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Marcus Gardley, John Kander, Jon Batiste and More Join Upcoming CLASSIC CONVERSATION Events

CSC's artistic director, John Doyle, engages participants in discussions reflecting on this historic moment of crisis and transformation.

Marcus Gardley, John Kander, Jon Batiste and More Join Upcoming CLASSIC CONVERSATION Events

Classic Stage Company has announced OBIE-winning playwright Marcus Gardley (The House That Will Not Stand, "The Chi") as the March 11 guest for the online version of its Classic Conversations series. In Classic Conversations, which CSC has adapted to a virtual format during the COVID-19, shutdown, the theater's Tony-winning artistic director, John Doyle, engages participants in discussions reflecting on this historic moment of crisis and transformation: struggles with stalled creativity and lost income, inequities laid bare by the racial justice movement, and hopes for the future of the field. Episodes premiere Thursdays at 6pm on YouTube and Facebook, and available to view afterwards on these platforms and Instagram IGTV.

Tonight (March 4), Classic Conversations hosts Pulitzer finalist playwright Sarah Ruhl (In the Next Room, The Clean House). Following Marcus Gardley on March 11, the series features former CSC (and then A.C.T.) artistic director Carey Perloff, on March 18; Tony-winning composer John Kander (Cabaret, Chicago), on April 1; and recent Golden Globe winner and Grammy nominee Jon Batiste (Soul, "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert"), on April 8.

When theaters were forced to shut down this spring, CSC quickly adapted its signature series Classic Conversations, with the theater releasing the episodes free of charge. The first conversations, featuring members of the upcoming Assassins production, included Brandon Uranowitz; Will Swenson; Adam Chanler-Berat; Tavi Gevinson; Eddie Cooper; Ethan Slater; Steven Pasquale; Bianca Horn; Wesley Taylor; Andy Grotelueschen; Brad Giovanine, Katrina Yaukey, Whit K. Lee, and Rob Morrison; and Judy Kuhn. Then, in summer 2020, CSC produced a new lineup featuring eminent actors who have collaborated with Doyle and/or CSC on other projects: George Takei, André De Shields, Becky Ann Baker, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, and Heather Headley. In fall 2020, CSC further expanded the Classic Conversations programming to feature prominent voices across disciplines within the theater world, including Ben Brantley, Tonya Pinkins, Nataki Garrett, Rufus Norris, Marianne Elliott, Timothy Douglas, Anika Noni Rose, John Weidman, Hilton Als, and Faith Prince. Spring 2021 participants have included Danielle Brooks, Chris Martin, Shaina Taub, John Turturro, Kate Hamill, and Barry Edelstein.

Due in part to Doyle's being a fellow artist, a collaborator, and, in many cases, a friend, the series' guests have spoken with remarkable candor. And because artists and audiences have been unable to convene in-person, the songs the musical theater stars have sung during the conversations have been particularly poignant.


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