Monthly Archives: February 2009


This Beautiful City is a play with music, created from interviews with actual persons, that explores the Evangelical movement and its unofficial U.S. capital. The Civilians’ project looks at Colorado Springs as a microcosm of issues facing the country as a whole—the shifting line between church and state, changing ideas about the nature of Christianity, and how different beliefs can either coexist or conflict within a community.  Through March 15.



This Beautiful City
February 22, 2009
By Adam R. Perlman

If you've been under the vast Colorado sky, where the firmament is so clear that the stars look close enough to touch, you have some idea why evangelicals think it's God's country — and why locals won't be so easily driven away. Their uneasy marriage — and the unease evangelicals have with certain types of marriage — is the subject of the Civilians' striking new piece This Beautiful City.

In case you missed Gone Missing or any of their other efforts, the Civilians engage in what they call "creative investigation of actual experience." And while investigating Colorado Springs, the capital of the evangelical movement, they were greeted with manna from heaven: Ted Haggard, leader of Colorado Springs' New Life Church and the National Association of Evangelicals, went down in the most sensational of scandals: Sex and drugs. Better, hookers and street drugs. Better yet, a gay hustler and crystal meth . . .



Play's version of Springs is not all ‘Beautiful'

June 14, 2008 – 1:45 AM



WASHINGTON, D.C. – Colorado Springs, or one version of it, took the national stage this week, as a documentary-style musical about the city's evangelical movement premiered in the Studio Theatre.

Turns out, for many Washington theatergoers, "This Beautiful City" was a comedy and a horror show.

Chloe West, whose unabashed laughter filled the theater throughout the night, summed up many people's feelings.

"I knew Colorado Springs was a gorgeous place, but that's pretty much all I knew," she said. "After seeing the show, yeah, I am a little scared. Would I ever want to live there? Probably not . . . "



"This Beautiful City"
Through March 15
Vineyard Theatre, 108 E. 15th St.
Tickets: $60; (212) 353-0303 

Colorado springs to life in 'This Beautiful City'

Go west! That's what the Civilians did to create "This Beautiful City," a humbly praiseworthy piece of investigative theater about the evangelical Christian movement in Colorado Springs.

In 2006, members of the troupe spent 10 weeks in the mountain metropolis, interviewing locals — from conservative Christians, secular liberals and Air Force Academy cadets to park rangers and a Celtic wiccan.

Oh, yeah, and one of Ted Haggard's sons.





THE Civilians hit the jackpot when they went to Colorado Springs, Colo., to research "This Beautiful City." While the theater troupe interviewed residents of the area that's ground zero for the evangelical Christian movement, the news broke about Ted Haggard, then the pastor of one of its biggest megachurches . . .



In a Transformed City, Falling in and Out of Grace


Published: February 23, 2009

The glazed, slightly crazed smile of Ted Haggard, the leader of a megachurch in Colorado who was ousted in a jiffy after a sex and drugs scandal, makes a cameo appearance in “This Beautiful City,” the latest work of cultural anthropology from the Civilians, which opened Sunday night at the Vineyard Theater. But Pastor Ted’s supersize fall from grace is a story no stranger than many others in this engaging, inquisitive and evenhanded work of theater about the transformation of an American city and many American lives.



The Civilians' This Beautiful City

 (Kirk Douglas Theater; 317 seats; $45 top)

Evangelism and investigative journalism share a passion to open other people's eyes to "the truth." As such, "This Beautiful City" impresses as a work of religious inquiry and engaged reportage. Steven Cosson and Jim Lewis weave first-person interviews in Christian boomtown Colorado Springs, conducted by theatrical community activists the Civilians, into a fascinating crazy quilt on faith's role in American life. Each side gets intel on its opponents, and some may be moved to question their own assumptions en route . . .

The work of Steven Cosson and The Civilians is included in the Applause Theatre and Cinema book One on One:  The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century. 




