Playwrights Realm Announces Cast And Creative Team For Jonathan Payne's THE REVOLVING CYCLES TRULY AND STEADILY ROLL'D
The Playwrights Realm (Katherine Kovner, Founding Artistic Director; Roberta Pereira, Producing Director) today announces the complete cast and creative team for the world premiere of Jonathan Payne's The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll'd, directed by Awoye Timpo (Sept. 7-Oct. 6, at The Duke on 42nd Street, a New 42nd Street project). This world premiere marks the first full production from the mordantly funny and unsparing voice of Jonathan Payne.
Karma (Kara Young), a black teenager in the foster care system, is looking for her foster brother Terrell, who has gone missing within the Oblong-a fictional inner city that Payne describes as "an island isolated by poverty." Maybe he's run away; maybe it's drugs; maybe he's dead; or maybe he's simply lost somewhere in the depths of an uncaring society. As Karma sleuths, she pries clues from a wide variety of characters: an undertaker who profits from abundant death (Lynda Gravátt), a veteran teacher with a poor recollection of his students (Kenneth Tigar), and several others, all of whom tend to be quick to disregard her.
Joining Young, Gravátt and Tigar in the cast are Deonna Bouye, Toni Ann DeNoble, Donnell E Smith, Keith Randolph Smith and James Udom. The creative team includes Kimie Nishikawa (Set Designer), Stacey Derosier (Lighting Designer), Lisa Renkel (Projections Designer), Buddhabug Records (Sound Designer), Andrea Hood (Costume Designer), Alexander Wylie (Prop Designer) and Kara Kaufman (Stage Manager)
Payne, who by day is a social worker for the housing nonprofit Community Access, submitted Revolving Cycles to Playwrights Realm in 2015-and soon became a 2015/2016 Writing Fellow. With a background in acting, Payne recalls being consistently cast in character roles-a fact that's now reflected in his work as a playwright. He says, "I found that I was putting those characters front and center-the ones who otherwise would just come in and leave. Karma, the protagonist of Revolving Cycles, would be that wacky character on the corner that no one's curious about-so I felt like giving her that space was important to me. There's a racial context as well-there are people who have these needs, who are shouting in the streets and no one is listening. I knew I wanted to write a play that would grab people; out of all of the plays I've written, this is the one I'm most curious to see in how the audience grasps it."
Awoye Timpo (The Homecoming Queen-Atlantic Theater Company; Carnaval-National Black Theatre) says, "Each of the characters that Karma encounters lives in a very fixed way-'These are the terms in which I exist in this world, and I protect myself inside of them so I know how I can make it through.' And as they become trapped in different systems, the isolation becomes so real... The tragedy of the conversation of people not 'having a voice' is that it's about the voice not being heard, and not about the power of the actual voice. Karma has an exceptionally powerful and vivid and focused and loud voice-what does it mean for that to be ignored?"
The stories that have pervaded mainstream American culture and ongoing news stories regarding missing minors almost exclusively appeal to the anxieties of the white nuclear family. When young people in the margins disappear, the absence of a trustworthy governmental system willing to help-not to mention of a cultural system of collective concern and action-heightens the danger that they will never be found. In 2016, around 38% of the more than 400,000 juveniles recorded as missing by the FBI were black (Time, 2017) despite black people making up approximately 14% of the U.S. population. More than 60,000 children in the foster care system have remained missing since 2000 (Washington Post, 2018). InThe Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll'd, Payne interplays pricking humor, social commentary, and devastation, often, as inspired by Brecht, finding mischievous ways to disrupt his own play before the audience can find total emotional catharsis. Throughout, the playwright presents a string of charged questions and refuses emotionally gratifying answers.
The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll'dwill run from September 7 to October 6 (see above schedule) at The Duke on 42nd Street (229 W 42nd Street, Manhattan). Critics are welcome as of September 17 at 8pm for an official opening on September 19 at 7:30pm. The $1to5 Ticket Drive, where tickets for previews run between $1 and $5, applies to preview performances September 7-12. General tickets priced at $15-$60 go on sale today, August 14; tickets for students with valid ID are $15, and group tickets are $25 per seat for groups of six or more. To purchase, please visit http://dukeon42.org/ or call 646-223-3010. For more details, please visit playwrightsrealm.org.
