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SECOND STAGE THEATER Announces Productions for Its Inaugural Season on Broadway





















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IN JUNE 2018






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April 20, 2017 – Second Stage Theater (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director; Casey Reitz, Executive Director) has announced productions for its inaugural Broadway season at the historic Hayes Theater on Broadway.

“Opening our new home on Broadway has been years in the making and I am beyond thrilled to begin this next phase in Second Stage’s life,” said Second Stage Founder and Artistic Director Carole Rothman. “The Hayes will be dedicated to living American playwrights: no British imports, no Chekhov translations, no classics – just contemporary works that provoke, stimulate and challenge from the finest playwrights our country has to offer. In addition to the plays we will be producing next year on Broadway, Second Stage is making a serious investment in the future by co-commissioning writers through our STAGE-2-STAGE initiative with Center Theater Group, ensuring that American playwrights have a vital, continuing voice in the Broadway landscape, the world’s biggest theatrical stage. We thank everyone who has helped bring us to this moment and we look forward to welcoming audiences to the Hayes – both those that have been with us over the years, as well as the many new theatregoers we look forward to welcoming to our new home.”


The Broadway season will kick off in March 2018 with LOBBY HERO, written by Academy Award-winner Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Trip Cullman, and starring MICHAEL CERA and CHRIS EVANS.

Mr. Lonergan, whose history with Second Stage includes acclaimed original productions of This Is Our Youth and The Waverly Gallery, won the 2017 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Manchester by the Sea. Director Trip Cullman, who is currently represented on Broadway by Six Degrees of Separation and Significant Other, has directed six productions at Second Stage, including Leslye Headland’s Bachelorette and Paul Weitz’s Lonely, I’m Not.

What happens when emotions come in conflict with principles, and how do choices under pressure define who we really are? The lobby of a Manhattan apartment building is much more than a waiting area for four New Yorkers involved in a murder investigation. It’s a testing ground for what happens when personal and professional personas find themselves at odds. A young security guard with big ambitions clashes with his stern boss, an intense rookie cop and her unpredictable partner in a play from the 2017 Oscar-winning writer of Manchester by the Sea.

The Broadway season will also include STRAIGHT WHITE MEN, written by Young Jean Lee and directed by Tony Award-winner Anna D. Shapiro, opening in July 2018.

With STRAIGHT WHITE MEN, Ms. Lee, in her Broadway debut, will also become the first female Asian-American playwright ever to be produced on Broadway. Anna D. Shapiro will be making her Second Stage directorial debut with this production. The Artistic Director of Steppenwolf Theatre, Ms. Shapiro won a Tony Award for her direction of August: Osage County in 2008.

It’s Christmas Eve, and Ed has gathered his three adult sons to celebrate with matching pajamas, trash-talking, and Chinese takeout. But when a question they can’t answer interrupts their holiday cheer, they are forced to confront their own identities. Obie Award-winning playwright Young Jean Lee takes a hilariously ruthless look at the classic American father-son drama. This is one white Christmas like you’ve never seen before.

This inaugural season kicks off Second Stage’s mission of creating and building a permanent home on Broadway dedicated exclusively to American plays and living American playwrights.

Second Stage Theater purchased the historic Hayes Theater, located at 240 W. 44th Street, in 2015. The company will continue to lease and operate their original theaters on the city’s Upper West Side and in Midtown Manhattan. Second Stage Theater has enlisted David Rockwell and The Rockwell Group to make renovations and updates to the 104 year old landmark building. Renovations are currently underway in preparation for its inaugural production next year.


Second Stage Theater is investing in its future on Broadway by co-commissioning established playwrights through its STAGE-2-STAGE program, launching with Los Angeles’s Center Theatre Group. This ongoing program will provide a pathway to Broadway, with each play receiving an initial production in Los Angeles at one of CTG’s three theatres before moving to New York. The commissioned playwrights are JON ROBIN BAITZ, WILL ENO, LISA KRON, YOUNG JEAN LEE, LYNN NOTTAGE, and PAULA VOGEL.

“Theatre is the most collaborative of all the arts, and to be successful at it requires partners that share not only compatible artistic ambitions, but also a spirit of earnest cooperation,” said Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group. “I can think of no better person than Carole Rothman, and no better theatre than Second Stage, to join with on an artistic venture and adventure. I have the highest respect and admiration for the work they have done and the aspirations they have for the future.”

