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byElyse Sommer

The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has announced 10 Finalists for its prestigious playwriting award, the oldest and largest prize awarded to women playwrights The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has announced 10 Finalists for its prestigious playwriting award, the oldest and largest prize awarded to women playwrights. Chosen from over 150 nominated plays, the Finalists are: Sarah Burgess (U.S.)- Dry Powder; Rachel Cusk (U.K.)- Medea; Sarah DeLappe (U.S.)- The Wolves; Sam Holcroft (U.K.)- Rules for Living; Anna Jordan (U.K.)- Yen; Dominique Morisseau (U.S.)- Skeleton Crew; Lynn Nottage (U.S.)- Sweat; Suzan-Lori Parks (U.S.)- Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1,2 & 3); Bea Roberts (U.K)- And Then Come The Nightjars; Noni Stapleton (Ireland)- Charolais.

A Bronx Tale, The Musical
Chaz Palminteri's career making solo about his own story has been told many times. But never like this: as A Bronx Tale: The Musical to be co-directed by Robert De Niro and Jerry Zaks, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo, with , music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater. No solo this. The cast features Jason Gotay as Calogero, Joshua Colley as Young Calogero, Nick Cordero as Sonny, Richard H. Blake as Lorenzo, Coco Jones as Jane and Lucia Giannetta as Rosina. It's making it's world premiere at the Papermill Playhouse beginnign 2/04/16; opening 2/14/16 and running through 3/06/16. If I were in the predicting business, I'd say that this will have a life after that NJ premiere.

The Flea on White Street has announced its 2016 season:
March 10 – May 2: Wolf in the River, a world premiere written and directed by Adam Rapp. Explores love and neglect, the challenges of poverty, the dangerous cost of shiftlessness, the simple notion of leaving a place behind, and the value of a girl. Official opening night, March 21.

April 14 – May 23: The Place We Built, world premiere by Sarah Gancher, directed by Danya Taymor. In a deserted neighborhood in post-communist Budapest, a group of young bohemians build a bar. Reclaiming a Jewish identity their parents' generation abandoned after the Holocaust, they create a vibrant new subculture combining big ideas and intense debates with wild abandon and outrageous parties. But as authoritarianism and antisemitism make a surprise comeback in Hungary, they must fight to save the place they built. Cast: The Bats. Official opening night, April 25.

January 21 – September 24: #SERIALS@TheFlea produced by Cleo Gray and Crystal Arnette.Now counting 33 sold-out cycles, this raucous late night play competition features the bats, plays 11PM Thursday-Saturday. Cycle 34 runs January 21-February 6, Cycle 35 runs March 17-26, and Cycle 36 runs September 8-23. Tickets are $12.

The Flea Theater is located at 41 White Street between Church and Broadway for tickets: 212-352-3101 or

Offerings at Under the Radar Festival 2016
Employee of the Year January 8-17(Running Time: 70 minutes) A play with children for adults. Five young girls tell the story of J., whose house burns down, taking with it everyone and everything she has ever known.

Escuela January 13-17 (Running Time: 90 minutes). Chile, 1987. A group of young left-wing activists gather in a drab living room to receive paramilitary instruction aimed at overthrowing the Pinochet dictatorship. Wearing ski masks to conceal their identity from each other, they teach their respective skills: using a gun, political theory, clandestine organizational methods.

GerminalJanuary 6-9 (Running Time: 80 minutes).On an empty stage, four intrepid performers begin to construct the world from scratch. They gleefully invent laws of physics, philosophy, music, language, and social interaction. Performed in French with English surtitles.

The Institute of Memory (TIMe) January 8-17 (Running Time: 80 minutes). Two men play with the past in the glow of a kinetic light sculpture signaling keystrokes from a hacked 50s typewriter. Featuring archival wire-tap transcriptions, the missives of communist spies, and MRI brain scans, The Institute of Memory (TIMe) conjures a portrait of director Lars Jans enigmatic father', a Cold War operative whose story prompts questions about privacy, memory, and fatherhood.

Samedi Detente January 14-17 (Running Time: 75 minutes). In Rwanda, it was the main event of the weekwhen blood turned Rwanda red in 1994. Twenty years later, she invents her own Samedi detente. Accompanied by Ivorian dancer Nadia Beugré and French musician Alain Mahé, she returns to the memories of her childhood.

Now I’m Fine January 12-17 (Running Time: 100 minutes). Comedian/musician/storyteller Ahamefule J. Oluo leads a team of talented musicians in a grand-scale experimental pop opera about keeping it together, drawing from darkly funny personal stories about illness, despair, and regeneration,

The Art of Luv (Part 1): Elliot January 8-17 (Running Time: 60 minutes). On May 23, 2014, Elliot Rodger killed 6 people and injured 13 in a rampage motivated by his lack of success with women. Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble responds with a ritual-performance based on a cycle of found love stories — a meditation on masculinity, love and longing that confronts humanity's common search for love as we misunderstand it.

Tanya Tagaq in Concert with Nanook of the NorthJanuary 15-17 (Running Time: 70 minutes). A live concert with film.