New York Daily News

Fallen women fight for survival in 'Ruined'

RUINED. Through March 29. MTC, 131 W. 55th St. Tickets: $75 (212) 581-1212

Lynn Nottage’s previous plays “Intimate Apparel” and “Fabulation” were telling portraits of African-American women in New York. In her stirring and sometimes startling new work, “Ruined,” the Brooklyn writer casts her gaze at the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to young women brutalized in its bloody civil war.

New York Newsday

Review: 'Ruined'


'Love is an unnecessary burden for people like us," says Mama Nadi, the shrewd, irrepressible proprietor of a rain forest bar and whorehouse amid the unfathomably, endlessly brutal war in the Congo. Her inventory of women is the flesh that remains after rival militias and government brutes have perfected the use of rape as a deeply personal, social and political weapon of war. The butchers – one indistinguishable from the next – also are her customers.,0,7712387.story

New York Post 


IN "Ruined," Lynn Nottage's devastating new play set in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, the title takes on a freshly horrifying meaning that will forever sear itself onto your brain.

The central character of this co-production between the Manhattan Theatre Club and Chicago's Goodman Theatre is the indomitable Mama Nadi (Saidah Arrika Ekulona), the owner of a brothel/bar in a remote mining town. Catering to the ragtag soldiers whose allegiances are forever changing, she's a born survivor who is clearly inspired by Bertolt Brecht's similarly afflicted Mother Courage. 

The New York Times

War’s Terrors, Through a Brothel Window


Patrons are asked to leave their bullets at the bar in the Congolese brothel that is the setting for “Ruined,” the strong and absorbing new play by Lynn Nottage at the Manhattan Theater Club. Mama Nadi (Saidah Arrika Ekulona) runs a cozy little whorehouse — one of the cleanest and safest places in the area — and she’s determined to keep it that way. That means no bullets, no brawling, no unwashed hands and no talk of the civil war being waged in the rain forest outside.

Village Voice

Ruined's Women Face a Congo Civil War; Shipwrecked!'s Hero Wrestles with His Imagination

By Michael Feingold

By Lynn Nottage
Manhattan Theater Club
131 West 55th Street, 212-581-1212

Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself)
By Donald Margulies
Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters
59 East 59th Street, 212-279-4200

"Do you have a smile?" the madam asks her new employee. "Yes," the girl answers softly, but she doesn't display it. So begins the journey into the deepest, darkest disquietude that is Lynn Nottage's remarkable new play, Ruined, now at MTC in a production from Chicago's Goodman Theater. The place is a mining town in the Democratic Republic of Congo, once the Belgian Congo and on its way to being anybody's Congo, cracking apart as rival factions of rebels battle official and semi-official militias. The white colonists, other than missionaries, have mostly fled back to Belgium. The pygmies of the Ituri Forest have virtually vanished, their language kept alive only by a parrot, slumbering under its cloth cage cover at the back of Mama Nadi's bar, where the liquor supply arrives erratically and the girls, if you don't use a condom, may give you something you didn't bargain for.



Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company

 will soon be holding auditions for a new show, KING LEAR, written and directed by Young Jean Lee, which will premiere at Soho Rep (BLASTED, NO DICE) in January 2010. These are exploratory auditions for a workshop and staged reading of the piece this spring.

KING LEAR will be a loose, experimental adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear. Warning to Shakespeare enthusiasts: the show may end up having very little in common with its source text. This adaptation will be an angry love song to fathers, forefathers, and patriarchs—a thorny and complicated exploration of the ways in which they exert control and influence. This is going to be Tragedy with a capital T.
We’ll try to figure out how to wreak the most emotional devastation possible. It is going to zero in on that chilling moment in a person’s life when they realize that their parents are aging and mortal, that they’re going to have to take care of their sick parents, and that they themselves are going to age and die.

What the company is looking for:

Women and Men of all ages (30+) and all ethnicities
Older performers (50+) especially welcome
Both AEA & Non-Equity performers
Experienced actors with great range, comedic and tragic
Experience with experimental theater a plus
Please let us know if you have experience with writing, directing, or collaborating on the development of a new show. All the text will be written for you, but we will be starting without a script and will require substantial creative input.

