Roundabout announces 2019 Underground Reading Series lineup
ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY
THE EIGHTH ANNUAL
UNDERGROUND READING SERIES
FIVE READINGS IN FIVE NIGHTS
FEATURING NEW WORKS BY
AARON CARTER, EMILY FELDMAN, DAVE HARRIS, JONATHAN SPECTOR and SANAZ TOOSSI
January 28-February 1, 2019
At the Black Box Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre
Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO) is thrilled to announce the eighth annual Roundabout Underground Reading Series, a five-night event that includes nightly readings of new works written and directed by emerging artists, as well as post-show receptions. The Reading Series will feature new works by
Aaron Carter, Emily Feldman, Dave Harris, Jonathan Spector and Sanaz Toossi.
The Roundabout Underground Reading Series is January 28-February 1, 2019 at 5:00PM at the Black Box Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street). Tickets are FREE.
This year will feature Roundabout alumni Will Davis, who returns to Roundabout after directing Bobbie Clearly last season at Black Box Theatre. Roundabout Underground’s upcoming production of Something Clean by Selina Fillinger was selected from this series in 2018.
Also joining the Reading Series is Roundabout’s Artistic Development Associate Miranda Haymon, directing Exception to the Rule by Dave Harris.
Roundabout Underground exists to provide a new generation of playwrights with their debut New York productions, at Roundabout’s 62-seat Black Box Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre. To encourage the widest possible audience, all seats are $30.
Now in its 12th season, Roundabout Underground is part of Roundabout’s New Play Initiative, discovering new writers and providing them long-term development and production support. In addition to the Black Box production, every Underground playwright gets a commission for a future play. Roundabout’s Jill Rafson serves as Artistic Producer.
Among the playwrights who made their New York debuts at Roundabout Underground are Stephen Karam (Speech & Debate, 2007), Steven Levenson (The Language of Trees, 2008), Adam Gwon (Ordinary Days, 2009), Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews, 2012), Meghan Kennedy (Too Much, Too Much, Too Many, 2013), Lindsey Ferrentino (Ugly Lies the Bone, 2015), Jiréh Breon Holder (Too Heavy for Your Pocket, 2017), Alex Lubischer (Bobbie Clearly, 2018) and Ming Peiffer (Usual Girls, 2018). Levenson and Karam went on to win Tony Awards, respectively, for Dear Evan Hansen and The Humans, Karam’s second Roundabout commission.
Major support for Roundabout Underground is provided by Jodi Glucksman.
We gratefully acknowledge the Roundabout Leaders for New Works: Alec Baldwin, James Costa and John Archibald, Linda L. D’Onofrio, Peggy and Mark Ellis, Howard Gilman Foundation, Jodi Glucksman, Sylvia Golden, Judith and Douglas Krupp, K. Myers, Katheryn Patterson and Tom Kempner, Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, Ira Pittelman, Laura S. Rodgers, Mary Solomon, Lauren and Danny Stein, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and The Tow Foundation.
Readings and Workshops at Roundabout are generously supported by the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.
By Jonathan Spector, Directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt
Monday, January 28 at 5:00PM
When a child at the Eureka Day School in Berkeley, California, is diagnosed with the Mumps, the school’s Executive Committee – normally a bubble of civility in which all can voice their concerns – ruptures down the middle. Battle lines are drawn between those parents in support of vaccination and those against it. How do we speak with peers whose opinions endanger our wellbeing? For Eureka Day, finding an answer might mean compromising their “safe space” – or rebuilding it altogether.
