Monthly Archives: March 2021


(Joshua Barone’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/15; via Pam Green; Photo: When the composer Kurt Weill was a teenager in Germany, as seen here in 1919, he was already showing signs of what would shape his Broadway sound.Credit…Hoenisch, via Weill-Lenya Research Center, Kurt Weill Foundation for Music.)

Weill’s early, Weimar-era works reveal the qualities that found a natural home in his golden age American musicals.

Kurt Weill is often described as if he were two composers. One spun quintessential sounds of Weimar-era Berlin in works like “The Threepenny Opera,” and the other wrote innovative earworms for Broadway’s golden age. His career was bifurcated, so the story goes — split not only by a shift in style, but also by the Atlantic Ocean, when he fled Nazi Germany and eventually settled in the United States.

Yet it’s possible to trace an unbroken line from Weill’s earliest works, as a teenager, to his final projects for the American stage, before his death in 1950. This path is evident in a recent wave of streamed performances — from his hometown, Dessau, as well as from Berlin, Milan and elsewhere — that together form a rough survey of his European output and reveal a spongy mind, a desire for novelty and a steady progression toward simplicity that found a natural home in his pathbreaking Broadway musicals.

The oldest piece on offer came, appropriately, from Dessau, where Weill was born in 1900. Today it’s a dreary town in the former East Germany, but it has a rich cultural heritage: The Kurt Weill Center is inside one of the Masters’ Houses of the Bauhaus school, which is a local landmark and a venue for the annual Kurt Weill Festival. That celebration went online this year, with events including a spirited recital by the young pianist Frank Dupree.

Between duets with the trumpeter Simon Höfele, Dupree played “Intermezzo,” a short piano solo from 1917, before Weill had studied with the likes of Engelbert Humperdinck and Ferruccio Busoni or worked under the conductor Hans Knappertsbusch. You can already hear, in this tender work, a gift for melody, as well as the textural sophistication of Brahms.

(Read more)


(Chris Wiegand’s article appeared in the Guardian, 3/30/2021; Photo: Shashi Kapoor and Felicity Kendal in Shakespeare Wallah, the second feature by Merchant Ivory Productions. Photograph: Allstar/Merchant Ivory Productions.)

The Kendal family of actors star in a story inspired by their travels around India, whose booming film industry upstages their theatrical troupe.

The actor Geoffrey Bragg was born in 1909 in the Lake District and later adopted the name of his birth town of Kendal but, at schools and theatres across India in the 1940s and 50s, he was recognised simply as the “Shakespeare Wallah”. The adventurous troupe of performers he led in productions of classic plays included his wife, Laura Liddell, daughter Jennifer and youngest daughter Felicity Kendal, who worked first as a stage hand then made her acting debut aged nine as Macduff’s son in Macbeth.

Geoffrey Kendal and his family star together in the film Shakespeare Wallah (1965), produced by Ismail Merchant and directed by James Ivory as the second feature for their fledgling Merchant Ivory stable. In the film, the Kendals’ theatre ensemble, which was named Shakespeareana, morphs into a troupe called the Buckingham Players. In this motley company, Geoffrey and Laura play the parents, essaying the great tragic and comic roles on stage while keeping the books for their winding third-class travels around the subcontinent. Eighteen-year-old Felicity plays their daughter, Lizzie, giving her Desdemona and Ophelia by night while embarking on a romance with playboy Sanju (Shashi Kapoor). Jennifer Kendal, who was Kapoor’s offscreen wife, has a small supporting role and designed costumes for the film.

Shakespeare Wallah is set in a rapidly modernising India whose pop culture is eclipsing English traditions and rendering the Buckingham Players an anachronism. The booming homegrown film industry is represented by Bollywood star Manjula (played by actor turned chef Madhur Jaffrey) who also has a relationship with Sanju. Lizzie finds herself directly competing against a glamorous screen icon, just as the stage views cinema as a rival.