March 1-2 and March 3-8
Times & Location TBD

If you are interested in Auditioning, please email your current resume and headshot to:
**Please include two dates that you are available to audition**

Young Jean Lee's Theater Company's work is made possible, in part, by: Anonymous, Ars Nova, A.R.T. / NY, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Thomas Ball, Thomas Bradshaw and Roxane Heinze-Bradshaw, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Timothy Childs, The Collapsable Hole, Alexandra Conley, Creative Capital Foundation, Nicholas Daum, John Dembrow, Ford Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Juliana Francis, Greenwall Foundation, Dan Halsted, HERE Arts Center, Amy Huggans, IRT Theater, Daniel Jackson, Jerome Foundation, Charles Kim, The Kitchen, Gina Lee, James and Inn-Soo Lee, The MacDowell Colony, Richard Maxwell, Michael Meagher, David Evans Morris, National Performance Network, New York State Council on the Arts, Norman Bel Geddes Foundation, Brooke O'Harra, The Orchard Project, Joon and Dong Soo Park, Performance Space 122, S. Ro, Rockefeller MAP Foundation, Mark Rossier, Kate E. Ryan, Dennis Schebetta, Heidi Schreck and Kip Fagan, Ryan Shams, Sonya Sobieski, Soho Rep, Caridad Svich, Time Warner, Eric Ting, Tobin Foundation for Theatre Arts, Ariana Truman, Village Voice OBIE Awards, Mac Wellman, Diane White, Yaddo, and the ZKB Patronage Prize of the Zuercher Theater Spektakel.

Young Jean Lee, Artistic Director | Caleb Hammons, Producing Director

Leah Winkler, Associate Director | Lee Sunday Evans, Associate Director

(Work by Young Jean Lee is included in the Applause books One on One:  The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century and the upcoming Duo!: The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century—due out in June.)




"Man, is it hard love or tough love I'm tryin' to do?"
   Stuck for money and unable to conceive, Gloria enlists the aid of her sister to make the child
   that she and her husband can't. As they uneasily await the baby's arrival, a mysterious
   contamination spreads outside. But consumed by their own struggles, is anyone paying
   attention? In this imaginative, other-worldly new drama, one family fights to find its place in a
   neglected neighborhood.

   INKED BABY: The World Premiere of a new play by Christina Anderson

   Michael Genet · Damon Gupton · LaChanze (Tony Award winner for The Color Purple)
   Angela Lewis · Nana Mensah · Nikkole Salter · Tobias Truvillion

   Scenic Design Andromache Chalfant  
   Costume Design Kaye Voyce
   Lighting Design Jason Lyons
   Sound Design Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen
   Production Stage Manager Kasey Ostopchuck

   Directed by Kate Whoriskey

  INKED BABY runs March 5th – April 5th
  Tue-Fri at 7:30pm, Sat at 2:00 & 7:30pm, and Sun at 2:00 & 7:00pm.

  Tickets are $50 each.

  You can purchase tickets at or by calling (212) 279-4200.  (They add a
  $5 fee per ticket.)

  You can purchase no-fee tickets in person at the Playwrights Horizons box office at 416 West
  42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues from Noon – 8PM Daily.

  You can also purchase theater subscriptions in packs of 4 or 6 if you are student ($10/ticket) or
  are 30 and under ($20/ticket).  *Please read the fine print regarding these subscriptions.*

Christina Anderson’s work is part of the upcoming: Duo!  The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century from Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.



A discussion of The Homecoming and a continuation of a series of personal essays about the playwright Harold Pinter who died in December 2008:

Philip Dodd presents a Night Waves Landmarks edition devoted to Harold Pinter's play The Homecoming, which first opened in 1965 and, in the eyes of many, confirmed him as Britain's foremost dramatist.

It tells the story of an East End family's reaction to the eldest's son's return from America with his wife, and contains the menacing atmosphere and dark comedy often associated with Pinter's work. The play was first produced on BBC Radio in 1977, and 30 years later in 2007, Harold Pinter himself took on the role of the domineering patriarch Max in a new Radio 3 production.

