the week of march 25 - 31, 2023
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Joe Murray and Joe Robertson’s The Jungle is now playing at Shakespeare Theatre Company. Co-presented with Woolly Mammoth, the immersive production set at a makeshift refugee camp in Calais, France is directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin.
Congo Square Theatre’s production of Lisa Langford’s How Blood Go is now playing as part of Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series. Tiffany Fulson directs the world premiere “weaving the present and past together to explore the strained relationship between the medicine and African Americans in this country.”
Arlene Hutton’s As It Is In Heaven is now playing at the Taproot Theatre in Seattle. The revival of the nine-woman drama wrestling with belief and doubt within a Shaker community in 1830s Kentucky is directed by Marianne Savell.
Primary Stages’ Fresh Ink Reading Series is now running through April 14th. The selected works are Jonathan Norton’s Sojourners, Elizabeth Irwin’s Harm Reduction, Benjamin Benne’s and thou shalt be healed, Jon Kern’s Guru Up a Mountain, Brittany K. Allen’s The Great Books, and Calamity West’s Feast!.
francisca da silveira’s pay no worship runs March 31 - April 23 at InterAct in Philadelphia. Tyrone L. Robinson directs the world premiere set on a tiny African island in Cape Verde, where “both dreams and volcanoes are at risk of erupting as cousins Martin and Jose fight for opportunity, understanding, and their lives when a tropical storm threatens to destroy everything they know.”
Sanaz Toossi’s English starts performances March 31st at Berkeley Rep. The recent OBIE Award winner for Best New American Play is directed by Mina Morita.
Aya Ogawa’s The Nosebleed runs March 31 - April 23 at Woolly Mammoth. Ogawa also directs the “series of absurd autobiographical vignettes delving into the shit show of parenthood, as both a parent and a child – and what it takes to forgive.”
Idris Goodwin, Eugene H. Russell, and Divinity Roxx’s The Boy Who Kissed the Sky premieres April 1st at The Alliance in Atlanta. The new family musical inspired by the early life and influences of iconic guitarist Jimi Hendrix is directed by Tim Bond.
The Folger Theatre production of Malik Work, Karen Ann Daniels, and Devin E. Haqq’s Our Verse in Time to Come runs April 3 - April 23 at various DC public libraries. The interactive collaboration inspired by Shakespeare and featuring original live hip-hop music is directed by Vernice Miller.
Roger Q. Mason’s THE PINK: An Intimacy Ritual will have a free reading on April 3rd presented by Breaking the Binary Theatre and Primary Stages.
é boylan directs the “hook up performed in real time between two queer people of color seeking true intimacy in the age of dating apps and digital sex.”
David Auburn’s Summer, 1976 starts Broadway performances on April 4th at Manhattan Theatre Club. Daniel Sullivan directs the Bicentennial-set world premiere about the unlikely friendship between two young women in Ohio as they navigate motherhood, ambition, and intimacy.
The world premiere of Jessica Dickey’s Galileo’s Daughter begins April 5th at Remy Bumppo in Chicago. The century-jumping drama about a playwright’s search for the surviving letters between Galileo and his eldest daughter is directed by Marti Lyons.
The Chicago premiere of Aleshea Harris’ Is God Is runs April 6 - May 28 at A Red Orchid. Marti Gobel directs the “modern myth about twin sisters who sojourn from the Dirty South to the California desert to exact righteous revenge.”
Donnetta Lavinia Grays’ Last Night and the Night Before starts performances April 6th at Steppenwolf. The “heartbreaking and poetic portrait of love: Black, queer, familial” is directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton.
Audible released four new theatrical audio adaptations. The company’s spring slate includes Yilong Liu’s Good Enemy, Mathilde Dratwa’s Dirty Laundry, Aditi Brennan Kapil’s six-episode psychological thriller Marrow, and the Geffen Playhouse production of Matthew López's The Inheritance.
2023 season updates
Williamstown Theatre Festival announced a stripped-down season. The Berkshires summer festival will present Hasan Minhaj’s new work Experiment Time; mainstage readings of Hamish Linklater’s Paris, ACTORS!, Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters, and Martin McDonagh’s The Pillowman; developmental readings of Clarence Coo’s Chapters of a Floating Life (directed by Jennifer Chang), Cindy Lou Johnson’s Plunder and Lightning, and Aurora Real de Asua’s Wipeout (directed by Maggie Burrows). The festival will also host four artists-in-residence: Breaking the Binary Theatre, Nightdrive, Waterwell, and Plate Spinner Productions.
The decision to “focus on minimally staged productions in order to focus their resources on reimagining the Festival's operations” comes a year and a half after the Los Angeles Times’ reporting on WTF’s toxic work culture.