Second Stage Theater is also co-commissioning a new work from BESS WOHL for Broadway, through a partnership with the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and new works for Broadway from LYDIA R. DIAMOND and DOMINIQUE MORISSEAU, which will be developed in association with Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theater.


Second Stage Theater will continue to produce at its off-Broadway home, the Tony Kiser Theater on West 43rd street. The upcoming season will include the previously announced 35th Anniversary production of Harvey Fierstein’s TORCH SONG, directed by Moisés Kaufman. Performances will begin in September 2017.

It’s 1979 in New York City and Arnold Beckoff is on a quest for love, purpose and family. He’s fierce in drag and fearless in crisis, and he won’t stop until he achieves the life he desires as a doting husband and a Jewish mother. Now, Arnold is back…and he’s here to sing you a torch song. The Tony Award®-winning play that forever changed the trajectory of Broadway returns for a new generation.

The off-Broadway season will also include the New York Premiere of Tracy Letts’s MARY PAGE MARLOWE in June of 2018. Mr. Letts’ play, Man from Nebraska, just concluded a highly successful and critically acclaimed production at Second Stage. The director of MARY PAGE MARLOWE will be announced in the coming weeks.

If you looked back on eleven moments from your life, would you recognize yourself, or would you see a stranger? Mary Page Marlowe is a seemingly ordinary accountant from Ohio who has experienced pain and joy, success and failure. In this sweeping but intimate play, Tracy Letts gives us a haunting portrait of a complex woman, demonstrating how a series of forgotten moments can add up to one memorable life.

An additional off-Broadway production remains to be announced.

5-play subscription packages for Broadway and off-Broadway are $345 and are available by calling the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422 or visiting the company’s website, All productions will be staged at The Hayes Theater (240 West 44th street) or Second Stage’s off-Broadway Tony Kiser Theater, 305 West 43rd Street (just west of Eighth Avenue).

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Second Stage Theater’s current season will conclude this summer with the New York premiere of Bruce Norris’s A PARALLELOGRAM, directed by Michael Greif, beginning previews this July. Second Stage Theater Uptown will present the world premiere of SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER by Chisa Hutchinson, directed by May Adrales, beginning previews May 23 and opening June 6 at the McGinn/Cazale Theater.


JON ROBIN BAITZ’s (Commissioned Playwright) plays include, most recently, Vicuna (2016 Kirk Douglas Theatre, L.A.), Other Desert Cities (Pulitzer Prize Finalist 2012, Tony Nominee, Drama League Award, Outer Critics Circle Award), The Film Society, The End Of The Day, Three Hotels, A Fair Country (Pulitzer Prize finalist 1996), Mizlansky/Zilinsky, Ten Unknowns, and The Paris Letter, as well as a version of Hedda Gabler (Broadway, 2001). He created Brothers & Sisters, the TV series which ran for five seasons on ABC. Other TV work includes PBS’s version of Three Hotels, for which he won the Humanitas Award, and episodes of West Wing and Alias. He wrote and executive produced the eight hour miniseries The Slap for NBC in 2015. He is currently a writer/producer on American Crime Story: Katrina, and executive producer and writer on Feud: Diana VS Charles, both with Ryan Murphy and FX. Screenplays include The Substance of Fire (1996), People I Know (2002), and Stonewall (2015). He is a founding member of Naked Angels Theatre Company, and on the faculties of the MFA program at The New School for Drama, and visiting professor at USC's Master of Professional Writing program. His play, The Substance of Fire, received a revival starring John Noble at Second Stage in 2014, and his play, The Film Society, received its New York premiere at Second Stage in 1988.

MICHAEL CERA (Jeff – Lobby Hero): Work includes the role of George-Michael Bluth in the Emmy Award® winning Fox series Arrested Development, as well as lead roles in the feature blockbusters Superbad and Juno. Other film roles include Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Youth in Revolt, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and the comedy hit This is the End. Most recently, Michael Cera was heard in animated blockbusters Sausage Party and Lego Batman. Cera made his Broadway debut in Kenneth Lonergan’s award-winning play This is Our Youth following a sold-out and critically acclaimed run at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater. Photo credit: Danielle Levitt.