Although the film is rooted in a specific sociocultural moment for India, the threat posed to theatre by screen entertainment remains as universal now as it did then. In his Guardian obituary for Geoffrey Kendal in 1998, Ivory wrote about the tensions during the production with the veteran actor: “He let me know how he despised the cinema – that the cinema was his enemy, causing theatres to be empty and tours to be cancelled.” But Kendal – who has an ease in front of the camera despite his lack of film experience – came to recognise that thanks to Ivory “it was the despised cinema that told the world of my existence and to a certain extent of my fight”.

And the despised cinema is here undeniably beautiful. Shot in black and white (for budgetary reasons) by Subrata Mitra, the film has a stately pace, is sensitively written by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and comes with music by the esteemed director Satyajit Ray. The bumpy travels of theatre troupes often make for bittersweet comic escapades such as in Fellini’s Variety Lights (1950) or George Cukor’s Heller in Pink Tights (1960). But Shakespeare Wallah has a clear-eyed view of the company’s itinerant life as they veer from private performances in palaces to remote school audiences, the thrill of acting offset by umpteen card games and window gazing in between.

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(Deirdre Falvey’s article appeared in the Irish Times, 3/27.)

There’s a gulp when you see it. Outside, the audience doors into Dublin’s Gate Theatre from Parnell Square, before ascending towards the auditorium, are locked by a heavy security gate. One of the linchpins of Irish theatre for almost a century has been dark for over a year now.

The other door to the right opens, and inside all is still, just three staff, expecting this visitor, Covid protocols at the ready. Selina Cartmell, director and CEO, leads the way upstairs and inside.

We’re on the stage, she says. The sense of strange is not just because this space, scene of so much drama, is unnaturally stilled; since the metaphorical curtain fell on Our New Girl in March 2020 it’s been frozen by pandemic. It’s also unsettling because the space has been reconfigured: rows of seats removed and the floor raised to the level of the stage, creating a large, open “creative studio space”, at a higher level.

The familiar proscenium arch and period plasterwork remind you it’s still the same auditorium. The new floor level is a third of the way up the door from the foyer. Around the cavern’s perimeter is a single row of the Gate’s tip-up seats. In the centre are two seats about three metres apart. We sit.

This space will host a reawakening, with a splash. The world premiere of a new Frank McGuinness play is a two-hander written for Stephen Rea and Judith Roddy, and directed by Caitríona McLaughlin, her last gig before taking over as artistic director of the Abbey Theatre. The Visiting Hour is durational, the length, in real time, of a nursing home visit during Covid.

A daughter visits her father through a window. “His mind is beginning to wander, but conversations about the past can be dangerous, and family memories can look very different, depending on who is telling the story.”

After rehearsal, it’ll be filmed here in 360 degrees by multiple cameras on April 21st, then streamed at 7.30pm on the following three nights. The creative team (Paul Keoghan on lighting, Katie Davenport on design, Tom Lane on sound/composition) is up and at it, and photos were taken this afternoon in Rea’s garden.

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(Michael Paulson’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/23; Photo: The Dallas Theater Center actors (from left) Chris Ramirez, Sally Vahle and Tiffany Solano took issue with their union for stipulations that scuttled a planned production of “Tiny Beautiful Things.”  Credit…Cooper Neill for The New York Times.)

A dust-up in Dallas and a 2,500-person petition signal that many performers believe their representatives are keeping them from getting work.

The play was announced: “Tiny Beautiful Things,” an improbably moving stage adaptation of a wildly popular advice column. Four actors were chosen: members of a company that had worked together for years. And the producer, Dallas Theater Center, had developed a 45-page plan to keep the actors safe, in part by filming and streaming their work, with no live audience.

But after weeks of back and forth, Actors’ Equity, the national labor union, introduced what the theater saw as a new wrinkle. The cast would have to take 80-minute breaks every 80 minutes to make up for what the union viewed as inadequate air filtration in the rehearsal and performance halls.