Philip is joined by Thea Sharrock, Dominic Dromgoole, Roger Michell and Dominic Sandbrook to explore the play and discuss its themes.

Night Waves Landmark: The Homecoming

This special edition of Night Waves Landmarks is devoted to Harold Pinter’s play, The Homecoming, which first opened in 1965 and confirmed him as Britain’s foremost dramatist.

It tells the story of a East End family’s reaction to the eldest son’s return from America with his wife, and contains the menacing atmosphere and dark comedy often associated with Pinter’s work.

The play was first produced on BBC Radio in 1977. Then, thirty years later in 2007, Harold Pinter himself took on the role of the domineering patriarch Max in a new Radio 3 production.

Philip Dodd and guests Thea Sharrock, Dominic Drumgoole, Dominic Sandbrook, and Roger Michell explore the play and discuss how its themes open a window on the writer’s long-standing pre-occupations.

The programme includes extracts from the interview which Pinter gave to Philip Dodd on the eve of the 2007 recording.

The continuation of a series of personal essays about the playwright:  

3. Lisa Appignanesi, writer and deputy president of literature charity English PEN, reflects on Pinter's political activism and involvement in the struggles of other writers such as Orhan Pamuk and Hrant Dink in Turkey. (Through Feb. 24)

4. Film historian Ian Christie explores Pinter's work as a screenwriter, from his films with director Joseph Losey, such as Accident and The Servant, to his adaptation of John Fowles' novel The French Lieutenant's Woman. (Through Feb. 25)


Each week the expert staff of the renowned Drama Book Shop in Manhattan, just seconds away from Broadway, recommends one play that's new, interesting, or just flat-out fantastic. Picking the best of published work, they help keep us up to date and aware of the little known, broadening our horizons and encouraging dialogue. Order a play from The Drama Book Shop, read it, and e-mail them with your thoughts–they'd love to hear from you:


Truth and Reconciliation
by Etan Frankel

Ben Montgomery, 28, is a passionate young doctor in a volatile Central American country, using his medical training to help the sick and the poor. Beatriz is the beautiful young woman with whom he falls in love.

Etan Frankel's suspenseful, deeply disturbing play unfolds largely in flashback as we follow Ben and Beatriz from their initial meeting in Ben's makeshift office (it's located in the back of a church) to the moment Ben–who, unbeknownst to him, has made a number of shadowy enemies–mysteriously disappears.

As Frankel takes us back in time, we see how Ben–youthful, naive, and altogether unsuspecting–falls into the trap that ultimately claims his life…even as, in a gripping parallel storyline, his grieving parents testify angrily before a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that has been convened to investigate the crime.

Cast: 4 M, 2 W

Scenes/Monologues: The anguished testimony of Ben's mother and father make for a pair of extraordinarily powerful speeches, and the scenes between Ben and Beatriz–rife with the promise of things to come, particularly toward the end of the play–are well worth looking at, too.

Recommended by: Stu

The Drama Book Shop, Inc.
250 W. 40th St.
New York, NY 10018
Tel: (212) 944-0595
Fax: (212) 730-8739

Order online:


4m, 2f / Drama / Unit Set Winner of the 2006 L. Arnold Weissberger Award. It is three years since Lynne and Benjamin Montgomery's son, Ben, traveled to the Central American country of Cartuga in order to use his medical training to help the poor peasants. Soon after his arrival, Ben disappeared. In a country of civil strife, guerillas and mass executions by the army, that can mean only one thing — he was killed. So when Bishop Melinda calls to invite the Montgomerys to take part in the historic Cartuga Truth and Reconciliation Commission, they fly down to Central America to find out what happened to their son.

Product Details

Publisher : Samuel French Trade
Published : 03/01/2008
Format : Paperback , pages 76
ISBN-10 : 0573660352
ISBN-13 : 9780573660351


Williamstown, MA
















The Main Stage



July 1 – 12, 2009

WTF’s Main Stage season will begin with Children by A.R. Gurney. Tony-nominee John Tillinger (Loot, The Sunshine Boys) directs this timeless Gurney classic set in a large summer home on an island off the coast of Massachusetts. When an estranged brother’s return and a mother’s impending marriage recall painful memories of their father’s death, seething arguments reignite one family’s struggle with its tragic past and uncertain future.