TRIP CULLMAN (Director – Lobby Hero) has staged six productions at Second Stage, including Leslye Headland's The Layover and Bachelorette, Jon Robin Baitz's The Substance of Fire, Paul Weitz's Lonely, I'm Not, Terrence McNally's Some Men, and Adam Bock's Swimming In The Shallows. Select NYC: John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation (Barrymore), Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other (Booth), Anna Jordan's Yen (MCC), Halley Feiffer's A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gynecologic Oncology Unit At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Of New York City (MCC), Harmon's Significant Other (Roundabout), Feiffer's I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic), Simon Stephens' Punk Rock (MCC, Obie Award), Tarell Alvin McCraney's Choir Boy (MTC), Julia Jordan and Juliana Nash's Murder Ballad (MTC and Union Square Theatre), Headland's Assistance (Playwrights Horizons), Bock's A Small Fire (Playwrights Horizons, Drama Desk nom.), Adam Rapp's The Hallway Trilogy: Nursing (Rattlestick), Bert V. Royal's Dog Sees God (Century Center), Bock's The Drunken City (Playwrights Horizons), Weitz' Roulette (EST), Jonathan Tolins' The Last Sunday In June (Rattlestick and Century Center), Gina Gionfriddo's US Drag (stageFARM), and several productions with The Play Company. London: Bock's The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, PA (Tricycle). Select regional: McCraney's Choir Boy (Geffen and Alliance, NAACP and Suzi Bass awards), Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation (Old Globe), Richard Greenberg's The Injured Party (South Coast Rep), McNally's Unusual Acts of Devotion (La Jolla Playhouse), Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation (Bay Street), Bess Wohl's Touched (Williamstown Theater Festival), Michael Friedman and Daniel Goldstein's Unknown Soldier (WTF), Wohl's Barcelona (Geffen, Ovation nom.), Tennessee Williams' The Rose Tattoo (WTF).

LYDIA R. DIAMOND’s (Commissioned Playwright) play, Smart People, received its New York premiere at Second Stage in 2016. Other plays include Stick Fly, Voyeurs de Venus, The Bluest Eye, The Gift Horse, Harriet Jacobs, The Inside, and Stage Black. Theatres include: Arena Stage, Cort Theatre (Broadway), Chicago Dramatists, Company One, Congo Square, Goodman, Hartford Stage, Huntington, Jubilee, Kansas City Rep, Long Wharf, Lorraine Hansberry, McCarter, Mo’Olelo, MPAACT, New Vic, Playmakers Rep, Plowshares, Steppenwolf, and True Colors. A recipient of many playwriting awards, Lydia was also an ’05/’06 W.E.B. Du Bois Institute non-resident Fellow, a 2007 TCG/NEA Playwright in Residence at Steppenwolf, an 06/07 Huntington Playwright Fellow, a 2012 Sundance Institute Playwright Lab Creative Advisor, is a Board Member at Chicago Dramatists, and a 2012/2013 Radcliffe Institute Fellow. Lydia is an NU graduate (’91), has an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Pine Manor College and is 2013-14 Playwright in Residence at Arena Stage.

WILL ENO (Commissioned Playwright) is a Residency Five Fellow at the Signature Theatre in New York, which presented Title and Deed in 2012, and The Open House, in 2014. His new play, Wakey, Wakey premiered there in February 2017. Following an acclaimed run at Yale Repertory Theatre, his play The Realistic Joneses was on Broadway in 2014, directed by Sam Gold and staring Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts, and Marisa Tomei. The Realistic Joneses won a Drama Desk Award, was named USA Today’s “Best Play on Broadway,” topped The Guardian’s 2014 list of American plays, and was included in The New York Times’ “Best Theatre of 2014.” The Open House won a 2014 Obie Award, the Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, and a Drama Desk Award, and was included in both Time Out New York and Time Magazine’s Top 10 Plays of the Year. Title and Deed was on The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine’s Top Ten Plays of 2012. His play Gnit, a loving but aggressive adaptation of Peer Gynt, premiered at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in 2013. Middletown, winner of the Horton Foote Award, premiered at the Vineyard Theatre and subsequently at Steppenwolf Theater and many other American theaters and universities. His internationally heralded play, Thom Pain (based on nothing), ran at the Geffen Playhouse in winter of 2016 starring Rainn Wilson, was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize, and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He was recently awarded the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation Award. His plays are published by Samuel French, TCG, Dramatists Play Service, and playscripts, in the U.S., and Oberon Books in London.

