Cast Announced for ESAI'S TABLE as Part of Cherry Lane's 2017 Mentor Project

By: Mar. 03, 2017
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Cherry Lane Theatre has announced casting for the second production of the Obie award-winning MENTOR PROJECT 2017 now in its 19th season.

Nathan Yungerberg's ESAI'S TABLE, will be presented at Cherry Lane (38 Commerce St.) from March 22 - April 1, 2017, it has been announced by Seri Lawrence and Janio Marrero, MENTOR PROJECT's Producing Artistic Directors. Angelina Fiordellisi is Cherry Lane's Founding Artistic Director.

Directed by Danya Taymor, the cast of ESAI'S TABLE features Caleb Eberhardt (Regional: Choir Boy. Film: Coco), Hampton Fluker (NBC's "Shades of Blue"), Brett M. Gray (Regional: Joe Turner's Come and Gone), and Eden Marryshow (Mentor Project: Pass Over, The Surgeon and Her Daughters Film: This Thing Called Love).

In ESAI'S TABLE, destiny meets eternity for three young black men atop an ancient magical table in this mythic tale of black lives, friendship, family, and love.

In its 19th season, Mentor Project pairs new playwrights with seasoned writers for a season of play development, casting, rehearsals and a fully-staged production.

The final Mentor Project production of 2017 is Jocelyn Bioh's NOLLYWOOD DREAMS, mentored by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, presented April 25 - May 6, 2017. This year's Mentor Project began with THE SIBLINGS PLAY by Ren Dara Santiago, mentored by Lucy Thurber.

ESAI'S TABLE creative team includes Kristen Robinson (Scenic Design), Tilly Grimes (Costume Design), Barbara Samuels (Lighting Design), Matt Otto (Sound Design), Addison Heeren (Properties) and Carolyn Reich (Production Stage Manager).

ESAI'S TABLE plays March 22 - April 1, Monday - Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 5pm and 9pm. Single tickets are $20-25. For info and reservations visit or call OvationTix at 866 811 4111.

Cherry Lane's MENTOR PROJECT received an Obie Award and James Kirkwood Award for American Playwrights for its dedication to providing professional opportunities for emerging writers to hone their craft in tandem with seasoned playwrights of note. The company ended their 2015-16 season with the world premiere of Israel Horovitz's play OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES starring Francesca Choy-Key, Angelina Fiordellisi, Judith Ivey and Estelle Parsons. One of the most renowned theatres in the country, Cherry Lane Theatre has produced a large succession of plays by leading writers from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Gertrude Stein, Samuel Beckett, Edward Albee and Harold Pinter. Under the artistic leadership of Angelina Fiordellisi since 1996, Cherry Lane remains devoted to developing and producing new works for the stage. Diane Alianiello is General Manager, Seri Lawrence and Janio Marrero are Interim Producing Artistic Directors, Hillary Cohen is Director of Individual and Institutional Giving and Reed Ridgley is Grants Manager.

NATHAN YUNGERBERG (Playwright, Esai's Table) is a Brooklyn-based playwright. His plays include Esai's Table, The Son of Dawn, Pousada Azul, Evelyn Dreams of Horses, Orchids and Polka Dots, Golden Gate, Brush Strokes and Isosceles. Nathan's work has been developed or by The Playwrights' Center, Crowded Fire Theater, The Brooklyn Museum, The Nuyorican Poets Café , The Lorraine Hansberry Theater, Brava Theater, The Lark, The Fire This Time Festival, 48 Hours in Harlem, The National Black Theatre, The Hansberry Project, The National Black Theatre Festival, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, Blackboard Reading Series, T. Schreiber Studio, The Dramatist Guild, Flashpoint Theater, The August Wilson Red Door Project, New Venture Theater, The Brooklyn Generator, Multistages theater and BBC Radio Afternoon Drama. Nathan is one of seven black playwrights commissioned by The New Black Fest for HANDS UP: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments. Awards and honors: The 2016 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference (Semifinalist), Ken Davenport 10-Minute Play Festival (Winner), 11th Annual InspiraTO Festival (Finalist), Blue Ink Playwriting Award (Semifinalist), and PICK OF THE VINE 2016 at Little Fish Theatre (Semifinalist).

Stephen Adly Guirgis (Mentor, Esai's Table) is a member and former co-artistic director of LAByrinth Theater Company. His plays have been produced on five continents and throughout the United States. His most recent play, Between Riverside and Crazy (dir: Austin Pendleton) premiered at Atlantic Theater Company, moved to Second Stage Theatre, and garnered numerous awards including the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Other plays include: The Motherf***er with the Hat (6 Tony nominations, including Best Play, dir: Anna D Shapiro), Den of Thieves (directed by Max Daniels), Dominica The Fat Ugly Ho (dir: Adam Rapp), as well as Our Lady of 121st Street, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Public Theater) and The Little Flower of East Orange (Public Theater) -- all five directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and world premiered at LAByrinth Theater Company. In London, his plays have premiered at The Donmar Warehouse, The Almeida (dir: Rupert Goold), The Hampstead (Robert Delamere), and at The Arts Theater in the West End (Dir: Philip Seymour Hoffman). As an actor, he has appeared in theater, film and television, including roles in Alejandro Inarritu's Oscar winning Birdman, Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret, Todd Solondz's Palindromes, and Brett C. Leonard's Jailbait opposite Michael Pitt. He co-created and executive produced Netflix's "The Get Down" with Baz Luhrmann. Other awards include: the Yale Wyndham-Campbell Prize, The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Award, PEN/Laura Pels Award, Whiting Award, TCG fellowship, Fringe First Award, NY Drama Critics Circle, L.A. Drama Critics Prize, and a Lucille Lortel Award. A former violence prevention specialist and H.I.V. educator, he lives in New York City.

DANYA TAYMOR (Director) is a director and translator originally from Northern California. Recent work includes Justin Kuritzkes' The Sensuality Party (The New Group), Dan McCabe's ChrisTina Martinez (Juilliard), Susan Soon-He Stanton's Cygnus (Women's Project), BrIan Watkins' Wyoming (Lesser America) and My Daughter Keeps Our Hammer (The Flea), Sarah Gancher's The Place We Built (The Flea), Antoinette Nwandu's Flat Sam (PlayPenn), Shakespeare's Julius Caesar (Atlantic Stage 2/NYU), Anna Moench's In Quietness at Walker Space (Dutch Kills), Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard (Stella Adler), Lucy Teitler's Engagements (Ensemble Studio Theater), I Hate f-ing Mexicans (The Flea) and Shakespeare's The Tempest(NYU/Stella Adler). Translations include Alejandro Ricaño's We Are Getting Better at Saying Goodbye, Luis Enrique Guitierrez Ortiz Monasterio's I Hate f-ing Mexicans, and Ettore Scola's Working on a Special Day. She is a 2014-2016 Time Warner Directing Fellow at Women's Project, a former 2050 fellow at New York Theatre Workshop, an Artist in Residence at Theatre for a New Audience, a member of Ensemble Studio Theater, an Associate Artist at The Flea Theater, New Georges Affiliated Artist and a semi-finalist for the Lange-Taylor prize with Dominic Bracco. She is a frequent volunteer at Covenant House, where she teaches a master class in directing twice a year and has taught theater in Ecuador and Slovakia. Other awards/fellowships include: Van Lier Directing Fellowship; Gates Foundation Grant, Rough Draft Residency at the Drama League and Lincoln Center Directors Lab. BA: Duke University

Photo of Nathan Yungerberg by Monique Carboni


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