The theater’s leaders gave up. Early this month, just five days before rehearsals were to begin, they canceled the project, at least for now.

That would have been the end of that, one of scores of abandoned theater projects during this pandemic, but for one unexpected development. The cast, furious that their own union, which represents actors and stage managers, was making it impossible for them to do the show, spoke up. One of them took to social media to express his anger. And, when he did so, actors from around the country chimed in.

“The reason I spoke out is that something is deeply wrong with our union,” said the actor, Blake Hackler. “When every other industry has adapted to keep going, why are we stuck here?”

Now the 51,000-member union, which for the last year has barred almost all stage work in the United States, is in the cross hairs, under fire from some of its own members as it tries to navigate a path that keeps them safe and helps them earn a living.

Quietly simmering frustrations erupted publicly last week, when more than 2,500 union members signed a letter, circulated by a Broadway performer and signed by Tony winners and Tony nominees, plaintively asking, “When are we going to talk about the details of getting back to work?”

The union’s leadership, while proud of its performance during the pandemic, is acknowledging the concerns.

“I don’t mind people being frustrated — I’m frustrated too,” said the union’s president, Kate Shindle, an actress who, like most of her members, has been unemployed for the last year.

(Read more)


(via Michelle Tabnick.)

Theater Resources Unlimited

Announces Upcoming

TRU Community Gatherings via Zoom

 3/26 – A Conversation with David Armstrong (and the Podcast Pivot)

 4/2 – BroadwayRadio Has Been Listening to Us. What Has It Heard?

 4/9 – Advocacy, Opportunity and Inspiration During (and After) COVID

 4/16 – Still Swimming Up-Stream: New Advances in Virtual Musical Presentation


4/23 – The Mystery of the Successful Podcast … Solved!


Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) hosts weekly Community Gatherings every Friday at 4:30pm ET via Zoom, to explore the creation of art and theater in the time of COVID-19. Ask questions, bring answers, be part of a community – it’s an opportunity to network with theater professionals and talk about keeping theater alive during these challenging times. To reserve a spot and receive the Zoom invitation, email with “Zoom Me” in the subject line. Check the upcoming schedule at


Friday 3/26 at 4:30pm ET – A Conversation with David Armstrong (and the Podcast Pivot). In the room: David Armstrong, voice of the Broadway Nation podcasts about the roots of American musical theater; director (Scandalous on Broadway), writer, producer, lecturer, educator and choreographer. The journey from artistic director of the influential Fifth Avenue Theater in Seattle to podcaster, and how he single-handedly created a full year of 37 podcasts. We’ll explore the technical challenges of creating a professional sounding podcast, as well as offer lots of thoughts about how outsiders helped shape the Broadway musical. CLICK HERE to register and receive the Zoom link.


Friday 4/2 at 4:30pm ET – BroadwayRadio Has Been Listening to Us. What Has It Heard? In the room: host James Marino and co-hosts, theater reviewers Peter Filichia and Michael Portantiere, have been interviewing the theater community since 2009. On radio. The perfect socially distant medium. Has the audience increased during shutdown? What have people been saying? What has changed in the last year? And what are the predominant views of the future of post-pandemic theater? CLICK HERE to register and receive the Zoom link.


Friday 4/9 at 4:30pm ET – Advocacy, Opportunity and Inspiration During (and After) COVID. In the room: Aimee Todoroff, director, Managing Director of the League of Independent Theater and Chris Harcum, award-winning actor, producer, and playwright (and Director of a Bright Future for LIT). They are co-founders of Elephant Run District indie theater company. The power of advocacy and the founding and evolution of the League of Independent Theater, including initiatives to help theater venues, as well as theater artists, survive the shutdown. And the difference between Open Culture and NY Pop Ups, and their roles in bringing back live performance. CLICK HERE to register and receive the Zoom link.

