Works From Britton Smith, Kate Douglas & More to be Featured in Second Stage Theater's 2023 New Voices Series

NEW VOICES will kick off with The Apiary by Kate Douglas, directed by Kate Whoriskey, on April 24, 2023.

By: Apr. 03, 2023
Works From Britton Smith, Kate Douglas & More to be Featured in Second Stage Theater's 2023 New Voices Series
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Second Stage Theater is continuing its commitment to nurturing American Playwrights with THE 2023 JUDITH CHAMPION READING SERIES and the inaugural NANCY DENOVAN MUSICAL READING. Funded by Christopher and David R. Murray in memory of David's mother, THE NANCY DENOVAN MUSICAL READING champions new voices in musical theater. Both programs support early career writers with one-night-only readings open to the public. All readings will take place on Monday nights in April and May.

NEW VOICES will kick off with The Apiary by Kate Douglas, directed by Kate Whoriskey, on April 24, 2023, followed by The Woods by Jahna Ferron-Smith on May 1, and Chinese Republicans by Alex Lin, directed by Chay Yew on May 22. Additionally, the Nancy Denovan Musical Reading will be Britton & The Sting on May 15.

The readings are free and available to Second Stage subscribers and members beginning April 3 at Tickets will be made available to the general public beginning April 6. All readings will begin at 6:30pm and will take place at Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theater (305 West 43rd Street).

"Supporting writers at the beginning of their careers is a crucial element of Second Stage's mission, which is why we are so excited for another year of the New Voices series," said Second Stage President and Artistic Director Carole Rothman. "We can't wait to see what Kate, Jahna, Alex, and Britton have created on stage at the Tony Kiser Theater."

New Play Development at Second Stage is supported by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.



Written by Kate Douglas

Directed by Kate Whoriskey

Monday, April 24 at 6:30pm

It's 2045. Bees are extinct in the wild, kept alive inside synthetic apiaries where they live year-round in perpetual spring. Through a freak accident, lab assistants Zora and Pilar discover the bees have an unusually positive response unconventional diet. As the bees begin to thrive, Zora and Pilar must find a way to satiate their new, extreme, appetites. THE APIARY examines mortality and the ownership over one's body and one's actions.

Kate Douglas (she/her) is a writer, performer, and gardener. Her work has been presented by the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, Met LiveArts, and The Civilians. She has developed pieces at SPACE on Ryder Farm, Millay Arts, and Rhinebeck Musicals. One day, she hopes to be a beekeeper.


Written by Jahna Ferron-Smith

Monday, May 1 at 6:30 pm

THE WOODS explores our learned relationships to nature and the "American" landscape. Who's taught to love it? Who's taught to fear it? Who's allowed to claim it? The play examines the consequences those cultural narratives have on young Black Americans only just learning what being Black in today's "American landscape" might mean for them.

Jahna Ferron-Smith (she/her) is a recent alumna of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship at the Juilliard School, the Obie Award-winning playwrights collective, Youngblood, as well as Interstate 73. Her plays have been performed at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Pendragon Theatre, and the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival. Jahna's plays have also been developed with The Lark, Ojai Playwrights Conference, The Playwrights' Center, Page 73 and Clubbed Thumb.


Written by Alex Lin

Directed by Chay Yew

Monday, May 22 at 6:30 pm

When high-flying finance it girl Katie Liu loses out on the promotion of a lifetime to a nepo-baby coworker, she embarks on a treacherous endeavor to make a worker's union out of her Republican work aunties. Welcome to the world of CHINESE REPUBLICANS, where the best bags are Birkins, the best shoes are Prada, and the best president is Reagan.

Alex Lin (she/her) is just a girl from Jersey. Her work as a playwright has been developed with Ma-Yi, Magic Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Theater Mu, The COOP, and South Coast Rep, and Central Square Theater. As a producer for A24's Supercluster, she's collaborated with NASA, SpaceX, Boeing, Apple TV+, and Netflix to bridge the gap between scientific discovery and the culture it inspires. She is currently under commission at South Coast Rep and MTC. Accolades: 2022 New Harmony Project finalist, 2022 O'Neill Conference finalist, 2022 Elizabeth George commission, 2023 Weissberger New Play Award nominee, 2023 Sloan commission.


Created by Britton Smith

Monday, May 15 at 6:30pm

BRITTON & THE STING is a funk liberation band fueling the NYC music scene. Recently sold-out performances at Apollo Music Cafe, Rockwood Music Hall, Joes Pub among others. Featured in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Fault Magazine, and The New Yorker, Paper Magazine's "Bops Only" 10 Songs You Need to Start Your Weekend Right'' list, 2020 NPR Tiny Desk Submission Top Pick. In REVIVAL, powerful songs interwoven by narrative testimony take us on a journey to discover within our most authentic selves, a pathway to radical liberation. The music and environment has led to strangers dancing together in fellowship, spontaneous three-part harmonies breaking out, and the impromptu passing of the metaphorical plate as if it was a Sunday morning church service. This experience is designed for people across differences to collide within a container of radical acceptance of self so that together we might challenge the world to be a more authentic and accepting society.