Clubbed Thumb announced its 2023 Summerworks line-up. The annual new play festival will include ruth tang’s Work Hard Have Fun Make History (directed by Caitlin Sullivan), Abe Koogler’s Deep Blue Sound (directed by Arin Arbus), and Liza Birkenmeier’s Grief Hotel (directed by Tara Ahmadinejad).
2023-24 season announcements
The Goodman Theatre announced its 2023-24 season. The Chicago theatre’s line-up includes Pearl Cleage’s The Nacirema Society (directed by Lili-Anne Brown), Christopher Llewyn Ramirez and Jeff Colangelo’s Lucha Teotl, Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad (directed by Susan V. Booth), August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (directed by Chuck Smith), Sanaz Toossi’s English (directed by Hamid Dehghani), and three world premieres: Dana Delany, Mike Donahue, Dane Laffrey and Jen Silverman’s Highway Patrol; Curtis Moore, Amanda Green, Gabrielle Allan, and Jennifer Crittenden’s musical comedy Female Troubles; and Mary Zimmerman’s The Matchboox Magic Flute.
Baltimore Center Stage announced its 2023-24 season. Projects include Lanie Roberston’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (directed by Nikkole Salter), ArtsCentric’s production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderellla (directed by Kevin S. McAllister), Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson’s Mexodus (directed by David Mendizábal, co-pro with Mosaic), Katori Hall’s The Hot Wing King (directed by Christopher D. Betts), Jenny Koons’ adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest, and the inaugural Locally Grown Festival “celebrating Baltimore’s brilliant, eccentric, and thriving arts ecology.”
The Alliance announced its 2023-24 season. The Atlanta theatre will produce James Ijames’ Fat Ham, Sanaz Toossi’s English, Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell’s opera The Shining, and three world premieres: a.k. payne's Furlough's Paradise, Brendan Pelsue's adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities, and Tituss Burgess and Azie Dungey’s musical adaptation of The Preacher’s Wife.
Round House announced its 2023-24 season. The Bethesda, MD theatre’s line-up includes James Graham’s Ink (directed by Jason Loewith), Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop (directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg), the musical Next to Normal (directed by Alan Paul), Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog, and two world premieres: Aaron Kenny, Rob Berliner, and Harrison Bryan’s A Hanukkah Carol Or GELT TRIP! The Musical (directed by Marlo Hunter) and Inda Craig Galván’s A Jumping Off Point (directed by Jade King Carroll).
Syracuse Stage announced its 2023-24 season. Projects include Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me (directed by Melissa Crespo), Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s (directed by Chip Miller), Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express (directed by Robert Hupp), and Keb' Mo',
Anderson Edwards and Keith Glover’s musical Thunder Knocking On the Door.
Asolo Repertory Theatre announced its upcoming season. The Sarasota company’s six-show season includes the musical Crazy for You (directed by Josh Rhodes), Jermone Lawrence and Robert E. Lee’s Inherit the Wind (directed by Peter Rothstein), Liz Duffy Adams’ Born With Teeth (directed by Rob Melrose), Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel (directed by Austene Van), Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation of Dial M for Murder (directed by Céline Rosenthal), and Twelve Angry Men: A New Musical (directed by Rothstein).
awards & residencies
Sarah Mantell won the 2023 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Mantell is the first out non-binary playwright to take home the $25,000 award. They were honored for their play In the Amazon Warehouse Parking Lot, which is “set among a septet of queer women and nonbinary characters over 50 in a climate-compromised U.S. in the near future.”
Mia Chung and Emma Wippermann are the winners of the 2023 Whiting Awards for Drama. Each recipient receives a $50,000 award.
People’s Light launched its Kiln New Works Program. The annual initiative invites six artists for a five-day residency to develop new projects at the Malvern, PA theatre. This year’s participants include Lisa Ramirez, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Seema Sueko, Steve H. Broadnax III, Estefanía Fadul, and Carey Perloff.
things I read this week when i wasn’t watching succession
3Views’ interviews with Black arts & culture critics Jan Simpson, Eric Deggans, and Regina Victor on their intergenerational experiences and reflections on the field’s history and future.
Jessica Gelt on how the Geffen Playhouse’s new musical The Lonely Few expertly channels indie rock vibes (LA Times)
heads up on some forthcoming content
On Sunday, paid subscribers will receive a new edition of Season Planning Futures, a past feature I’m reviving to analyze emerging patterns and trends in 2023-24 season announcements. It will be delivered to your inbox just like this email. (I am just as surprised as you are that I generated some premium content while in rehearsals/working full-time/writing the weekly Friday edition. I have no productivity tips for you because my creative process is “loudly exhale, text my friends ‘can I be a huge bitch for a second’, do every possible chore in my apartment, stare into the abyss/watch Love Island, zone out, words magically appear on a screen, amnesia, repeat.”)
On Wednesday morning, the April edition of Bills, Bills, Bills will be sent to all subscribers. (It’s a double feature!)
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