Tag Archives: theater

On The Shore Of The Atlantic…

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I’m so excited to share that I’m in the American premiere of On The Shore Of The Wide World.  Our playwright Simon Stephens’s work (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) has been celebrated around the world and I can tell you the hype is well deserved.  Led by the smart and engaging Neil Pepe, our stellar cast is having a wonderfully tender time exploring the depths of the world Simon created.  It’s a gem of a play, The Atlantic is an institution and the house is fairly small so I expect we’ll sell well and quickly.  Get more information and tickets here.  Hope to see you at the theater!

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Summer at Second Stage!

 

Layover Second Stage QUINCY DUNN-BAKER (Kevin/Arno) Also at Second Stage: Trust and Wildflower (2ST Uptown). Off-Broadway: By The Water (MTC), The Wayside Motor Inn (Signature, Drama Desk Award), The Forest (Classic Stage Company), The Good Negro (The Public), The First Breeze of Summer (Signature), Romeo and Juliet (The Public/NYSF) and Mr. Marmalade (Roundabout) Regional: Magnetic North (Portland Stage), A Streetcar Named Desire (Triad Stage), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Germany/ Switzerland), Deathtrap and Murder on the Nile (Dorset Theater).  TV: “Chicago Med,” “The Blacklist,” “ Dead-Beat,” “The Following,”  "Blue Bloods,” "A Gifted Man,” "Law & Order: SVU," "Law & Order: CI," "Nurse Jackie," "CSI:NY," "As The World Turns," "One Life To Live," "Guiding Light”.  Film: Cigarette Soup, Draft Day, The Word, The Big Wedding, Hannah Has A Ho Phase, Teleglobal Dreamin' (SXSW), and Sister. BFA, The North Carolina School of the Arts.  	ARICA HIMMEL (Lily) age 11, Arica is honored to be making her off-Broadway debut in The Layover.  A native New Yorker, Arica is a pianist and aspiring filmmaker. She's an avid reader and baker. Arica began training at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre at age ten. 	ANNIE PARISSE (Shellie). Second Stage: Becky Shaw (Lortel Nom.). Broadway: Clybourne Park, Prelude to a Kiss. Select Off-Broadway: Antlia Pneumatica, All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, The Internationalist (Drama Desk Nom.) , Monster, and The Credeaux Canvas.  TV: “Vinyl,” “The Following,”  “Law & Order," "Rubicon," “House of Cards,” "The Big C," "Person of Interest," and "Unforgettable". Film: Anesthesia, And So it Goes, Wild Canaries, Price Check, One for the Money among others. Member: AEA. 	JOHN PROCACCINO(Fred) Broadway: Our Mother’s Brief Affair and An Enemy of the People (MTC), A Time to Kill, An American Daughter, A Thousand Clowns, Conversations with My Father, Art. Off-Broadway: Love and Information (NY

For the last month I’ve been working on Leslye Headland’s The Layover at Second Stage. This world premiere production is being directed by her frequent collaborator and dear friend Trip Cullman. This dark and funny new play is as revealing as it is unsettling. We have a fabulous little cast and it’s a joy to share the stage with them. We started previews last week and have 8 shows a week through September 18th. I have a few things cooking for the fall so stay tuned and I hope to see you at the theater! For tickets visit 2st.com

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A Lush Spring

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I had a ball at Humana Festival!  So many extraordinary artists flock there it was an honor and pleasure to be a part of it.  I loved spending time with both old and new friends while exploring so many incredible new American plays.

A few weeks ago I received the Charles Bowden Award from New Dramatists at their annual Spring Luncheon.  The entire Broadway community came out to honor Audra McDonald so it was a fairly lush affair full of surreal moments.  I was so touched to be there and am grateful to New Dramatists for acknowledging my dedication to play development.

And finally, if you’re in New York I’m performing in Julia Jarcho’s fierce sexy new play Every Angel Is Brutal. We’re kicking off Clubbed Thumb’s SummerWorks at The Wild Project and are in previews until the 30th. Closing is next Monday the sixth so it’s a super limited engagement and we WILL sell out so get tickets sooner rather than later.  It’s basically an action movie onstage so yeah you want to be there!  More info below.

