Urban Stages to Host Special Post Show Conversations Following Performances of ELEANOR AND ALICE

Performances begin Wednesday, November 16 in advance of its opening night on Sunday, November 20, 2022.

By: Nov. 10, 2022
Urban Stages to Host Special Post Show Conversations Following Performances of ELEANOR AND ALICE

Award-winning Off-Broadway theater, Urban Stages, will host several special post-show conversations following performances of Eleanor and Alice: Conversations Between Two Remarkable Roosevelts by Ellen Abrams and directed by Urban Stages Founder/Artistic Director Frances Hill. Performances begin Wednesday, November 16 in advance of its opening night on Sunday, November 20, 2022. The play will run through December 4, 2022. Tickets can be purchased by visiting urbanstages.org.

Starring Tony Award-Winner Trezana Beverley (Broadway: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf) as Eleanor Roosevelt and Drama Desk Award-Winner

Mary Bacon (Public Theatre's Coal Country) as Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Eleanor and Alice centers on two of the most influential women of the 20th century. Throughout the historical drama, Eleanor and Alice Roosevelt - friends, cousins, and rivals - meet at eight crucial moments over the course of their lives. They feud, laugh, commiserate, and argue over their husbands, children, the nature of politics and the state of the world. One a Democrat and one a Republican, throughout nearly 60 years of meetings they witness a changing world from their own unique vantage points. Through their accomplishments, Eleanor and Alice ultimately help build a foundation that benefits women in politics today.

Post-Show Conversations

Thursday, November 17, 2022: Leading Presidential Historian Jonathan Alter

Jonathan Alter is a bestselling author and Emmy Award-winning television producer. He was a columnist and editor at Newsweek. His most recent book is His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life, published in 2020. He has also written two books about President Obama, and a book about FDR, titled, The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, a New York Times Notable Book. He is a contributing correspondent on NBC and appears frequently on NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC.

Monday, November 21, 2022: Franklin Roosevel III and his wife Grace Roosevelt

Franklin Roosevelt III is the grandson of President Roosevelt. He is a retired American economist, who taught for many years at Sarah Lawrence College and was the chair of the social sciences department. He describes himself as a "radical" or "alternative" economist. He is the author or co-author of 3 books.

Grace Roosevelt taught for 20 years at New York University and was also an Associate Professor of History and Education at Metropolitan College of New York for two decades. She is a co-founder of the New York City chapter of the Living New Deal, and the author of Reading Rousseau in the Nuclear Age and a history of Metropolitan College of New York, Creating a College That Works.

Monday, November 28, 2022: Former Congressman and Author Steve Israel

Steve Israel was an 8-term Democratic Congressman from the 3rd District of New York, and retired, as he likes to say, "undefeated and unindicted. " He was chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He is the inaugural director of the Institute of Politics and Global Affairs at Cornell University. He is the author of two satirical novels about politics, The Global War on Morris, and Big Guns. In 2021, he opened Theodore's Books, an indepen-dent bookstore in Oyster Bay New York, named for famed town resident, Theodore Roosevelt.

Thursday, December 1, 2022: Eminent FDR Historian Geoffrey Ward

Geoffrey Ward is a leading American historian. He has won 7 Emmy Awards, 5 of them in the course of his almost 40-year collaboration with documentarian Ken Burns. A former editor of American Heritage magazine, he is the author of twenty books, including Roosevelts:

An Intimate History and an outstanding two-volume biography of Franklin Roosevelt, Before the Trumpet and A First-Class Temperament

Friday, December 2, 2022: Former New York City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal

Helen Rosenthal served as City Councilwoman for 8 years for Manhattan's 6th District. She also served as an assistant director of the New York City Mayor's Office of Management and Budget, where she managed the city's healthcare budget under mayors Ed Koch, David Dinkins, and Rudy Giuliani. Elected to the City Council in 2013, Helen's vote total in the general election was the highest of any candidate running for City Council in New York City. She was ranked first (tied with Keith Powers) as the top lawmaker on the New York City Council.

Saturday, December 3, 2022 (7:30 PM): Award-Winning Historian Brenda Wineapple

Brenda Wineapple is the author of six outstanding works on American history and literature including, most recently, The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation and Ecstatic Nation: Confidence, Crisis, and Compromise, 1848-1877, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Other subjects have included Emily Dickinson, Gertrude Stein, Jean Genêt, Walt Whitman, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Wineapple has also taught literature and writing at Columbia, the New School, and Sarah Lawrence.

Ellen Abrams' plays have been performed in theaters throughout the East Coast and her short play, Lizzie Borden Gets Engaged, has recently been published by Smith & Kraus. Previously, Eleanor and Alice was performed as an online radio play and as a staged reading at FDR 4 Freedoms Park (Roosevelt Island) through Urban Stages' Outreach program.

The creative team includes Frank J. Oliva (Scenic Designer), John Salutz (Lighting Designer), David Margolin Lawson (Sound Designer), Kim T. Sharp (Video Designer), Fiona Misiura (Production Stage Manager), Kate Gavin (Assistant Stage Manager), Sylvia Haber, Perpetuart (Graphic Design) and more to be announced.

The Urban Stages team includes Frances Hill (Artistic Director), Antoinette Mullins (Development & Literary Director), Olga Devyatisilnaya (Company Manager/Financial Administrator),

Ilanna Saltzman (Outreach Director), Bara Swain (Creative Consultant), Deirdre M. Cossman (Marketing), and Disnie Sebastien (Social Media).


