Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Modern Day Fable THE GRAVEDIGGER'S LULLABY to Premiere at TACT

TACT has announced that the 2016 - '17 season will continue with the World Premiere of The Gravedigger's Lullaby, a play that arrives on the Mainstage by way of the company's 2015 newTACTics New Play Festival where it was workshopped and developed.

The cast for The Gravedigger's Lullaby includes TACT Company Members Jeremy Beck (She Stoops to Conquer, Widowers' Houses), TEd Koch (Death of a Salesman, Abundance), Todd Lawson (Summer and Smoke, Abundance), and Guest Artist KK Moggie ("The Good Wife"). The design team will include Wilson Chin (scenic), Matthew Richards (lighting), Tracy Christensen (costume), Toby Algya (sound), Will Van Dyke (original music), and Andrew Diaz (props).

The Gravedigger's Lullaby will begin performances at The Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues) on Tuesday February 28th and open on Sunday March 12th for a strictly limited run through Saturday April 1st. The performance runs ninety minutes with no intermission.

Written by TACT company member and Outer Critic Circle and Laurents/ Hatcher Foundation Award winner Jeff Talbott and directed by company member Jenn Thompson, the play tells the seemingly simple story of Baylen, an honest hardworking gravedigger fighting to feed his family in a world that threatens to bury him.

"The Gravedigger's Lullaby is a hauntingly beautiful tale of survival that is as timeless as it is timely," says Evans. "Jeff has managed to create a modern day fable that, like many of the plays TACT presents, speaks across generations, and we believe will touch the hearts and souls of all who come and see it. This is a particularly exciting moment for us. For over six years, we have been developing many wonderful new works for the stage in our newTACTics New Play Development program and we are especially proud that Jeff's stunning play will be the first to have its World Premiere Off-Broadway with TACT."

Jeff Talbott's play The Submission was produced off-Broadway by MCC Theater, won the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for New American Play and was the inaugural recipient of the Laurents/Hatcher Award. Three Rules for the Dragon and A Public Education were both finalists for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference and the former received a workshop in June 2016 at Premiere Stages in New Jersey. His other plays (i, Elliot, All the Stars in the Midnight Sky, and How to Build a City) have received workshops and readings at MCC Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Pioneer Theatre Co., TACT, Crowded Outlet and Route 66. He is currently working on a commission from Montclair University. He writes musicals with composer Will Van Dyke. Their work includes: Imagine Harry (2015 NAMT Festival of New Musicals), Wintersong (Goodspeed's 2016 Johnny Mercer Writers Colony) and the just-completed Seven Broken Hearts. They have released an EP (A View of the River) and a single ("A New Year," recorded by Annaleigh Ashford), both available on iTunes or wherever digital music is sold. Jeff graduated with honors from the Yale School of Drama. Visit www.jefftalbott.com.

Jenn Thompson's work has been seen in NYC and across the country. Her recent production of Women Without Men, for Mint Theatre, has garnered 2016 Lortel and Off-Broadway Alliance Award nominations for Outstanding Revival as well as 5 Drama Desk Award nominations including Outstanding Director and Revival. Jenn, a longtime member of TACT, served as Co-Artistic Director from 2011 to 2015. Her directing credits for the company include productions of Beth Henley's wild west epic Abundance (in its first NYC staging in 25 years, garnering the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Revival); William Inge's gritty urban drama Natural Affection (its first staging in 50 years); Neil Simon's Pulitzer Prize-winning Lost in Yonkers (2012 Drama Desk Nomination for Best Revival of a Play), Vaclav Havel's Kafkaesque satire The Memorandum; Sidney Howard's Depression-era comedy The Late Christopher Bean; Alan Ayckbourn's bittersweet comic romp Bedroom Farce; Tennessee Williams's poetic romance The Eccentricities of a Nightingale (The New York Times - Year in Theater: Top 10 of 2008); as well as Ladies in Retirement; My 3 Angels; Rain; and Kind Lady. Other NYC directing credits include the NYC premiere of Holly Webber's play Pratfalls (Abingdon); the world premiere musical Seeing Stars (NYMF); Badge by Matthew Schneck (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre); The Brilliance of Bernstein (American Musicals Project), and Big Doolie (FringeNYC). She has developed work at MCC, Primary Stages, Mint Theater, Hartford Stage, York Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, The Bridge Theatre, and Rattlestick, among others. Regional credits include: Bye Bye Birdie (Goodspeed Opera House), The Call (TheaterWorks Hartford), Angel Street (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Lost in Yonkers, and Tribes (Barrington Stage Company), Peter & the Starcatcher and The Philadelphia Story (Pioneer Theatre); Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Denver Center Theatre); Grounded (City Theatre), Abundance (Hartford Stage - multiple Connecticut Critics Circle nominations including Outstanding Director and Play); The Syringa Tree (Portland Stage Company); All in the Timing, Noises Off, Barefoot in the Park and Boeing Boeing (Dorset Theatre Festival - where she is a Resident Director), as well as 19 seasons with Connecticut's award-winning River Rep at the Ivoryton Playhouse where she served as Producing Director working on over 50 productions. A 2012 finalist for the SDC's Joe A. Callaway Award, for excellence in New York City directing.

TACT/The Actors Company Theatre is a company of theatre artists that reveals, reclaims, and re-imagines great plays of literary merit, creating an intimate theatre experience for its audience by focusing on the text and the actor's ability to bring it to life. From the beginning, TACT made its reputation with its Concert Performance productions: fully rehearsed presentations stripped down to their essence. Staged in an intimate studio space, these performances (currently known as the Salon Series) feature simple staging, costuming, and lighting, refocusing the emphasis of the drama away from spectacle and production and back to the words and the actor - creating theatre in its purest form. This style grew out of the belief that the true magic of theatre lies in the special connection between the artist, the work of art, and the fully engaged audience. TACT is a resident company of NYC's famed Theatre Row and produces their Mainstage Off-Broadway productions there in the Beckett Theatre. In addition, TACT presents the Salon Series in their studio space at 900 Broadway. Both spaces allow audiences to enjoy an up-close and personal experience with the play and the artists.

Performances, which take place at The Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues), will be Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, with matinees Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 3pm. Special added matinee Wednesday March 29th at 2pm. All tickets are at $64.25, including $2.25 restoration fee.

Tickets are on sale now! To purchase tickets go to Telecharge.com, call 212/239-6200, or visit the Theatre Row Box Office. For more information, visit TACT on the web at tactnyc.org or call 212-645-8228.


Related Articles View More Off-Broadway Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You