Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Playwrights Horizons Offering $5 Lottery for BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE

Playwrights Horizons begins accepting entries today, Monday, May 8 at 12 Noon, for the LIVEforFIVE online lottery for $5 tickets to their world premiere production of BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE, a new musical with book, music and lyrics by Obie Award winner Kirsten Childs (The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin at Playwrights, Miracle Brothers).

Directed by two-time Obie Award winner Robert O'Hara (Bootycandy at Playwrights, Barbecue, In the Continuum, The Brother/Sister Plays) with choreography by Camille A. Brown (The Fortress of Solitude), the musical is the sixth and final production of the theater company's 2016/2017 Season.

The LIVEforFIVE lottery for BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE will be for tickets to the first preview on Friday evening, May 19 at 8PM at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street). The production has an Opening Night set for Monday, June 12 at 7PM and will play a limited engagement through Sunday, July 2.

Celebrating 10 years, LIVEforFIVE was created by Playwrights Horizons in 2007 as part of their Arts Access program to reach out to those who may not be able to afford the cost of a full-price theater ticket. The ticketing initiative makes a limited number of $5 tickets available for the first preview performance of each Playwrights Horizons production through a lottery via the company's website ( In the past decade, over 2,000 theatergoers have been able to attend the theater thanks to the LIVEforFIVE initiative.

Details for the LIVEforFIVE lottery are as follows: beginning today, Monday, May 8 at 12 Noon, theatergoers can enter the lottery by filling out an entry form at Entries will be accepted until Thursday, May 11 at 12 Noon. Winners of the lottery will be notified via email no later than 3PM on Thursday, May 11 with instructions on how to book their $5 tickets. Unclaimed tickets will be offered via email to a limited standby list starting at 12 Noon on Friday, May 12 on a first-come, first-served basis. One or two tickets may be purchased by winners for $5 each.

The cast of BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE will feature Marinda Anderson (A Life, Far From Heaven at Playwrights; Every Good Girl, Sex of the Baby), Yurel Echezarreta (Bella... at Dallas Theatre Center, Aladdin, La Cage aux Folles, West Side Story, Matilda), Brandon Gill (Holler if Ya Hear Me, Neighbors, "Golden Boy"), Olli Haaskivi (Baghdaddy, I Battled Lenny Ross, Saturday Night, "Mr. Robot"), Ashley D. Kelley (title role in Bella... at Dallas Theatre Center, regionally as Dorothy/The Wiz, Mama Morton/Chicago, Mazeppa/Gypsy, Nell Carter/Ain't Misbehavin'), Kevin Massey (A Gentleman's Guide..., Tarzan, Memphis, Big River), Jo'Nathan Michael (tours of Ragtime, Dreamgirls, The Color Purple, Fame), Drama Desk Award and Audelco Award winner Kenita R. Miller (Bella... at Dallas Theatre Center, The Color Purple, Xanadu, Avenue Q, Encores! The Wild Party), Paolo Montalban (Bella... at Dallas Theatre Center, Pacific Overtures, The King and I, Cinderella, "The Blacklist," "Madam Secretary"), Gabrielle Reyes (Bella... at Dallas Theatre Center, regionally in Dreamgirls, Ragtime, Distracted, Clybourne Park), Britton Smith (Shuffle Along, After Midnight, Fortress of Solitude, Encores! The Wild Party,) and NaTasha Yvette Williams (Chicago, Porgy and Bess, The Color Purple, Show Boat).

All aboard for a Western musical adventure the likes of which you've never experienced. As a wanted woman of mythic proportions looks to begin life anew out west, Bella (Ms. Kelley) takes us on the trip of a lifetime to escape her scandalous past and bounce into the arms of her awaiting Buffalo Soldier (Mr. Smith). Rowdy, wild, and hilarious, Kirsten Childs infuses this tall tale with soulful tunes and madcap antics aplenty. Giddy-up to our get-down!

