One Week Extension Announced For CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS At Signature Theatre

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A one-week extension has been announced today for the Signature Theatre (Paige Evans, Artistic Director; Harold Wolpert, Executive Director; James Houghton, Founder) production of Curse of the Starving Class by Sam Shepard and directed by Tony Award nominee Terry Kinney. The production will now run April 23 to June 2, 2019 with a Monday, May 13 opening night in The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues).

Additionally, Signature Theatre will host several special events at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues) in conjunction with its run of Curse of the Starving Class.

Signature Spotlight Series

The Signature Spotlight Series will present talkbacks and behind-the-scenes programs in connection with Signature Theatre's productions of Curse of the Starving Class. Signature Spotlight Series is sponsored by American Express.

Director Terry Kinney will participate in a free pre-show discussion on Thursday, May 2. Talkbacks with members of the cast and creative team for this production will also take place following the performances on April 30, May 16, May 23 and May 30.

Accessible Performances

Signature Theatre is committed to providing an enjoyable theatre-going experience for all patrons. The Pershing Square Signature Center is wheelchair accessible. In addition, Signature Theatre provides assisted listening devices and offers open caption and audio described performances during the season. For Curse of the Starving Class, the Audio Described Performance is on May 18 at 2:00pm and the Open Caption performance is on May 19 at 2:00pm.

The cast of Curse of the Starving Class includes Lizzy DeClement ("New Amsterdam") as Emma, Flora Diaz ("Gotham") as Malcolm, Gilles Geary ("The I-Land") as Wesley, Esau Pritchett ("The Night Of") as Ellis, Andrew Rothenberg ("The Walking Dead") as Taylor, Maggie Siff ("Billions") as Ella, David Warshofsky (Taken) as Weston.

The creative team includes Julian Crouch (Scenic Design), Sarah J. Holden (Costume Design), Natasha Katz (Lighting Design), Rob Milburn & Michael Bodeen (Sound Design & Original Music), William Berloni (Animals) and Peter Pucci (Movement Director). The Production Stage Manager is Robert Bennett and Casting is by Caparelliotis Casting.

This new production of Curse of the Starving Class, directed by Terry Kinney, honors Pulitzer Prize-winning Legacy Playwright Sam Shepard, who passed away in 2017. Living a stagnant, unhappy existence in rural California, the struggling Tate family is desperate for change, but every family member has a different way of trying to improve their station in life. Last produced in NYC by Signature more than 20 years ago, Curse of the Starving Class was called a play of "eloquent intensity, whirlwind farce and resonantly poignant insight" by Time Magazine.

The groundbreaking Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access is a program that guarantees affordable tickets to every Signature production through 2031. This spring, Signature will offer its millionth subsidized ticket through the Signature Ticket Initiative. Serving as a model for theatres and performing arts organizations across the country, the Initiative was founded in 2005 and is made possible by lead partner The Pershing Square Foundation with additional support provided by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, Margot Adams, The SHS Foundation, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Unlikely Collaborators, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

2018-19 SEASON OVERVIEW

RESIDENCY 1: Lynn Nottage

Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine

By Lynn Nottage

Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz

Final Performance Played January 13, 2019

The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage (Sweat, Ruined) begins her Residency 1 at Signature with Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine, directed by Obie Award-winner Lileana Blain-Cruz. This satirical tale follows successful African-American publicist Undine as she stumbles down the social ladder after her husband steals her hard-earned fortune.

Broke and now pregnant, Undine is forced to return to her childhood home in the Brooklyn projects, where she must face the challenges of the life she left behind. Featuring "punchy social insights and the firecracker snap of unexpected humor" (The New York Times), Fabulation reveals how difficult it is to outrun where we come from.

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

By Lynn Nottage

Directed by Kamilah Forbes

Final Performance Played March 10, 2019

The Irene Diamond Stage

It's the Golden Age of Hollywood, and aspiring starlet Vera Stark works as a maid to Gloria Mitchell, an aging star grasping at her fading career. Worlds collide when Vera lands a trailblazing role in an antebellum epic starring...her boss. While Vera's portrayal of a slave turns out to be groundbreaking, decades later scholars and film buffs still grapple with the actress' legacy in Hollywood and the impact that race had on her controversial career.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage's fast-paced, sly satire, directed by Kamilah Forbes, will take you on a seventy-year journey through Vera's life and the cultural climate that originally shaped her and continues today.

RESIDENCY 5: Dave Malloy

Octet

Music, Lyrics, Book, and Vocal Arrangement by Dave Malloy

Directed by Annie Tippe

April 30 - June 9, 2019

The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre

Three-time Tony Award-nominee Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) begins his residency as Signature's first musical theatre writer with the world premiere musical Octet, directed by Annie Tippe (Ghost Quartet).

Featuring a score for an a cappella chamber choir and an original libretto inspired by internet comment boards, scientific debates, religious texts, and Sufi poetry, Octet explores addiction and nihilism within the messy context of 21st century technology.

Special thanks to Time Warner Foundation, Inc., The Michael and Betty Rauch Fund for Residency 5, and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for supporting the Residency 5 Program.

LEGACY PROGRAM: Will Eno

Thom Pain (based on nothing)

By Will Eno

Directed by Oliver Butler

Final Performance Played December 9, 2018

The Irene Diamond Stage

Drama Desk Award-winner Will Eno, the first writer to complete the Residency 5 program, returned to Signature for his first Legacy production with Thom Pain (based on nothing), directed by Oliver Butler (Obie and Lortel Award-winning The Open House). The production starred Golden Globe Award-winner Michael C. Hall ("Dexter," "Six Feet Under," The Realistic Joneses).

Called "a small masterpiece" by The New York Times and "one of the best monologues I've ever seen" by The Guardian, this surreal and very real one-man show follows Thom Pain as he desperately, and hilariously, tries to save his own life...or at least make it into something worth dying for.

LEGACY PROGRAM: Athol Fugard

Boesman and Lena

By Athol Fugard

Directed by Yaël Farber

Final Performance Played March 24, 2019

The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre

Legacy playwright Athol Fugard has made a home at Signature since being the inaugural Residency 1 playwright at the Center, and his South African-set stories, with themes of complex identities, racial tension, and social protest, remain as relevant as ever.

In this new production of the "prophetic and brilliant" (The New York Times) Boesman and Lena, the human need for kindness, hope and compassion is on display in the struggles of abusive Boesman and his long-suffering wife Lena, who encounter a stranger while wandering the South African wastelands.

LEGACY PROGRAM: Sam Shepard

Curse of the Starving Class

By Sam Shepard

Directed by Terry Kinney

April 23 - June 2, 2019

The Irene Diamond Stage

This new production of Curse of the Starving Class, directed by Terry Kinney, honors Pulitzer Prize-winning Legacy Playwright Sam Shepard, who passed away in 2017. Living a stagnant, unhappy existence in rural California, the struggling Tate family is desperate for change, but every family member has a different way of trying to improve their station in life. Last produced in NYC by Signature more than 20 years ago, Curse of the Starving Class was called a play of "eloquent intensity, whirlwind farce and resonantly poignant insight" by Time Magazine.

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