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Theatre, Film, Cabaret News: Tony Kushner, Rick Miramontez, Ingmar Bergman, Sanford Meisner, The Neighborhood Playhouse and Veterans

Theatre, Film, Cabaret News: Tony Kushner, Rick Miramontez, Ingmar Bergman, Sanford Meisner, The Neighborhood Playhouse and Veterans
Tony Kushner

Tony Kushner photo by Robert Williams

Theatre Communications Group (TCG) is thrilled to announce that its 2019 Gala will honor Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner; Broadway press agent, and President of DKC/O&M, Rick Miramontez; and arts philanthropist, and Chairman Emerita of Ingram Industries, Inc., Martha R. Ingram. The Gala will be held on Monday, February 4, 2019 at New York’s famed Edison Ballroom (240 West 47th Street). Jordan Roth and Richie Jackson will serve as Co-Chairs of the event.

TCG will also celebrate its long-standing commitment to advancing leaders of color in the field and the many programs that support these efforts. Proceeds from the Gala benefit TCG’s wide-ranging programs to strengthen and promote the multi-generational theatre field, while making a better world because of theatre.

Past honorees at the TCG annual gala—now in its seventh year— include actor Brian Dennehy, director Kenny Leon, playwright Lynn Nottage, actress and playwright Danai Gurira, theatrical producers Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey, set designer Ming Cho Lee, lighting designer Jules Fisher, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The Vilcek Foundation, producers Ruth and Stephen Hendel, Judith O. Rubin, and the creators of War Paint (Scott Frankel, Michael Greif, Michael Korie, and Doug Wright).

For ticket and sponsorship information to this year’s TCG Gala or to purchase an ad in the 2019 Gala Journal, please contact or (212) 609-5931, or go to

For over 55 years, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for U.S. theatre, has existed to strengthen, nurture, and promote the professional not-for-profit theatre. TCG’s constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to over 700 Member Theatres and affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through conferences, events, research, and communications; awards grants, approximately $2 million per year, to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and through the Global Theater Initiative, TCG’s partnership with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute. TCG is North America’s largest independent publisher of dramatic literature, with 16 Pulitzer Prizes for Best Play on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its Member Theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field, and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre.


Searching for Ingmar Bergman

Searching for Ingmar Bergman

Oscilloscope Laboratories will release Searching for Ingmar Bergman, Margarethe von Trotta’s unabashed valentine to the director who inspired her to become a filmmaker. The film, which had its World Premiere in Cannes, is set to open in NYC on November 2nd, with Los Angeles and other cities following. The film first screened in North America at the prestigious Toronto and New York Film Festivals. 2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of Ingmar Bergman’s birth.

Internationally renowned director Margarethe von Trotta examines Ingmar Bergman’s life and work with a circle of his closest collaborators as well as a new generation of filmmakers. This documentary presents key components of his legacy, as it retraces themes that recurred in his life and art and takes us to the places that were central to Bergman’s creative achievements.

Among the artists von Trotta speaks with are Liv Ullmann (Actress–Persona, Cries And Whispers, etc.); Daniel Bergman & Ingmar Bergman, Jr. (Bergman’s Sons); Halfdan Ullmann Tøndel (Bergman’s grandson); Olivier Assayas (Writer, Director & Author of Conversations with Bergman); Ruben Östlund (Writer, Director – The Square); Stig Björkman (Author of Bergman on Bergman); Mia Hansen-Løve (Writer, Director – Things To Come); Gunnel Lindblom (Actress – The Silence, Virgin Spring); and other filmmakers and actors whose lives were touched by ‘The Genius.’

“They all express themselves in such a very moving and intimate way,” says von Trotta, “that in those encounters I found what I was looking for: a world of personal experience that resonates with the films.”

“I have carried Bergman in my heart all my life,” continues von Trotta. “In the last scene of this film, I lean against an enormous rock looking out at the sea. I felt very small there, quite like being in front of the Master himself. This rock is like him, it protects me, and I remain in its compassionate shadow.”

Searching for Ingmar Bergman was filmed in Sweden, Germany, Spain, and France. Directed by Margarethe von Trotta; Co-Directors: Felix Moeller and Bettina Böhler; Written by Margarethe von Trotta and Felix Moeller; Produced by Benjamin Seikel, Konstanze Speidel, Guy Amon, and Stéphane Sorlat. The film is unrated and runs 99 minutes. 

In addition to screening  Searching for Ingmar Bergman, the Quad Cinema will celebrate the work of German filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta with Margarethe von Trotta: The Political Is Personal. This retrospective spans a decade to encompass her first half-dozen movies as director, which extended the renaissance of the German film industry into the 1980s—and in providing dramatic banquets for some of the country’s best actresses. 

And remember – this is Ingmar Bergman’s Centennial, a great time to cover the ‘genius,’ as many of his colleagues still refer to him, especially with the added November bonus of the Criterion Collection Box Set of 39 Bergman films.