Artist/Advocate Britton Smith uses his funk liberation band Britton & The Sting, to spread the gospel of authenticity as a pathway to total freedom/holiness. Britton is Co-Founder/President of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition. Founded in 2016, it has now grown into Tony Award-winning organization uniting artists with legal experts and community leaders to have lasting impact on policy issues including criminal justice reform, education equity, and liberation within the theatrical industry. Acting credits include the STARZ comedy series "Run the World" (Gotham Awards Nominee) as Zane, and the blockbuster Broadway musical Be More Chill, in the role of Jake Dillinger. Featured soloist in 2023 PBS 50th Anniversary Great Performances. Smith is currently developing a REVIVAL Tour with The Sting and conducting interviews to uncover the mystical relationship between Black Gay men and their Grandmothers. @brittonsmithworld

Second Stage Theater 44th SEASON

Second Stage Theater's 44th Season kicked off last fall with Bess Wohl's new play, Camp Siegfried, directed by David Cromer, as well as Stephen Adly Guirgis' Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Between Riverside and Crazy, directed by Austin Pendleton.

This spring, the season continues with the new musical, White Girl In Danger, written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner Michael R. Jackson, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz and featuring choreography by Raja Feather Kelly. The musical, a co-production with Vineyard Theatre, began previews March 15th and will open April 10th at the Kiser Theater. The season concludes with the Broadway premiere of Larissa FastHorse's The Thanksgiving Play, directed by Rachel Chavkin, which began previews on March 25th and will officially open on April 20th at the Hayes Theater.

ABOUT Second Stage Theater

Under the artistic direction of Carole Rothman, Second Stage Theater operates three New York City venues, exclusively dedicated to producing living American Playwrights.

Second Stage recently completed its 43rd season, which included the Tony Award-winning revival of Richard Greenberg's Take Me Out and the New York premiere production of Lynn Nottage's Tony-nominated play Clyde's, as well as the world premieres of Rajiv Joseph's Letters of Suresh and JC Lee's To My Girls. The company's 2021-22 productions received several nominations and awards, including Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Play (Take Me Out) and Best Featured Actor in a Play (Jesse Tyler Ferguson - Take Me Out); the Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Revival of a Play (Take Me Out), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Jesse Tyler Ferguson - Take Me Out) and Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (Uzo Aduba - Clyde's); the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Projection Design (Shawn Duan - Letters of Suresh); and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design for a Play (Jennifer Moeller - Clyde's).

Second Stage's first season on Broadway at The Hayes Theater included Lobby Hero by Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Trip Cullman (Tony nominee for Best Revival of Play, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role, Michael Cera and Brian Tyree Henry) and Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee, directed by Anna D. Shapiro.

Among Second Stage's 180 productions are the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis; the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey; the 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes; Mary Page Marlowe by Tracy Letts; The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown; Dogfight by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Peter Duchan; Dear Evan Hansen by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Steven Levenson; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage; Trust and Lonely, I'm Not by Paul Weitz; Grand Horizons by Bess Wohl; The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz; Everyday Rapture and Whorl Inside a Loop by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott; Let Me Down Easy and Notes From the Field by Anna Deavere Smith; Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo; Torch Song by Harvey Fierstein; Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl; The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane; Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin; Jitney by August Wilson; Crowns by Regina Taylor; Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim; Afterbirth: Kathy & Mo's Greatest Hits by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy; This Is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan; Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe; A Soldier's Play by Charles Fuller; The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry; and Tiny Alice and Peter and Jerry by Edward Albee.

The company's more than 170 citations include six 2017 Tony Awards for Dear Evan Hansen (Best Musical; Best Lead Actor in a Musical, Ben Platt; Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Rachel Bay Jones; Best Book of a Musical; Best Original Score; Best Orchestrations); the 2009 Tony Awards for Best Lead Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley, Next to Normal), Best Score (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Next to Normal), and Best Orchestrations (Tom Kitt and Michael Starobin, Next to Normal); the 2007 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed); the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (Rachel Sheinkin, ...Spelling Bee) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Fogler, ...Spelling Bee); the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (Mary Zimmerman for Metamorphoses); the 2002 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, 29 Obie Awards, 11 Outer Critics Circle Awards, four Clarence Derwent Awards, 17 Drama Desk Awards, 11 Theatre World Awards, one Dorothy Louden Award, 20 Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Critics Circle Award and 23 AUDELCO Awards.

In 1999, Second Stage Theater opened The Tony Kiser Theater, its state-of-the-art, 296-seat theater, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. In 2002, Second Stage launched "Second Stage Theater Uptown" to showcase the work of up-and-coming artists at the 99-seat McGinn/Cazale Theater. The Theater supports artists through several programs that include residencies, fellowships and commissions, and engages students and community members through education and outreach programs. In 2018, Second Stage began producing at its 581 seat Broadway home, The Hayes Theater. Originally named "The Little Theater" and built in 1912, the city landmark has been remodeled by David Rockwell of Rockwell Group.

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