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Theatre News: Rental Assistance, David Byrne’s American Utopia, Freestyle Love Supreme, Craig Carnelia, Sutton Foster, Annaleigh Ashford and Hear Me Out New American Monologue Competition

Theatre News: Rental Assistance, David Byrne’s American Utopia, Freestyle Love Supreme, Craig Carnelia, Sutton Foster, Annaleigh Ashford and Hear Me Out New American Monologue Competition

An unprecedented shutdown of the theater industry has left a generation of artists, musicians, designers, technicians, and administrators unable to work. Even as theater begins to reopen, they grapple with uncertainty. Many are struggling to make rent. Many are at risk of having to leave New York, and many of those who’ve left are struggling to return. Enter actressLilli Cooper, writer Kyle Jarrow, composer Andrew Lippa and other theater industry members who have teamed up to provide $500,000 in rental relief to theater workers in New York City. 

The newly created organization, Places Please Project, has set a goal of distributing the rental relief to New York City-based artists, designers, musicians, technicians and administrators by April 2022. As of now the group is fundraising kicking it all off with a $50,000 matching grant from an anonymous donor. Funds will be matched dollar-for-dollar through July 10. 

The Tank NYC, a nonprofit performance venue and producer, is acting as a fiscal sponsor for the group, which allows donors to make tax deductible donations. Be An Arts Hero, a grassroots organization campaigning for arts relief, is also a partner. 

More shows are returning to Broadway. David Byrne’s American Utopia will return to Broadway this fall at the St. James Theatre. They return after the conclusion of Springsteen on Broadway, which ends its run September 4.

Freestyle Love Supreme return to the Booth Theatre. Guests are expected to make appearances throughout the run and may include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, James Monroe Iglehart, Wayne Brady, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Bill Sherman and Utkarsh Ambudkar.

Annaleigh Ashford
Annaleigh Ashford

Josh Lamon, in association with the Broadway Podcast Network, is pleased to announce the final episode of Josh Swallows Broadway Season 2, featuring Craig Carnelia, Sutton Foster, Annaleigh Ashford, and more is now publicly available from the Broadway Podcast Network, on the BPN App, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.  Find it now at

Tony Nominated Composer and author Craig Carnelia (Working, Sweet Smell of Success) was the go-to Musical Theatre teacher in NYC for over 25 years. This episode discusses his incredible new book “The Reason To Sing: A Guide To Acting While Singing”. Josh surprises Craig with his long time student, Tony Winner Sutton Foster, for a hilarious and heartfelt chat. 

Also making an appearance are his students Tony Winner Annaleigh Ashford, Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific, Queen Of The Mist), Hayley Podschun (Hello Dolly!, Wicked), Brandon Lawrence Pearson (Hair), Noah Zachary (Ave Q), Devon Goffman (Motown), Morgan James (Godspell) and his wife Lisa Brescia (Dear Evan Hansen). 

Additional Season 2 guests include Patti Murin, Shoshana Bean, Megan Hilty, Michael R Jackson, Andrew Barth Feldmen, Christiane Noll, a Hair reunion with Gavin Creel, Caissie Levy, Will Swenson and Darius Nichols as well as a Prom Cast reunion with Caitlin Kinnunen and Izzy McCalla.

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Following the success of last year’s competition, the Hear Me Out New American Monologue Competition returns for a second season with twice the amount of cash prizes, totaling over $10,000. Submissions are FREE and can be made through July 22, 2021, at noon (click here ) . The finalist presentation and award ceremony will take place during the Labor Day Festival on September 6, 2021, at 1 PM Tickets can be reserved here .

This year’s competition will feature two competitive divisions: The Short Form Monologues (under 650 words) and Longer Form Monologues (word count between 750-1850). Writers are encouraged to write an original monologue in response to this year’s festival prompt: BORDERS.

“BORDERS: We all live with them. Some are rooted in geography. Others in time, as in the line that separates Before from After. And some may be so personal we can scarcely dare to name them. No matter what sort of borders your characters face, their journey begins the moment they open their mouths and begin to speak.”

12 Finalist Winners will compete for the following awards and cash prizes Golden Ear & Earbud ($2,000 ea.), Silver Ear & Earbud ($750 ea.), The August van der Becq Memorial Prize for Daring ($2,001), Most Memorable Character Prize ($975 + 4-month scholarship for craftwork in the RT Private Studio), Alvin Epstein Memorial Prize for Solo Performers ($1,524 + 30 hrs. of developmental workshop time with Roland Tec) for the piece most likely to draw new audiences to the form.


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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