CHRIS EVANS (Bill - Lobby Hero) can currently be seen starring in Marc Webb’s Gifted alongside McKenna Grace, Octavia Spencer and Jenny Slate, and is currently in production in back-to-back sequels of Avengers: Infinity War. Additionally, he is about to begin production on Gideon Raff’s Red Sea Diving Resort. In 2016, Evans starred in Captain America: Civil War, the highly anticipated third installment to 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger and 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The film was released by Disney on May 6, 2016 and is the top grossing film of 2016 with more than $1.1 billion worldwide. Evans marked his feature film directorial debut with Before We Go, which he also produced and starred in, alongside Alice Eve and Mark Kassen. The film premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and was released by Radius on September 14, 2015. Evans starred in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron opposite Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo and Chris Hemsworth in 2015 and in The Avengers in 2012. Evans also starred in Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer opposite Octavia Spencer, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt and Ed Harris. His other film credits include Ariel Vroman’s drama The Iceman opposite Michael Shannon; Mark Mylod's comedy What's Your Number? opposite Anna Faris; Edgar Wright's action comedy, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, opposite Michael Cera; Sylvain White's The Losers with Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Zoe Saldana; Push opposite Dakota Fanning; Street Kings with Keanu Reeves and Forest Whitaker; Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer opposite Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis and Ioan Gruffudd; and Danny Boyle's critically acclaimed Sunshine. Additional credits include The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, Cellular, The Perfect Score, Fierce People, Puncture and the romantic drama London. Evans' first cinematic role was in the 2001 hit comedic spoof, Not Another Teen Movie. Raised in Massachusetts, Evans began his acting career in theatre before moving to New York where he studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute. Lobby Hero will mark his Broadway debut. Photo credit: Maarten de Boer.

HARVEY FIERSTEIN (Playwright – Torch Song) won two Tony Awards for Torch Song Trilogy (Best Play, Best Actor). He has also written the Tony-winning hit Kinky Boots (now playing on four continents), as well as La Cage aux Folles (Tony and Drama Desk Awards), Newsies (Tony nominated), Casa Valentina (Tony nominated), A Catered Affair (12 Drama Desk nominations), Safe Sex (Ace Award), Legs Diamond, Spookhouse, Flatbush Tosca, Common Ground and more. He recently wrote teleplays for NBC’s live TV broadcasts of Hairspray and The Wiz and the upcoming Bye Bye Birdie. He also revised the book for Funny Girl, which ran to critical acclaim in London. His political editorials have been published in the New York Times, TV Guide and the Huffington Post, and broadcast on PBS’s “In the Life.” His children’s book, The Sissy Duckling (Humanitas Award), is now in its fifth printing. As an actor, Mr. Fierstein is known worldwide for his performances in films including Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day and Bullets Over Broadway, on stage in Hairspray (Tony Award), Fiddler on the Roof, La Cage aux Folles, and on TV shows such as Smash, How I Met Your Mother, The Good Wife, Cheers (Emmy nomination), The Simpsons, Family Guy, and Nurse Jackie.

MOISÉS KAUFMAN (Director – Torch Song) was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in September. He is also a Tony and Emmy-nominated director and playwright. Prior Broadway credits include The Heiress with Jessica Chastain; 33 Variations (which he also wrote) with Jane Fonda (5 Tony nominations); Rajiv Joseph’s Pulitzer Prize finalist Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo with Robin Williams; and the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play I Am My Own Wife. His plays, Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and The Laramie Project, are among the most performed plays in America over the last decade. Kaufman also co-wrote and directed the film adaptation of The Laramie Project for HBO, which received two Emmy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Writer. He is currently directing and writing a new Broadway-bound adaptation of Bizet’s Carmen with Grammy-winning composer Arturo O’Farrill. He is the artistic director of Tectonic Theater Project and a Guggenheim Playwrighting Fellow.

