Trinity Rep Announces World Premiere of Lauren Yee's THE SONG OF SUMMER

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Trinity Rep continues its dedication to bringing new works to the stage with this world premiere from one of the most popular up-and-coming playwrights in the country, Lauren Yee. The Song of Summer is an electrifying production about who is behind the song that's on everyone's playlist and what happens when the hit song's singer runs away from his headlining world-tour just to return to his hometown. The production is directed Obie Award-winning and Brown/Trinity MFA program alumna, Taibi Magar. The Song of Summer runs March 14 April 14, with press opening on Monday, March 18 at 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $25. More information can be found at

The cast of this production features Trinity Rep resident company members Charlie Thurston as the pop star Robbie, Anne Scurria as Mrs. C, Joe Wilson, Jr. as Joe, with Brown/Trinity MFA alumna Tina Chilip '06 as Tina and local youth actor William Derby as Brett.

Lauren Yee has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as, A talented, smart, and very funny writer, saying that greatness surely lies ahead. With an impressive list of fellowships and awards, Trinity Rep is proud to have commissioned Yee to write The Song of Summer with support from the Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. This grant has allowed the theater to commission playwrights to write plays with and for Trinity Rep's resident acting company. The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust has invested in new play development at Trinity Rep since 2013. The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust last supported 2018's immensely popular Into the Breeches! by George Brant.

The Arthur P. Solomon and Sally E. Lapides Artistic Director Curt Columbus said of Yee, We are beyond thrilled to have Lauren Yee here at Trinity Rep, working on a play she has written specifically for our company of actors. Lauren's work is some of the most thought-provoking yet heart-nourishing writing in the American Theater today. The Song of Summer is a perfect example of both of those qualities; it is a roundabout romance that will pull at folks' heartstrings, while it also challenges how we think about fame, fortune, and the true meaning of success. I know our audiences are going to fall in love with her one-of-a-kind playwriting.

Playwright Lauren Yee was born and raised in San Francisco. She currently lives in New York City. She is the winner of the Horton Foote Prize, the Kesselring Prize, and the Francesca Primus Prize. She has been a finalist for the Edward M. Kennedy Prize, the ATCA/Steinberg Award, the Jerome Fellowship, the PONY Fellowship, the Princess Grace Award, the Sundance Theatre Lab, the Wasserstein Prize. Her plays were the number one and two plays on the 2017 Kilroys List. Her play Cambodian Rock Band is a current Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist.

Director Taibi Magar returns to Trinity Rep after graduating the Brown/Trinity MFA program in 2014. Her Trinity Rep directing credits include The Hunchback of Seville and A Christmas Carol. She is a 2018 Obie award-winning director for her production of Is God Is at Soho Rep and has garnered international attention for her work, including productions at the Hamburg Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne, and Soho Theatre in London.

Magar will be working alongside Adam Rigg (set design), Val rie Th r se Bart (costume design), Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (lighting design), and Mikaal Sulaiman (sound design) with original song by Max Vernon and Helen Park.


Robbie shows up at his old piano teacher Mrs. C's house in Pottsville, PA very early in the morning, after driving away from a concert he was giving a few states away. Mrs. C. adores Robbie, as he was a devoted student, and a good friend to her daughter, Tina. But Robbie isn't doing very well right now; his immensely popular song is controversial because of its lyrics and because another music group believes he plagiarized their work and has publically accused him of doing so. Robbie doesn't want to continue his tour with all this bad press even though stopping could jeopardize his career. Robbie has a plan, though; he can prove he wrote his song, and make the lawsuit go away if he can find a video he made for Tina.

In high school, Robbie was a nerd, and Tina was adventurous and cool and determined to leave town. The two had a fling once, even though Tina was dating someone else. The interaction hadn't ended well, Tina felt rejected, but Robbie had filmed himself singing a song she wrote as an apology (his hit song of the summer). Robbie and his family moved out of Pottsville and he and Tina didn't stay in touch.

Today, Tina is exhausted and still hasn't left Pottsville, where she lives with her mom. When confronted by Robbie, Tina is evasive on the date about why she never left town, but she and Robbie finally have it out over their high school fling. Robbie learns Tina never saw the tape he made, and so never got his apology before his family moved. When Tina and Robbie return to Tina's home, his old piano teacher, Mrs. C has found the tape the proof that Robbie's song of the summer is completely original. Robbie's music career is safe, and his manager, Joe, wants Tina to come with them to affirm the story to the public, saving them from the bad press. But Tina has another secret and this one may change Robbie's life even more.


Continuing Trinity Rep's tradition of offering affordable tickets for all, the theater will have discounted previews of The Song of Summer. Thursday, March 14 is a Pay What You Can performance. Pay What You Can tickets go on sale at 6:30 pm that evening, and are limited to one per person.

Other special performances for The Song of Summer include an Open Captioned performance for the show on Sunday, March 17 at 2:00 pm and Wednesday, March 27 at 2:00 and 7:30 pm. The Next Generation Night will be held on Thursday, March 21 and includes a pre-show reception for the next generation of theater-goers. The Teens Talk performance will be held on Friday, March 22, which features Trinity Rep's Teen Ambassadors discussing their perspective on the show following the 7:30 performance.

A Context & Conversation panel discussion will be held on Sunday, March 24 at 2:00 pm in Pawtucket at the Zabinski Music Studio. At this free event, panelists from the community will discuss a topic surrounding the show. Christina Bevilacqua, Trinity Rep's conversationalist-in-residence, in partnership with the Providence Public Library, will moderate the discussion.

The 2018-19 Season Sponsors are Ocean State Job Lot and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Southwest Airlines is the official airline of Trinity Rep.

Trinity Repertory Company

Rhode Island's Tony Award-winning theater, Trinity Rep has created unparalleled professional theater for and with its community since its founding in 1963. Trinity Rep strives to facilitate human connection and has been a driving force behind the creativity that fuels and defines the region for more than 50 years.

Trinity Rep is committed to reinventing the public square and inspiring dialogue by creating emotionally-stimulating live productions that range from classical to contemporary and innovative education programs for all ages and abilities. Its annual production of A Christmas Carol has brought families together for 41 years and made memories for over a million audience members.

The 2018-19 Season includes Pride & Prejudice by Kate Hamill, black odyssey by Marcus Gardley, a special limited-engagement of An Iliad by Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare, Macbeth by William Shakespeare, The Song of Summer by Lauren Yee, Little Shop of Horrors with book and lyrics by Howard Ashman and music by Alan Menken, and Jos Rivera's Marisol.

For more information on our 2018-19 Season, call the box office at (401) 351-4242 or visit Trinity Rep's website at

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