The production will feature scenic design by Tony Award winner Clint Ramos, costume design by Dede M. Ayite, lighting design by four-time Tony Award nominee Japhy Weideman, sound design by Lindsay Jones, projection design by Jeff Sugg and hair, wig and makeup design by Dave Bova and J. Jared Janas. Orchestrations are by Tony Award winner Daryl Waters, vocal arrangements are by Kirsten Childs, music direction and additional arrangements are by Rona Siddiqui and music coordinator is John Miller. Production stage manager is Erin Gioia Albrecht.

BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE was commissioned, developed and produced through the Playwrights Horizons Musicals in Partnership Initiative, with leadership support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This world premiere production had an initial run at Dallas Theater Center last fall.

The performance schedule for BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE will be Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7PM, Thursdays and Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2:30 & 8PM and Sundays at 2:30 & 7:30 PM. Single tickets, $59-89, may be purchased online via and, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily) and in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).

Also reflecting Playwrights Horizons' ongoing commitment to making its productions more affordable to younger audiences, the theater company will offer HOTtix, $30 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before showtime, to patrons aged 30 and under. Proof of age required. One ticket per person, per purchase. Cash only.

LIVEforFIVE and HOTtix are two of Playwrights Horizons' popular Arts Access initiatives, which allow the institution to reach out to those who may not be able to afford the cost of a full-price theater ticket. This program is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, McGraw Hill Financial and an anonymous Individual Donor.

Playwrights Horizons recently announced its 2017/2018 Season, which will feature (in season order): FOR PETER PAN ON HER 70th BIRTHDAY, the New York premiere of a new play by two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award nominee Sarah Ruhl, directed by Obie Award winner Les Waters, featuring three-time Obie Award winner Kathleen Chalfant in the title role, David Chandler, Ron Crawford, two-time Obie Award winner Lisa Emery, Tony Award nominee Daniel Jenkins and Keith Reddin (August 2017); THE TREASURER, the world premiere of a Playwrights Horizons commissioned new play by Max Posner, directed by three-time Lortel Award winner David Cromer (September 2017); MANKIND, the world premiere of a Playwrights Horizons commissioned new play written and directed by two-time Obie Award winner Robert O'Hara (December 2017); THIS FLAT EARTH, the world premiere of a new play by Lindsey Ferrentino, directed by Rebecca Taichman (March 2018); DANCE NATION, the world premiere of a new play by Obie Award winner Clare Barron, directed by Obie Award winner Lee Sunday Evans (April 2018); and LOG CABIN, the world premiere of a new play by Pulitzer Prize finalist JorDan Harrison, directed by Tony Award and Obie Award winner Pam MacKinnon (June 2018).


Kirsten Childs (Book, Music and Lyrics). At Playwrights Horizons: The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin. Her other musicals include Miracle Brothers (Vineyard Theatre), Fly (with Rajiv Joseph and Bill Sherman) and Funked Up Fairy Tales. For her work she has received Obie, Kleban, Larson, Richard Rodgers, Audelco, and Gilman/Gonzalez-Falla awards, as well as Lortel and Drama Desk nominations. She recently collaborated with Charlayne Woodard on the musical Grace for Inner Voices: Solo Musicals. Kirsten has written for Disney Theatricals, the American Songbook series at Lincoln Center, the New Electric Company, Works and Process at the Guggenheim Museum and City Center Encores! She is a professor in NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, a member of both the Dramatists Guild Council and the Dramatists Guild Fund, and is proud to be a mentor in Theatre Development Fund's Open Doors program.

Robert O'Hara (Director). At Playwrights Horizons: Bootycandy (writer and director), next season's Mankind. He has received the NAACP Best Director Award, the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, two Obie Awards and the Oppenheimer Award. He directed the world premieres of Nikkole Salter and Danai Gurira's In the Continuum, Tarell McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays (Part 2), Colman Domingo's Wild with Happy as well as his own plays, Bootycandy and Insurrection: Holding History. His new plays Zombie: The American and Barbecue world premiered last season at Woolly Mammoth Theater and The Public Theater, respectively.