Friday 4/16 at 4:30pm ET – Still Swimming Up-Stream: New Advances in Virtual Musical Presentation. In the room: Joe Barros, Artistic Director and Jen Sandler, Associate Artistic Director of New York Theatre Barn, return to update us on the evolution of their ongoing programming of incubating original musicals in real time and in front of live audiences, and their quest to making musical theatre development the most accessible that it’s ever been both for artists and audiences. We’ll continue our previous conversation from last July, about virtual development and projects that converge at the intersection of theatre and film.

Friday 4/23 at 4:30pm ET – The Mystery of the Successful Podcast … Solved! In the room: writer Dorothy Marcic and producer Bill Franzblau of MANSlaughter, a podcast based on Marcic’s true crime book about the murder of her uncle, and it made it to #1 on the Apple Podcast list! A conversation about adapting a book for podcast, the technical skills needed to generate a professional and engaging product, as well as effective marketing and distribution.

“Last year I didn’t think we could do it successfully, but TRU has embraced the reality of where we are now and reinvented ourselves for a virtual new world,” said Bob Ost, executive director of TRU. “One by one our programs are being rethought and offered in virtual format. The weekly Community Gathering was the program that launched us into a new way of doing things so we can continue to serve our community, offering ongoing information and a little less isolation.”

Videos of past Community Gatherings may be viewed on TRU’s YouTube channel at

Theater Resources Unlimited (TRU) is the leading network for developing theater professionals, a twenty-seven-year-old 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created to help producers produce, emerging theater companies to emerge healthily and all theater professionals to understand and navigate the business of the arts. Membership includes self-producing artists as well as career producers and theater companies.

TRU publishes an email community newsletter of services, goods and productions; presents monthly panels as well as the new weekly Community Gatherings; offers a Producer Development & Mentorship Program taught by prominent producers and general managers in New York theater, and also presents Producer Boot Camp workshops to help aspirants develop business skills. TRU serves writers through the TRU Voices Play Reading Series, Writer-Producer Speed Date, a Practical Playwriting Workshop, How to Write a Musical That Works and a Director-Writer Communications Lab.

Programs of Theater Resources Unlimited are supported in part by the Montage Foundation and the Leibowitz Greenway Foundation.

For more information about TRU membership and programs, visit


(from the Cape Times, 3/26; Photo: FESTIVALKucheza Afrika Festival. Picture: Sanmari Marais.)

Arts and theatre lovers are in for a special treat this Easter as the 2021 edition of the Kucheza Afrika Festival will be showcasing in three cities; Cape Town, Tshwane, and Durban.

This festival sees new a new partnership with the South African State Theatre, The Playhouse Company and Baxter Theatre Centre.

The festival is set to run from Thursday, April 1 till Sunday, April 11.

The annual Kucheza Afrika Festival (formerly Dance Umbrella Africa) had to be re-imagined due to the Covid-19 pandemic and current national lockdown restrictions.

Inspired by the Swahili word for dance, Kucheza aims to be a platform that will help preserve dance in the country and the rest of Africa.

With partnerships born out of reigniting the fires of live theatre, the new partners are set to assist in providing access to performances venues, technical and administrative support towards the realisation of live dance productions for companies residing or based in their specific provinces.

The festival features the dance fraternity’s renowned dancers such as Vincent Mantsoe, Lulu Mlangeni, Phillippe Baldini, Ignatius van Heerden, Fana Tshabalala, Thulani Chauke, Mdu Nhlapo, Louise Coetzer and more.

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(Michael Paulson’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/19; via Pam Green.)

Nearly 2,000 performers have petitioned Actors’ Equity for guidelines that will speed up a return to the stage.

As states around the nation move toward reopening, theater actors and stage managers are protesting what they see as their union’s slow pace toward helping them get back to work.

Nearly 2,000 members of Actors’ Equity have signed a petition that asks the simple question, “When are we going to talk about the details of getting back to work?”

The petition was spearheaded by Timothy Hughes, who, in an art-meets-reality echo, is a member of the workers’ chorus in “Hadestown.”

