How far would you go for your child? In the fiercely competitive world of girls’ soccer, how far would you go for your child? Play Like A Winner is a satire of the soccer mom world based upon the award-winning play All About the Kids by Caytha Jentis. At curtain, Coach Nick lies dead on center stage, impaled by a corner flag, while a chorus of soccer players sings in his honor. Kathy, a soccer mom, steps forward to tell us the story of how all this began…
T2C: What had you done prior to NYMF?
Zoe Wilson: Orange is the New Black as White Effie. Helen Keller with the Transport Groups in Three Days To Sea and I did commercials and was on Nickleodeon.
Jessica Tyler Wright: 2015 Lucille Lortel nominee for CSC’s Allegro. On Broadway War Horse, Sweeney Todd and Company with John Doyle and LoveMusik. Candide with NYC Opera directed by Hal Prince. On TV a recurring role in Blue Bloods.
T2C: What drew you to this show?
Zoe Wilson: I really love a satire about soccer moms and over protective mothers. I wanted to be apart of something I would enjoy seeing.
Jessica Tyler Wright: I am a newish mother, I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter. I can connect to the material and get on a level I couldn’t to until I was a mother. How far are you willing to go to achieve success? How far before you take a step back and let the child make the mistake or step forwarded? How do you raise a daughter to be confident and self-assured without her being a bully? This show has deep themes that are expressed, but with humor.
T2C: What are your characters like?
Zoe Wilson: Jenna is the daughter of Kathy. She is a nerdy high school girl with not a lot of friends. As the show progress, we see her come out of her shell and become a bully. She starst out as the victim and becomes the bully.
Jessica Tyler Wright: I play Cathy Jenna’s mom. We are new to this surbean community and both of us are trying to fit in. My husband is not present, so she is trying to make up for that and over parents. Nobody doesn’t ever want to fit in. I get her into the soccer suddenly there are friends and a click for both Jenna and Kathy. They however are all tiger moms.
T2C: Had you done a NYMF show before?
Zoe Wilson: I auditioned for many, but this is my first.
Jessica Tyler Wright: This is my first as well.
T2C: What advice would you give to young actors?
Zoe Wilson: To be true to yourself. A lot of times I found myself losing myself inside certain roles, that you need to fit into as a young actor. I try to create art instead of copying.
Jessica Tyler Wright: I second that be true to yourself. Keep that force continuing to burn. There are highs and lows and the lows springboard you up. We are in a business that tries to pigeon hole you into a type. Life imitates art so have true moments in theatre. Be there in the moment
T2C: What roles would you like to take on?
Zoe Wilson: There are so many, I mostly find myself drawn to new projects. I want to create my own roles and characters, but I dream of doing Anne Frank.
Jessica Tyler Wright: My blanket answer is Annie, which I did when I was eleven. I would like to go back and play her with the experience that I have now. I also would love to play the Mother in Ragtime. Anything in Phantom of the Opera, anything…but especially Carlotta.
T2C: What is musical theatre lacking?
Zoe Wilson: Diversity in people and the writing. Musicals are very light hearted and that is not the world today. I would like to see more musicals that discover the deeper topics.
Jessica Tyler Wright: Musial theatre lacks new and orginal work. Revivals are fantastic and musicals based on movies are fun. It is so difficult to get a new musical produced that is why NYMF is so wonderful. It is an encouraging. Musical theatre is getting lost in spectacle. Original stories are rare.
T2C: What is your favorite show?
Zoe Wilson: Wicked and Perfect Crime.
Jessica Tyler Wright: Phantom of the Opera and War Horse.
T2C: What is the one thing that has surprised you since being in this business?
Zoe Wilson: I thought it would be a lot harder being a child with my own ideas and thoughts. In regular life you are not listened to because of your age, but in theatre, I am heard and listened to.
Jessica Tyler Wright: I can’t say I am really surprised. I didn’t have a lot of theatreical experience so I had no expectations. Everything was new and a learning process and it still is. Maybe that is what surprising.
T2C: What do you hope audiences take away from your show?
Zoe Wilson: I hope that audiences see the lessons that Jessica talked about raising a girl. The show is very funny and the lessons are hidden. I hope that audiences, take the time to listen and hear. Look past the humor and listen to the words.
Jessica Tyler Wright: Those are exactly my hopes too. There is a serious message and I hope we get that clear. There is a message to take away and maybe the audience will take away these situations. Theatre should entertain yes, but also make you think.
For More on Play Like a Winner click here.
Broadway’s A Doll’s House Meticulously Stunning Revival Soars Like a Birdie Above That Clumsy Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
For a revival to find its footing, it has to have a point of view or a sense of purpose far beyond an actor’s desire to perform a part, whether it suits them or not. It needs to radiate an idea that will make us want to sit up and pay attention. To feel its need to exist. And on one particular day in March, I was blessed with the opportunity to see not just one grande revival, but two. One was a detailed pulled-apart revolutionary revival of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that astounded. The other, unfortunately, was a clumsy revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof that fell lazily from that high-wired peak – not for a lack of trying, but from a formulation that never found its purpose.
Theatre News: Smash, I Need That, Good Night, Oscar, Funny Girl, This Beautiful Lady and In The Trenches: A Parenting Musical
The NBC television series Smash is coming to Broadway for the 2024-2025 season. Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron and Steven Spielberg will produce. The musical will feature a book co-written by three-time Tony Award nominee Rick Elice and Tony winner Bob Martin. Tony and Grammy winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Some Like It Hot). The team earned three Emmy nominations for their songs from the “Smash” series will pen the score, which will feature numbers from the TV show.
