Vineyard Theatre Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern announce the upcoming 2018-2019 Season. The New York premiere of Ngozi Anyanwu’s GOOD GRIEF, directed by Awoye Timpo, will open the season this fall. In winter 2019, The Vineyard and The New Group will co-produce the world premiere of Jeremy O. Harris’ “Daddy” directed by Danya Taymor, featuring Alan Cumming. The final production of the season in spring 2019 will be the New York premiere of DO YOU FEEL ANGER? by Mara Nelson-Greenberg, directed by Margot Bordelon. GOOD GRIEF and DO YOU FEEL ANGER? will be presented at Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street) and the co-production of “Daddy” will be presented in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street).
Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern said, “We are thrilled to announce a season of extraordinary premiere plays by some of most exciting new voices in the theatre — Ngozi Anyanwu, Jeremy O. Harris, and Mara Nelson-Greenberg — all making their Vineyard mainstage debuts. Their plays wrestle with complex themes — the process of grief, the mysteries of connection, the power of imagination, the erosion of empathy — in compelling, funny and potent ways. Each evinces a fearless and original theatricality and collision of forms, pushing the boundaries of what theatre can be and do. We are so excited to collaborate with these remarkable young playwrights and directors — Awoye Timpo, Danya Taymor and Margot Bordelon — and to bring their work to our audiences.”
By Ngozi Anyanwu
Directed by Awoye Timpo
In Association with Audible
New York Premiere
Nkechi was a good Nigerian-American girl. She did everything right. Went to med school. Made plans. Then life happened. And plans changed. A first-generation coming-of-age journey of love, loss, and growing into adulthood, GOOD GRIEF follows Nkechi as she navigates Pennsylvania’s suburbs alongside her childhood crush, her would-be-philosopher brother, and her immigrant parents. Hailed as a “profound dramatic work” by LA Weekly, this hilarious and heartbreaking new play reunites playwright Ngozi Anyanwu and director Awoye Timpo following their acclaimed collaboration on THE HOMECOMING QUEEN.
Vineyard Theatre reunites with Audible, the world’s largest seller and producer of digital spoken-word entertainment, following their award-winning production of HARRY CLARKE. Audible will record The Vineyard’s production of GOOD GRIEF as an audio play.
GOOD GRIEF received its world premiere at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles.
By Jeremy O. Harris
Directed by Danya Taymor
With Alan Cumming
World premiere production from The New Group and Vineyard Theatre.
Presented in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street)
In Jeremy O. Harris’ searing new play “Daddy,” Franklin, a young black artist, meets Andre (Alan Cumming), an older white art collector, and sparks quickly fly. As their erotic link deepens into an irresistible bond, Franklin’s life and lifestyle get a hefty upgrade. But when Franklin’s Christian mother decides that her son is in peril, she enters into an epic battle of wills with Andre over the soul of their baby boy. Set in and around a Bel Air swimming pool, this wildly theatrical and dangerous new play takes a deep dive into questions of patronage and parentage, as Franklin’s past, present and future collide in surreal ways. Danya Taymor (PASS OVER) directs this world-premiere co-production with The New Group.
DO YOU FEEL ANGER?
By Mara Nelson-Greenberg
Directed by Margot Bordelon
New York Premiere
In Mara Nelson-Greenberg’s dazzling dark comedy, Sofia is hired as an empathy coach at a debt collection agency — and clearly, she has her work cut out for her. These employees can barely identify what an emotion is, much less practice deep, radical compassion for others. As they painstakingly stumble towards enlightenment, someone keeps mugging Eva in the kitchen, and the unspoken dynamics of their seemingly blithe workplace culture become increasingly unsettling. This absurdly funny and potent new play, directed by Margot Bordelon, reminds us that change is not always easy, and may come with unexpected costs.
DO YOU FEEL ANGER? received its world premiere at the 2018 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
In addition, a Lab Production will be announced at a later date.
Memberships are now on sale for The Vineyard’s 2018-2019 Season and can be purchased online at www.vineyardtheatre.org or by calling the box office at 212-353-0303. Becoming a member ensures great seats to all Vineyard productions for a fraction of the full ticket price. Other privileges include the ability to reserve seats before tickets go on sale to the general public, discounted guest tickets, invitations to new play readings and Developmental Labs, and other exclusive benefits.
Vineyard Theatre is an Off-Broadway theatre company dedicated to developing and producing bold new plays and musicals by both emerging and established artists. The theater is committed to creating an artistic home for daring and diverse artists and to nurturing their unique voices. For over 35 years the company has sought to produce work that challenges all of us to see ourselves and our world in new ways, and that pushes the boundaries of what theatre can be and do.
The Vineyard has consistently premiered provocative, groundbreaking works; most recently, the world-premiere of David Cale’s HARRY CLARKE, directed by Leigh Silverman and starring Billy Crudup, which played a sold-out extended run, won a Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel, Off Broadway Alliance and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and was released as an audio play on Audible; Jordan Harrison’s THE AMATEURS, directed by Oliver Butler; and THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE by John Kander and David Thompson, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman. The Vineyard has also premiered Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman’s INDECENT, which transferred to Broadway last season, winning two Tony Awards; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Pulitzer Prize finalist GLORIA; DOT by Colman Domingo; Nicky Silver’s THE LYONS; Marx, Lopez and Whitty’s Tony Award-winning musical AVENUE Q; Kander and Ebb’s THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS; Bell and Bowen’s [title of show]; Paula Vogel’s HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE (1998 Pulitzer Prize); Edward Albee’s THREE TALL WOMEN (1994 Pulitzer Prize); Lanie Robertson’s LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL, Tarell Alvin McCraney’s WIG OUT!; Becky Mode’s FULLY COMMITTED; Jenny Schwartz’ GOD’S EAR; Will Eno’s MIDDLETOWN; Michael Mayer and Peter Lerman’s BROOKLYNITE, and many more. The Vineyard’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and Susan Stroman Directing Award recognize and support emerging artists with tailored residencies. In addition, the company’s education programs serve hundreds of New York City public high school students annually, culminating in the Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival in collaboration with Developing Artists. Vineyard Theatre has been honored with special Drama Desk, Obie, and Lucille Lortel Awards for its contribution to the theatre.
Vineyard Theatre’s leadership includes Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern and Managing Director Suzanne Appel.
Ngozi Anyanwu (Playwright, GOOD GRIEF) is an overall Renaissance Woman. Education: University of California San Diego (MFA Acting). Point Park University (B.A) Playwriting: GOOD GRIEF, VICTORY IS OURS and THE HOMECOMING QUEEN. GOOD GRIEF was produced at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles in spring 2017. The play was on the 2016 Kilroys List and was a semi-finalist for the 2016 Princess Grace Award. It received the Inaugural CTG/Humanitas Playwriting Prize. THE HOMECOMING QUEEN was produced at the Atlantic Theatre Company in winter 2018. Anyanwu is also a recipient of the New York Stage and Film Founder’s Award and the Djerassi Artist Residency and a writer in residence at LCT3 and SPACE on Ryder Farm. VICTORY IS OURS was presented as part of the New Black Fest at the Lark and as part of the National Black Theatre’s Keep Soul Alive Monday Reading Series. Ngozi is currently developing a pilot with JuVee Productions and ABC Signature. Acting: The Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Barrington Stage, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and The Mark Taper Forum. TV credits: “Limitless,” “Deadbeat,” “The Affair,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “The Mysteries of Laura,” and “The Deuce.” Producer: 1st Generation Nigerian Project, Co-Producer and Director of New Play Development of Now Africa’s Playwrights Festival. Director: SHE GON LEARN, by Lisa Strum for the Emerging Arts Festival, United Solo Festival, National Black Theater; Black Love.
Awoye Timpo (Director, GOOD GRIEF) Credits include: THE HOMECOMING QUEEN (Atlantic Theater), SKELETON CREW (Chester Theater), SISTER SON/JI (Billie Holiday Theater), CARNAVAL (National Black Theatre), NDEBELE FUNERAL (59E59, South African tour, Edinburgh Festival); THE LIBATION BEARERS (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ), ARABY (La MaMa), IN THE CONTINUUM (Juilliard); CLYBOURNE PARK (Farmers Alley), THE VANISHED (Novisi). Producer: CLASSIX, a reading series exploring classic plays by Black playwrights. The inaugural season in 2017 featured works by Bill Gunn, Kathleen Collins, Ron Milner and Alice Childress. Broadway: Associate Director, JITNEY; Assistant Director, SHUFFLE ALONG. Other: Associate Director, OTHELLO (Shakespeare in the Park), ABC/Disney, Cherry Lane, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Ma-Yi, New Dramatists, NOW Africa, Page 73, PEN World Voices, Rising Circle, Royal Shakespeare Company, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and WNYC. Upcoming: PARADISE BLUE by Dominique Morisseau (Long Wharf).
