Happy Martin Luther King Day Remembering One of The Great Ones
Today Monday, January 16th is Martin Luther King Day. This day of observation started in 1986 has America honoring Dr. King’s legacy to the civil rights movement, community service, and non-violent opposition.
Looking to celebrate Dr. King? Here are a few idea’s.
1: BAM’s (Brooklyn Academy of Music), 30 Lafayette Avenue’s annual tribute to Dr. King encourages us to continue in his radical spirit, relentlessly defending true justice for all, and repairing injustices. Enjoy music, performances, and an urgent call to action led by speaker Sherrilyn Ifill. Join at 10:30a.m. Free, tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis on Monday, January 16 at 8a.m. in the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House lobby
2: Head to the Jackie Robinson Museum, One Hudson Square Building at 75 Varick Street to honor the legacy of Dr. King and the fight for civil rights by learning about Jackie Robinson and Dr. King’s close friendship and their collaboration during landmark campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Museum highlight tours spotlighting Robinson and Dr. King’s friendship will be offered at 12p.m., 1p.m., and 2p.m., as well as activities for children and picture book readings. Free with admission, purchase tickets here
3: The Harlem Gospel Choir at Sony Hall, 235 West 46th Street at 1:30. Price is $46 – $32. Founded in 1986, The Harlem Gospel Choir was started by Allen Bailey who got the idea while at a celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Choir presents the finest musicians and singers from Harlem’s Black Churches and the surrounding New York area.
4: Edward Dodson is offering a Free Online virtual webinar from 6:30p.m. – 8p.m., examining the evolution in King’s thinking on how to address the issue of extreme poverty and the major ideas and events that influenced his life and work.
The Rare Titan-arum Blooms For The First Time In 7 Years At NYBG
Titan-arum blooms are rare and unpredictable. Each plant takes seven years or more to store enough energy to bloom for the first time. This titan-arum is 12 years old. There is now an Amorphophallus titanum preparing to bloom in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory! Titan-arums take years to form flower buds, but when they finally do, the flowers mature very quickly.
Horticulturists noticed that a three-inch-tall flower bud had formed on Saturday, May 15. In the beginning of the bloom cycle, a titan-arum grows four to six inches each day. By June 19, 2019, the bud was 44 inches tall. Later, growth slows significantly. Two leaves at the base of the spathe shrivel and fall off. The spathe begins to open, revealing the red-purple color inside, and completely unfurls over the course of about 36 hours. During full bloom, the spadix self-heats to approximately human body temperature, which helps disseminate odor particles.
Titan-arum or corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) is native to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Its enormous flower spike is the largest unbranched inflorescence (flower structure) in the Plant Kingdom. The fleshy central spike, called a spadix, bears small flowers in rings around its base. The spadix can grow up to 12 feet tall. The spadix is wrapped in a frilly, modified leaf called a spathe. When the plant is ready to bloom, the spathe unfurls, exposing the flowers inside. You may recognize the structure’s resemblance to calla-lily, anthurium, and jack-in-the-pulpit, which are all relatives in the arum family, Araceae. Amorphophallus titanum is often called corpse flower because when it blooms, it emits a powerful stench similar to that of rotting meat. This scent, along with the deep-red, meaty color of the open spathe, attracts insect pollinators that feed on dead animals.
This titan-arum has been nurtured in the warm tropical zone of the Nolen Greenhouses. The hot and humid conditions in the greenhouse mimic the natural conditions of Sumatra. The plant must be watered and fertilized copiously.
NYBG received its first titan-arum from Sumatra in 1932. In May 1937, a flower bud appeared. This was the first titan-arum to flower in the Western Hemisphere, and the Conservatory was mobbed with visitors, reporters, and photographers. After a long wait, the plant finally bloomed on June 8. Its eight-foot spadix was the largest ever grown in cultivation.
A second specimen bloomed at NYBG on July 2, 1939. The Bronx Borough President commemorated the event by designating Amorphophallus titanum the official flower of the Bronx. (It was replaced by the more conventionally attractive daylily in 2006.)
The Glorious Corner
WES’ ASTEROID — (Via World of Reel) Last we heard about “Asteroid City,” it had been rated R for “Brief Graphic Nudity.” Of course, Focus decided to appeal the MPAA designation. The aim is PG-13, as they want this film seen by as many heads as possible, and rightfully so.