True West

July 15 – 26, 2009

Next on the Main Stage will be True West, by Sam Shepard, directed by former Boris Sagal Directing Fellow Daniel Goldstein (Walmartopia, Godspell). Former WTF Apprentice Nate Corddry (“Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” Showtime’s “United States of Tara”), and his real-life brother Rob Corddry (“The Daily Show,” The Heartbreak Kid), will play the squabbling siblings in this Pulitzer Prize-winning play. This modern classic is an explosive exploration of family rivalry as two very different brothers attempt to sell Hollywood their version of the great American Western.


The Torch-Bearers

July 29 – August 9, 2009

Tony-nominated stage and screen actor Dylan Baker (November, Mauritius, Revolutionary Road) will direct a cast including Becky Ann Baker (All My Sons, Assassins) and Tony Award-winner Marian Seldes (A Delicate Balance, Deathtrap) in The Torch-Bearers by George Kelly.  The play is a side-splitting 1920s farce in which a troupe of amateur actors rehearse and perform a show-stopping new play—or try to with all their might. Their stage is riddled with comedic drama, suspense, and good old-fashioned witty mayhem, similar to both Noises Off and Boeing Boeing.


Quartermaine’s Terms

August 12 – 23, 2009

Tony-nominated director Maria Aitken (Broadway and West End’s award-winning production of The 39 Steps) will close the WTF Main Stage with Quartermaine’s Terms by Simon Gray (Butley, The Late Middle Classes). Featuring a cast including Tony-nominee Mary Beth Hurt (Top Girls, A Delicate Balance), Simon Jones (Blithe Spirit, Waiting in the Wings) and Tony Award-winner Jefferson Mays (I Am My Own Wife, Journey’s End), this charming and heart-felt 1960s comedy follows an endearingly eccentric group of English teachers in Cambridge whose insatiable quest for knowledge has masked their secret longings for passion, romance, and true happiness.


The Nikos Stage



July 8 – 19, 2009

Nicholas Martin will open the Nikos Stage season, directing the world-premiere of Knickerbocker by Jonathan Marc Sherman (Women and Wallace, Sophistry).  “Are you ready?” The question looms over Jerry as the months tick by and his unborn son grows from the size of a peach to the size of, well, a baby. As the birth date creeps ever nearer, will the advice, encouragement and warnings of friends and family make Jerry more or less ready? The awe and terror of becoming a new parent shines through Sherman’s newest play as he examines whether one can ever truly be ready for parenthood.


What Is The Cause Of Thunder?

July 22 – August 2, 2009


Also on the Nikos stage, WTF Artistic Associate Justin Waldman (WTF and Off-Broadway’s The Atheist) will direct the world-premiere of What Is The Cause Of Thunder?, a new play by Noah Haidle (Mr. Marmalade, Saturn Returns).  After 27 years on the same soap opera, Ada is starting to confuse her art and her life. But after so many years of acting, her art is her life.  Haidle’s poignant comedy brings us the hilarity of day-time drama alongside the harsher, but often equally funny, realities of life.


Caroline In Jersey

August 5 – 16, 2009

Closing the Nikos Stage season will be the world-premiere of Caroline in Jersey by Melinda Lopez (Sonia Flew at the Huntington Theatre Co., directed by Nicholas Martin and Steppenwolf), directed by WTF Artistic Associate Amanda Charlton (Dissonance, Demon Dreams). Caroline is down and out in New Jersey. She’s having a nervous breakdown, her career as an actress is tragically dwindling, and a peculiar stranger has made his presence known in her new apartment. Can she find a way to conquer it all? This funny and touching new play follows one woman’s whole-hearted attempt to accept the past and take hold of the future, despite the many surprises that might pop up along the way.


Additional performers and full creative teams for the 2009 Williamstown Theatre Festival Season will be announced at a later date.