JONATHAN SPECTOR (Playwright) is a playwright and theatre-maker based in Oakland, California. His plays include Eureka Day (Aurora Theater, Berkeley) Good. Better. Best. Bested. (Custom Made Theater, San Francisco), This Much I Know (Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor) Adult Swim (2015 PlayGround Festival), and In From The Cold (Just Theater). He has developed work with San Francisco Playhouse, Crowded Fire Theatre, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Aurora Theater and Mugwumpin, The Lark, Source Theater Festival (Washington, DC), Something Marvelous (Chicago), Theater of NOTE (LA) and Stanford’s National Center for New Plays. He has received the 2018 Rella Lossy Award, Theatre Bay Area’s TITAN award, an Emerging Playwright Award from PlayGround, been a two-time winner of Aurora Theater’s Global Age Prize, and is a Resident Playwright at Playwrights Foundation. His work has been nominated for the Stavis Award and he’s been a finalist for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, New Harmony Project, Lark Playwrights Week, SPACE at Ryder Farm, and the Juilliard Fellowship. Jonathan has an MFA from San Francisco State University, is the Co-Artistic Director of the Berkeley-based Just Theater, and was the Associate Artistic Director of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival from 2007-2011, where he developed many new plays with writers including Samuel Hunter, Annie Baker, Marcus Gardley and Sheila Callaghan. Prior to moving west, he spent a few years in New York, where he was a member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab, and assisted on several shows with the Civilians.
ADRIENNE CAMPBELL-HOLT (Director) is the Founding Artistic Director of Colt Coeur and the recipient of the 2018 Lucille Lortel Visionary Director Award. Upcoming: Joan by Stephen Belber (Colt Coeur) and Hatefuck by Rehana Lew Mirza (WP Theater and Colt Coeur), Downstairs by Theresa Rebeck at Primary Stages; world premiere of We are Among Us by Stephen Belber (City Theater). Recent world premieres: Thirst, by C. A. Johnson (Contemporary American Theater Festival), Zürich, by Amelia Roper (Colt Coeur/NYTW), Afterwords, by Zoe Sarnak and Emily Kaczmarek (Village Theater), What We’re Up Against (WP Theater), Empathitrax by Ana Nogueira (Colt Coeur), Cal in Camo by William Francis Hoffman (co-pro Rattlestick & Colt Coeur), Theresa Rebeck’s The Nest (Denver Theatre Company), One Child Born (Oberon at American Repertory Theater), How to Live on Earth by MJ Kaufman (Colt Coeur), Chiara Atik’s 52nd to Bowery (EST Marathon), Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel (Colt Coeur), Greg Moss’ Reunion (South Coast Rep), Everything is Ours by Nikole Beckwith (Colt Coeur), Recall by Eliza Clark (Colt Coeur), Fish Eye (Colt Coeur), and Seven Minutes in Heaven by Steven Levenson (Colt Coeur). Adrienne has developed work with La Jolla Playhouse, Roundabout Theater Company, Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, Playwrights’ Center, and EST. She is also the director of #makeitfair and the Associate Director on the Broadway production of Dear Evan Hansen. Adrienne also founded and served as Artistic Director of the DUMBO-based The Nest from 2002-2004, which was a 70,000 SF arts warehouse and home to resident artists/companies: Cynthia Hopkins, Koosil-Ja Hwang, Collapsable Giraffe, National Theater of the United States of America, Ugly Duckling Press, Brooklyn Underground Film Festival, and many more. BA Barnard College, Columbia University.
EXCEPTION TO THE RULE
By Dave Harris, Directed by Miranda Haymon
Tuesday, January 29 at 5:00PM
Five teenagers have landed themselves in detention. Again. While they wait for Mr. Bernie to arrive, sign their forms and send them home for the long weekend, an unlikely sixth joins their ranks. Dave Harris’s funny yet chilling new drama follows a group of adolescents and their evolving relationships with authenticity, blackness and quests to break out of a broken system.