Last year, Focus Features bought “Asteroid City” for domestic distribution. They released an ambiguous synopsis in the process, but now we have a new, more-detailed synopsis:
Thousands of years ago an asteroid fell from the sky, creating a huge crater, in the centercentre of which a piece of asteroid rock remains. Once a year, a convention is held on the site, attracting astronomers, teachers, families with would-be teenage astronomers – as well as military personal personnel. As the stars begin to align, events occur which are startling, and completely unexpected. This is Anderson at his comic best; it is also suffused with the grief caused by the death of the mother of one of the families – giving the film a profound emotional impact.
Some on-set photos had also been revealed (before being taken down by Focus Features). They all contained the meticulous attention to detail that we expect from Anderson, but set in the 1950’s.
The star-studded cast features Tom Hanks and Margot Robbie in their Anderson film debuts, plus Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Stephen Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan, Grace Edwards, Aristou Meehan, Sophia Lillis, Ethan Lee, Jeff Goldblum and Rita Wilson.
How many of these are we thinking will be cameos? Oh, and where’s Bill Murray? Did his scenes get snipped after last year’s #MeToo incident? They claim it’s because he had COVID and got recast.
Even stranger, Murray was livestreamed at the last NYFF alongside Anderson, Adrian Brody, and others from the set of “Asteroid City”. Not only that, he’s the one who revealed the title of the film during a BFI Q&A last November.
“Asteroid City,” which wrapped production last October, and will be released June 23rd. A Cannes premiere is practically sealed for this one.
Here’s the trailer:
GENERATION SEX — Sex Pistols and Generation X supergroup Generation Sex will play their first ever headline UK show in Wolverhampton this summer.
Singer Billy Idol and bassist Tony James, guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook will play The Civic at The Halls in Wolverhampton on Monday 10th July 2023.
The one-off headline UK show follows Generation Sex’s eagerly awaited performance at the Iggy Pop headlined Dog Day Afternoon at London’s Crystal Palace Park on Saturday 1st July.
The Dog Day Afternoon line-up also boasts Blondie, Buzzcocks and Lambrini Girls. Tickets are on sale from Planet Rock Tickets now.
Generation Sex made their live debut at The Roxy in West Hollywood in October 2018 where they performed a setlist of Sex Pistols and Generation X songs, plus a spitting cover of ‘My Way.’
The band also play European festival shows this summer at France’s Hellfest, Belgium’s Graspop, Norway’s Tons of Rock, and Kaisaniemen Puisto in Finland.
SHORT TAKES — Celebrity-scribe Mark Bego’s next book is indeed on legendary rocker Joe Cocker and will be out for the holidays via Yorkshire Publishing …
Keith Reid, who co-wrote the lyrics for most of Procol Harum’s original songs, died March 23 of cancer … The Micky Dolenz Celebrates The Monkesstour opens tonight in Orlando, Florida …
Somehow we missed it, but Ricki Lee Jones is at NYC’s Birdland next week in support of her new Russ Titelman-produced new album Pieces of Treasure. The pair worked together on the classic album Pirates in 1982. A gem of a performer, the album documented her break-up with Tom Waits and was simply stunning. I listened to it for hours on end. I hope I can catch one of the performances. Check out this interview with Jones on WBGO: https://www.wbgo.org/music/2023-03-29/with-pieces-of-treasure-rickie-lee-jones-makes-her-grown-up-record?fbclid=IwAR3bTtPMicueDycZTg5CW_rHUzpMEMMNkZG79GXQuK4MyOp56zMPfShdiSg…
SIGHTING: WOR’s Tom Cuddy and PR-maven David Salidor at Ruth’s Chris Steak House for a farewell meal. The hallowed NY-eatery closes next week … Just saw a great TV-segment on NBC’s Todayon Gold Rush Vinyl and their Caren Kelleher who spoke quite specifically and eloquently about her hand in returning vinyl to a prominent force in the record biz. Those in the know will certainly agree about the merits of vinyl, as opposed to digital, but the one element seriously missing from the piece to me, was about the creative process. Face it, even before one decides to go vinyl, or not, the song, the creative material has got to be there. As industry-seer Steve Leeds always says (and he’s damn right) A good song … is a good song. It starts from there … I was listening to a very recent Eric Clapton podcast and he revealed that in June he was going to be recording with Tom Jones! He also said that he and Jones used to pal around in the 60’s. Wow, who knew that? … HBO premieres White House Plumbers on Monday, May 1. I’ve seen the trailer a bunch of times and it’s priceless; especially if you lived through it as I have. Also, bravo to 10 Years After’s “I Love To Change The World” which fits in so, so perfectly. Here’s the trailer:
Happy Bday Susan Hathaway; Warren Beatty and Mr. Clapton!