Over the past eleven years, The Realm has continually produced work by brave new voices and introduced new initiatives to expand its commitment to providing holistic support to playwrights as they strive to make a life in the arts. Payne is the 2018-2019 recipient of the Page One Residency-the cornerstone of the company's work, which provides playwrights with services including $10,000, health insurance, internal readings, travel and professional development funds, theater tickets, a desk in the Playwrights Realm offices, and of course, a full Off-Broadway production. In 2017-18, the Realm supported both Don Nguyen, with Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth, and Michael Yates Crowley, with The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias, as its Page One residents. 2016-17 Page One resident Sarah DeLappe and her play The Wolves received a Drama Desk Special Award and an Obie Award for Outstanding Ensemble; the play was a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, and returned last fall to Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi Newhouse Theater. In addition, 2015-16 Page One Resident Mfoniso Udofia's play Sojourners, after having been produced by the Realm, was produced by New York Theatre Workshop in rep with Udofia's Her Portmanteau. Both productions were produced in association with The Playwrights Realm and were New York Times Critic's picks.
About the Artists
Jonathan Payne's work has been produced and developed at Long Wharf Theatre, Ars Nova, Fringe Festival NYC, The Bushwick Star, and the Fire This Time Festival. He was a fellow at New Dramatists, Playwrights Realm and The Dramatist Guild, as well as an Ars Nova Play Group. Awards include the Princess Grace Award, Holland New Voices Award, Rosa Parks Award, John Cauble Short Play Award. He received a BA from the GSA Conservatoire (UK), an MFA in Playwriting from Tisch School of the Arts, and an Artist Diploma Recipient in Playwriting from The Juilliard School.
Awoye Timpo The Homecoming Queen (Atlantic Theater), Skeleton Crew (Chester Theater), Sister Son/ji (Billie Holiday Theater), Carnaval (National Black Theatre), Ndebele Funeral (59E59, South African tour, Edinburgh Festival), The Libation Bearers (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ), Araby (La MaMa), In the Continuum (Juilliard). Producer: CLASSIX, a reading series exploring classic plays by Black playwrights. Broadway: Associate Director, Jitney; Assistant Director, Shuffle Along. Other: Associate Director, Othello (Shakespeare in the Park), ABC/Disney, Cherry Lane, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Ma-Yi, New Dramatists, NOW Africa, Page 73, PEN World Voices, Royal Shakespeare Company, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and WNYC.
About the Cast
Deonna Bouye (Foster Mom, Others)ThePlaywrights Realm Debut. Off-Broadway:The Netflix Plays (Ars Nova)Regional: The Bluest Eye (The Guthrie); The Great Society (Arena Stage); This Random World (Actors Theatre of Louisville-Humana Festival), How We Got On (Actors Theatre of Louisville-Humana Festival); Clybourne Park (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Safe House (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park); Guadalupe in the Guestroom (Two River Theater); Vanya/Sonia/Masha/Spike (Weston Playhouse); Not Medea (B Street Theatre); Barrio Grrrl (The Kennedy Center); Several summers at The O'Neill: National Playwrights Conference. Film: BRAZZAVILLE TEENAGER with Michael Cera; Jody (CGI) in PlayStation's HIDDEN AGENDA. TV: "My Crazy Love"onOxygen. Training: MFA, The University of Iowa.
Toni Ann DeNoble (Young Woman, Others) Honored to be working with The Playwrights Realm. Recent NY theatre credits: Wilder Gone (Clubbed Thumb Co.), The Cost (LaMama), Ski End by Piehole (New Ohio). Television: "Elementary" (CBS), "Sneaky Pete" (Amazon), "Shades of Blue" (NBC). MFA, Columbia University.
Lynda Gravátt (Profit) Broadway: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Doubt, King Hedley II, 45 Seconds from Broadway. Off-Broadway: The House That Will Not Stand, This Flat Earth, 20th Century Blues, Skeleton Crew (Drama League Nomination), The Hummingbird's Tour, Zooman and the Sign, King Hedley II, and Intimate Apparel. TV: "Madam Secretary," "Difficult People," "The Good Wife," "30 Rock," "Person of Interest," "Elementary," "The Hoop Life." Film: ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ., DELIVERY MAN, VIOLET & DAISY, THE BOUNTY HUNTER, and more. Lynda has three Audelco awards, a Helen Hayes award, and a Distinguished Alumni award from her alma mater, Howard University.
