The Wilbury Theatre Group Brings CHURCH to Rhode Island
The Wilbury Theatre Group proudly announces the Rhode Island premiere of Church by acclaimed playwright Young Jean Lee (2016/17's Straight White Men at The Wilbury Group) as she transforms her life-long struggle with Christianity into an exuberant church service, complete with a gospel choir. Directed by Brien Lang, Church will test the expectations of religious and non-religious alike-looking deep into why we believe what we believe as an uplifting, joyous and inspirational event that may be Lee's most miraculous-or devious- experiment to date.
"Despite being one of the most important playwrights of our generation," said Wilbury Artistic Director Josh Short, "Young Jean Lee's work is rarely produced outside of New York and Chicago. Building on the success of our 2016 production of her now Broadway-bound Straight White Men, we are so proud to continue to bring her work to our audiences in all it's wonderful earnestness and deviousness. In the hands of Brien and the very talented company of actors, singers, designers, and musicians that we've assembled, this secular church service promises to be a holiday show like no other."
Young Jean Lee has been called "hands down, the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation" by the New York Times and "one of the best experimental playwrights in America" by Time Out New York. She has written and directed nine shows in New York with her company, Young Jean Lee's Theater Company and toured her work to over thirty cities around the world. Her plays have been published by Theatre Communications Group (Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven and Other Plays, The Shipment and Lear) and by Samuel French (Three Plays by Young Jean Lee). She has commissions from Plan B/Paramount Pictures, Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights Horizons, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is a member of New Dramatists and 13P and has an MFA from Mac Wellman's playwriting program at Brooklyn College. She has received grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Creative Capital, NYFA, NEA, NYSCA, the Jerome Foundation, The Fox Samuels Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, and the Rockefeller MAP Foundation. She is also the recipient of two OBIE awards, the Festival Prize of the Zuercher Theater Spektakel, a 2010 Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship. She has a 2012 inaugural Doris Duke Artist Award.
In CHURCH, Young Jean Lee transforms her life-long struggle with Christianity into an exuberant church service. This church of celebration is designed to test the expectations of religious and non-religious alike. Never content with simple parody, Lee's aim with CHURCH is to give herself and her audiences a true religious experience.
Founded in 2010, The Wilbury Group is an ever-evolving collaboration of artists committed to presenting adventurous audiences with the highest quality professional theatre. Founded on the belief that quality theatre should be an affordable and accessible means of enrichment to the community; The Wilburys present contemporary, experiential theatre that simultaneously engage, inspire, and provoke thought among audiences.
As an important arts organization in a quickly changing world, the Wilbury Group maintains a commitment to offering students and audiences from throughout New England access to our programs through our outreach, education, and new work development programs. A promising and important cultural organization in Providence, The Wilbury Group is proud to serve our diverse and evolving community.