Williamstown Theatre Festival also announced today that the 2008 Weissberger Award for Playwriting has been awarded to Ken Urban for his play, Sense of an Ending.  Mr. Urban will receive a $10,000 prize, publication of his script by Samuel French, Inc., and a reading of his play by the Festival during the 2009 season.


A.R. Gurney’s work is included in One on One:  The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century and the upcoming Duo! The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century—-from Applause Theatre & Cinema Books.


Ken Urban’s writing is represented in One on One: The Best Women’s Monologues for the 21st Century and the forthcoming Duo!  The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century.


A series of personal essays about the playwright Harold Pinter who died in December 2008. The first two are:

1. Michael Colgan, artistic director of the Gate Theatre in Dublin, looks at Harold Pinter's long association with Ireland, from the very early 1950s when he toured as a young actor with Anew McMaster's company to the Gate Theatre, where Colgan presented four major festivals of the late playwright's work.

2. Theatre critic and Pinter biographer Michael Billington explores the playwright's changing use of dramatic language.



Irish dramatist, journalist and self-styled curmudgeon Hugh Leonard has died. He was 82.

Born in 1926, the prolific playwright had been ill for some time.

Hugh Leonard was the pseudonym of John (Jack) Keyes Byrne, who was raised in Dalkey, Co Dublin. He died early this morning.

He adopted the name in the 1950s while working in the Civil service fearing his employers would frown upon his writing.

His plays included The Big Birthday , A Leap in the Dark, Stephen D , The Poker Session , The Patrick Pearse Motel , The Au Pair Man and Da . . .


Hugh Leonard funeral taking place in Dublin today 

Monday February 16 2009

The funeral of award-winning playwright Hugh Leonard is taking place in Dublin today.

The Dalkey native, whose real name was Jack Keyes Byrne, died in hospital last week at the age of 82.

Leonard won a Tony award in 1978 for his play Da, which was later made into a film starring Martin Sheen.

He also wrote a weekly column for the Sunday Independent.

His funeral mass is taking place this morning at the Church of the Assumption in Dalkey . . .



Hugh Leonard, 82, Dies; Wrote Broadway’s ‘Da’


Published: February 12, 2009

Hugh Leonard, the prolific Irish playwright, memoirist, travel writer and dyspeptic newspaper columnist whose autobiographical play “Da” won four Tony Awards in 1978, including best play, died Thursday in Dublin. He was 82 and lived in Dalkey, the Dublin suburb where he grew up.

He died of multiple ailments in a hospital after having been ill for some time, his daughter, Danielle Byrne, said.

Mr. Leonard was a celebrity in Dublin, where his plays were produced at the city’s famed theaters — the Abbey, the Gate and others — beginning in 1956; where his two volumes of autobiography, “Home Before Night” and “Out After Dark,” were widely read; and where he wrote a weekly column in The Sunday Independent, Ireland’s largest Sunday newspaper . . .


Hear two plays by Harold Pinter, in tribute to the playwright who died in 2008.


First performed in 1993, this radio production of Pinter's play was recorded to mark his 70th birthday.

Andy, a middle aged civil servant, lies in his bed, dying. His wife tries desperately to bring his estranged adult sons to his side. Bridging these two worlds is the haunting presence of the daughter they have lost.

Andy …… Harold Pinter
Bel …… Sara Kestelman
Ralph …… John Shrapnel
Maria …… Jill Johnson
Jake …… Douglas Hodge
Fred …… Harry Burton
Bridget …… Indira Varma

Music by Elizabeth Parker
Directed by Janet Whitaker


One of Pinter's last dramatic works, this was first broadcast in 2005. Some of the tormentors and the tormented so potently etched in Pinter's later plays are brought together with a musical setting by the composer James Clarke.

Voices: Harry Burton, Anastasia Hille, Andy de la Tour, Douglas Hodge, Gabrielle Hamilton, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Gawn Grainger, Harold Pinter and Indira Varma. Music: Apartment House; Eileen Aagaard; Prometheus Ensemble; Rolande van der Paal; Etienne Siebens; BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins and David Porcelijn; Fatma Mehralieva.