Ellen Abrams'

(Playwright) play Eleanor and Alice was presented as an hour-long reading on Roosevelt Island in June 2022 and was produced as a radio play by Urban Stages in March 2021. Her play, An Inconvenient Princess, has been workshopped twice with Urban Stages Theatre, in 2021 and 2022; Her short play Bernie and Carlo Play Canasta received an Honorable Mention from Broadway On-Demand's first video competition in 2021. Her short plays Lizzie Borden Gets Engaged and Liars Anonymous were produced by Barrington Stage in March of 2021 and 2022, respectively. Her full-length work, Intentions, was a semi-finalist at the O'Neill Theatre Festival. Two of her short plays, Hamlet Investigations, Inc. and Lizzie Borden Gets Engaged, have been published by Smith and Kraus, and her full-length play, Giving, was published by Next Stage Press. Her play for high school students, Take a Seat, has been published by Big Dog Publishing.

Frances Hill

(Director & Urban Stages Founding/Artistic Director) began her theatrical career in California as an actress. Since 1983, Ms. Hill has overseen more than 600 staged readings/workshops and 90 productions of new works for the stage. She has directed over 30 workshops and productions. Her favorite directing credits include: Gino DiIorio's Apostasy, Roma Greth's Our Summer Days, Jim Lehrer's Chili Queen, (directed at Urban Stages and the Kennedy Center), John Picardi's Seven Rabbits on a Pole and The Sweepers (directed at Urban Stages and Capital Rep); Comfort Women by Chungmi Kim (Urban Stages 2004), 27 Rue De Fleurs, My Occasion of Sin, Mabel Madness and Dogs of Rwanda. Two of her plays have been produced-Our Bench and Life Lines. Under the guidance of Ms. Hill, Playwrights' Preview Productions/Urban Stages has moved two plays into commercial Off-Broadway successes: Minor Demons opened the new Century Center Theater and Men on the Verge of His-Panic Breakdown won an Outer Critic's Circle Award while playing to capacity audiences at the 47th Street Theater. Urban Stages' African American Poets as Playwrights won eight Audelco Nominations, and Coyote On a Fence received two Drama Desk nominations and a Pilgrim's Project Award. Eisa Davis's Bulrusher was one of three plays nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. A 2010 production of Langston in Harlem won several Drama Desk nominations, a John Calloway Award, and several Audelco nominations, including a win for best music production of the year (2010), along with several other awards. Character Man by Jim Brochu (2014) was nominated for a Drama Desk, and Outer Critic's Circle Award and Mabel Madness by Trezana Beverley (2016) was nominated for an Audelco Award.


is an award-winning, not-for-profit, Off-Broadway Theatre Company founded in 1984 by current Artistic Director Frances Hill. For over 35 years, Urban Stages has produced dozens of world, American, and N.Y. premieres, including Pulitzer Prize finalist Bulrusher (2007) by Eisa Davis. We have been honored with awards, nominations, and recognition from the Drama Desk, Obie Awards, Audelco, Outer Critics Circle, and more. Plays produced at Urban Stages also often move on to larger venues and/or publication. Charmed Life from Soul Singing to Opera Star by Lori Brown Mirabal (2021) and Bars and Measures by Idris Goodwin (2019) were critically acclaimed. Death of a Driver (2019) by Will Snider went on to a regional production at The Salt Lake Acting Company. In our 2017/18 season, A Deal by Zhu Yi (made its world premiere at Urban Stages) toured China, and Dogs of Rwanda by Sean Christopher Lewis (which made its New York premiere at Urban Stages) toured regionally. Other notable productions include the world premiere of the musical Langston In Harlem by Walter Marks (music and book) and Kent Gash (book and direction) garnered a Drama Desk nomination, a Joe A. Calloway Award, and 4 Audelco awards including Best Musical Production of 2010. Critically acclaimed hits Mabel Madness by Tony-winner Trezana Beverley (2016), Communion by Daniel MacIvor (2016), and Angry Young Man by Ben Woolf (2017), which transferred to the John Drew Theatre at Guild Hall in East Hampton, have premiered at Urban Stages. In addition, Unseamly, by Oren Safdie (2015), was a New York Times Critics' Pick. Jim Brochu's Character Man (2014) was nominated for a Drama Desk, and an Outer Critics Circle award for Best Solo Performance, and Honky (2013) by Greg Kalleres saw a regional run at San Diego Rep and was televised nationally on PBS in late 2015. 1996's Men on The Verge of A His-panic Breakdown by Guillermo Reyes and Minor Demons by Bruce Graham both moved to commercial theatres.

Chili Queen, a play by newscaster Jim Lehrer, transferred to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (1989). My Occasion of Sin (2012) by Monica Bauer won critical acclaim when it moved to Detroit Rep. Bill Bowers has toured regionally and internationally with his two Urban Stages premieres, blending mime and theatre -

Beyond Words (2012) and Under a Montana Moon (2002)! Some Urban Stages premieres have even been developed into film and television projects, such as Scar by Murray Mednick, Conversations with The Goddesses by Agapi Stassinopoulos, and Cotton Mary by Alexandra Viets. In addition to plays and musicals, we hold an annual music festival - Winter Rhythms - that features both famous and rising cabaret musicians, lyricists, and other music artists. In 2016, Winter Rhythms was honored with the Bistro Award for Outstanding Series, and in 2015, it received the Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Series M.A.C. Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs.