the week of january 28 - february 3, 2023
it's raining adaptations
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icymi: bills, bills, bills #9
This month’s money diary — our first West Coast edition — dropped on Wednesday and follows a week in the life and wallet of a theatre critic turned film studio assistant in Los Angeles:
The full archive of Bills, Bills, Bills diaries is available on the About page, which also contains plenty of useful context and information for new readers. (There was an inexplicably massive subscriber bump this week, so hello if you are new!)
Hilary Bettis’ Queen of Basel starts previews tonight at Theatre Works Hartford. The Miss Julie adaptation, set at Miami’s Art Basel, explores power, race, and class within the Latinx community and is directed by Cristina Angeles
Audrey Cefaly’s Trouble (at the Vista View Mobile Home Estates) will have a one-night-only reading on February 6th as part of Signature Theatre (VA)’s SigWorks: Monday Night New Play Readings. The “surprising and compassionate dramedy of generational scars and the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters” is the fourth play in Cefaly’s Alabama Cycle, which explores the stories of working class people in the Gulf Coast region.
a.k. payne’s Amani runs February 6 - March 3 in a co-production from the National Black Theatre and Rattlestick. Josiah Davis directs the world premiere drama following the title character building a rocket ship with her father, who “vows to make it to outer space, where there are no gangs to take his love's life, no prisons to take Black boys' best years.”
Lloyd Suh’s The Heart Sellers begins February 7th at Milwaukee Rep. Jennifer Chang directs the world premiere, which was “inspired by the landmark immigration bill that allowed Suh’s own parents to arrive in America — and was a pivotal point in the creation of what we know of today as ‘Asian American’ as a social identity.”
The world premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s Letters from Max starts previews February 7th at Signature Theatre in NY. Kate Whoriskey directs Ruhl’s adaptation of her own book, in which she “shared letters and poems passed between herself and her former student Max Ritvo, as he candidly discusses terminal illness and tests poetry's capacity to put to words what otherwise feels ineffable.”
Emily Feldman’s The Best We Could (a family tragedy) begins February 7th at Manhattan Theatre Club. The “funny, wise, and heartbreaking” world premiere about a father-daughter road trip is directed by Daniel Aukin.
The world premiere of Thomas Bradshaw’s The Seagull/Woodstock, NY runs February 7 - March 26 at The New Group. Scott Elliott directs the new Chekhov adaptation set in the Hudson Valley.
Danielle Mohlman’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd begins February 8th at Book-It Rep in Seattle. The classic murder mystery, featuring infamous detective Hercule Poirot, is directed by Jasmine Joshua.
Sara Gmitter’s Villette runs February 8 - April 23 at Lookingglass in Chicago. Tracy Walsh directs the adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s 1853 novel which follows a young woman traveling from her native England to an unfamiliar land “encountering one ambitious debutante, one very cranky teacher, and at least one mysterious ghost along the way.”
Nilo Cruz’s Anna in the Tropics starts performances February 8th at Chicago’s Remy Bumppo. The 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, set in a Florida cigar factory in 1929, is directed by Laura Alcalá Baker.
Kate Hamill’s Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson - Apt 2B is now running through February 12th at Portland Center Stage. Marissa Wolf directs the gender-flipped Sherlock Holmes adaptation, which was developed at PCS’ JAW New Play Festival in 2021.
Tristan B Willis’ in a way that matters streams live on YouTube on February 3rd at 7 PM. Created in collaboration with navi and Joan Cummins, the “multimedia, theatrical performance exploring control, (in)visibility, and what's left when we're gone” is part of The Kennedy Center’s Local Theatre Residency program at the REACH.
New Ohio Theatre’s Now in Process Festival will also livestream online February 1-12. This year’s line-up for the annual presentation of works-in-progress includes The Mill’s Untitled Ukraine Project, Jaime Sunwoo / Free Rein Projects’s Embodied, Caborca’s Rubalee, and Deniz Khateri and Bahar Royaee’s Longing Lights.
The Manipulate Festival’s online short programme is available to stream February 3-5. Edinburgh’s international festival of visual theatre and animated film includes Stéphanie Lansaque and François Leroy’s The Awakening of the Insects, Ayçe Kartal’s I Gotta Look Good for the Apocalypse, and Lachlan Pendragon’s AN OSTRICH TOLD ME THE WORLD IS FAKE AND I THINK I BELIEVE IT.
2023 season updates
American Shakespeare Center announced its 2023 season. The Staunton, VA theatre will present As You Like It (directed by Jen Wineman), Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Taming of the Shrew, Coriolanus, Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice (directed by Nana Dakin), and Lauren Gunderson’s The Book of Will.
Barrington Stage announced additional 2023 programming. In addition to the previously announced Kander and Ebb's Cabaret and Brian Friel's Faith Healer, the Berkshires theatre will produce William Finn and James Lapine's musical A New Brain (directed by Joe Calarco) and two world premieres: Mark St. Germain's The Happiest Man On Earth and Mike Lew’s tiny father (directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel).
Clarence Coo’s Chapters of a Floating Life is the winner of the 2023 L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award. Coo’s play “follows two couples from China as they struggle to make ends meet after World War II in their New York City homes”; it will have a reading at the Williamstown Theatre Festival this summer. He also receives a $10,000 award and the $10,000 Jay Harris Commission to write his next play.
The 2023 Helen Hayes Award nominations were announced. No commentary from me — because I’m a judge (for musicals) — but I will note for devoted Nothing for the Group readers that Kimberly Belflower’s John Proctor is the Villain is the most nominated play. This is also the first year of gender-inclusive performance categories. In 2020, I wrote a report for Theatre Washington about the decision to eliminate gender-segregated awards after extensive community action from DC trans and nonbinary artists. It feels especially relevant this week after & Juliet actor Justin David Sullivan, who is trans nonbinary, declined Tony eligibility because they didn’t feel comfortable submitting themselves into a gendered category.
the regional theatre game of thrones
Estefanía Fadul and Graeme Gillis are the new co-artistic directors of Ensemble Studio Theatre. Gillis has been serving as interim artistic director since William Carden retired last year; director/producer Fadul will join the company next month.
Dayron J. Miles is the new associate artistic director at American Repertory Theater. Miles joined the Cambridge company in 2019 as senior advisor for civic engagement and strategic partnerships.
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hi Lauren, Can you pls include this world premiere in next week's 'in-person theatre' section? https://kcrep.org/event/flood/