“We feel unheard, we feel left out, and we feel way farther behind than any other industry when it comes to putting in place practical protocols that would get us back to work,” Hughes said in an interview.

Among the signatories are the Tony Award winners Stephanie J. Block, Rachel Bay Jones, Karen Olivo and Ali Stroker, and numerous Tony nominees, among them Aaron Tveit, Eva Noblezada, Rob McClure, Ato Blankson-Wood, Robyn Hurder, Emily Skinner, Brandon Uranowitz and Max von Essen.

The signers’ goals are basic: they are asking for a meeting with their own union officials, which seems likely to happen soon. “We are hopeful that the issue of realistic and detailed protocols to return to work can be prioritized so that funds can return to our union,” the letter says.

But the letter, which was delivered to Equity on Tuesday and is being updated daily with more signatures, reflects longstanding frustration, both by some union members and some producers, over working with Equity through the course of the pandemic.

Since the deadly coronavirus outbreak began, the union has barred its members from working on any productions in the country unless they have safety plans it has OK’d. Equity lists on its website 22 theaters where it has approved productions, but that’s a tiny fraction of the theaters in America, and some producers have said they’ve found the union nonresponsive or obstructionist.

(Read more)


(Chris Wiegand’s article appeared in the Guardian, 3/23; Photo: Kazuo Hasegawa as Yukinojo in An Actor’s Revenge. Photograph: TCD/Prod.DB/Alamy.)

In this stylish Japanese classic, a performer uses theatrical techniques to engineer the deaths of his enemies

We sometimes talk of scene-stealers in the theatre. What might acting and thieving have in common? Performers demand attention while pickpockets evade it, but to excel at both you need to closely study human behaviour. In his 1962 movie An Actor’s Revenge, the director Kon Ichikawa presents the worlds of a touring kabuki theatre company and a group of thieves side by side. His masterstroke is casting Kazuo Hasegawa – in his 300th film appearance – in a dual role as both the troupe’s lead actor and a Robin Hood-style robber. As the former, he coolly steals the heart of an admirer in the audience.

In the opening scene, criminals are operating in the auditorium. They pluck riches from the spectators, while arguing about whether to stay until the end of the show. “This play’s too slow for me,” moans one thief. You couldn’t level that criticism at Ichikawa’s movie, one of cinema’s finest studies of theatre. It is a remake of a 1935 film with the same name, directed by Teinosuke Kinugasa, in which Hasegawa (a kabuki actor turned box-office film star) had played the same roles.

Ichikawa’s version grips the audience immediately. In Edo (modern-day Tokyo), the kabuki company is presenting an elegant production in which snow falls on a stage lined with candles. Yukinojo (Hasegawa) is an acclaimed onnagata, a male actor who performs female roles. We hear the internal monologue of Yukinojo addressing his late father as, in the audience, he spies a magistrate and a merchant responsible for his parents’ death 20 years earlier. He has come to Edo for vengeance.

Yukinojo uses his performance, on-stage and off, to win the affection of the magistrate’s daughter (Ayako Wakao). He is mocked by others as weak and effeminate – both for being an actor and an onnagata – but uses this perception to his advantage in wreaking revenge. He also makes use of his vast knowledge of kabuki stagecraft, donning makeup and a fright wig to assume the guise of his father’s ghost when confronting one of the men. (The film’s Japanese title, Yukinojo Henge, describes him as a phantom and this captures something of its phantasmagorical style.) Later, he acts out his mother’s death as a shadow play to torment another of his enemies. One of the thieves mocks Yukinojo as being “neither man nor woman”; his features share a similarity with both parents, we are told, so it is as if he embodies each on their personal quests for retribution.

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(from NPR, 3/22; via Pam Green; Photo: Even after brutal reviews for the short-lived Anyone Can Whistle, Stephen Sondheim continued to create provocative and form-shattering musicals. Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images.)