New York Stage and Film Announces Summer Season with Laurence Fishburne, Joe Iconis, A Wrinkle In Time & More
New York Stage and Film, considered “one of the preeminent incubators for theater in the country,” returns to Marist College July 14-August 6 for their 2023 Summer Season. For 38 years, NYSAF has operated as a vital incubator for artists and their work, a catalyst for stories that continue across the country and around the world. Tickets go on sale on Monday, May 1.
The 2023 Summer Season at Marist will include a kick off concert on July 14 with “Joe Iconis & Family” along with a new play workshop written and performed by Laurence Fishburne; a new musical workshop of A Wrinkle in Time; the launch of a new initiative to develop dance-driven musicals with Paradise Ballroom, created by Princess Lockerooo and Harold O’Neal; and play readings by Sopan Deb, Beth Henley, Emily Kaczmarek, and Jason Kim.
“The NYSAF summer season is our annual opportunity to hear from a rich tapestry of voices,” said Interim Artistic Director Liz Carlson. “This year, we’ll journey into uncertainty, contemplate our legacy, wrestle with absurdity, and challenge the limits of family. We are excited to add support for dance-driven musicals to our exceptional community of theater and film artists, with the new program Stories That Move. We are overjoyed to continue to expand our relationship with Marist College, and can’t wait to welcome the public back to the Marist campus this summer, where they will serve a pivotal role in the developmental process for each of these pieces.”
Starting this year, New York Stage and Film will add support for dance-driven musicals to its creative offerings, with the new program “Stories That Move: Developing Dance Musicals,” inspired by Jerome Robbins. Previously under the auspices of the Jerome Robbins Foundation and known as Project Springboard, where it developed work by Justin Peck, Troy Schumacher, Camile A. Brown, and others, this new program will expand NYSAF’s artistic community to include stories where choreographers are the primary generative storytellers and where dance, movement, and music are the main forms of creative expression. NYSAF will support multiple projects each year in various phases of their developmental trajectory, through workshops in the Summer Season at Marist, as well as through year-round creative residencies and workshop programming in NYC. Stories That Move is made possible with leadership support from the Jerome Robbins Foundation, as well as the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Frederick Loewe Foundation, and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.
With artist-driven flexibility, NYSAF offers resources and opportunities to meet projects at every step of their development. Its Summer Season supports the nation’s leading generative artists and boldest creators of innovative and groundbreaking stories for the stage and the screen. In collaboration with Marist College in New York City and Poughkeepsie, NYSAF serves the needs of theater and film artists today, bringing them safely together in community to generate new stories and reconnect with one another and audiences.
New York Stage and Film 2023 Summer Season: Kick-Off Concert: Joe Iconis & Family
Directed by John Simpkins Friday, July 14
Joe Iconis & Family are proud to make their New York Stage and Film debut with this celebratory blow- out concert. Featuring a wild cast of Joe’s beloved Rogue’s Gallery of showtune punks, expect to hear new numbers, works-in-process, and classic Iconis tunes. Grab a drink and spend a summer evening with a tribe of artists determined to bring along their traditional musical theater principles as they blaze into the future.
Joe Iconis is a Tony-nominated musical theater writer and performer. His musical Be More Chill has played Broadway, London, and Tokyo and his new show The Untitled Unauthorized Hunter S. Thompson Musical will have its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse this summer. Joe is the author of Love in Hate Nation, Broadway Bounty Hunter, Bloodsong of Love, The Black Suits, Punk Rock Girl!, and more. He frequently performs at 54 Below and the Laurie Beechman Theater. His albums include Album (Joe Iconis & Family), the original cast recordings of Love in Hate Nation, Broadway Bounty Hunter, Things To Ruin, and Be More Chill (both OCR and OBCR, which have been streamed over 750 million times); Two-Player Game (with George Salazar), and The
Joe Iconis Rock & Roll Jamboree, all available on Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records.
Joe is hugely inspired by Robert Altman, Dolly Parton, The Muppets, and the Family of artists he frequently surrounds himself with.
