Highly Recommended Theater Series: WORKS IN PROGRESS: FEARLESSLY MADE IN NEW YORK! (Vineyard Theatre)

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by Gregory Bernard on March 20, 2024

in Theater-New York


Vineyard Theatre has transferred 11 shows to Broadway, seven directly after their acclaimed Vineyard premieres [highlights are links to Stage and Cinema‘s reviews] Lucas Hnath’s Dana H. and Tina Satter’s Is This A Room (both NYT Best Theatre of 2021); Paula Vogel’s Indecent; Nicky Silver’s The Lyons; Kander, Ebb and Thompson’s The Scottsboro Boys; Bell and Bowen’s [title of show]; and Avenue Q by Marx, Lopez and Whitty (Tony Award, Best Musical). In recent years, four additional shows launched at The Vineyard have been revived in their first Broadway productions: Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive; Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar and Grill; Becky Mode’s Fully Committed; and Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Three Tall Women. And the amazing Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Gloria (2014), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, has now become a regional favorite.

How do these great productions come to be? Find out at Works in Progress: Fearlessly Made in New York! which features readings of five new works in development by Vineyard Theatre 2023-24 artists in residence. The series will culminate with an event on Monday, June 10th at 7PM: Fearless Collaborations: Developing Theatrical Innovation. This stand alone event will include conversations between playwright Jordan Harrison and director David Cromer discussing the future of technology and theatre, as well as director and playwright Nazareth Hassan, with more panelists to be announced soon.

The series allows the community deeper into the process of creating new work at the Vineyard. They range from intimate to epic, haunting to hilarious. Audiences are invited to hear these exciting new scripts as they’re being made, and to stay for conversations with the artists about the path from idea to script to collaborating to hone their visions.

All readings are free and open to the public (releasing ticket access to members first). Tickets for Fearless Collaborations are $20; event is free to all Vineyard Members. Reserve tickets HERE.

Tuesday, April 9 at 7 PMNO NOTHING By T. Adamson Directed by Keenan Tyler Oliphant ABOUT NO NOTHINGMiddle-aged realtor Gwen lives with her dying mother, Martha, in rural East Texas. Isolated from the outside world thanks to a pandemic she only partly believes in, Gwen passes her time caring for Martha, throwing misshapen vases on a potter’s wheel, and flirting with the family’s gregarious yardman, Willie. But when Martha starts hallucinating conversations with a shadowy figure standing in the middle of a dark lake outside their home, both she and Gwen will be forced to confront the histories of resentment, despair, and racial violence that have brought their family to its wounded and codependent present. Could the stranger be an angel or a messenger from some other world? A family play featuring serpents, Arthurian legends, disembodied voices, and a malfunctioning robotic cat.  T. Adamson is a Texas-raised writer and theater artist of Anglo/Mexican ancestry. T. has developed new work with Vineyard Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, NYTW, Great Plains Theater Commons, Clubbed Thumb, JACK, Cutting Ball, Mercury Store, and many others. Plays include The Natural Horse (Alleyway Theatre), The Straights (JACK), and Usus (Clubbed Thumb Winterworks).  Keenan Tyler Oliphant is a Theatre-maker and director from Cape Town, South Africa, whose work is in the lineage of Theatre-making and Storytelling traditions of Southern Africa. Selected directing credits include the Heather Christina’s Terce: A Practical Breviary (HERE Arts); To the Ends of the Earth (JACK); Will You Come With Me? (PlayCo), and Jay Stull’s The Singularity Play (Harvard TDM). 

Monday, April 15 at 7 PMDWELLERS By a.k. payne Directed by Josiah Davis  ABOUT DWELLERSa ship churns against the Atlantic on the deck a chorus of 9 try to reach the door of no return  a.k. payne is a playwright, artist-theorist, and theatermaker with roots in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their plays love on and engage the interdependencies of Black pasts, presents and futures and seek to find/remember language that might move us towards our collective liberation(s). a.k. holds a B.A. in English and African-American Studies from Yale College and an MFA in Playwriting under Tarell Alvin McCraney from the Yale School of Drama. Their work has been a finalist for the L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award and a 2x finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Josiah Davis is a multi-disciplinary artist. A director, choreographer, designer and actor, his work intersects expressive movement, live music, emerging technology, and ritual to breathe new life into storytelling. Asking, how do we create space for people to be in alignment while being pulled apart by invisible systems? He is a graduate from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, Television and Brown/Trinity MFA Directing 2020. Selected credits: Mary Gets Hers (Playwrights Realm/MCC) Omar Offrendum’s Little Syria (BAM), Lessons in Survival (Vineyard Theatre), Amani (Rattlestick/NBT), Clyde’s (Alabama Shakespeare Festival/Arkansas Rep), Mr. Saturday Night (Broadway). 