For further details check out or

Target Margin Theater has announced a two-season exploration of Eugene O'Neill. It begins with a special treatment of Mourning Becomes Electra, titled Drunken With What at the Abrons Arts Cente,starting February 7th, 2016 with an opening night set for February 15th, 2016. Up next will be a radical new approach to The Iceman Cometh with 4 diverse theater artists tackling a separate act. By presenting them in repertory, audiences can experience each act as a distinct work or to see all in a marathon performance. Performances begin on June 2nd .

The 2016 Encores! season will start of with J. Bernard Calloway, Chuck Cooper, Marva Hicks, Carly Hughes, LaChanze, Norm Lewis, Forrest McClendon, and J.D. Webster in Vernon Duke and John Latouche's jazz-filled fable Cabin in the Sky, running from February 10—14. The 1940 musical will bedirected by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson with choreography by Camille A. Brown. The Encores! season will continue with a multi-ethnic production of Sherman Edwards' Tony Award-winning classic 1776 (Mar 30—Apr 3),directed by Garry Hynes, with guest music direction by Ben Whiteley and choreography by Chris Bailey. The final production of the season, Richard Rodgersand Stephen Sondheim's 1965 musical Do I Hear a Waltz? (May 11—15), will be directed by Evan Cabnet, with musical direction by Encores!Music Director Rob Berman and choreography by Chase Brock.

Winter at 59E59 Theaters:
Wednesday, January 13 - Sunday, February 7 LaBUTE NEW THEATER FESTIVAL, featuring new plays by Neil LaBute, Lexi Wolfe, Peter Grandbois & Nancy Bell, GD Kimble, JJ Strong, and John Doble With Mark Ryan Anderson, Justin Ivan Brown, Michael Hogan, Neil Magnuson, Alicia Smith, and Jenny Smith. An evening of six one-act plays that received their world premiers at past LaBute New Theater Festivals at St. Louis Actors' Studio's Gaslight Theater.

Thursday, January 14 - Sunday, February 7 WIDE AWAKE HEARTS by Brendan Gall, directed by Stefan Dzeparoski with Clea Alsip, Maren Bush, Ben Cole, and Tony Naumovski. A play about love and deception. Four nameless friends— a writer, an actress, an actor and an editor — are pulled through a wondrously strange, erotic landscape of love and infidelity while trying to make a movie about those very things.

Friday, January 15 - Sunday, February 28 I AND YOU, written by Lauren Gunderson, directed by Sean Daniels, 1ith Reggie D. White and Kayla Ferguson. Produced by Merrimack Repertory Theatre. Winner of the Steinberg/ACTA New Play Award, Merrimack Rep's production
Thursday, February 11 - Sunday, March 6 DEAD DOG PARK by Barry Malawer, directed by Eric Tucker, with Tom O'Keefe and TBA others. About a white police officer accused of pushing a young African American teenage boy out a four-story window during a routine police chase. From Bedlam and Boz.

Thursday, February 11 - Sunday, February 28 THE GOOD GIRL by Emilie Collyer, directed by Adam Fitzgerald, with cast TBA. a darkly comedic sci-fi play.

Thursday, March 3 - Saturday, March 26 CONNECTED by Lia Romeo, directed by Michole Biancosino. Cast: TBA. Explores the ways in which social media is shaping our lives in the twenty-first century.

Saturday, March 5 - Sunday, April 17 IDEATION, dark comedy written by Aaron Loeb, directed by Josh Costello; with Carrie Paff, Mark Anderson Phillips, Michael Ray Wisely and two additional members to be announced.

Saturday, March 12 - Sunday, March 20 L'AMANT ANONYME by Chevalier de Saint-Georges, libretto by Desfontaines after Mme. de Genlis, conducted by Elliot Figg, and directed by Philip Shneidman, production design by contemporary artist Sanford Biggers and the music ensemble New Vintage Baroque Cast: TBD. An original adaptation of an 18th century opera by Chevalier de Saint-Georges that incorporates the swashbuckling biography of the composer into the performance. One of the earliest composers of color, Saint-Georges rose to fame in the period before the French Revolution. The narrative of the original opera tells the story of a lover who is afraid to reveal his true identity to the object of his affections. The only complete opera of the composer to survive. In French and English, with supertitles.

Thursday, March 24 - Sunday, April 17 WRESTLING JERUSALEM written & performed by Aaron Davidman, directed by Michael John Garces. Set in America, Israel and Palestine, this follows one man's journey to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This ispart of Mosaic Theatre's inaugural season in D.C. before coming to NYC.

Wednesday, March 30 - Saturday, April 16 HAPPILY AFTER EVER by Laura Zlatos, directed by Sherri Eden Barber. Cast: TBA

April - June 2016 BRITS OFF BROADWAY returns for another sseason! Details TBA in early 2016.

One of the prime assets of the critic proof
Finding Neverland, Kelsey Grammar, left the show last summer Update: Kelsey Grammar who left the show last summer (replaced first by Anthony Warlow and then Terrence Mann. But those who missed Grammar, or want to see him again, rejoice. he's coming back for another seven weeks, beginning 1/19/16!