John Simpkins (Director) is happy to be a part of the NYSAF summer with writer Joe Iconis. He has collaborated as a Director with Iconis on World Premieres of Love in Hate Nation (Two River Theater); Bloodsong of Love (Ars Nova); The Black Suits (Center Theatre Group, Barrington Stage Company); ReWrite (Urban Stages, Goodspeed Opera House); The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks (Lucille Lortel); and Things to Ruin (co-conceived). The two are currently working on a new project called Family Album. Other World Premieres: Legendale (by Andrea Daly/Jeff Bienstock) at Fredericia Teater (Demark) and Human Race Theatre, Raging Skillet (by Jacques Lamarre) at Theaterworks Hartford, The Bus (by James Lantz) at 59E59. He has directed regionally at Sacramento Music Circus, Lyric Theatre Oklahoma, North Carolina Theatre, Engeman Theatre, Sharon Playhouse (where he was Artistic Director). A strong supporter of new work, John has recently directed new musicals by artists including Kirsten Childs, Mike Reid/ Sarah Schlesinger, Alexander Sage Oyen/Lauren Marcus/James Presson,
Josh Salzman/Ryan Cunningham, Sam Salmond, Matthew McCollum/Sofya Levitsky-Weitz, Maria Wirries/Christian Thompson, and Gilbert Bailey. He is Head of Musical Theatre at Penn State University, where he created and curates a New Musicals Initiative.
New Play Workshop:
Like They Do In The Movies
Presentations: July 28 and July 29
A world premiere one man tour-de-force, written and performed by Tony Award winner, Emmy Award winner and Oscar nominee Laurence Fishburne (What’s Love Got to Do with It?, The Matrix Trilogy, Apocalypse Now, Thurgood, August Wilson’s Two Trains Running). Mr. Fishburne describes this unique and intimate evening as “The stories and lies people have told me. And that I have told myself.”
Laurence Fishburne (Playwright and Performer) has achieved an impressive body of work as an actor, producer and director. Fishburne’s versatile acting has won him awards in theatre, film and television. In 1992, Fishburne won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Sterling Johnson in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running. He won his first Emmy Award in 1993 for “The Box” episode of Tribeca, and his second for his one-man show, Thurgood, in 1997. In 1993, Laurence also received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for the Tina Turner biopic, What’s Love Got to Do with It. His most recent Emmy win was for his role in Quibi’s #FreeRayshawn. Laurence may be best known for his role as Morpheus in the Wachowksi siblings’ blockbuster The Matrix trilogy, but his many film credits include: Academy Award nominee John Singleton’s Boyz ‘n the Hood, Richard T. Heffron’s telefilm A Rumor of War, Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple, Steven Zaillian’s Searching for Bobby Fischer, Mr. Singleton’s Higher Learning, Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River and cult classics, Deep Cover and King of New York.
Leonard Foglia (Director) is a theater and opera director as well as librettist. Broadway Productions: Master Class, Wait Until Dark, Thurgood (filmed for HBO), The People in the Picture, On Golden Pond, The Gin Game. Off-Broadway: Let Me Down Easy (filmed for PBS), Notes From The Field (filmed for HBO), One Touch of Venus, The Stendhal Syndrome, If Memory Serves, About Alice. He directed the world premieres of the operas of Everest, Moby Dick (filmed for PBS), It’s a Wonderful Life, Cold Mountain, The End of the Affair, Three Decembers, Stonewall, A Coffin in Egypt (also librettist), Cruzar la Cara de la Luna/To Cross the Face of the Moon (also librettist), El Pasado Nunca Se Termina/The Past Is Never Finished (also librettist), El Milagro del Recuerdo/The Miracle of Remembering (also librettist). His production of Dead Man Walking has been seen across the US and Europe. The three ‘mariachi operas’ for which he wrote the librettos have been staged on three continents and are continually produced in the U.S.
New Musical Workshop:
A Wrinkle in Time
Presentations: July 21, July 22 and July 23
Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. “Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.” Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?
