaters. Others hold prominent positions throughout the industry as producers, writers, agents and administrators, and many are educating the next generation of directors at some of our finest professional training programs. Their directing work has been honored with Tony, Emmy, Obie, Peabody, Drama Desk, GLAAD, Drama League, New York Drama Critics Circle, Outer Critics, Evening Standard, Lucille Lortel, Bessie, Princess Grace, Garland, Drama-Logue, Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Elliot Norton, and Joseph Jefferson Awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. They have literally shaped the future of the American theater, with the praise of critics and audiences alike.

For additional information, please visit the website at

The Drama League Directors Project, since its founding in 1984, has grown to become the preeminent development program for early and mid-career theater directors, providing talented young artists with career-transforming experiences in the professional theater. The program provides opportunities for young directors to present their work to the professional community. In addition, the program augments a network of professionals to whom new directors can turn for counsel, support, and employment, that helps to accelerate the process through which new directors gain acceptance within the professional community, bringing their unique skills and vision into the working life of the American theater. The Drama League Directors Project also maintains an active support network for its alumni.

The Drama League of New York, since 1916, has been at the forefront of the American Theatre community, providing talent, audiences, and prosperous support. It is one of the nation's oldest continuously-operating, not-for-profit arts advocacy and education organizations. Through its programs, initiatives and events, The Drama League indelibly transforms the lives of artists and audiences by harnessing the unique social and creative dynamism of theatre. Its nationally-renowned, award-winning efforts have two vital goals: To train and nurture the artists of tomorrow and to deepen and strengthen the audience experience.

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