Camille A. Brown (Choreographer). Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway: A Streetcar Named Desire. Off-Broadway/New York: Fortress of Solitude (Public Theatre, Lortel Award nomination), The Box (Foundry Theatre), Encores! productions of Cabin in the Sky and tick, tick...BOOM! starring Lin-Manuel Miranda. Regional: Bella: An American Tall Tale, Stagger Lee (Dallas Theatre Center); The Winter's Tale (McCarter Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company); Blood Quilt (Arena Stage). Upcoming: the Broadway revivals of Once on This Island (December 2017) and Pal Joey (Spring 2019) and the world premiere of her new work Ink at The Kennedy Center (December 2017).

Marinda Anderson (Aunt Dinah/Ida Lou Simpson). Playwrights: A Life, Far From Heaven. Off-Broadway: Sex of the Baby (Access Theater), Macbeth (Lincoln Center Interactive Theatre), Obama-ology (The Juilliard School). Regional: Airness (Humana), A Doll's House (Huntington), Three Sisters (PlayMakers Repertory), Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill (Berkshire Theatre Award nominee, Outstanding Female Performance), Intimate Apparel (Dorset Theatre Festival), Fairfield (Cleveland Play House). TV: "Horace and Pete," "Gotham." BFA: Howard University MFA: NYU Graduate Acting Program.

Yurel Echezarreta (Diego Moreno/CP Conyers). Playwrights debut. Broadway: West Side Story, La Cage aux Folles, Matilda, Aladdin. Regional: Bella (Dallas Theater Center). Film: The Last Five Years. TV: "Odd Mom Out." @yurele

Brandon Gill (Nathaniel Beckworth). Playwrights debut. Broadway: Holler If Ya Hear Me. Off-Broadway: Neighbors (The Public). Regional: Stagger Lee (Dallas Theater Center), The Last Goodbye (Old Globe), Superior Donuts (Pittsburgh Public). Film: Radium Girls, Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Foreclosure. TV: "Redliners," "Blue Bloods," "Golden Boy," "Beauty and the Beast," "House of Cards," "Do No Harm," "Detroit 187," "Law & Order: SVU." Graduate of The Juilliard School.

Olli Haaskivi (Gabriel Conyers/Scooter). Playwrights debut. Off-Broadway: Baghdaddy (Actors Temple), Saturday Night (York Theatre), I Battled Lenny Ross (EST). Film: Freak Show, The Funeral Guest, From Nowhere, The Lennon Report, plus the forthcoming Nancy, Who We Are Now, and Karens Unanimous, which he is co-writing with Joseph Medeiros, to be directed by Maria Dizzia. Television: "Mr. Robot," "Z: The Beginning of Everything," "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," "Odd Mom Out," "The Blacklist," "Difficult People," "Boardwalk Empire."

Ashley D. Kelley (Bella). Playwrights debut. Regional: Bella (Dallas Theater Center); The Wiz, Head Over Heels, Twelfth Night (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Film: American Hustle, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. @ashleydkelley

Kevin Massey (Snaggletooth Hoskins/Bonny Johnny). Playwrights debut. Broadway: A Gentleman's Guide..., Memphis, Tarzan, Deaf West's Big River. NYCO: Antony & Cleopatra. Europe: Tarzan, Grease. Regional/Tour: A Gentleman's Guide... (first national tour), Little House on the Prairie (first national tour, Paper Mill, Guthrie), Three Musketeers (Chicago Shakespeare), Bonnie & Clyde (Asolo Rep), Pippin (Utah Shakespeare and Kansas City Rep), Les Misérables (Skylight Music Theater), Footloose (MUNY). UNC Morehead-Cain Scholar. @kcmassey1

Jo'Nathan Michael (Mr. Dinwiddie/Scumbucket). Playwrights Horizons debut. Regional: Dreamgirls (Jimmy Early) West Side Story (Pepe). National tours: The Color Purple (Male Swing), Ragtime (Booker T. Washington u/s), Dreamgirls (Jimmy Early). International Tours: Fame in China (Tyrone Jackson), Grease in Istanbul (Ensemble).