Adapted from the novel by Madeleine L’Engle Book by Lauren Yee
Music & Lyrics by Heather Christian
Directed by Lee Sunday Evans
Lauren Yee (Book; She/Her). Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, with music by Dengue Fever, premiered at South Coast Rep, subsequent productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Victory Gardens, City Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Signature Theatre, and Jungle Theatre/Theater Mu, and is currently touring. Her play The Great Leap has been produced at the Denver Center, Steppenwolf, Seattle Repertory, Atlantic Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Arts Club, Pasadena Playhouse/East West Players, InterAct Theatre, and Asolo Rep. Honors include the Doris Duke Artists Award, Whiting Award, Steinberg/ATCA Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters literature award, Horton Foote Prize, Kesselring Prize, Primus Prize, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton, and the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List. She’s a Residency 5 playwright at Signature Theatre, New Dramatists members, Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab member, and Playwrights Realm playwright. TV credits: Pachinko (Apple), Soundtrack (Netflix). Upcoming TV credits: Interior Chinatown (Hulu), Billions (Showtime), The Sterling Affairs (FX). She has developed pilots for Apple and Netflix. Current commissions include Arena Stage, Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Second Stage, South Coast Rep. B.A: Yale. M.F.A: UCSD.
Heather Christian (Music and Lyrics) is a Lortel, Drama Desk and two time Obie Award winning composer/performer making music centered shows and rituals. She is a 2021 Richard Rodgers Award winner, 2022 Stephen Schwartz Outstanding New Composer awardee and Sundance Institude Time Warner Fellow. Recent composing/performing credits include her own work Oratorio for Living Things (Ars Nova), Animal Wisdom (The Bushwick Starr, now a motion picture made in collaboration with Woolly Mammoth in DC and American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco), I am Sending You the Sacred Face (Theater In Quarantine/ YouTube— Named Vulture’s #5 Theater Experience of 2020), Prime: A Practical Breviary (Playwrights Horizons Soundstage—named IndieWire’s #1 Podcast Episode of 2020) in addition to being a lead artist on devised works Mission Drift (Nat’l Theater London), The World Is Round (BAM). Film composition credits include The Craft: Legacy (Sony Pictures/ Blumhouse 2020), Lemon (2017 Sundance Film Festival and SXSW), Gregory Go Boom (Sundance Grand Jury Prize), Adult Swim series Teenage Euthanasia and The Shivering Truth (2021 BMI TV Music Award for Outstanding Score), and all four films in the Criterion Collection’s Restrospective of Janicza Bravo. She was named one of TimeOut NY’s Downtown Innovators To Watch and is a 2019 Harold and Mimi Steinberg Trust commissionee. She has released 13 records, teaches vocal-based music composition at NYU, owns and operates her own recording studio in Beacon, NY, and can be seen regularly in concert halls and dive bars as Heather Christian & the Arbornauts.
Lee Sunday Evans (Director) is a New York-based, two-time Obie award-winning director and choreographer. Lee most recently directed the acclaimed production of Heather Christian’s Oratorio For Living Things (Lucille Lortel Award for Best Director). She is developing a TV project for A24, and directed The Courtroom, a feature-length film written by Arian Moayed. Notable credits include Dance Nation by Clare Barron (Playwrights Horizons, OBIE and Lortel Awards), The Courtroom (Waterwell; NYTimes Best Theater of 2019 List), Detroit Red by Will Power (ArtsEmerson), Sunday by Jack Thorne (Atlantic Theater Company), In The Green by Grace McLean (LCT3), Miller, Mississippi by Boo Killebrew (Dallas Theater Center, Long Wharf Theater), The Winter’s Tale (The Public), Home (BAM), Farmhouse/Whorehouse by Suzanne Bocanegra (BAM), Bull in a China Shop by Bryna Turner (Lincoln Center/LCT3), Caught by Christopher Chen (The Play Company),
[Porto] by Kate Benson (WP Theater/The Bushwick Starr), A Beautiful Day In November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes by Kate Benson (OBIE Award; WP Theater, New Georges). Lee’s work has been also presented and developed at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Sundance Theater Lab, BAX, CATCH, LMCC, Robert
Wilson’s Watermill Center, and Juilliard among others. She is the Artistic Director of Waterwell.
Stories That Move: Developing Dance Musicals:
Co-Created by Princess Lockerooo & Harold O’Neal Book and Lyrics by Princess Lockerooo
Music by Harold O’Neal
Choreographed by Princess Lockerooo Presentations: August 4, August 5 and August 6
After being rejected by his conservative parents, Teddy flees Buffalo and finds refuge and community at the Paradise Ballroom—an underground LGBTQ+ safe-haven in West LA. Surrounded by supporters and mentors, Teddy develops his dancing skills and learns the ways of waacking, but when a shady producer promises fame and success, Teddy turns on his found family and loses his way. A musical about forgiveness, community, and the importance of living one’s truth.