Every Angel Is Brutal graphic

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Harvest!

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This fall has been chock full of new developments!  I’ve been in residency at The New Museum since the end of October.  They’ve created a pop up repertory company called X-ID Rep in an effort to further explore the theme of their season: persona.  More to the point: the company is investigating “cross play” in the theater or playing someone of a different race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. and what the politics of that are.  We’re talking stereotypes, appropriation, xenophobia, history, language, privilege and so much more.  It’s been a difficult heady tender meta journey to have the talents of eight performers, four writers and four directors meet.  But overall, everyone’s skills are so varied and wonderful it’s been a real gift to share this time and space together.  We’re essentially an ongoing exhibit at the museum until we have our final showing in January.  So anyone can stop by and check out the process during open studio hours.  More information including open studio hours (and eventually details regarding the final showing) can be found here.  Justine Williams is writing a series of articles about the project for Culturebot that can be found here.

I attended the Audelco awards a few weeks ago as Dancing on Eggshells (a show I was in the world premiere of earlier this year) was nominated for Best Choreography and Best Ensemble.  We didn’t win but it was wonderful to be acknowledged and invited.  There was a lot of talent in that room.

I just watched a final cut of Masquerade, a period short I’m in that tells the true story of William and Ellen Craft’s escape from slavery (see post below for more info).  It’s being submitted to festivals and will premiere in 2016 so I can’t post clips yet but I do have this screen shot to share:

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Last month I was in PlayTime at New Dramatists, which is one of their longer developmental workshops  (lasting two weeks) for five of their playwrights in residence.  What’s amazing is that they take such great care of everyone and go to such pains to make sure that people working on different shows intersect that it feels like a retreat though almost everyone in the company was in the city they call home.  There were free meals, yoga classes and writing workshops and the whole thing was totally kumbaya and rejuvenating.  I was lucky enough to work with Sibyl Kempson (writer/director) and Graham Reynolds (composer) on The Securely Conferred Vouchsafed Keepsakes of Maery S.  Sibyl is endlessly smart and creative and operating on a frequency that resonates in yet undiscovered parts of the psyche.  Graham’s music is inspired and hearty and satisfying.  Love them.  Love the work.  So excited to see what else we can make together…

Finally, I’m so excited to announce that I’m in the world premiere of Laura Jacqumin’s Residence directed by Hal Brooks at Humana Festival.  Humana is such a hotbed for great new American plays it’s been a goal of mine to be a part of it.  I’m really happy I’ll get to go with such a great creative team and more than a relieved to miss the worst of winter in NYC 🙂 More info here.

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I’m so excited to announce the world premiere How To Live On Earth, a play I’ve been a part of developing over the last year.  It’s loosely based on the Mars One project and explores what the emotional/interpersonal effects of such a project might be.  It’s been super fun and rewarding to experiment with this incredible group to build a play from the ground up.  It’s very rare to not only have a play be produced only year after it’s first rumblings, but also to be able to work with a writer and director to shape the form and course your character ultimately takes. I can also honestly say that I’ve never been given the opportunity to develop a character quite like this or nerded out so much on outer/aerospace stuff, so I’m pleased to share this other side of myself.  We run from September 13th to October 3rd at HERE Arts Center.  The New York Times listed us first in the fall theater preview this week so tickets are selling fast.  Trailer’s here tickets are here and details are here.  Hope to see you at the theater!
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New Year New Work!

2015 has been great so far!  The first week of the year I shot a beautiful short film Masquerade with my new friend and collaborator Andrew Hawkins.  It’s a period film about William and Ellen Craft who escaped slavery by posing as a white invalid and his slave.  It’s an equally fascinating and unnerving true story that I’m honored to have a part in telling.  The crew of people that came together for this were talented hardworking problem solvers.  I am so grateful for all their efforts. Our fearless cinematographer Thomas Garrett brought a drone!  So cool and surreal to see (especially against an 1848 backdrop!).  I’m so excited to see how the shot turns out…

The rest of January through March I was busy running around for pilot season.  Which basically means a lot of makeup and memorizing. I’m kidding–it’s great exercise!  And I’m so pleased there’s so much more work available and feel lucky to have been considered for so many large parts.