LISA KRON (Commissioned Playwright) has been writing and performing theater since coming to New York from Michigan in 1984. Lisa wrote the book and lyrics for Fun Home, which earned her 2 Tony Awards in 2015, for Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score (with Jeanine Tesori); the show also won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Other plays include The Ver**zon Play, which premiered at the 2012 Humana Festival; In The Wake, which received Lortel and GLAAD Media Award nominations, named a “Best Play of 2010” by Time Out and Backstage, and was included in the Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2010-2011; Well, which premiered at the Public Theater, was named a “Best Play of 2004” by The New York Times, included in the Best Plays Theater Yearbook of 2003-2004, and moved to Broadway, where Lisa received a Tony nomination for her performance; 2.5 Minute Ride, which had its New York premiere at the Public Theater, received OBIE, New York Press, and GLAAD Media Awards; 101 Humiliating Stories, which received a Drama Desk nomination for its PS122 premiere. Lisa is a founding member of the legendary OBIE and Bessie Award-winning collaborative theater company The Five Lesbian Brothers. As an actor, she has performed in her own plays in such productions as the Foundry Theater’s Good Person of Szechwan at LaMama, The Normal Heart at the Public Theater, and The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told at NYTW. Honors include Guggenheim, Sundance, Lark, MacDowell fellowships; Cal Arts/Alpert and Helen Merrill awards; ANVPI/Arena Stage Residency; grants from the Creative Capital and NYFA. Lisa serves on the boards of the MacDowell Colony, the Lilly Awards, and the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America.

YOUNG JEAN LEE (Playwright – Straight White Men; Commissioned Playwright) is a writer, director, and filmmaker who has been called “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 ten shows in New York with Young Jean Lee's Theater Company, and toured her work to over thirty cities around the world. Her plays have been published by Dramatists Play Service (Straight White Men and Church), Theatre Communications Group (Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven and Other Plays; The Shipment and Lear; and We’re Gonna Die) and by Samuel French (Three Plays by Young Jean Lee). Her first short film, Here Come the Girls, was presented at The Locarno International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and BAMcinemaFest. In 2013, she released her debut album, We’re Gonna Die, with her band, Future Wife. Lee is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two OBIE Awards, a Prize in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a PEN Literary Award, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Doris Duke Artist Residency, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant, and the ZKB Patronage Prize of the Zürcher Theater Spektakel. She has also received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller MAP Fund, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, Creative Capital, the Greenwall Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Arts Presenters/Ford Foundation Creative Capacity Grant, the Barbara Bell Cumming Foundation, and the New England Foundation for the Arts: National Theater Project Award.

TRACY LETTS (Playwright – Mary Page Marlowe) returns to Second Stage Theater where his play, Man from Nebraska, received an acclaimed revival earlier this year, under the direction of David Cromer. He is the author of the plays The Minutes, Linda Vista, Mary Page Marlowe, The Scavenger’s Daughter, Superior Donuts, August: Osage County (Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award), Man From Nebraska (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Time Magazine's Top Ten Plays of 2003), Bug, and Killer Joe. Also an actor, he has appeared on Broadway in Will Eno's The Realistic Joneses and Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role). Film appearances include Lady Bird, The Lovers, Christine, Imperium, Indignation, Wiener-dog, Elvis and Nixon, The Big Short. TV: “Divorce” (HBO), two seasons as Sen. Lockhart on “Homeland” (Showtime), “Seinfeld.” He is an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and his appearances there include Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, American Buffalo, Betrayal, Homebody/Kabul, The Dresser, The Dazzle, Glengarry Glen Ross, Three Days of Rain, many others.

KENNETH LONERGAN (Playwright – Lobby Hero) returns to Second Stage Theater where his plays, This is Our Youth and The Waverly Gallery, were produced in 1996 and 2000, respectively. This Is Our Youth was nominated for the 1996 Drama Desk Award for Best Play and a 2015 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play (Steppenwolf); The Waverly Gallery was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Lobby Hero premiered in 2001 and was a Drama Desk Best Play nominee, Outer Critics Circle Best Play nominee, and 2002 Olivier Award nominee for Best Play during its West End run. His other plays include The Starry Messenger (2009) and Medieval Play (2012). His most recent play, Hold On To Me Darling, an Outer Critics Circle Best Play nominee, was directed by Neil Pepe and premiered at the Atlantic Theatre Company. His first film, You Can Count On Me (2000), which he wrote and directed, was an Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee for Best Screenplay, and won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, NY Film Critics Circle, LA Film Critics Circle and Independent Spirit Award for Best Film and Best Screenplay, among numerous other accolades. Lonergan’s second film, Margaret (2011) and Margaret – Extended Edition (2012), won the European Film Critics’ FIPRESCI Award at the Vienna Film Festival, the Traverse City Film Festival Founders Prize and became a cause célèbre among many film critics, journalists and cinephiles worldwide. He also co-wrote the screenplays for Analyze This and Gangs Of New York (2002 WGA and Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay). He recently completed writing a four-part television adaptation of E.M. Forster’s novel Howard’s End for the BBC. Mr. Lonergan won the 2017 Academy Award for Best Screenplay for Manchester by The Sea. Lonergan is a resident playwright at the Signature Theatre Company. He lives in New York City with his wife and frequent collaborator, actress J. Smith-Cameron, and their daughter, Nellie.