It’s been just over a year since anyone has seen a “live” Broadway musical – but ever since I got hold of a lovingly crafted new-slash-old cast-album recording, I’ve been thinking about a show once left for dead.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but in April of 1964, Anyone Can Whistle was a flop. It came into Manhattan with a great pedigree, headed by two movie stars making their musical debuts — Angela Lansbury and Lee Remick, each an Oscar nominee just a year earlier for Manchurian Candidate and Days of Wine and Roses, respectively.

It had music and lyrics by a new kid, Stephen Sondheim, whose first stint as a Broadway composer, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, was still packing in crowds in its third smash-year. The book and direction were by Arthur Laurents, who’d earlier collaborated as librettist on two shows for which Sondheim contributed lyrics, West Side Story and Gypsy.

Everything seemed promising. But Anyone Can Whistle, which centers on a town faking a Lourdes-like miracle water, was zany and satirical but also absurdist, scattershot, and — some thought — off-putting in its amusement at its own cleverness.

As Sondheim would later write in Finishing the Hat, he and Laurents had perhaps “overstepped … the very thin line between smart and smart-ass.”

The reviews were brutal. “Anyone Can Whistle,” said Walter Kerr in the Herald Tribune, “but no one can sing.”

The show barely made it through nine performances. On April 12, 1964, the day after it closed, the company assembled to record a cast album on the cheap, leaving out half the music. (But hey, who was gonna listen?) The thing is, Sondheim went on to write a dozen of the most provocative, form-shattering musicals in Broadway history — from the operatic Sweeney Todd, to the fairy-tale-based Into the Woods — and the seeds of all of them are in Anyone Can Whistle. It’s become a cult favorite.

Years later, when Columbia reissued the cast album as a CD, they restored some things — part of a ballet, a song, “There Won’t Be Trumpets,” that had become a staple of nightclub acts but that had been cut in tryouts. But it was, still, much less than a full recording.

Flash forward 56 years, to March of 2020. Jay Records, which specializes in forgotten and obscure musicals, put together what it trumpeted as the first “complete” recording of Anyone Can Whistle, in time for Sondheim’s 90th birthday (on 3/22).

The master was evidently pleased. Though not known for gushing, he allowed the public release of the two-disc set in plenty of time for his 91st birthday (today, March 22) with a quote — “The brilliance of this recording gives the show more energy and sparkle than it ever had” — for the liner notes.

It also gives the listener an hour of additional music, played not by the original’s pit band, but by the 42-piece National Symphony Orchestra. Restored in this recording, about half of the overture, which had been truncated for the original-cast album in order to squeeze as much of the score as possible onto an LP record only capable of accommodating about 45 minutes of music; that first recording was a rush job that hit stores just five days after the cast scattered.

(Read more)


(via Joe Trentacosta) 


“In Conversation” with 


to kick-off 

TENNESSEE WILLIAMS’S 110th Birthday Celebration 

followed by 


ENCORE presentation of


Directed by EMILY MANN




Streaming from March 25 to 28, 2021


 La Femme Theatre Productions‘ presentation of Tennessee Williams’s The Night of the Iguana, directed by Emily Mann, was initially streamed this past December and raised nearly $17K for The Actors Fund. La Femme is thrilled to present an Encore streaming of The Night of the Iguana in celebration of Tennessee Williams’s 110th birthday on March 26, 2021. The event will begin March 25 at 7 PM with La Femme’s executive director Jean Lichty, “In Conversation” with Tony-nominee and Theater Hall of Fame-inductee, director Emily Mann and five-time Emmy nominee and Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad. Iguana will stream through March 28, 2021.  Encore tickets range from $15 – $250. To purchase tickets and for more information, please visit