Also, I just booked another short film called Dizzy With That Dame.  It’s another period film–this time the 30s–and it’s a “whodunnit!”  Check out the kickstarter page here to see a short promo video featuring yours truly.

Up next is the world premiere of Cynthia Robinson’s Dancing on Eggshells.  It’s being produced by The Billie Holiday Theater but we’re in residence at The Brooklyn Music School Playhouse in Fort Greene.  More recently I’ve been focused on writing and pursuing on camera work, but doing a play will always feel like home.  Nothing can match that feeling of “we’re all here in a room together and anything could happen” so I’m over the moon about starting rehearsal next week.  The play has a lot of heart and danger and it should be interesting to see where we go with it.  It runs from April 23rd to May 17th (Thursdays through Sundays) and you can buy tickets here.

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Summer in the Theater!

I kicked off the summer by reuniting with YJLTC at the LIFT Festival in London.  There were performances happening all over the city, but we were fortunate enough to perform at the Barbican.  It’s been two years since we’ve done the show and seven since we made it.  It was gratifying and illuminating to return to the material as older different (and hopefully) better actors.  After my jet lag subsided I took off for the Summer Workshop at The Huntington Theater in Boston.  I was cast in two new plays: Murmur Rock by MJ Kaufman directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh and The Bluebeard Project cowritten by Masha Obolensky and Melia Bensussen and directed by Melia Bensussen.  We had two weeks to really pull the material apart so by the time we had our final public showings there were several impressive discernible changes.  It takes a village to raise a play!  And I’m very proud to say I was a small part of bringing these two into being.

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One Night Only!

I’m starring in a new play this Tuesday August 20th at 7PM in Fort Greene Park  (near Washington Park). It’s being presented by MOCADA as a part of their Soul of Brooklyn Festival.  The play is smart, funny, relevant and full of vibrant and familiar characters (see blurb and indiegogo page below). And the fact that I am attempting to get off book for a single performance is really a testament to this play and the wonderfully talented group that’s assembled to bring it to life.

Also, it’s free and open to the public (no tickets needed)! There should be a really interesting seamless sort of organic meta feel in terms of the relationship between audience and performer, which will hopefully get some interesting and healthy conversations started. I’m really excited to explore that dynamic while watching the sun set over Fort Greene Park. I’d love it if you could join me.  Check out the festival flyer below for more information.

About the Play:
H Street is a comedic play that follows Frankie, the newest resident of the rapidly gentrifying H Street, any city, USA.  Armed with a city grant to build a community center, she has dreams of building the perfect home for her new neighbors – but quickly discovers it takes more than good intentions to unite a neighborhood.

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Life at The Goodman

I’ve had a ball working on By The Way, Meet Vera Stark at The Goodman this spring.  It’s a terribly smart play that gave me the opportunity to play four different characters (one on-screen and some with accents).  Working with Lynn Nottage is a real personal triumph–she was one of the first playwrights I came across that taught me that I could have a voice in the American theater.  So I’m proud to say that I’ve finally had the opportunity to cross paths with her (we’re both in the seated row).  Also, Chuck Smith and the Goodman team are a dream to work with, and I’m thrilled to have developed a relationship with them.

At the Goodman with Lynn Nottage

At the Goodman with Lynn Nottage

In rehearsal for By the Way Meet Vera Stark with Patrick Clear at the Goodman

In rehearsal for By the Way Meet Vera Stark with Patrick Clear at the Goodman

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Natasha, Pierre and friends continue to reap rewards!

Last fall I was in the world premiere of Dave Malloy’s hit non traditional opera Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.  I’d never done or seen anything like it and am so happy to have been a part of helping Dave and Rachel’s shared vision come to life.  The show was named one of the best shows of 2012 by Time Out New York, awarded a 2013 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, given a Special Citation by the Obie Awards, and nominated for two Drama League Awards and five 2013 Drama Desk Awards!

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