DOMINIQUE MORISSEAU (Commissioned Playwright) is the author of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle) which includes the following plays: Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company), Paradise Blue (Williamstown Theatre Festival), and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT). Additional plays include: Sunset Baby (LAByrinth Theatre); Blood at the Root (National Black Theatre); and Follow Me To Nellie’s (Premiere Stages). She is the book writer on the new musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Temptations premiering at Berkeley Rep this fall. Dominique is alumna of The Public Theater Emerging Writer’s Group, Women’s Project Lab, and Lark Playwrights Workshop and has developed work at Sundance Lab and Eugene O’Neil Playwrights Conference. Her work has been commissioned by the Hip Hop Theater Festival, Steppenwolf Theater Company, Women’s Project, South Coast Rep, People’s Light and Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival/Penumbra Theatre. She currently serves as Co-Producer on the Showtime series Shameless. Awards: Stavis Playwriting Award, NAACP Image Award, Spirit of Detroit Award, Weissberger Award, PoNY Fellowship, Sky-Cooper New American Play Prize, TEER Spirit Trailblazer Award, Steinberg Playwright Award, Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama (Detroit ’67), Audelco and OBIE Award (Skeleton Crew).

ANNA D. SHAPIRO (Director – Straight White Men) won the 2008 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Director for August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. In 2011 she received a Tony Award nomination for her direction of The Motherf**ker with the Hat. Broadway credits include Larry David’s Fish in the Dark, the revival of Steppenwolf’s production of This Is Our Youth and the Broadway revival of Of Mice and Men, which National Theatre Live selected as the first American production to be broadcast to over 700 cinemas across the US and Canada. Shapiro has directed many notable productions with Steppenwolf, including most recently Visiting Edna by David Rabe and Mary Page Marlowe also by Letts. Additional Steppenwolf directing credits include A Parallelogram, Up, The Unmentionables, The Pain and the Itch (also at Playwrights Horizons), Letts’s Man from Nebraska, (named by Time Magazine as one of the Year’s Top Ten of 2003), Side Man (also in Ireland, Australia and Colorado) and Letts’s adaption of Three Sisters, among others. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and Columbia College and the recipient of a 1996 Princess Grace Award, as well as the 2010 Princess Grace Statue Award. Shapiro began working with Steppenwolf in 1995 as the original director of the New Plays Lab, joined the ensemble in 2005 and became Artistic Director at the start of the 2015/16 Season.

PAULA VOGEL (Commissioned Playwright)’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, How I Learned to Drive, received an acclaimed revival at Second Stage Theater in 2012. Her most recent project is Indecent, a play commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions and Yale Repertory Theatre. In close collaboration with director Rebecca Taichman, and co-produced by La Jolla Playhouse, Indecent was developed at the Sundance Theatre Lab in 2013. It has been produced at Yale Repertory Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse in fall 2015. It was produced at the Vineyard Theatre in May 2016 and is currently running on Broadway at the Cort Theatre. Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq, her previous play, was written for the Wilma Company in Philadelphia. With director Blanka Zizka and company members, Paula Vogel conducted interviews with veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, and received funding from the Pew Charitable Trust and Independence Foundation to conduct a year-long workshop with veterans in Philadelphia. Her play How I Learned to Drive received the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Lortel Prize, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and New York Drama Critics Award for Best play, as well as winning her second OBIE. Most recently it was produced in Mandarin in Beijing. Other plays include The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Mineola Twins, The Baltimore Waltz, Hot ‘n Throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, The Oldest Profession, and A Civil War Christmas. In 2004-5 she was playwright in residence at The Signature Theatre. Theatre Communications Group has published four books of her work. In addition, Paula Vogel continues her “bootcamps,” playwriting intensives, with community organizations, theatre companies, subscribers and writers across the globe. Her most recent teaching was at Sewanee, Shanghai Theatre Academy and Nanjing University; her upcoming teaching includes University of Texas in Austin, the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis and workshops for neighborhood residents near The Vineyard Theatre in New York. Most recent awards include the American Theatre Hall of Fame, Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lily’s, the William Inge and the 2015 Thornton Wilder. She is honored to have 3 awards dedicated to emerging playwrights in her name: The American College Theatre Festival, the Paula Vogel Award given annually by the Vineyard Theatre, and the recent Paula Vogel mentor’s award by Young Playwrights of Philadelphia. From 1984 to 2008, Paula Vogel founded and ran the playwriting program at Brown University; during that time she started a theatre workshop for women in Maximum Security at the Adults Correction Institute in Cranston, Rhode Island. It continues to this day, sponsored by the Pembroke Center for Women at Brown University. From 2008-2012 she was the O’Neill Chair at Yale School of Drama. She now writes and lives in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

