Vineyard Theatre Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern announce two productions of the company’s upcoming 2019-2020 Season. The season will kick off this fall with IS THIS A ROOM, conceived and directed by Tina Satter. The final production of the season in spring 2020 will be the world premiere of TUVALU OR, THE SADDEST SONG by Antoinette Nwandu, and directed by Danya Taymor. Both shows will be presented at Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street) with the winter 2020 production to be announced at a later date.
Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern said: “We are thrilled to announce two of our 2019-20 productions — Tina Satter’s IS THIS A ROOM, and Antoinette Nwandu’s TUVALU OR, THE SADDEST SONG. These extraordinary new plays intertwine the deeply personal and political in revealing ways, reminding us how historical events shape, and are shaped by, individual lives. Tina and Antoinette are gifted artists who have created works inspired by recent events in our country, and fueled by theatrical imagination, which speak powerfully and exhilaratingly to our current moment. We truly look forward to sharing these new works and to the conversations that they inspire, and to announcing our winter show and developmental lab production soon.”
IS THIS A ROOM
Conceived and Directed By Tina Satter
A true story, still unfolding. June 3, 2017. A 25-year-old former Air Force linguist named Reality Winner is surprised at her home by the FBI, interrogated, and then charged with leaking evidence of Russian interference in U.S elections. Reality remains in jail with a record-breaking sentence. The FBI transcript of her interrogation is the heart of IS THIS A ROOM, conceived as a play and directed by Obie Award-winner Tina Satter, in which an extraordinary human drama unfolds between the complex and witty Reality, and the agents who question her. As Reality’s autonomy shrinks before her eyes, a simmering real-life thriller emerges, asking what it is to have honor in this American moment, and how the personal can reverberate globally.
IS THIS A ROOM originated with a limited run in January 2019 at The Kitchen.
TUVALU OR, THE SADDEST SONG
By Antoinette Nwandu
Directed By Danya Taymor
Los Angeles in the mid-nineties and twelve-year old Jackie is at a crossroads. She’s just been accepted to a private school in Brentwood, the affluent, white neighborhood that also happens to be ground zero for the O.J. Simpson murder trial. At home, the Lord is alive and well, the rent’s past due, and Momma’s boyfriend just came back to town. Sexuality and spirituality, race and class, love and violence collide as Jackie attempts to make sense of her life in relation to the women in her real and imaginary landscapes. With an astonishing mix of humor, tenderness and theatrical daring, this coming-of-age story explores the barriers that keep Jackie from finding her authentic self, and the cost of overcoming them.
In addition, the Winter 2020 production and a Developmental Lab will be announced at a later date.
Memberships are now on sale for The Vineyard’s 2019-2020 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 nurturing the voices of daring artists, and to developing and producing work that challenges all of us to see ourselves and our world from new perspectives. One of the country’s preeminent centers for the creation and production of new plays and musicals, our work seeks to push the boundaries of what theatre can be and do.
The Vineyard’s 2018-19 season included Ngozi Anyanwu’s GOOD GRIEF, directed by Awoye Timpo, Jeremy O. Harris’ “Daddy”, directed by Danya Taymor, and Mara Nelson-Greenberg’s DO YOU FEEL ANGER?, directed by Margot Bordelon. Other notable premieres include David Cale’s HARRY CLARKE (2018 Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel awards); Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman’s INDECENT (two 2017 Tony Awards); two Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, Paula Vogel’s HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE and Edward Albee’s THREE TALL WOMEN; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ GLORIA; Nicky Silver’s THE LYONS; Marx, Lopez and Whitty’s AVENUE Q (Tony Award, Best Musical); Kander, Ebb, and Thompson’s THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS; Bell and Bowen’s [title of show]; Lanie Robertson’s LADY DAY AT EMERSON’S BAR AND GRILL; Polly Pen’s GOBLIN MARKET; Tarell Alvin McCraney’s WIG OUT!; Jenny Schwartz’ GOD’S EAR; Will Eno’s MIDDLETOWN; Becky Mode’s FULLY COMMITTED; Colman Domingo’s DOT; and many more.
The Vineyard’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and Susan Stroman Directing Award provide residences to early-career artists, and our education programs serve over 700 NYC public high school students annually, culminating in the Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival in collaboration with Developing Artists. Works developed and premiered at our home in Union Square have gone on to be seen around the world, and The Vineyard is proud to be the recipient of special Drama Desk, Obie, and Lucille Lortel awards for artistic excellence.
Vineyard Theatre’s leadership includes Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern and Managing Director Suzanne Appel.
Tina Satter (conceiver and director, IS THIS A ROOM) is a playwright, director, and teacher who was a recipient of a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, and was named an Off-Off Broadway Innovator to Watch by Time Out New York. She is the leader of Half Straddle, an Obie-winning, New York City-based ensemble of performers and designers. With Half Straddle, she has written and directed nine full-length plays, and a number of smaller projects, and re-imagined them for a range of spaces as they have toured to numerous theaters and festivals in the U.S. and internationally. She has taught and led workshops on writing, directing, and feminist approaches to art-making at a number of schools and universities. She is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop. In 2017, she received a PANOS commission from Culturgest in Lisbon, Portugal to write a play for teenagers, and worked with the Portuguese directors on the translation and dramaturgy of her play, SMALL BREATH. Tina attended Mac Wellman’s graduate playwriting program at Brooklyn College and received an M.A. from Reed College and a B.A. from Bowdoin College. Her first collection of plays, SEAGULL (THINKING OF YOU), was published by 53rd State Press in 2014. The full text of GHOST RINGS and a live vinyl recording were put out by 53rd State Press in 2016.
Antoinette Nwandu (Playwright, TUVALU OR, THE SADDEST SONG) Antoinette Nwandu is a New York-based playwright. Her Jeff-award winning play, PASS OVER, had its New York debut at LCT3 in June 2018. A filmed version of the Steppenwolf production—directed by Spike Lee—had its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and screened as part of SXSW 2018. Her play BREACH: a manifesto on race in america through the eyes of a black girl recovering from self-hate had its world premiere at Victory Gardens last season. Antoinette’s work has been supported by the Sundance Theater Lab, Space on Ryder Farm, Ignition Fest, the Cherry Lane Mentor Project, the Kennedy Center, Page73, PlayPenn, Southern Rep, The Flea, Naked Angels, Fire This Time, and The Movement Theater Company. Honors include the Vineyard Theatre Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, the Negro Ensemble Company’s Douglas Turner Ward Prize, a Literary Fellowship at the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, and spots on the 2016 and 2017 Kilroys lists. Antoinette is a MacDowell Fellow, a Dramatists Guild Fellow, and an Ars Nova Play Group alum. She is currently under commission from Echo Theater Company, Colt Coeur, and Audible.
Danya Taymor (Director, TUVALU OR, THE SADDEST SONG) is a New York-based director and translator. Recent work: Jeremy O. Harris’ “Daddy“ (Vineyard, The New Group), Danai Gurira’s FAMILIAR (Steppenwolf), Antoinette Nwandu’s PASS OVER (LCT3/Steppenwolf), 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). Her production of Antoinette Nwandu’s PASS OVER (Steppenwolf) was filmed by Spike Lee and premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. 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 an associate artist at The Flea, and a recipient of the Cullman Award for Extraordinary Creativity from Lincoln Center. Education: Duke University.