Donnell E Smith (Dante, Others)"To simply wake up every morning a better man than when I went to bed." - Sidney Poitier. Donnell is ecstatic to make his Off-Broadway debut with The Revolving Cycles... and thanks Jonathan Payne, Awoye Timpo and The Playwrights Realm for the opportunity. Having joined AEA with Kill Move Paradise (National Black Theatre, directed by Saheem Ali), Donnell is grateful to continue work that gives voice to the unsung and marginalized. He can be seen in the title portrayal of the Peabody Award-winning DocuSeries, "TIME: The Kalief Browder Story" (Netflix); and as TJ on the Daytime Emmy-nominated show, "Sprout House" (NBC Universal Kids). www.SmithDonnellE.com
Keith Randolph Smith (Gotto, Others)Recently completed a run of Paradise Blue at the Signature Theatre, the one-person show The Absolute Brightness Of Leonard Pelkey at City Theatre in Pittsburgh, and a multi-lingual production of Our Town at Miami New Drama. Keith's Broadway credits include Jitney at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, Fences, Salome, Come Back Little Sheba, King Hedley II, The Piano Lesson and American Psycho. Keith has worked Off-Broadway at MTC, Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, The Public Theatre, The New Group, The Culture Project and now, The Playwrights Realm. He is a company member of Quicksilver Theatre Company, a member of the Actor's Center, a recipient of a Fox Fellowship and a Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship.
Kenneth Tigar (Old Teacher, Police Officer, Others)Credits span the distance from "Barney Miller" and the LETHAL WEAPON movies to "House of Cards" and THE AVENGERS. He can currently be found playing Heinrich Himmler on the Amazon series "The Man in the High Castle." On stage he has appeared on Broadway in Larry David's Fish in the Dark and has acted extensively in New York and regional theatres, performing Salieri in Amadeus, Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, and Sigmund Freud in Freud's Last Session, amongst others. He has won a Los Angeles Drama Critics' Circle Award, two Dramalogue Awards, and South Florida's Carbonell Award. He appeared across the country in his one-man show I Must Be Mr. Boswell about the biographer of Dr. Johnson. He directed the national tour of The Gin Game with Academy Award winner Kim Hunter and is also an accomplished opera director. His translations of Wedekind's Spring's Awakening and Büchner's Woyzeck have recently been published by Broadway Play Publishing.
James Udom (Death, Others)Off Broadway: Tamburlaine the Great (TFANA), The Winter's Tale (Pearl Theatre Co), Macbeth (Public Theatre: Mobile Unit). Regional: Father Comes Home from the Wars (Yale Rep, ACT), Julius Caesar (Shakespeare and Company), Romeo and Juliet (Elm Shakespeare Company), Of Mice and Men, King Lear (Hubbard Hall), Mies Julie (Yale Summer Cabaret), Twelfth Night, The Odyssey (WE Players) among others. 2017 Princess Grace Award (Grace LeVine Theatre Award). National Irene Ryan Scholarship Award winner. MFA Yale School of Drama
Kara Young (Karma) Harlem Born and raised. Theater: Syncing Ink (dir. Niegel Smith, Alley Theatre, The Flea), Pretty Hunger (dir. Martha Banta, The Public), Queen Latina and Her Power Posse (Cherry Lane), & Gutting (National Black Theater, Zoey Martinson). LAByrinth Theater CompanyMember and Original member of Thania All-Stars. Retreats/intensives: Sundance Theater Lab, New Dramatists' Playtime retreat, LAByrinth Theater co. Intensive Ensemble 2012. Film/TV: The lead in HAIR WOLF, winner of Sundance 2018 Short film Jury Award: US fiction, "Random Acts of Flyness"(HBO), "The Punisher" (Netflix) & MTV's "Girl Code" (4 seasons). @karaakter
About the Creative Team
Kara Kaufman (Production Stage Manager)Playwrights Realm: Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth; Sojourners. Selected Off-Broadway: Sojourners and Her Portmanteau (NYTW); Kingdom Come (Roundabout); Today Is My Birthday (P73); Travels With My Aunt; John & Jen (Keen Company); SeaWife (Naked Angels); I See You; The Mysteries; Restoration Comedy; These Seven Sicknesses; Kaspar Hauser (Flea); Dani Girl (EPBB); The Opponent (A Red Orchid); Neva (Public); Really Really (MCC); Lush Valley (HERE Arts Center); Paternity (Cherry Lane) and Hold Music (Living Theatre). Proud AEA member and Harvard grad.
Kimie Nishikawa (Set Designer)Kimie Nishikawa is a Brooklyn based scenic designer from Tokyo, Japan. Recent credits include: Tin Cat Shoes (Clubbed Thumb Summer Works); Marjorie Prime (Marin Theatre Company/Bay Area Premiere); Ain't No Mo' (The Public Theater); Masculinity Max (The Public Theater); Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth (The Playwrights Realm); Henry VI (NAATCO). She has collaborated internationally as associate scenic designer on the world premiere of Octavia E. Butler's Parable of the Sower (NYUAD Arts Center /Abu Dhabi), and Into The Woods (Tivoli Glassalen / Denmark). MFA: NYU Tisch. www.kimienishikawa-design.com
Andrea Hood (Costume Designer)Off-Broadway: Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Romeo & Juliet (The Public Theater/Shakespeare in the Park); Love and Information (New York Theatre Workshop, Lortel Nomination); A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello; The Comedy of Errors (Classic Stage Company); In a Word (Cherry Lane); America is Hard to See (HERE); Regional: Two River Theater Company, Huntington Theater Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Glimmerglass Festival, PlayMakers Rep, American Players Theatre, Chautauqua Theater Company, Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Portland Stages, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.
Stacey Derosier (Lighting Designer)Stacey Derosier is a NYC based lighting designer and film production designer. She received her bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her recent work includes BAGGAGE (a short film), Why is Eartha Kitt Trying to Kill Me?: A Love Story (an opera by Jeffrey Smith), and 1969: The Second Man (Music by Jacob Brandt & Book by Dan Giles).
About The Playwrights Realm
Hailed as "invaluable" by The New York Times' Ben Brantley, Obie-winning company The Playwrights Realm (Katherine Kovner, Founding Artistic Director; Roberta Pereira, Producing Director) is devoted to supporting early-career playwrights along the journey of playwriting, helping them to hone their craft, fully realize their vision and build meaningful artistic careers. To serve this mission, The Playwrights Realm provides comprehensive support to playwrights through its Page One Residency, Alumni Playwrights Program, Writing Fellowship, Scratchpad Series and, of course, productions. Previous productions by The Realm include Don Nguyen's Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth, Michael Yates Crowley's The Rape of the Sabine Women, by Grace B. Matthias, Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves (Pulitzer finalist in Drama 2017, Lortel, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle nominations, Obie award and Drama Desk special award for outstanding ensemble), Jen Silverman's The Moors, Mfoniso Udofia's Sojourners, Anna Ziegler's A Delicate Ship, Anton Dudley's City Of, Elizabeth Irwin's My Mañana Comes, Lauren Yee's The Hatmaker's Wife, Ethan Lipton's Red-Handed Otter, Jen Silverman's Crane Story, Gonzalo Rodríguez Risco's Dramatis Personae, Christopher Wall's Dreams of the Washer King, Anna Ziegler's Dov and Ali, and Anton Dudley's Substitution.
Founded in 1990, The New 42nd Street is an independent nonprofit organization charged with the continuous cultural revival of 42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, building on the foundation of seven historic theaters to make extraordinary performing arts and cultural engagement part of everyone's life. The New 42nd Street fulfills this purpose by ensuring the ongoing vibrancy of 42nd Street's historic theaters; supporting performing artists in the creation of their work at the New 42nd Street Studios and The Duke on 42nd Street; creating arts access and education at The New Victory Theater, New York's premier theater for kids and families; and through the New 42nd Street Youth Corps, its model youth development initiative, which pairs life skills workshops and mentorship with paid employment in the arts for NYC youth. Inspired by the city it serves, The New 42nd Street is committed to the transformational power of the arts.
The Duke on 42nd Street is a centrally-located black box theater rental that offers smaller scale productions the unique opportunity to perform on famed 42nd Street. Housed within the New 42nd Street Studios, The Duke on 42nd Street is a fully-staffed facility featuring customizable, state-of-the-art seating in various configurations, and full light, sound and support systems. The venue has hosted such companies as Playwright's Realm, Red Bull Theater, Primary Stages, Transport Group, Theatre for a New Audience, Lincoln Center Theater LCT3, The Royal Court Theatre, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Armitage Gone! Dance, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Naked Angels, Classical Theater of Harlem and the National Theater of Great Britain.