Theater Close-Up Presents Broadcast Premieres of SCHOOL GIRLS, ON THE EXHALE, UNCLE VANYA
Theater Close-Up, a unique collaboration between THIRTEEN and New York City-area Off-Broadway and regional theaters, returns with three new episodes Fridays, August 16 and 23 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN and thirteen.org/theatercloseup, featuring a diverse selection of groundbreaking, entertaining plays recorded live on stage, including the broadcast premieres of Jocelyn Bioh's School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (August 16 at 9 p.m.) from MCC Theater, Martín Zimmerman's On the Exhale(August 16 at 10:15 p.m.) from Roundabout Theatre Company, and Anton Chekhov'sUncle Vanya (August 23 at 9 p.m.) from Hunter Theater Project.
"These three plays continue our mission of presenting the diverse array of talent that thrives in New York's rich Off Broadway scene," said David Horn, executive producer ofTheater Close-Up. "We're delighted to bring a dynamic mix of productions to Theater Close-Up, ranging from new works to reinterpretations of classics."
Theater Close-Up: School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play
Premieres Friday, August 16 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN and thirteen.org/theatercloseup
Set in 1986, writer Jocelyn Bioh's play explores colorism in this pointed comedy directed by Tony Award winner Rebecca Taichman ("Indecent") and produced by MCC Theater. The 2018 Lortel Award-winner for Best Play, School Girls examines the universal similarities and glaring differences facing teenage girls across the globe. In this comic tale of bitter reversals, Paulina (MaameYaa Boafo) -the reigning adolescent queen bee at Ghana's most exclusive boarding school-has her heart set on not just competing in the MISS UNIVERSE pageant, but decisively winning it. However, the unexpected appearance of Ericka (Joanna A. Jones), an American transfer student with undeniable talent and beauty, captures the attention of the pageant recruiter along with Paulina's posse of hive-minded friends.
Theater Close-Up: On the Exhale
Premieres Friday, August 16 at 10:15 p.m. on THIRTEEN and thirteen.org/theatercloseup
When a random act of gun violence tears one single mother's world apart, she finds herself caught in the crosshairs of power lost and, very possibly, regained-but at what price? Tony Award nominee Marin Ireland (Sneaky Pete) stars in this gripping new play byMartín Zimmerman. Tony Award nominee Leigh Silverman ("Well," "Violet") directed this 60-minute tour de force world premiere for Roundabout Theatre Company's Roundabout Underground in 2017.
Theater Close-Up: Uncle Vanya
Premieres Friday, August 23 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN and thirteen.org/theatercloseup
In its inaugural production, the Hunter Theater Project presented Anton Chekhov'sUncle Vanya at the Frederick Loewe Theater at Hunter College, directed by playwrightRichard Nelson, and translated by Nelson and renowned Russian literature translators Richard Peyear and Larissa Volokhonsky in their first work to premiere in New York City. Vanya (Jay O. Sanders in his 2019 Drama Desk Award-winning role) and his niece Sonya (Yvonne Woods) struggle to care for the estate owned by Vanya's brother-in-law Alexánder Serebryakóv (Jon DeVries), a wealthy and celebrated professor. When this local legend returns with a beautiful new wife and announces his plans to sell the estate, hidden passions explode and the lives of the entire family come undone.
Theater Close-Up is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Directed by David Horn. For WNET: Mitch Owgang is producer; Bill O'Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer; Neal Shapiro is executive-in-charge. Major support forTheater Close-Up is provided by Bernard and Irene Schwartz, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust and Elaine and W. Weldon Wilson. Additional major support for School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play is provided by The Tow Foundation and the Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust. Additional major support for On the Exhale is provided by Sharon Sullivan and Jeff Kindler. Additional major support for Uncle Vanya is provided by Jody and John Arnhold.
Photo Credit: 2018 Craig Schwartz Photography