Vineyard Theatre Announces THIS LAND WAS MADE by Tori Sampson

By: Jul. 23, 2018

Vineyard Theatre Announces THIS LAND WAS MADE by Tori Sampson

Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern announce casting for Vineyard Theatre's Developmental Lab production of Tori Sampson's THIS LAND WAS MADE, directed by Whitney White. Vineyard's Developmental Labs allow a playwright and director to explore a work-in-progress on its feet in collaboration with a full creative team, and include staging and design elements. Presentations are Thursday, July 26 - Saturday, July 28 at Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street).

Patrons who become a Vineyard Member by July 25 receive priority seating; limited seating for the general public will be available on a first-come, first-served basis by calling 212-353-0303, emailing, or at

The cast of THIS LAND WAS MADE includes James T. Alfred ("Empire"), Lauren E. Banks (WAR), McKinley Belcher III ("Mercy Street"), Jessica Frances Dukes (IS GOD IS), Sean Patrick Higgins (A CLOCKWORK ORANGE), Julian Elijah Martinez (ALLIGATOR), Jon Orsini (FISH IN THE DARK), Carra Patterson (JITNEY), Namir Smallwood (PASS OVER), and Austin Smith (HAMILTON).

Liberation. Peace. Love. Self-Defense. Oakland in 1967 was a powder keg of social activism ready to boil over into radical action. For patrons of Miss Trish's bar, it's all just talking points - until the full, seductive and explosive force of revolution walks through the door. Tori is a 2017-18 Playwrights' Center Jerome Fellow in Minneapolis and the Kennedy Center's 2016 Paula Vogel Playwright. A recent graduate of the Yale School of Drama, THIS LAND WAS MADE marks her New York debut.

Performance schedule: Thursday, July 26 at 7:00pm; Friday, July 27 at 4:00pm; Saturday, July 28 at 3:00pm & 8:00pm. A panel discussion on social justice activism with special guest Hawk Newsome, president of Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, will take place following the matinee performance on Saturday, July 28.

Tori Sampson (Playwright) A native of Boston, Tori's plays include IF PRETTY HURTS UGLY MUST BE A MUHFUCKA (Playwrights Horizons, 2019) and CADILLAC CREW (Yale Repertory Theater, 2019). Her plays have been developed at Great Plains Theatre Conference, Berkeley Repertory Theatre's The Ground Floor residency program, Victory Garden's IGNITION Festival of New Plays, Playwrights Foundation, and Ubuntu Festival. Tori is a 2017-18 Playwrights' Center Jerome Fellow and a 2018-19 Mcknight Fellow. Two of her plays appeared on the 2017 Kilroys List. Her awards and honors include the 2016 Relentless Award, Honorable Mention; the 2016 Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting from The Kennedy Center; the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, Second Place; the Alliance Theatre's 2017 Kendeda Prize, Finalist; the 2018 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Finalist. Tori is currently working on commissions from Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Atlantic Theater Company. She holds a BS in sociology from Ball State University and an MFA in playwriting from Yale School of Drama.

Whitney White (Director) is a director, musician, and actor. Recent work: OTHELLO (Trinity Rep), BLOOD WEDDING (Atlantic Theatre Co/NYU), FREEDOM RIDERS (NYMF), MACBETH IN STRIDE (Miami Theater Center). As Associate Director: MARVIN'S ROOM (Broadway), IF I FORGET (Roundabout). Upcoming: RITA TAMBIEN RITA (Julliard), Aleshea Harris' WHAT TO SEND UP (The Movement), THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES (Atlantic Theatre, Associate Director). Whitney was the inaugural Roundabout Directing Fellow and is currently a 2050 Fellow at the New York Theatre Workshop. This year she will be in residency at Ars Nova as part of their 2018 Makers Lab, and at The Drama League as part of their Next Wave Residency where she is developing an African American production of Anton Chekhov's THREE SISTERS set to original music. MFA Acting: Brown University/Trinity Rep, BA: Northwestern University.

HAWK NEWSOME has engaged in protests and activities to combat injustice. Over the past few years, he has worked tirelessly leading protests and seeking justice for the families of those slain by overzealous police officers. He is the founder of Black Lives Matter Greater NY, and has not only helped victims of police brutality, but works with members of LGBT community, victims of human trafficking, the mental health community, founded Black Lives Caucus, lectured students and expanded BLM Greater NY to multiple New York City charter schools.

Memberships are now on sale for The Vineyard's 2018-2019 Season and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 212-353-0303. Becoming a member ensures great seats to all Vineyard productions for a fraction of the full ticket price. Other privileges include the ability to reserve seats before tickets go on sale to the general public, discounted guest tickets, invitations to new play readings and Developmental Labs, REBEL VERSES, and other exclusive benefits.

The Vineyard's upcoming 2018-2019 Season includes The New York premiere of Ngozi Anyanwu's GOOD GRIEF, directed by Awoye Timpo, opening the season this fall. In winter 2019, The Vineyard and The New Group will co-produce the world premiere of Jeremy O. Harris' "Daddy" directed by Danya Taymor, featuring Alan Cumming. The final production of the season in spring 2019 will be the New York premiere of DO YOU FEEL ANGER? by Mara Nelson-Greenberg, directed by Margot Bordelon. GOOD GRIEF and DO YOU FEEL ANGER? will be presented at Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street) and the co-production of "Daddy" will be presented in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street).

Vineyard Theatre is an Off-Broadway theatre company dedicated to developing and producing bold new plays and musicals by both emerging and established artists. The theater is committed to creating an artistic home for daring and diverse artists and to nurturing their unique voices. For over 35 years the company has sought to produce work that challenges all of us to see ourselves and our world in new ways, and that pushes the boundaries of what theatre can be and do.

The Vineyard has consistently premiered provocative, groundbreaking works; most recently, the world-premiere of David Cale's HARRY CLARKE, directed by Leigh Silverman and starring Billy Crudup, which played a sold-out extended run, won a Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel, Off Broadway Alliance and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and was released as an audio play on Audible; Jordan Harrison's THE AMATEURS, directed by Oliver Butler; and THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE by John Kander and David Thompson, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman. The Vineyard has also premiered Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman's INDECENT, which transferred to Broadway last season, winning two Tony Awards; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Pulitzer Prize finalist GLORIA; DOT by Colman Domingo; Nicky Silver's THE LYONS; Marx, Lopez and Whitty's Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q; Kander and Ebb's THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS; Bell and Bowen's [title of show]; Paula Vogel's HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE (1998 Pulitzer Prize); Edward Albee's THREE TALL WOMEN (1994 Pulitzer Prize); Lanie Robertson's LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL, Tarell Alvin McCraney's WIG OUT!; Becky Mode's FULLY COMMITTED; Jenny Schwartz' GOD'S EAR; Will Eno's MIDDLETOWN; Michael Mayer and Peter Lerman's BROOKLYNITE, and many more. The Vineyard's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and Susan Stroman Directing Award recognize and support emerging artists with tailored residencies. In addition, the company's education programs serve hundreds of New York City public high school students annually, culminating in the Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival in collaboration with Developing Artists. Vineyard Theatre has been honored with special Drama Desk, Obie, and Lucille Lortel Awards for its contribution to the theatre.

Vineyard Theatre's leadership includes Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern and Managing Director Suzanne Appel.


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