Signature Theatre Celebrates 15th Anniversary with Wilson, More

New York's Signature Theatre Company will celebrate its 15th anniversary by launching a 20-month program honoring past Signature playwrights, which will culminate in a series of plays written by Pultizer Prize-winner August Wilson. To make its theatre accessible to the broadest possible audience, Signature has also established a special $15 ticket for all performances (regularly $55), made possible by a leadership gift from Time Warner.

This year the Company is launching the Signature Series, presenting revivals of celebrated works by previous resident writers for a new generation of audiences. This series is a companion to the Premiere Series, successfully launched during Signature's 10th Anniversary in 2000, which is a presentation of New York and world premieres by past Playwrights-in-Residence.

The 15th Anniversary will begin in November 2005 with two acclaimed plays from past resident writers-- Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful, directed by Harris Yulin, will play from November to January, 2006, and John Guare's Landscape of the Body, directed by Michael Greif, will run from February to April, 2006.  Adrienne Kennedy's new adaptation of Flaubert's Madame Bovary will be unveiled as a free staged reading in Spring 2006.  In September 2006, the celebration will continue with three plays by Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson: a revival of Two Trains Running (Sept.-Oct. 2006); the New York premiere of his one-man show How I Learned What I Learned (Nov. 2006-Jan. 2007); and a world premiere (Feb.-April, 2007), Wilson's first new work following his cycle plays. To further explore his body of work, Signature will undertake an ambitious 10-Play/10-Day August Wilson Marathon of readings of all ten epic plays of Wilson's 20th-century cycle in February of 2007, featuring many of the cast members and other artists from the original productions.

In addition, as part of Signature's expanded programming, several free events are planned. Beginning in September 2005, the River to River Festival will host free outdoor screenings at Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City of two films by Signature Playwrights-in-Residence: To Kill a Mockingbird, to be introduced by Horton Foote, and Atlantic City, to be introduced by John Guare.

"Signature Theatre Company, along with the Joyce International Dance Center, has been designated to create a new performing arts center at the World Trade Center site to be designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. At Signature Center, currently slated to open in 2009/2010, Signature will expand its programming through the creation of three distinct residency programs that reflect the company's core mission to develop and explore the work of an individual playwright. The state-of-the-art center will include world-class performance and rehearsal spaces, a café, bookstore, lounges, and classrooms; as well as other public spaces that offer a forum for activities such as staged readings, lectures, and special events. The center will serve as an artistic home for playwrights, performers, directors, and designers of varying ages, aesthetics, backgrounds and experiences and a vibrant, year-round community center for Lower Manhattan and all of New York," according to the company's notes.

Signature Theatre Company's Peter Norton Space is located at 555 W. 42nd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues). For additional information, visit www.signaturetheatre.org. For subscription and ticket information, please call (212) 244-PLAY (7529).

 







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