Princess Lockerooo (Book and Lyrics & Choreography) is a visionary in the dance industry, known for her exceptional work as a producer, public speaker, event curator, director, and choreographer. With a reputation for excellence and numerous accolades, including a Bessie award for Breakout Choreographer and a nomination for Sustained Achievement as a fellow of the RSA, Princess is a highly regarded artist and leader in the dance world. In 2022, she founded The Fabulous Waack Dancers, a dance company, and the Waack dancer training program, showcasing her commitment to preserving the legacy of Waacking. Through her passion and expertise, she has brought the art of waacking to communities around the world, promoting self-love, building communities, and inspiring confidence. Princess is dedicated to preserving the history of waacking and conducted the interview for the oral history of Choreographer and Waacking Pioneer Bill Goodson for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Lockerooo has been featured on leading television platforms such as So You Think You Can Dance? and America’s Got Talent, and has collaborated with renowned pop artists such as Madonna, Jody Watley, Icona Pop, Bob The Dragqueen, Pangina Heals, and more. Her productions have been showcased at world- renowned venues including Lincoln Center, The Guggenheim Museum, NYBG, Summerstage, Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, HATCH, Original Thinkers, ASAP NextGen, and the United Nations. Her impact on the dance world has earned her recognition from prestigious press outlets, including the New York Times, which featured her on the cover of the Sunday Times Metro section for her pioneering work in the resurgence of Waacking. She has also been featured in Brut, Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, The Medium, Document Journal, and Get Out Magazine. Princess is not only an artist but also a philanthropist and activist for LGBTQ rights, producing a night of entertainment for Global Ambassadors at the United Nations event F4D, and working with and raising funds for organizations such as Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The Omomuki Foundation, The Center, GMHC, and NYC Pride. Lockerooo continues to push the boundaries of her art and industry through her current role as co-director of an untitled feature film with an Academy Award-winning team, and as writer and director of a new musical, Paradise Ballroom, supported by the Musical Theater Factory. She is an Artist in Residence with Guggenheim Works & Process and will be producing events with The New York Public Library for The Performing Arts and Lincoln Center in the summer of 2023.
Harold O’Neal (Music) is a versatile musician, producer, pianist, composer, public speaker, and storyteller, renowned for his association with the legacy of jazz pianists. He has worked with a diverse range of artists across various musical genres, including Jay Z, Damien Rice, Bob Geldof, and Lupe Fiasco. His work has garnered widespread recognition in top media outlets such as NPR, Forbes, The Hollywood Reporter, and Fortune Magazine. Recently, O’Neal brought his expertise to Pixar’s Academy Award-winning film, Soul, as a creative expert. He has also made a name for himself as a sought-after director and producer, working on high-profile events like Electric Burma with U2, the CNN All Star Tribute, and The Albie Awards with The Clooney Foundation. O’Neal’s captivating presentations have been delivered to a diverse range of innovation leaders, including Salesforce, TIME, Google, McKinsey & Company, United Nations Ambassadors, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and The World Economic Forum at Davos. Currently, O’Neal is working on a range of exciting projects, including producing and scoring a feature-length film with an Academy Award-winning director. With his impressive track record, O’Neal continues to make waves in the entertainment industry and beyond, inspiring audiences with his passion for creativity and storytelling.
Saturday Play Readins:
This Way To The Fire
Written by Jason Kim Directed by Danny Sharron Presentation: July 15
Set in the near future, This Way to the Fire imagines how racism is invented inside the walls of a marketingoffice — as a PR campaign — and the disastrous and violent impact it has on the world.
Jason Kim (Playwright) is a multiple Emmy nominated screenwriter, playwright, and producer. He received a Primetime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series for Barry in 2022 and 2019, and won the Writers Guild Award for Best Comedy Series for Barry in 2020. In addition to writing on HBO’s “Girls,” he was a consulting producer for HBO’s “Divorce” and the Netflix series “Love.” He is currently in an overall television deal with 20th and Onyx Studios at Disney. In film, he is writing the spinoff to Crazy Rich Asians and adapted the true crime book The Flawless for Fox Searchlight Pictures. Along with Stacey Sher, he is producing an adaptation of the New York Times best seller Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner for Orion. In theater, his musical KPOP opened on Broadway at Circle in the Square in Fall 2022. The 2017 off-Broadway production of KPOP won the Richard Rogers Award, the Off-Broadway Alliance Award, and Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical. MFA in Playwriting. Acclaimed Beyonce historian.