DAVE HARRIS (Playwright) is a poet and playwright from West Philly. His plays include EVERYBODY BLACK (World Premiere Actor's Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival 2019), WHITE HISTORY (Victory Gardens Ignition Festival, finalist O'Neill, semi-finalist The Relentless Award), INCENDIARY (Venturous Fellowship at The Lark, Kennedy Center MFA Workshop), EXCEPTION TO THE RULE (finalist O'Neill), and TAMBO & BONES (Black Swan Lab at Oregon Shakespeare Fest, SPACE on Ryder Farm) amongst others. He is a member of The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm, a Cave Canem Poetry Fellow, and a 2018 Venturous Fellow at The Lark. His first full-length collection of poetry, PATRICIDE, will be published in May 2019 from Button Poetry. Dave received his B.A. from Yale and is a second year MFA playwright at UC San Diego.
MIRANDA HAYMON (Director) is a Princess Grace Award/Honoraria-winning director of performance originally from Boston, MA. She is an artist-in-residence at Roundabout Theatre Company, where she was previously the 2017/18 Directing Fellow and is currently the Artistic Development Associate. Miranda is Resident Director at The Tank, a New Georges Affiliate Artist, member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, the Wingspace Mentorship Program, a Manhattan Theatre Club Directing Fellow, and a former Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow at Arena Stage. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University where she double majored in German Studies and Theater and was awarded the Rachel Henderson Theater Prize in Directing. www.mirandahaymon.com
THE GOSPEL OF FRANKLIN
By Aaron Carter, Directed by Ellie Heyman
Wednesday, January 30 at 5:00PM
William is looking for answers. Answers about his father, answers about the past, answers about the future. Armed with photographs, a bible, and his own foggy memories, William is trying to piece together the enigma that is his father, Franklin. What exactly was Franklin preaching, and why was he preaching it to a string of lost white souls?
AARON CARTER (Playwright). Aaron Carter’s writing focuses on the intersections between race and faith, and is inspired by his lifelong interest in circus, sideshows, magic and sci-fi. His latest play, The Echo, uses the framework of a classic haunting tale to explore racial identity and legacy. Recently, his adaptation of the Walter Dean Myers novel Monster was produced at Steppenwolf. His plays have been produced and developed at Steppenwolf, Victory Gardens, TimeLine, and the Lorraine Hansberry Theater, among others. His play Swamp Baby is currently in rehearsals with MPAACT in Chicago. Aaron previously worked as an Artistic Producer at Steppenwolf Theater Company, supporting such projects as Pass Over by Antoinette Nwandu, The Minutes by Tracy Letts, The Fundamentals by Erika Sheffer, The Way West by Mona Mansour, and Airline Highway by Lisa D’Amour. Previously, he served as the Literary Manager at Victory Gardens Theater where he played a key role in the IGNITION Festival, and was involved in the production of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Year Zero, Love Person and Living Green. Aaron was also on the writing staff of the upcoming CBS/WBTV/Berlanti television show The Red Line.
ELLIE HEYMAN (Director) is a NYC based theater director and the Director in Residence at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater. Recent credits include: A$AP Rocky's performance art album launch Lab Rat at Sotheby's, Jason Craig & Dave Malloy’s Beardo (Drama Desk Award Nomination; Pipeline Theater), Erin Markey’s Boner Killer (Under the Radar/The Public Theater), Becca Blackwell 's They, Themself and Schmerm (Under the Radar/The Public Theater); Adrienne Truscott’s THIS (Bessie Award Nomination for Outstanding Production; NYLA), Dinner with Georgette (NYTW, Next Door), Dane Terry's Jupiter's Lifeless Moons (PS122/COIL), and The Traveling Imaginary, an internationally touring theatrical rock show with Julian Koster (Neutral Milk Hotel) rated "Top 5 shows of the year" by NPR. She developed and directed The Orbiting Human Circus (Of the Air) (Night Vale Presents) which was rated #1 on Apple Podcasts and downloaded over 5 million times. Upcoming projects include The Tattooed Lady by Max Vernon & Erin Courtney and Dreamboy, a new music-fiction podcast with Night Vale Presents. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and Boston University, and a Drama League and WP Theater Time Warner Directing Fellow Alumni.ellieheyman.com
By Sanaz Toossi, Directed by Saheem Ali
Thursday, January 31 at 5:00PM
“English, always.” That’s the motto for one classroom in Iran, as a group of students struggles to learn a new language. If only they can conquer this mysterious tongue, doors will open to new jobs, deeper family connections, and boundless opportunities. But as they practice, practice, practice, desperate not to fail (or, worst of all, sound like Borat), understanding a new world might also mean leaving their old one behind.