Monday, April 29 at 7 PMPRACTICE By Nazareth Hassan Directed by Keenan Tyler Oliphant ABOUT PRACTICE:A theater company makes a play about itself. Practice explores what we each sacrifice to become a group. Nazareth Hassan is an interdisciplinary artist working in performance, writing, music, video, and photography. Recent performance works include Untitled (1-5) at The Shed (text published by 3 Hole Press), VANTABLACK at Theatretreffen Stuckemarkt in Berlin, Slow Mania 009 at Center for Performance Research in Brooklyn, and Memory A at Museo Universitario del Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City. Nazareth’s first collection of poetry and photography Slow Mania will be published in 2025 by Futurepoem. Keenan Tyler Oliphant is a Theatre-maker and director from Cape Town, South Africa, whose work is in the lineage of Theatre-making and Storytelling traditions of Southern Africa. Selected directing credits include the Heather Christina’s Terce: A Practical Breviary (HERE Arts); To the Ends of the Earth (JACK); Will You Come With Me? (PlayCo), Jay Stull’s The Singularity Play (Harvard TDM); Sam Grabiner’s People on Earth (Columbia University), Vivian Barnes’ Intro To (Ensemble Stage Theatre), queen a queer ritual by Jay Stull (Dixon Place), and Self-Combustion of a 30 Something Year Old… (New Ohio) . 

Monday, May 13 at 7 PMTHE HAUNTING AT CAMP WINONA By Mara Nelson-Greenberg  ABOUT THE HAUNTING AT CAMP WINONA ​​Camp Winona is anxious to be ranked number one by the American Camp Association this year, but they’re running into some problems — the buildings are falling apart, the campers won’t stop screaming about death, and the Rich Girls Cabin has discovered there might be a ghost haunting the campgrounds. The Haunting At Camp Winona is a dark comedy that asks what it means to come of age in a messed up world where nobody gets out alive. Mara Nelson-Greenberg’s work has been developed at Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, SPACE on Ryder Farm, EST/Youngblood, Berkeley Rep, and ACT Theatre, among others. Her play Do You Feel Anger? premiered at the 2018 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville and was produced at the Vineyard Theatre in 2019. She is a former member of Youngblood at Ensemble Studio Theater and Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers Group, and a recipient of the Vineyard Theatre’s 2023 Paul Vogel Playwriting Award. She received her MFA from UC-San Diego under Naomi Iizuka. 

Monday, May 20 at 7 PMRISE AND BEINGSBy Rudi GoblenDirected by Lamar Perry ABOUT RISE AND BEINGSCoco’s dreams never lie, and she has been dreaming about the end. Now, her son Rice who supports the family is being derailed by a newfound love, and her daughter Naughty has gone missing. Rise and Beings is a modern day epic that spotlights how spatial [in]justice affects BIPOC communities. Rudi Goblen a playwright, professor, and performer who creates solo theatre and devised theater work. As an acclaimed dancer, he has toured nationally, and internationally, competing, adjudicating, and teaching with his award-winning group Flipside Kings. Rudi is a recipient of the Vineyard Theatre’s Colman Domingo Award: a three-time recipient of playwriting awards from the Kennedy Center, the Distinguished Achievement for the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, and an O’Neill Finalist; as well as a Future Aesthetics Artist Award, two Miami-Dade County Choreographer Awards; a FEAST Award for his book of poetry “A Bag of Halos and Horns,” and a Theater Masters’ Take Ten Playwright. Lamar Perry A nationally known new play development director Perry has developed work at; Roundabout, the Old Globe, the National Black eater, Cygnet, Blindspot Collective/La Jolla Playhouse, Signature Theatre, Diversionary, Chautauqua, Penumbra, and the O’Neill. He is an alum of St. John’s University and the American Academy for Dramatic Arts. Website: lamarperry.com & @mrlamarperry on socials!

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