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New Works by Tracy Letts, Bruce Norris & Anna Deavere Smith Included in Second Stage Theatre's 2016-17 Season

Second Stage Theatre (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director; Casey Reitz, Executive Director) has announced three New York Premiere productions for its upcoming 38th season. The season will kick off in October 2016 with the New York Premiere of NOTES FROM THE FIELD: DOING TIME IN EDUCATION, the latest work created, written and performed by groundbreaking theatre artist Anna Deavere Smith and directed by Leonard Foglia. This marks Ms. Smith and Mr. Foglia's return to Second Stage Theatre, where their previous collaboration, Let Me Down Easy, had its New York Premiere in 2008.

The season will continue in winter 2017 with the New York Premiere of Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner Tracy Lett's 2003 play, MAN FROM NEBRASKA, directed by David Cromer. MAN FROM NEBRASKA was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2004.

Summer 2017 will see the New York Premiere of Bruce Norris' A PARALLELOGRAM, directed by Michael Greif, who returns to Second Stage Theatre following his staging of this season's hit musical, Dear Evan Hansen. Mr. Norris won the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for his acclaimed play, Clybourne Park.

A fourth mainstage production remains to be announced.

"The upcoming season at Second Stage promises to do what we do best: to provoke, to challenge, and, most importantly, to entertain our audiences with unique stories and perspectives on the American experience," says Second Stage Theatre Artistic Director Carole Rothman. "I am thrilled to kick off the season with the incomparable Anna Deavere Smith and her revolutionary style of playwriting and performance. Her play, Let Me Down Easy, was a highlight for everyone at Second Stage and this latest work promises to be another singular, thought-provoking experience. In 2017 we will welcome two playwrights I have long wanted to work with - Tracy Letts and Bruce Norris - both incredibly perceptive writers with two superlative works that have not yet been seen by New York audiences. And to have Leonard Foglia, David Cromer, and Michael Greif, all artists of the highest caliber, directing these plays is truly an honor."

Subscriptions for these three plays are $150 and are available by calling the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422 or visiting the company's website, All productions are staged at Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theatre, 305 West 43rd Street (just west of Eighth Avenue).

More detailed information on these three upcoming Second Stage productions is below:


Created, written and performed by Anna Deavere Smith

Directed by Leonard Foglia

Previews Begin October 11; Opening Night is late October

One of the most hailed and provocative theatre artists of our time, Anna Deavere Smith, leads a new installation of powerful first person storytelling in NOTES FROM THE FIELD: DOING TIME IN EDUCATION. Urgent and inspiring, it depicts the personal accounts of students, parents, teachers and administrators caught in America's school-to-prison pipeline.Investigating a justice system that pushes minors from poor communities out of the classroom and into incarceration,Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education shines a light on a lost generation of American youth. Drawn from interviews with more than 200 people living and working within a challenged system, Anna Deavere Smith continues her mastery of the documentary solo performance by stimulating awareness and ultimately, change for the better.

NOTES FROM THE FIELD is a co-production with Boston's American Repertory Theatre, where it will be performed August 20 - September 17. An earlier version of the work was developed and performed at Berkeley Repertory Theatre under the direction of Leah C. Gardner in the summer of 2015.

ANNA DEAVERE SMITH (Creator/Writer/Performer). Anna Deavere Smith is an actress and playwright and has appeared at Berkeley Rep in Let Me Down Easy, Fires in the Mirror and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992. She is said to have created a new form of theatre. She has created more than 18 one-person shows based on hundreds of interviews, most of which deal with social issues. Twilight: Los Angeles, about the Los Angeles race riots of 1992, was performed around the country and on Broadway. Her most recent one-person show, Let Me Down Easy, focused on health care in the U.S. Three of her plays have been broadcast on American Playhouse and Great Performances (PBS). In popular culture you have seen her in "Nurse Jackie," "Black-ish," "Madame Secretary," "The West Wing," The American President, Rachel Getting Married, Philadelphia, others. Books include Letters to a Young Artist and Talk to Me: Listening Between the Lines. She is founder and director of the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at New York University. Recently she was named the 2015 Jefferson Lecturer by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The lecture, established in 1972, is the highest honor the federal government confers for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities. Prizes include the National Humanities Medal presented by President Obama, a MacArthur fellowship, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award, two Tony nominations, and two Obies. She was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize for her play Fires in the Mirror. She has received several honorary degrees, among them from Yale University, Juilliard, the University of Pennsylvania, Spelman, Williams, Northwestern, and Radcliffe. She serves on the boards of the Museum of Modern Art, the Aspen Institute, the American Museum of Natural History, and Grace Cathedral-San Francisco. She is a University Professor at New York University.

Leonard Foglia (Director): Original Broadway productions: Master Class (West End, National tour), Thurgood (filmed for HBO), The People in The Picture (Roundabout). Broadway revivals: The Gin Game, On Golden Pond, Wait Until Dark. Off-Broadway: Let Me Down Easy (filmed for PBS), The Stendhal Syndrome, One Touch of Venus, If Memory Serves, Lonely Planet. Regional: Unusual Acts of Devotion, Distracted, Paper Doll, The Secret Letters of Jackie and Marilyn, The Subject Was Roses, A Coffin in Egypt, God's Man in Texas. Opera: World premieres of Moby Dick (filmed for PBS), Everest, Cold Mountain, The End of the Affair, Three Decembers. Also,Dead Man Walking at NYCO. As a librettist, he wrote (and directed) El Pasado Nunca Se Termina/The Past Is Never Finished, with composer Jose Martinez, commissioned and premiered at Lyric Opera of Chicago; A Coffin In Egypt with composer Ricky Ian Gordon and Cruzar La Cara De La Luna/To Cross The Face Of The Moon with composer Martinez, both commissioned and premiered at Houston Grand Opera and have played across the country as well as at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.


New York Premiere

By Tracy Letts

Directed by David Cromer

Winter 2017

Sometimes even the most devout can lose their faith. When Ken, a middle aged man from Nebraska, suddenly finds he's lost his, along with his sense of purpose, he goes on a wild adventure to find it. Along the way he encounters a world vastly different from his own, filled with chance meetings and romantic encounters that shake him to the core. From the playwright of August: Osage County, comes a fascinating exploration into what happens when we lose our belief system and the characters that come into our lives on the path to a meaningful existence.

Tracy Letts (Playwright) is the author of the plays Linda Vista, Mary Page Marlowe, Superior Donuts, August: Osage County (Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award), Man From Nebraska (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Time Magazine's Top Ten Plays of 2003), Bug, and Killer Joe. Also an actor, he has appeared on Broadway in Will Eno's The Realistic Joneses and Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role). Film appearances include The Lovers, Christine, Imperium, Indignation, Wiener-dog, Elvis and Nixon, The Big Short. TV: "Divorce" (HBO), two seasons as Sen. Lockhart on "Homeland" (Showtime), "Seinfeld." He is an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and his appearances there include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, American Buffalo, Betrayal, Homebody/Kabul, The Dresser, The Dazzle, Glengarry Glen Ross, Three Days of Rain, many others.

David Cromer (Director) most recently directed The Effect at the Barrow Street Theatre, where he also directed Our Town andOrson's Shadow. Additional New York credits include Women or Nothing at The Atlantic Theater Company, Really Really at MCC, The House of Blue Leaves and Brighton Beach Memoirs on Broadway, When The Rain Stops Falling and Nikolai and the Others at Lincoln Center Theater, and Adding Machine at the Minetta Lane. Originally from Chicago, his credits there include Sweet Bird of Youth (The Goodman), A Street, Picnic and The Price (Writers Theatre).


By Bruce Norris

Directed by Michael Greif

Summer 2017

If you knew in advance exactly what was going to happen in your life, and how everything was going to turn out, and if you knew you couldn't do anything to change it, would you still want to go on with your life? That is the question facing Bee who, much to Jay's confusion, can click through different moments in her life with the touch of a remote control. Past, present and future collide in this existential farce that questions whether we can make peace with those things we don't have the power to change.

Bruce Norris (Playwright) is the author of the Clybourne Park, which won the Olivier and Evening Standard Awards (London) for Best Play, 2010, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, 2011, and the Tony Award for Best Play in 2012. Other plays include The Infidel (2000), Purple Heart (2002), We All Went Down to Amsterdam (2003), The Pain and the Itch (2004), The Unmentionables(2006) and The Qualms (2014), all of which had their premieres at Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago. Recent productions include The Low Road (2013 at The Royal Court Theatre (London), Domesticated which premiered in 2013 at Lincoln Center Theatre, and The Qualms at Playwrights Horizons in 2015.

Michael Greif (Director) returns to Second Stage Theatre where he staged Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul's Dear Evan Hansen, Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey's Next to Normal and Howard Korder's Boys' Life. Broadway credits include If/Then, starring Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp and LaChanze; Next to Normal; Grey Gardens; Rent (Tony Award nominations) and Never Gonna Dance. At the Delacorte, The Tempest, Winter's Tale and Romeo and Juliet. Off-Broadway credits include new plays, musicals and revivals at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Class Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, NY Shakespeare Festival/Public, NYTW, Roundabout, and Signature, including Katori Hall's Our Lady of Kibeho, the 2010 revival of Angels in America (Lortel Award), Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide ... (Public), Guare's Landscape of the Body (Signature) and musical adaptations of Giant (Public) and Far from Heaven (Playwrights Horizons). He received Obie Awards for Machinal and Dogeaters (Public) and for Rent (NYTW). Regional credits include Williamstown (nine seasons), La Jolla Playhouse (Artistic Director 1995-99), Center Stage, Goodman, Guthrie, CTG/Taper, DTC and Trinity Rep. Education: Northwestern (BS), UCSD (MFA). He is currently directing Doug Wright, Scott Frankel, and Michael Korie's new musical, War Paint, at Chicago's Goodman Theatre.

Second Stage Theatre's current season will conclude this summer with the world premiere of Leslye Headland's THE LAYOVER,directed by Trip Cullman, beginning previews this August. Second Stage Theatre Uptown will continue with the world premiere ofENGAGEMENTS, written by Lucy Teitler and directed by Kimberly Senior, beginning previews July 18 and opening August 4 at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre.

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