BESS WOHL’s (Commissioned Playwright) play, American Hero, premiered at Second Stage Uptown in 2014. Her other plays include Small Mouth Sounds (Top Ten of 2015 in The New York Times, The Guardian, New York Post, and many others), Barcelona, Touched, In, Cats Talk Back, and the original musical Pretty Filthy, in collaboration with Michael Friedman and The Civilians (Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Musical). Her work has been produced or developed at Second Stage, Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theatre Club, Ars Nova, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Geffen Playhouse, People’s Light and Theatre Company, The Contemporary American Theater Festival, Vineyard Arts Project, The Pioneer Theatre, The Pittsburgh Public Theater, The Northlight Theater, TheaterWorks New Works Festival, Ojai Playwright's Conference, the Cape Cod Theatre Project, PlayPenn and the New York International Fringe Festival (Award for Best Overall Production). In 2015, Bess won the Sam Norkin special Drama Desk Award for “establishing herself as an important voice in New York theater, and having a breakthrough year.” Other awards and honors include the Athena Award for her screenplay, Virginia, a MacDowell Fellowship, and inclusion on Hollywood’s Black List of Best Screenplays. She is an associate artist with The Civilians, an alumna of Ars Nova’s Play Group, and the recipient of new play commissions from Manhattan Theatre Club, Hartford Stage and Lincoln Center. Bess also writes for film and television, and has developed projects for HBO, ABC, USA, Disney, Paramount and others. In her previous life as an actress, she appeared onstage in New York and regionally, and in numerous films and TV shows where she has given birth, solved crimes, committed crimes, been wrongly accused, and come back from the dead. She is a graduate of Harvard and the Yale School of Drama.

CENTER THEATRE GROUP, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

For over six decades, WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL, recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, has brought emerging and professional theatre artists together to create a thrilling festival of premiere work alongside fresh, new productions of the western canon. Under artistic director Mandy Greenfield, the Festival launched a New Play Commissioning Program through which theatre artists, including Big Dance Theatre, Nathan Alan Davis, Halley Feiffer, Matthew Lopez, Marsha Norman, and Benjamin Scheuer, are creating new work. The Festival runs unmatched training programs for new generations of theatre talent, and artists and productions shaped at the Festival fill theatres in New York, London, and around the country each season.


Under the artistic direction of Carole Rothman, SECOND STAGE THEATER produces a diverse range of premieres and new interpretations of America’s best contemporary theatre, including 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis; 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey; 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes; 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; 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 by Anna Deavere Smith; Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo; 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; Jar the Floor by Cheryl L. West; Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein; 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; Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants by Ricky Jay; Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe; A Soldier’s Play by Charles Fuller; Little Murders by Jules Feiffer; The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry; and Tiny Alice by Edward Albee.

The company’s more than 130 citations include the 2009 Tony Awards for Best Lead Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley, Next to Normal) and Best Score (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, 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, eight Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Clarence Derwent Awards, 13 Drama Desk Awards, nine Theatre World Awards, 17 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 theatre, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. In 2002, Second Stage launched “Second Stage Theater Uptown” series to showcase the work of up and coming artists at the McGinn/Cazale Theater. The Theatre supports artists through several programs that include residencies, fellowships and commissions, and engages students and community members through education and outreach programs.

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