Danny Sharron (Director) is a Brooklyn-based Middle Eastern-American theater director with a focus on developing new plays and musicals. He is committed to creating work about the LGBTQ+ and MENA communities, and providing a platform from which those voices can be heard. Danny is the Senior Associate Director for the Tony Award-winning Dear Evan Hansen (Broadway/West End/Toronto/Tour). He has developed and directed work with The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ars Nova, LAByrinth Theater Company, Primary Stages, Ma-Yi, and The Lark. Danny was most recently a 2021-2022 Next Stage Directing Resident with The Drama League. He is also a recipient of New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship, Williamstown’s Bill Foeller Fellowship, The Drama League’s New York Fellowship, and is an alumnus of the Ars Nova Director’s Troupe. BA/BS University of Florida. Proud member of SDC.
Written by Emily Kaczmarek
Presentation: July 22
Something bad has happened to 9-year-old Amanda, and her toys – Jonah, a stuffed penguin; Molly, an American Girl Doll; her trusted Diary; and newcomer Ugly, a weighted “emotional support” bunny – find their once-peaceful world thrown into darkness and chaos. Soft Target is a play about childhood, guns, and all the wounds we can’t see.
Emily Kaczmarek (Playwright) is an LA-based writer for TV, theatre, and film. Her TV credits include Monsterland for Hulu and The Staircase for HBO Max (for which she was nominated for a 2023 Writers Guild Award), among others. Her plays and musicals have been produced and developed at numerous theaters across the country, including the 5th Avenue Theatre, Second Stage Theater, American Conservatory Theatre, WP Theatre, and many others. Emily is a 2019 Princess Grace Award finalist, a 2019 Kilroys Honorable Mention (for Sam & Lizzie), a 2018 Jonathan Larson Award winner, and a 2018 Kleban Prize finalist, and has been in residence at SPACE on Ryder Farm, the Orchard Project, the O’Neill, the Hermitage Colony, Goodspeed, and more. Emily is the book writer of the original musicals Afterwords and Afloat (music and lyrics by Zoe Sarnak), and is currently writing a feature and several TV projects for Amazon, Sony, and Fifth Season.
The Good Name
Written by Sopan Deb Directed by Trip Cullman Presentation: July 29
Sopan Deb (Playwright) is an LA-based writer for TV, theatre, and film. Her TV credits include Monsterland for Hulu and The Staircase for HBO Max (for which she was nominated for a 2023 Writers Guild Award), among others. Her plays and musicals have been produced and developed at numerous theaters across the country, including the 5th Avenue Theatre, Second Stage Theater, American Conservatory Theatre, WP Theatre, and many others. Emily is a 2019 Princess Grace Award finalist, a 2019 Kilroys Honorable Mention (for Sam & Lizzie), a 2018 Jonathan Larson Award winner, and a 2018 Kleban Prize finalist, and has been in residence at SPACE on Ryder Farm, the Orchard Project, the O’Neill, the Hermitage Colony, Goodspeed, and more. Emily is the book writer of the original musicals Afterwords and Afloat (music and lyrics by Zoe Sarnak), and is currently writing a feature and several TV projects for Amazon, Sony, and Fifth Season.
Trip Cullman (Director). Broadway: The Rose Tattoo, Choir Boy, Lobby Hero, Six Degrees of Separation, Significant Other. Select Off Broadway: Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow, YEN, Punk Rock (Obie Award), A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Gynecologic Oncology Unit At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Of New York City (MCC); Days Of Rage, The Layover, The Substance of Fire, Lonely I’m Not, Bachelorette, Some Men, Swimming In The Shallows (Second Stage); Unknown Soldier, The Pain Of My Belligerence, Assistance, A Small Fire (Drama Desk nomination), The Drunken City (Playwrights Horizons); Choir Boy (MTC); Murder Ballad (MTC and Union Square Theatre); The Mother, I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic); Roulette (EST); The Hallway Trilogy: Nursing (Rattlestick); The Last Sunday In June (Rattlestick and Century Center); Dog Sees God (Century Center); US Drag (stageFARM); and several productions with The Play Company. London: The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, PA (Tricycle). Select regional: Geffen, Alliance, Old Globe, La Jolla, South Coast Rep, Bay Street, Williamstown Theater Festival.