The Actors'Studio is presenting a series of free plays and discussions, THE THEATRE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE. The productions in the series include RHAPSODY IN BLACK written and performed by Leland Gantt, and developed at the Actors Studio, on October 23 at 4:00 & 7:30pm. The 7:30pm post show discussion will feature Princeton University social psychologist Stacey Sinclair on the subject of transmission of racial bias. MUD by Maria Irene Fornes, will play November 5, 6, 7 and 12, 13, 14 (all performances at 7:00pm). The discussion, with Ian Solomon (11/7), former United States Executive Director of the World Bank, (appointed by Obama) currently VP for global engagements at the University of Chicago, and Nick Kotz (11/6), author of LET THEM EAT PROMISES: The Politics of Hunger in America, and Judgment Days about Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson, will be on how the effects of poverty and illiteracy affect all of us. THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT by Stephen Adly Guirgis, will play on January 7, 8, 9 and 14, 15, 16, followed by a discussion with the playwright of “The Christians", Lucas Hnath (now playing at Playwrights Horizon), and Stephen Adly Guirgis. The post show discussion will be about the difficulties in writing, performing and getting produced plays about religion and why it is such a big, unwieldy subject and how it is involved in the other issues in the series: racism, poverty and illiteracy. The ultimate question is: What is the role of theater in the world today. Wrapping up the series in May (5, 6, 7 and 12, 13, 14) 2016, will be COMMUNITY AND TRUST, four one-act plays reflecting how the idea of community has changed in the last two or three decades.

These plays were specially written for the Series by Sarah Shaefer, Jessica Dickey, Marco Calvani and Saviana Stanescu directed by Dan Talbott and Kirsten Kelly. Former NY Times critic and author of Negroland, Margo Jefferson is expected to head the discussion.

The Actors Studio is 432 W. 44th St and seat reservations are available on a first come-first served basis via email at:

The PBS'Theater's Close-Up series is back.
In case you missed it, the series presents taped productions of the past season's off-Broadway theaters. The idea is of course to make more people aware that some of the best theater experience can be found off the Rialto, and at much more reasonable prices.

This season's tapings will be hosted by Blythe Danner. First up on October 1 at 9pm will be the New Group's production of Joel Drake Johnson's Rasheeda Speaking, directed by Cynthia Nixon and featuring Tonya Pinkins, Dianne Wiest, Darren Goldstein, and Patricia Conolly, will kick off the second season, airing October 1 at 9pm.
Next up, on October 15th also at 9pm will be a second production from the . Mint Theater, Ferenc Molnar's Fashions for Men (They broadcast the Mint's London Wall last year. Finally, at a still to be announced date, will be Tom Dugan's Wiesenthaland Nikkole Salter's Repairing a Nation, the first filmed at Theater Row's Acorn Theatre, the latter at the Crossroads Theatre Company in New Jersey.

Besides the above mentioned Mint play, the first season also featured the Apple Family Plays, The Vandal, and The Iliad. Of course, there's nothing like live theater, but this series is a great way for more people to experience it off-Broadway

In 2016 The Theatre for a New Audience at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center, 262 Ashford Place in Brooklyn will present the following:
PERICLES By William Shakespeare. Music Composed by Shaun Davey Directed by Trevor Nunn. February 14 – March 27

A DOLL'S HOUSE By Henrik Ibsen. Adapted by Thornton Wilder May 4 – June 8

. THE FATHER By August Strindberg A New Version in English by David Gre.ig May 4 – June 8. Directed by Arin Arbus Feathe sexes couldn't be more different.

In December Classic Stage Company Brian Kulick will direct Tony Award winner Tonya Pinkins in Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children, featuring original music by Tony Award winner Duncan Sheik. In March 2016, Academy Award winner F. Murray Abraham returns to CSC in Nathan the Wise by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, in a translation by John Christopher Jones. And the Mainstage season concludes in May 2016 with a new production of Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt.

An Apple Family Sequel: THE GABRIELS: Election Year in the Life of One Family.
The Public Theater has announced another theatrical trip to Rhinebeck, New York. Following up on the success of his Apple Family plays, Richard Nelson has created a new 3-play family cycle, about a family living next door to the Apple Family. The 3 plays, again directed by Nelson, begin with HUNGRY on Saturday, February 27 and run through, Sunday, March 20, with an official press opening on Friday, March 4, 2016. As with The Apple Family Plays, each play will feature a core acting company and will open on the day it is set and unfold in real time over a couple of hours. The second play in the cycle will open in September 2016 and the final play will open on Election Night November 8, 2016. Like the Apples the Gabriels will shine a spotlight on the upcoming 2016 political election year. The setting is again Rhinebeck. Seems that the Gabriels live just around the corner from the Apple Family.

The Public Theater will present:
New York Premiere of Head Of Passes by Tarell Alvin McCraney. Directed by Tina Landau. Aco-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre March 15 – April 24, 2016

World Premiere The Total Bent. Text by Stew. Music by Heidi Rodewald and Stew. Directed by Joanna Settle May 10 – June 19, 2016

Mobile Shakespeare Unit (spring) romeo & Juliet. Directed by Public Works Director Lear deBessonet. May 10 – May 29, 2016

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