By: Mar. 06, 2019

Signature Theatre presents world premiere of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by DC playwright Heather McDonald (Broadway's An Almost Holy Picture, Signature's Available Light). The production is directed by Australian film and theater director Nadia Tass (Malcolm, Matching Jack) and features Holly Twyford(Signature's A Little Night Music, Sex with Strangers) as Layla, Felicia Curry (Signature's The Scottsboro Boys, Arena's Nina Simone: Four Women) as Mitra, and Yesenia Iglesias (Folger's Love's Labor's Lost, Ford's A Christmas Carol) as Nadia. Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity runs from February 26 through April 7 in Signature Theatre's ARK Theatre.

"We're thrilled to welcome Heather McDonald back to the Signature stage and to premiere her new play as part of our Heidi Thomas Writer's Initiative," said Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer. "Heather's original and inspiring voice along with the talents of Nadia Tass and the incredible cast that we've assembled, promises to bring this exciting world premiere to life. This production marks Signature's 57th world premiere production and will take our audiences on another thrilling journey discovering new worlds."

Three women-an art restorer, her nurse and their military captor-are trapped in a ravaged museum during a catastrophic hundred years war. Tasked with restoring a damaged Rembrandt painting, the women find common shreds of humanity as they try to save a small symbol of beauty in their broken world.

Led by Tass, the creative team includes Scenic Design by James Kronzer (Signature's The Flick, The Mystery of Love and Sex); Lighting Design by Sherrice Mojgani (Signature's Ain't Misbehavin', The Scottsboro Boys); Costume Design by Kathleen Geldard (Signature's Billy Elliot The Musical, Studio Theatre's Admissions); Sound Design and Original Music by James Bigbee Garver (Woolly Mammoth's The Arsonists, HIR); Projection Design by Zachary G. Borovay (Signature's Jesus Christ Superstar, Broadway's Rock of Ages); Fight Choreography by Robb Hunter (Signature's 4,380 Nights, Woolly Mammoth's Gloria); Casting by Kelly Crandall d'Amboise; Assistant Director Dani Stoller; Production Assistant Allison Poms and Production Stage Manager Ben Walsh.

Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity marks the 2nd production as part of The Heidi Thomas Writer's Initiative, along with 4,380 Nights by Annalisa Dias. Through a generous grant from The Jenna and Paul Segal Foundation, Broadway Producer Jenna Segal will sponsor a world premiere by a female playwright with a female director for the next five years. The grant also gives Signature the resources to help playwrights secure second and third productions by bringing artistic directors from across the country to Signature during the run of their plays to meet with the playwright and plan for future productions of the work.

The Heidi Thomas Writer's Initiative is named after acclaimed British playwright and screenwriter Heidi Thomas. Miss Thomas is the creator and executive producer behind the BBC's Call the Midwife series and adapted the Broadway revival of Gigi directed by Eric Schaeffer and produced by Jenna Segal.

Photo Credit: C Stanley Photography