Kenita R. Miller (Miss Cabbagestalk/Mama).Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway: The Color Purple, Xanadu. Off-Broadway: Working (Prospect Theater Company), Langston in Harlem (Urban Stages). Regional: Bella (Dallas Theater Center), The Revolutionists (Cincinnati Playhouse), Once on This Island (Paper Mill Playhouse). TV: "The Blacklist," "Shades of Blue," "Hostages." Twitter: @miller_kenita / Instagram: minanina81

Paolo Montalban (Tommie Haw/Skeeter). Playwrights debut. Broadway: Breakfast at Tiffany's, Pacific Overtures, The King & I. Off-Broadway: The Romance of Magno Rubio (Ma-Yi), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Delacorte). Regional: The Orphan of Zhao (ACT), The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Denver Center), A Little Night Music (ACT), Bella (Dallas Theater Center). Film: Just Wright, The Great Raid, American Adobo. TV: "Cinderella," "Mortal Kombat: Conquest," "Madam Secretary," "The Blacklist," "SVU," "Nurse Jackie." Rutgers Psychology degree. Tweet: @paolomontalban

Gabrielle Reyes (Mrs. Dinwiddie/Nurse). Playwrights debut. Regional: Dreamgirls, A Christmas Carol (Dallas Theater Center). Film: Yes, We're Open; You People; Driving While Black; Godbox. TV: "Mad Men," "Scandal," "The Whitney Houston Story," "Aquarius," "Switched at Birth." BFA: The University of Oklahoma. @gabriellevreyes

Britton Smith (Aloysius T. Honeycutt). Playwrights debut. Broadway: Shuffle Along, After Midnight. Off-Broadway: The Fortress of Solitude, Wild Goose Dreams (The Public); The Wild Party, Cotton Club Parade (NYC Encores!). 2017 AEA Mountain Top Award Recipient. 2016 Department of Cultural Affairs Artist in Residence. Teaching Artist with Hunts Point Alliance For Children, BCC, and Hostos Community College. BFA Musical Theater Pace University 2012.

NaTasha Yvette Williams (Grandma/Spirit of the Booty). Playwrights debut. Broadway: Chicago, A Night with Janis Joplin, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, The Color Purple. Lincoln Center: Dessa Rose, Showboat (also PBS), Ragtime Concert. Off-Broadway: Storyville. TV credits: "Orange Is the New Black," "Odd Mom Out," "The Wendy Williams Show," "The Wiz! Live." @natashayvettewilliams

Playwrights Horizons is dedicated to cultivating the most important American Playwrights, composers and lyricists, as well as developing and producing their bold new plays and musicals. Under Artistic Director Tim Sanford and Managing Director Leslie Marcus, Playwrights builds upon its diverse and renowned body of work, counting 400 writers among its artistic roster. In addition to its onstage work each season, Playwrights' singular commitment to nurturing American theater artists guides all of the institution's multifaceted initiatives: our acclaimed New Works Lab, a robust commissioning program, an innovative curriculum at its Theater School and more. Playwrights has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including six Pulitzer Prizes, 13 Tony Awards and 39 Obie Awards. Prior artistic directors include André Bishop and Don Scardino. Robert Moss founded Playwrights Horizons in 1971 and oversaw its first decade, cementing the mission that continues to guide the institution today.

