Vineyard Theatre Cancels Weekend Performances of LESSONS IN SURVIVAL: 1971

Lessons in Survival: 1971 stars Carl Clemons-Hopkins (“Hacks”) as James Baldwin and Crystal Dickinson (Tony Award-winning Clybourne Park) as Nikki Giovanni.

By: Jun. 10, 2022

Vineyard Theatre Cancels Weekend Performances of LESSONS IN SURVIVAL: 1971

Due to positive COVID test results within the company, Vineyard Theatre has cancelled performances of Lessons in Survival: 1971 through Sunday, June 12. Ticket holders for impacted performances (June 10-12) will be contacted by phone and email regarding rebooking and next steps. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Vineyard Theatre box at 212.353.0303 or for further assistance.

Lessons in Survival: 1971 is co-conceived by Marin Ireland, Peter Mark Kendall, Tyler Thomas and Reggie D. White, and is created with The Commissary. This innovative work stars Emmy-nominated Carl Clemons-Hopkins ("Hacks") as James Baldwin and Theatre Award Winner Crystal Dickinson (Tony Award-winning Clybourne Park) as Nikki Giovanni and is directed by Tyler Thomas.

In 1971, 28-year-old poet Nikki Giovanni interviewed renowned novelist James Baldwin, 47, on America's first "Black Tonight Show," SOUL! Fifty years later, Lessons in Survival: 1971 reintroduces their candid, provocative dialogue on race and liberation in America to our present moment. Building on the digital exploration of Lessons in Survival, this revelatory live staging explores the layers of intimacy and ideas between two Black revolutionary artists of different generations, with astonishing resonance for today.

The design team includes You-Shin Chen (Scenic Design), Mika Eubanks (Costume Design), Amith Chadrashaker (Lighting Design), Lee Kinney and Daniel Kluger (Sound Design), Daniel Kluger (Original Composition), and Matthew Glasner, CSA (Casting Director).

Tickets are now on sale to the general public through June 30 at Click Here or by calling 212-353-0303.

About Vineyard Theatre

Vineyard Theatre is an Off-Broadway theatre company dedicated to nurturing the voices of daring artists and developing and producing work that pushes the boundaries of what theatre can be and do. One of the country's preeminent centers for the creation of new plays and musicals, our work seeks to challenge and inspire all of us to see ourselves and our world from different perspectives.

The Vineyard's 2021-22 season launched with the Broadway transfers of its productions of Tina Satter's Is This A Room, named "Best Theater of 2019 and 2021" by The New York Times, Time Out and New York Magazine and winner of the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience; and Lucas Hnath's Dana H., chosen as The New York Times and Time Out "Best Theatre of 2020 and 2021" and winner of the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show, which played in repertory at the Lyceum Theatre fall of 2021. Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive, which premiered at The Vineyard 25 years ago, began performances on Broadway on March 29 reuniting original cast members Mary-Louise Parker, David Morse and Johanna Day with director Mark Brokaw.

The Vineyard's fall season also included commissioned new works from Ngozi Anyanwu, Kirsten Childs, Jared Mezzocchi, Polly Pen and Madeline Sayet. The World Premiere of Lessons in Survival: 1971 will be performed from May 25 - June 30. Building on the digital exploration of Lessons in Survival, which was recognized by the New York Times as Best in Theater 2020, this revelatory live staging explores the layers of intimacy and ideas between two Black revolutionary artists of different generations, with astonishing resonance for today.

Notable Vineyard Theatre premieres include Ngozi Anyanwu's Good Grief; Jeremy O. Harris' "Daddy"; Mara Nelson-Greenberg's Do You Feel Anger?; David Cale's Harry Clarke (2018 Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel Awards); Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman's Indecent (two 2017 Tony Awards); two Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, Paula Vogel's How I Learned To Drive and Edward Albee's Three Tall Women; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Gloria; Nicky Silver's The Lyons; Marx, Lopez and Whitty's Avenue Q (Tony Award, Best Musical); Kander, Ebb, and Thompson's The Scottsboro Boys; Bell and Bowen's [title of show]; Polly Pen's Goblin Market; Tarell Alvin McCraney's Wig Out!; Jenny Schwartz' God's Ear; Will Eno's Middletown; Becky Mode's Fully Committed; Colman Domingo's Dot, and many more.