SANAZ TOOSSI (Playwright) is an Iranian-American playwright from Orange County, CA. She received her MFA in playwriting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she received the John Golden Award for excellence in playwriting. Her short play Baba Karam was read at the Atlantic Theater, where she is the recipient of the Launch commission. She is a member of Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Clubbed Thumb early career writers’ group and was a P73 playwriting fellowship semifinalist. Sanaz is a proud child of immigrants.
SAHEEM ALI (Director) is a proud immigrant from Kenya. Recent credits include Fireflies (Atlantic Theater Company), Dangerous House (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Sugar in Our Wounds (MTC), Tartuffe (Playmakers Rep), Where Storms Are Born (Williamstown Theater Festival), Henry V (NYU Grad), Twelfth Night (The Public), Kill Move Paradise (National Black Theater), Diaspora (Gym at Judson), Nollywood Dreams (Cherry Lane) and Dot (Detroit Public Theater). He has workshopped new plays at Playwrights Horizons, The Atlantic, Playwrights Realm, MCC, MTC, The Public, New York Stage & Film, Page 73 and The Lark. He has co-written two musicals with composer Michael Thurber: The Booty Call (Roundabout Underground Reading Series) and Goddess (O’Neill Musical Theater Conference). He is a Usual Suspect and former Directing Fellow at New York Theater Workshop, Sir John Gielgud SDC Fellow and a Shubert Fellow.
GO. PLEASE. GO.
By Emily Feldman, Directed by Will Davis
Friday, February 1 at 5:00PM
After five years of dating, Emily and Jeremy break it off. They agree that he will move out of the home they share. But, he doesn’t go. Emily moves on, and still, he doesn’t go. Through seventy years of new loves, marriages, babies, and funerals, he is uncomfortable staying, but unable to leave. GO. PLEASE. GO. articulates the infinite transience of life and the comfort we seek in the tricky middle years between birth and death. Strains of OUR TOWN echo through this new play spanning decades of celebrations and devastations, as Emily and Jeremy try to figure out how to survive being alive—together and alone.
EMILY FELDMAN (Playwright). Emily Feldman’s work has been developed by The Playwrights’ Center, Colt Coeur, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Magic Theatre, The Alliance Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, The Playwrights Realm, JAW at Portland Center Stage, The Cape Cod Theatre Project, WildWind, The New Harmony Project, and Second Stage. She has been an Alliance/Kendeda finalist, Ashland New Play Festival Winner, a member of The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm, and a Tennessee Williams Scholar at The Sewanee Writers Conference. She’s currently a member of I-73 at Page73, The Orchard Project NYC Greenhouse, and Two Rivers’ Emerging Playwrights Group. Emily is a recent Jerome Fellow and Core Apprentice at The Playwrights’ Center and was the 2017-2018 Shank Playwright in Residence at Playwrights Horizons. She is working on commissions from Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, and Arena Stage and teaches playwriting at NYU/Tisch. MFA in playwriting: UC San Diego. BA: Middlebury College.