Audible, Inc. is the world’s leading producer and provider of premium digital spoken audio content, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible was created to unleash the emotive music in language and the habituating power and utility of verbal expression. Audible content includes more than 425,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers. Audible is also the provider of spoken-word audio products for Apple’s iTunes Store.
Jeremy O. Harris (Playwright, “Daddy”) is a theatre artist currently residing in New Haven, CT by way of Los Angeles, CA. As a playwright, his full-length plays include XANDER XYST, DRAGON: 1, SLAVE PLAY (upcoming at New York Theatre Workshop, Winner of the 2018 Kennedy Center Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, 2018 O’Neill Playwrights Conference) and WATER SPORTS; OR INSIGNIFICANT WHITE BOYS. His work as a writer and director has been presented or developed by Pieterspace, JACK, Ars Nova, The New Group, NYTW, Performance Space New York and Playwrights Horizons. His work as an actor has been seen at About Face Theatre, The Goodman and most recently HBO’s “High Maintenance.” He is a 2016 MacDowell Colony Fellow, an Orchard Project Greenhouse artist, resident playwright with Colt Coeur, and is under commission from Lincoln Center Theater and Playwrights Horizons. Jeremy is currently in his second year at the Yale School of Drama.
Danya Taymor (Director, “Daddy”) is a New York based director and translator. Her production of Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass PASS OVER (Steppenwolf) was filmed by Spike Lee and premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Other recent work: Martyna Majok’s QUEENS (LCT3), Justin Kuritzkes’ THE SENSUALITY PARTY (The New Group), Nathan Yungerberg’s ESAI’S TABLE (Cherry Lane Mentor Project), Brian Watkins’ WYOMING (Lesser America) and MY DAUGHTER KEEPS OUR HAMMER, Sarah Gancher’s THE PLACE WE BUILT and LEGOM’s I HATE FUCKING MEXICANS (The Flea). An alumna of the Women’s Project Lab, Sundance Theatre Lab, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, Van Lier Fellowship and the 2050 Fellowship at NYTW. She is a Usual Suspect at NYTW, an artist in residence at TFANA, a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and an Associate Artist at The Flea. Education: Duke University. Upcoming Projects include Antoinette Nwandu’s PASS OVER (LCT3) and Danai Gurira’s FAMILIAR (Steppenwolf). BA: Duke University.
Alan Cumming (“Andre,” “Daddy”) has performed with Jay Z and Liza with a Z; he has won a Tony, hosted the Tonys and been nominated for an Emmy for doing so; he has a soap called Cumming In A Bar, and a bar called Club Cumming; he made back-to-back films with Stanley Kubrick and the Spice Girls; he has played God, the Devil, Hitler, the Pope, a teleporting superhero, Hamlet, all the parts in Macbeth, General Batista of Cuba, a goat opposite Sean Connery, Dionysus, a Smurf (twice) the EmCee in CABARET (thrice), a James Bond baddie – oh, and political spinmeister Eli Gold on seven seasons of “The Good Wife” for which he received multiple Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG award nominations; he is the author of five books including a #1 New York Times best-selling memoir; he appeared on “Sesame Street,” “Dora the Explorer,” topless in Playgirl and naked on the cover of his second album. He has received over forty awards for his humanitarianism and social activism, three honorary doctorates, both the Great Scot and Icon of Scotland awards from his homeland and was made an OBE (Officer of the British Empire) for his contributions to the arts and LBGT equality by the Queen, whose portrait was taken down when his was unveiled at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2014. He has sung in concert halls across the globe including the Sydney Opera House, the London Palladium, the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall and Billboard said of his last concert tour Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs “he’s an icon to behold – he is unapologetically himself, and with a talent like that, he has no need to apologize.”
The New Group (Co-Producer, “Daddy”) (Scott Elliott, Artistic Director; Adam Bernstein, Executive Director) is an award-winning, artist-driven company with a commitment to developing and producing powerful, contemporary theater. The company maintains an ensemble approach to its work and an articulated style of emotional immediacy in its productions, while seeking a theater that is adventurous, stimulating and most importantly “now,” a true forum for the present culture. The 2018-2019 Season features four world premiere productions: Sharr White’s THE TRUE, directed by Scott Elliott, with Edie Falco, Michael McKean and Peter Scolari (Fall 2018); CLUELESS, THE MUSICAL, by Amy Heckerling, with choreography by Kelly Devine, directed by Kristin Hanggi (Fall 2018); Jeremy O. Harris’ “Daddy,” a co-production with Vineyard Theatre, directed by Danya Taymor, featuring Alan Cumming (Winter 2019); and Jesse Eisenberg’s YEA, SISTER!, directed by Scott Elliott (Spring 2019). Recent production highlights include JERRY SPRINGER – THE OPERA, featuring music by Richard Thomas and book & additional lyrics by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas and choreography by Chris Bailey, directed by John Rando; the hit revival of SWEET CHARITY, choreographed by Joshua Bergasse, directed by Leigh Silverman and starring Sutton Foster; the U.S. premiere of Wallace Shawn’s EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE; the revival of Sam Shepard’s BURIED CHILD and the world premiere of Jesse Eisenberg’s THE SPOILS, which both enjoyed critically-acclaimed productions at Trafalagar Studios in London’s West End directed by Scott Elliott. Over the last 23 years, the company has collaborated with writers Thomas Bradshaw (BURNING, INTIMACY); Ayub Khan Din (EAST IS EAST, RAFTA, RAFTA…, BUNTY BERMAN PRESENTS…); Mike Leigh (ECSTASY, SMELLING A RAT, ABIGAIL’S PARTY, TWO THOUSAND YEARS); Kenneth Lonergan (THIS IS OUR YOUTH, THE STARRY MESSENGER); David Rabe (GOOD FOR OTTO, HURLYBURLY, AN EARLY HISTORY OF FIRE, STICKS AND BONES); Wallace Shawn (AUNT DAN AND LEMON, THE FEVER, MARIE AND BRUCE, AN EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE) and many more. The company has received more than 100 awards and nominations for excellence. The New Group is a recipient of the 2004 Tony® Award for Best Musical (AVENUE Q). In 2011, THE KID received five Drama Desk nominations and the Outer Critics Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. That year, The New Group and Scott Elliott were honored with a Drama Desk Special Award “for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions.” For more, please visit TheNewGroup.org.
Mara Nelson-Greenberg’s (Playwright, DO YOU FEEL ANGER?) work has been developed at Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, Ensemble Studio Theatre and Dixon Place, among others. She is a member of Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theater and an alumnus of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers Group. Her play DO YOU FEEL ANGER? premiered at the 2018 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville and her play Hamlet by Mia Fefferman was a finalist for the 2017 Relentless Award. She grew up in Brooklyn, NY and received her B.A. from Princeton University. She is currently pursuing her MFA at UC-San Diego under Naomi Iizuka.
Margot Bordelon (Director, DO YOU FEEL ANGER?) is a Brooklyn based director who specializes in new work. Upcoming: PLOT POINTS IN OUR SEXUAL DEVELOPMENT by Miranda Rose Hall at LCT3; EDDIE AND DAVE by Amy Staats at Atlantic Theater Company. Recent projects: WILDER GONE by Angela Hanks for Clubbed Thumb (NYT’s Critics’ Pick); DO YOU FEEL ANGER? by Mara Nelson-Greenberg at ATL’s Humana Festival, THE LAST CLASS: A JAZZERCIZE PLAY by Megan Hill at ATC in Seattle, TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET by Jireh Breon Holder at the Roundabout Underground and the Alliance, THE PEN by Julianne Wick Davis and Dan Collins for Premieres NYC (NYT’s Critics’ Pick), PEERLESS by Jiehae Park at Marin Theatre Company and Yale Rep, A DELICATE SHIP by Anna Ziegler for Playwrights Realm (NYT’s Critics’ Pick), and OKAY, BYE by Joshua Conkel at Steppenwolf Theater. Her work has been seen at Ars Nova, American Theater Co., Berkeley Rep, Cherry Lane, Clubbed Thumb, Dodo, Juilliard, The Lark, NYTW, P73, Perry Mansfield, Play Penn, Portland Center Stage, Primary Stages, The Public, PWC, Rattlestick, SPACE at Ryder Farm, Steppenwolf, the Wilma, and Woolly Mammoth, among others. Margot moved east after spending six years in Chicago working as a director, writer and performer. She is a founding member of Theatre Seven of Chicago, and spent four seasons working on the artistic staff of Lookingglass Theatre. BFA: Cornish College of the Arts. MFA: Yale School of Drama. www.margotbordelon.com
The Pershing Square Signature Center (“Daddy”), the permanent home of Signature Theatre, is a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature’s three distinct playwrights’ residencies and foster a cultural community. The Center is a major contribution to New York City’s cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, a bookstore, and the Signature Café + Bar, open to the public from noon-midnight Tuesdays–Sundays. For more information on renting the Center, please visit www.signaturetheatre.org/rentals.