The Vineyard's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, Susan Stroman Directing Award, and Colman Domingo Award provide residencies to early-career artists and our education programs serve over 700 NYC public high school students annually and culminate in presenting Developing Artists' REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival. The recently created Roth-Vogel New Play Commission is awarded annually to a mid- to late-career playwright to create and develop a new play with The Vineyard. Works developed and premiered at our home in Union Square have gone on to be seen around the world and The Vineyard is proud to be the recipient of special Drama Desk, Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards for artistic excellence.

The Vineyard's 2021-2022 Artists-in-Residence include The Commissary, Ryan Haddad, Michael R. Jackson, Lightning Rod Special, Tyler Thomas, and Reggie D. White.

Vineyard Theatre's leadership includes Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern and Managing Director Suzanne Appel.

Carl Clemons-Hopkins

Carl Clemons-Hopkins gained national popularity with their breakout performance as Marcus on HBO Max's "Hacks" opposite Jean Smart. Carl's performance earned them an Emmy nomination in the "Outstanding Supporting Actor In a Comedy Series" category and season two of the acclaimed series is set to debut May 12th on HBO Max. On the big screen, Carl can be seen in Jordan Peele's Candyman for Universal. They recently wrapped filming Kristin Gore's film, The Beanie Bubble for Apple TV+. Carl concluded 2021 with filming Zach Braff's produced independent film, The Mattachine Family. Other credits include a recurring role on NBC's "Chicago Med." On stage, Carl has performed in the Chicago production of Hamilton as Aaron Burr and George Washington and made his Steppenwolf Theatre premiere in For The Last Time.

Crystal Dickinson

Crystal Dickinson's Broadway credits include the Tony Award-winning Clybourne Park, for which she received a Theater World Award; and the Tony-nominated You Can't Take It With You, alongside James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne. She has performed Off Broadway at Lincoln Center, Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theater, Theater for a New Audience and, most recently, Cullud Wattah at The Public Theater. She has worked with directors Thomas Kail, Michael Grief, Scott Ellis, Bryan Cranston, Wendell Pierce, Pam MacKinnon, Lila Neugebauer, Leigh Silverman and Kenny Leon. Film and Television credits include "I Origins," "This Is Where I Leave You," "The Good Wife," "New Amsterdam," and recurring roles on Showtime's "The Chi" and ABC's "For Life." Teaching and coaching: Juilliard, Stella Adler Studio, Spelman College, NYU, Princeton, Pace University and both of her Alumni schools, University of Illinois and Seton Hall University. A proud MFA graduate of The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, she also studied at the London Academy for Music and Dramatic Art and is an elite member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

The Commissary

The Commissary is a grassroots, multi-generational theater collective whose primary work centers on new investigations of historical, found, and verbatim texts as a means of exploring radical listening and embracing difficult conversations on the path to collective liberation. In addition to the Lessons In Survival digital anthology series developed with and produced by Vineyard Theatre (a New York Times Top 10 Theatre Pick for 2020), The Commissary also presented (in partnership with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and New Neighborhood) the trial transcript of Crystal Mason's hearing in hopes of amplifying her continued search for justice. The collective came into being in the summer of 2020 and meets regularly to explore material and new work.

Tyler Thomas

Tyler Thomas is a director, choreographer, and current Susan Stroman Award recipient. She has developed and staged work with the Vineyard Theatre, Rattlestick Playwrights, Playwrights Center, Northern Stage, New Ohio Theatre, NYMF, The Flea, NYU Tisch, UCLA, Columbia University, and Lincoln Center Education. She is a 2050 Fellow with New York Theater Workshop, Foeller Fellow at Williamstown Theatre Festival, member of the Lincoln Center Directors' Lab and has been a Visiting Artist at the Athens Conservatoire in Greece, and Guest Artist at UCLA and UC Santa Cruz. Tyler is currently the Resident Director of The Commissary

Photo credit: Carol Rosegg

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