WILL DAVIS (Director) is a director and choreographer. Recent and upcoming projects include: India Pale Ale by Jaclyn Backhaus for MTC; A Doll’s House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath for Long Wharf Theatre; The Carpenter by Rob Askins for The Alley Theatre; Bobbie Clearly by Alex Lubischer for Roundabout Underground; Charm by Philip Dawkins for MCC; Men on Boats by Jaclyn Backhaus for Clubbed Thumb and Playwrights Horizons, for which he was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award. Duat by Daniel Alexander Jones for Soho Rep; Sorry Robot by Mike Iveson for PS122’s COIL Festival; Evita for the Olney Theatre Center, for which he was nominated for a Helen Hayes award for outstanding direction, and Colossal by Andrew Hinderaker also for the Olney Theatre Center, for which he won a Helen Hayes award for outstanding direction. Davis has developed, directed and performed his work with NYSF, New York Theatre Workshop, Clubbed Thumb, the New Museum, the Alliance Theatre, the Playwright’s Realm, the Fusebox Festival, the Orchard Project, the Ground Floor Residency at Berkeley Rep and the Kennedy Center. He is an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, NYTW 2050 Directing Fellowship and BAX (Brooklyn Art Exchange) artist in residence program.
A limited number of FREE tickets to the reading series will be available to the general public. Tickets can be reserved by emailing email@example.com.
There will be one reading each night at 5:00PM, Monday, January 28 – Friday, February 1 in the Black Box Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street).
The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre opened in March 2004 with an acclaimed premiere of Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel starring Viola Davis, directed by Dan Sullivan. Since that landmark production, the center has expanded beyond the Laura Pels Theatre to include the Black Box Theatre and now a new education center. The Steinberg Center continues to reflect Roundabout’s commitment to produce new works by established and emerging writers as well as revivals of classic plays. This state-of-the-art off-Broadway theatre and education complex is made possible by a major gift from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The Trust was created in 1986 by Harold Steinberg to promote and advance American Theatre as a vital part of our culture by supporting playwrights, encouraging the development and production of new work, and providing financial assistance to not-for-profit theatre companies across the country. Since its inception, the Trust has awarded over $70 million to more than 125 theatre organizations.
Roundabout Underground’s home is a 62-seat Black Box Theatre, which is also used year-round by Roundabout’s education department for its activities including student productions and professional development workshops.
Roundabout’s work with new and emerging playwrights and directors, as well as development of new work, is made possible by Katheryn Patterson and Tom Kempner.
We gratefully acknowledge the Roundabout Leaders for New Works: Alec Baldwin, James Costa and John Archibald, Linda L. D’Onofrio, Peggy and Mark Ellis, Jodi Glucksman, Sylvia Golden, Hess Foundation, Inc., Judith and Douglas Krupp, K. Myers, Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, Ira Pittelman, Laura S. Rodgers, Seedlings Foundation, Mary Solomon, Lauren and Danny Stein, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and Dr. Leonard Tow.
Roundabout Theatre Company celebrates the power of theatre by spotlighting classics from the past, cultivating new works of the present, and educating minds for the future. A not-for-profit company, Roundabout fulfills that mission by producing familiar and lesser-known plays and musicals; discovering and supporting talented playwrights; reducing the barriers that can inhibit theatergoing; collaborating with a diverse team of artists; building educational experiences; and archiving over five decades of production history.
Roundabout Theatre Company presents a variety of plays, musicals and new works on its five stages: Broadway’s American Airlines Theatre, Studio 54 and Stephen Sondheim Theatre, and Off-Broadway’s Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre.
American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout productions are supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Roundabout’s 2018-19 Broadway season includes True West by Sam Shepard, directed by James Macdonald, starring Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano; Kiss Me, Kate, directed by Scott Ellis, starring Kelli O’Hara, Will Chase and Corbin Bleu, and Arthur Miller’s All My Sons starring Annette Bening and Tracy Letts, directed by Jack O’Brien.
Off-Broadway in 2018-2019, Roundabout’s season continues with Merrily We Roll Along by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth, directed by Noah Brody in a Fiasco Theater production; Toni Stone by Lydia R. Diamond, directed by Pam MacKinnon, with Uzo Aduba; and Usual Girls by Ming Peiffer, directed by Tyne Rafaeli and Something Clean by Selina Fillinger, directed by Margot Bordelon at Roundabout Underground.
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