Sanford Meisner, The Neighborhood Playhouse

The Office of the City Council will honor Sanford Meisner and The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre will be recognized with a Proclamation in honor of their 90th Anniversary. The Proclamation will be presented by NYC Council Member Ben Kallos at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre (340 East 54th Street) on Thursday, October 18th at 2 pm.

Created by philanthropists Alice and Irene Lewisohn, The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre was founded in 1915 and originally located in the famous Henry Street Settlement House. One of the first Off-Broadway theatres, the Playhouse was committed to community and devoted to renewing the roots of drama, mounting works both classic and modern.  From the theatre grew a desire to focus on training and, in 1928, The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre opened its doors. The Lewisohns entrusted the direction of the school to Rita Wallach Morgenthau, a long-time board member and advisor to their theatre. The first class, comprised of only nine students, had the privilege of being taught by theatre luminaries Agnes DeMille, Louis Horst, Laura Elliott, and Martha Graham.

Since then, The Neighborhood Playhouse’s alumni have included stage and screen’s most illustrious stars, including Connie Britton, Mackenzie Davis, Robert Duvall, William Esper, Jeff Goldblum, Wynn Handman, Allison Janney, Diane Keaton, Christopher Lloyd, Sidney Lumet, Dylan McDermott, Steve McQueen, Christopher Meloni, Chris Noth, Gregory Peck, Sydney Pollack, Tony Randall, Sherie Rene Scott, Marian Seldes, Mary Steenburgen, Eli Wallach, and Joanne Woodward.

In 1935, Sanford Meisner, one of the greatest acting teachers of the 20th Century and one of the founding members of The Group Theatre, joined the acting faculty of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in 1935 and in 1940, he became head of the acting program. It was at The Neighborhood Playhouse where he developed and refined what is now known as the Meisner Technique, a step-by-step procedure of self-investigation for the actor now globally recognized and among the foremost of modern acting techniques.

“All of us at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre wish to warmly thank New York City Council Member Ben Kallos, along with the rest of the New York City Council, in recognizing the rich history of this dynamic school and its historic place in the cultural life of New York City theater. We are eternally grateful to the paramount contribution that Sanford Meisner made not only to The Neighborhood Playhouse, but to the entire professional acting world.” Executive Director of The Neighborhood Playhouse, Pamela Moller Kareman


Veterans Day

Tony Lo Bianco, Lee Roy Reams and Steven Maglio headline a special Veterans Day concert celebrating members of the armed forces and their families at The Triad, 158 West 72nd Street, on Saturday November 10 at 3pm. Hosted by co-producer Randie Levine-Miller, “Galaxy of Stars” will donate 100% of its proceeds to the Vetwell Project of Operation Warrior Shield, whose primary mission is to provide support programs for veterans and first responders focusing on “healing the hidden wounds of war.”  For tickets call 212-279-4200 or visit

“Galaxy of Stars” also features the popular girls trio The Janes, and the internationally acclaimed operatic tenor James Valenti, as well as Levine-Miller. Music direction is by Michael Lavine.

The Janes have appeared in concert with Barry Manilow, opened for Jackie Mason and toured the world with the USO.  Valenti is the winner of the Richard Tucker Award and the Maria Callas Debut Artist Award.

The Tony-nominated and Obie Award-winning Tony Lo Bianco is well known for his big-hearted support of veterans causes.  He will introduce his video tribute to veterans, “Just A Common Soldier,” which has garnered 21-million likes.  Beloved Broadway song and dance man, the Tony nominee Lee Roy Reams, counts these landmark Broadway productions among his voluminous credits: “42nd Street” (Tony nomination); “The Producers;” and “Hello Dolly!”  The acclaimed vocalist Steven Maglio, known internationally for his masterful evocations of Frank Sinatra, continues his weekly, long-running engagement at The Carnegie Club backed by an 11-piece orchestra.

Anne Akers is a veterans’ advocate whose board service includes not-for-profits engaged in confidence-building skills for female veterans, and employment services.  Most recently, she has spearheaded a program of “community-based holistic wellness” for veterans, in partnership with Tournesol Wellness and Operation Warrior Shield.

Operation Warrior Shield, is a 501c-3, whose primary mission is to provide comprehensive support programs for service members, veterans and first responders, with a focus on “healing the hidden wounds of war” through holistic wellness services, and connecting veterans to community resources to address the problems of homelessness and unemployment.  For more information, visit [,/],

Beginning in 1938, the US Congress declared Veterans Day a national holiday to commemorate the end of World War I, and to honor our veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and their willingness to pay the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms we treasure most.

“Galaxy of Stars” celebrates Veterans Day at The Triad, 158 West 72nd Street, on Saturday November 10 at 3pm.  Tickets, which are $55 + a 2-drink minimum, can be purchased at 212-279-4200 or online at


Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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