Five-time Tony winner Susan Stroman (New York, New York) will direct and Tony nominee and Emmy Award winner Joshua Bergasse will choreograph.
The series was created by Theresa Rebeck and Spielberg, launch the series. Spielberg is also one of the co-producers of Good Night, Oscar, which begins performances at the Belasco Theatre on April 7.
Official dates, theater, creative team and casting for the “Smash” stage musical will be announced at a later date.
Speaking of the Pulitzer Prize finalist playwright Theresa Rebeck, Danny DeVito and Lucy DeVito are set to star in her new play I Need That at the Roundabout. The new comedy will be directed by Tony nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel which will open at the American Airlines Theatre in October. The cast will also include Ray Anthony Thomas. … Also newly announced for Roundabout’s new Broadway season is a spring 2024 revival of Samm-Art Williams’ 1980 Tony-nominated play “Home.” Tony winner Kenny Leon will direct
Speaking of Good Night, Oscar, Doug Wright’s play was named finalist for 2023 new play award by The American Theatre Critics Association. The other six finalists for the 2023 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award include: Born With Teeth by Liz Duffy Adams, the ripple, the wave that carried me home by Christina Anderson, Sally & Tom by Suzan-Lori Parks, Spay by Madison Fiedler and
Swing State by Rebecca Gilman.
Paolo Montalban and Anne L. Nathan are joining Lea Michele in Funny Girl as Florenz Ziegfield and Mrs. Strakosh. Montalban and Nathan will replace original cast members Peter Francis James and Toni DiBuono, who take their final bows on March 26th.
Elizabeth Swados’ This Beautiful Lady will play at La MaMa this May. Previews will begin May 5 for the Off-Broadway run ahead of the May 8 press opening, with performances set through May 28 in the Ellen Stewart Theatre.
In The Trenches: A Parenting Musical, with book, music, and lyrics by Graham & Kristina Fuller, will receive industry readings on Friday, March 24th at 11am & 3pm at Ripley Grier Studios. The readings will be directed by Jen Wineman (Dog Man: The Musical) and will feature music direction by Rebekah Bruce (Mean Girls) and arrangements by Dan Graeber, Graham & Kristina Fuller.
The cast of In The Trenches features Amanda Jane Cooper (Wicked), Jelani Remy (The Lion King, Ain’t Too Proud), Christine Dwyer (Wicked), Caesar Samayoa (Come From Away), Max Crumm (Grease, Disaster!), and Vidushi Goyal.Join two bleary-eyed young parents as they trudge through the trenches and discover their new post-baby identities. In an evening of new-parent greatest hits, a foul-mouthed toddler zeroes in on “the most dangerous thing in the room”, tap dancing towards bleach, knives, and tide pods; a chronically-overlooked younger sibling sings the “second child blues”; a mom trio celebrates yoga pants in an R&B love song to the “official mom uniform”; dad discovers he’s not the “ice-cream and movie-night cool parent” but rather the “do your homework real parent” amid a kiddo sugar-crash; and mom retrieves a sticky, hair-covered pacifier from the floor of a LaGuardia bathroom while her baby screams bloody murder and her flight boards without her.
Jason Robert Brown, Chuck Cooper, Janet Dacal, Sutton Foster, Lillias White and More To Perform at TheaterWorksUSA Spring Gala
TheaterWorksUSA, currently presenting the hit family show Dog Man The Musical at New World Stages, will host its annual Spring Gala on Monday, April 24 (cocktails begin at 6 PM) at The Current at Chelsea Piers.
100% of the net proceeds from the event will support our mission to create exceptional, transformative theatrical experiences that are accessible to young and family audiences in diverse communities across New York City and North America.
This year TWUSA will honor Lisa Chanel (TWUSA Board Chair 2019-2022), Andréa Burns (Award-winning Broadway actress & educator), Peter Flynn (TWUSA alumnus and award-winning director, writer, and educator), and Holly McGhee (Founder and Creator of Pippin Properties, New York Times best selling author). The event will feature appearances by some of Broadway’s biggest stars, including Jason Robert Brown, Chuck Cooper, Janet Dacal, Kevin Del Aguila, Sutton Foster, Lillias White and more.
On behalf of TheaterWorksUSA’s Board of Directors, we are thrilled to celebrate the people who have generously supported our mission, making it possible for us to bring high-quality theater to young audiences of all backgrounds throughout the country. We look forward to recognizing Lisa, Andréa, Peter, and Holly publicly at this very special event. – Tracy A. Stein, Board Chair
It’s a privilege to honor these individuals for playing such an important role in the work we do. Their vision, creativity, and ongoing commitment to our mission is truly something to celebrate. They are very much a part of our TheaterworksUSA family.- Barbara Pasternack, Artistic Director
TheaterWorksUSA (Barbara Pasternack, Artistic Director; Michael Harrington, Executive Director) has led the Theater for Young and Family Audiences movement in New York City and across North America for over half a century. At TWUSA, we believe that access to art—and theater, in particular—is vital for our youth. Since 1961, the 501(c)3 not-for-profit has captured the imaginations of 100 million new and veteran theatergoers with an award-winning repertoire of over 140 original plays and musicals. Acclaimed alumni include Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Disney’s Frozen), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Rent), Jerry Zaks (The Music Man), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen), Miguel Cervantes (Hamilton), Kathleen Chalfant (Angels in America), and Chuck Cooper (Tony award-winning actor, The Life). WWW.TWUSA.ORG
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