Vikas Choudhury is a thoughtful but aimless young man living with his aunt and uncle in the New Jersey suburbs as he grieves the death of his parents. A mysterious bag appears at the door, sparking revelations that help them face ignored truths and a quietly buried past. As each family member wraps their hopes and fears up in the bag’s contents, they find themselves unraveling their relationships to each other. The Good Name is an examination of duty and cultural expectations, grief and forgiveness, and the love we have for our children.
Written by Beth Henley Directed by Jaki Bradley Presentation: August 5
A waning playwright, Old Low, is trying to write a play in seven days, because her time is limited. The play is set in 1970s Tarson, Mississippi. Sharon Bunn, a pornographic puppeteer, moves into the downstairs apartment below Wayne Purvis and Young Low, and things go bad. Tilting between the struggle to write a play and the struggle within the play, a chaotic, horrific, and effervescent vision of creation is revealed.
Beth Henley (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and professor. Her plays include Crimes of the Heart (Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play) The Wake of Jamey Foster, The Miss Firecracker Contest, Am I Blue, The Lucky Spot, The Debutante Ball, Abundance, Control Freaks, Impossible Marriage, Family Week, Ridiculous Fraud, The Jacksonian Laugh, and The Unbuttoning. Her plays have been produced on Broadway and across the country as well as internationally and translated into 12 languages. Originally from Mississippi, Ms. Henley now lives in Los Angeles.
Jake Bradley (Director) is a director for theater, TV and film. Recent theater projects include The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin (IRT), How to Load a Musket (LTR) White Noise (Berkeley Rep); Radio Island and Good Men Wanted (NYSAF); House Plant and 1969: The Second Man (NYTW: Next Door); Mama Metallica (Denver Center); and Playing Hot (Ars Nova). She has developed and presented work with The Public, Williamstown, Soho Rep, Clubbed Thumb, the O’Neill, and Arena Stage, among others. She has been a member of the Civilians R&D Group, an artist-in-residence at Ars Nova, a Drama League artist-in-residence and TV/Film Fellow, the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Williamstown Directing Corps, Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, and a U.S. Fulbright Scholar. In TV and film, she has written for Netflix, FX, AGBO, Chernin, and Paramount and is in development with her feature directorial debut starring Adria Arjona, Nicholas Hoult and Riley Keough.
The 2023 NYSAF Summer Season is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and by the New York State Council on the Arts and by leadership support from the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Shubert Foundation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and the Board of Directors of New York Stage and Film.
Leadership support for Stories That Move: Developing Dance Musicals, inspired by Jerome Robbins, provided by the Jerome Robbins Foundation with additional support provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Frederick Loewe Foundation and the Mertz Gilmore Foundation
Casting and Artists-in-Residence to be announced at a later date. Tickets go on sale on May 1. For more New York Stage and Film Summer Season information, visit www.newyorkstageandfilm.org/summer.
New York Stage and Film is a not-for-profit company dedicated to artists developing new stories for theater, film and beyond by supporting responsive processes and by providing a home for artists free from critical and commercial pressures. Since 1985, New York Stage and Film has been a vital incubator for emerging and established artists and their work, a catalyst for stories that start with us and continue across the country and around the world. Through this work, NYSAF has established itself as a vital cultural institution for residents of the Hudson Valley and the New York metropolitan region. The New York Times calls the company a “formidable breeding ground for new work,” and dozens of notable works trace their developmental roots to NYSAF, includingthe Tony Award winners Hamilton, Hadestown, Side Man and The Humans; Broadway productions such as American Idiot, Junk, and Bright Star; and Pulitzer winners and finalists such as Doubt, The Wolves and Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music. www.newyorkstageandfilm.org
Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist is consistently ranked among the best colleges and universities in America by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures and The Best 386 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (3rd Most Innovative School/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. The College is top-ranked for long-term study abroad (#3 in the U.S.) by the U.S. State Department’s Open Doors report. Along with the College’s prestigious reputation as a whole, it also boasts a robust Arts and Music scene for itsstudents and the community. Marist offers more than 15 academic programs in music and arts including Art History, Digital Media, Studio Art, Music, Theatre, and its world-renowned Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising programs, ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Colleges That Are Shaping The Future of Fashion.” Marist also provides a wide range of non-academic opportunities in the arts, such as over 15 College- and student-run music ensemble groups and the Marist Theatre program and performances. The College also operates the Institute for Data Center Professionals, which provides individuals and corporate teams with skills- based education and credentialing to support the data center and enterprise computing environments of the future. Marist educates more than 5,000 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and numerous graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees, and also Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant programs.
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