Notable productions include six Pulitzer Prize winners - Annie Baker's The Flick (2013 Obie Award, 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park (2012 Tony Award, Best Play), Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles (1989 Tony Award, Best Play), Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George - as well as Ms. Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation (three 2010 Obie Awards including Best New American Play); Lisa D'Amour's Detroit (2013 Obie Award, Best New American Play); Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale (2013 Lortel Award, Best Play); Kirsten Greenidge's Milk Like Sugar (2012 Obie Award); JorDan Harrison's Marjorie Prime (2015 Pulitzer finalist); Lucas Hnath's The Christians (2016 Obie Award, 2016 Outer Critics Circle Award, 2015 Kesselring Prize); Robert O'Hara's Bootycandy (two 2015 Obie Awards); Adam Bock's A Life and A Small Fire; Taylor Mac's Hir; Danai Gurira's Familiar; Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns, a post-electric play; Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss and Dead Man's Cell Phone; Gina Gionfriddo's Rapture, Blister, Burn; Dan LeFranc's The Big Meal; Amy Herzog's The Great God Pan and After the Revolution; Bathsheba Doran's Kin; Edward Albee's Me, Myself & I; Melissa James Gibson's This (2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist); Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens (three 2007 Tony Awards); Craig Lucas's Prayer For My Enemy and Small Tragedy (2004 Obie Award, Best American Play); Adam Rapp's Kindness; Lynn Nottage's Fabulation (2005 Obie Award for Playwriting); Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero; David Greenspan's She Stoops to Comedy (2003 Obie Award); Kirsten Childs's The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (2000 Obie Award); Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey's James Joyce's The Dead (2000 Tony Award, Best Book); Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins; William Finn's March of the Falsettosand Falsettoland; Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You; Richard Nelson's Goodnight Children Everywhere; Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's Once on This Island; Jon Robin Baitz's The Substance of Fire; Scott McPherson's Marvin's Room; A.R. Gurney's Later Life; Adam Guettel and Tina Landau's Floyd Collins; and Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet.

Regional Awards

More Hot Stories For You

KING LEAR to Open at Stag & Lion Theatre Company TonightKING LEAR to Open at Stag & Lion Theatre Company Tonight
September 29, 2022

STAG & LION Theatre Company will present King Lear at the Trinity Theatre. A story as much about politics and power as it is about old age and family resonates today as it did then. Performances begin September 29th and run Thursday-Saturday at 7pm until October 15th with 3pm matinees on Sunday, October 2 and 9, 2022.

HELLFIGHTERS ON A LATIN BEAT to Kick Off Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater's 2022-23 Mainstage SeasonHELLFIGHTERS ON A LATIN BEAT to Kick Off Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater's 2022-23 Mainstage Season
September 29, 2022

 Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater’s 2022-23 Mainstage Season will kick off with a new staging of Harlem Hellfighters on a Latin Beat, a rousing Latinx musical play developed under the leadership of award-winning director and dramaturg Rosalba Rolón and composer Desmar Guevara.

Red Bull Theater to Kick Off New Season of Revelation Readings With THE RELAPSE in OctoberRed Bull Theater to Kick Off New Season of Revelation Readings With THE RELAPSE in October
September 29, 2022

RED BULL THEATER has announced the kick-off of a new season of in-person OBIE Award-winning Revelation Readings, beginning with The Relapse by John Vanbrugh, directed by Marc Vietor. This event will premiere LIVE, in person, at Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater at Symphony Space at 7:30 PM ET on October 24th.

New York Theatre Workshop MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG Adds Krystal Joy Brown, Katie Rose Clarke And MoreNew York Theatre Workshop MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG Adds Krystal Joy Brown, Katie Rose Clarke And More
September 29, 2022

New York Theatre Workshop has announced full casting for Merrily We Roll Along. Featuring music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, a book by George Furth, and based on the original play by George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart, Merrily We Roll Along is directed by Olivier Award winner Maria Friedman and choreographed by Tim Jackson.

Casting Announced For The 2nd Annual Black Motherhood And Parenting New Play FestivalCasting Announced For The 2nd Annual Black Motherhood And Parenting New Play Festival
September 29, 2022

Parent Artist Advocacy League (PAAL) and Blackboard Plays have announced the casting for the 2nd Annual Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival, taking place virtually from October 20 - November 14, 2022.