The presentation will feature Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Dylan McDermott (Netflix’s “Hollywood”) as Reverand Shannon, Emmy nominee and Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad  (Broadway’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) as Maxine, Roberta Maxwell (Broadway’s Summer and Smoke) as Judith Fellowes, Tony nominee, Obie and Drama Desk Award winner Austin Pendleton (Broadway’s Choir Boy) as Nonno, Jean Lichty (Off-Broadway’s A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, The Traveling Lady) as Hannah, with Keith Randolph Smith (Broadway’s Jitney, American Psycho) as Jake, Carmen Berkeley (Off-Broadway’s Our Dear Dead Drug Lord) as Charlotte, Eliud Kauffman (Roundabout Theatre’s 72 Miles to Go) as Hank, Julio Macias (Netflix’s “On My Block”) as Pancho, Stephanie Schmiderer (No Exit, The Human Voice) as Frau Fahrenkopf, Bradley James Tejeda (Broadway’s The Inheritance) as Pedro, and John Hans Tester (Amazon’s “Hunters”) as Herr Fahrenkopf.

In Tennessee Williams’s The Night of the Iguana, a defrocked clergyman encounters inside disturbances amid outside disturbances during one stormy night at the Costa Verde Hotel in Acapulco as the world prepares for World War II. After four women of different ages and backgrounds, along with a 97-year-old poet, engage in the clergyman’s spiritual struggles, their lives leap dramatically forward. And the catalytic, defrocked clergyman survives the night.

“Thrilled to see how well received our initial presentation of Tennessee Williams’s ‘The Night of the Iguana’ was and very thankful that we were able to raise $17K for the indispensable work of The Actors Fund, we at La Femme are eager to do more. So, La Femme will celebrate Tennesee on his 110th birthday with an encore benefit presentation of one of his most venerated plays,with the brilliant Emily Mann at the helm of an extraordinary cast.” 

Jean Lichty, La Femme Executive Director

The creative team includes Beowulf Boritt (Set / Background Design), Darron L West (Music and Sound Effects), Amy Stoller (Dramaturg and Language Consultant), Stephanie Klapper (Casting Director), Cheryl Mintz (Production Stage Manager), and LDK Productions/ Lisa Dozier King (General Management).

La Femme Theatre Productions is an all-inclusive theater company dedicated to the exploration and celebration of the universal female experience. La Femme launched in 2014 as an associate producer of William Inge’s lost gem, A Loss of Roses, featuring Deborah Hedwall and Patricia Hodges, which Terry Teachout called “a triumphant exhumation” and included in the Wall Street Journal’s “2014 Best Theater,” and of Clifford Odets’s Rocket to the Moon, featuring Katie McClellan, Marilyn Matarrese, Ned Eisenberg, Larry Bull, and Jonathan Hadary – Drama Desk nomination. Then, La Femme co-produced Ingmar Bergman’s “Nora” in 2015, followed by the 2017 Off-Broadway hit — Horton Foote’s “The Traveling Lady, featuring Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba and Lynn Cohen.In 2018, La Femme produced Williams’s A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur with Kristine Nielsen and Annette O’Toole and, in 2020, streamed a digital presentation of his The Night of the Iguana, directed by Emily Mann and featuring Dylan McDermott and Phylicia Rashad.

Jean Lichty has appeared Off-Broadway in A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, The Traveling Lady, Nora, A Loss of Roses, The Moth’s Mentors, Muses, and Monsters, Letting Billy, Newton’s Wad, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Golden Boy, and The Einstein Doll; and regionally in A Loss of Roses at Arkansas Rep and Bus Stop at Olney Theatre Center. Her films include Close Call (Sundance Finalist) and Durang’s Wanda’s Visit. After graduating from Barnard College with theater honors, she trained with William Esper, Wynn Handman, and Larry Moss. She is the proud founder and Executive Director of La Femme Theatre Productions.

Emily Mann is a Tony-nominated playwright and director and the Tony Award-winning Artistic Director of the McCarter Theatre Center, where she wrote 15 new plays/adaptations, directed over 50 shows, and produced 180 productions. Broadway productions include Execution of Justice, Having Our Say, Anna in the Tropics, and A Streetcar Named Desire. Currently developing The Pianist for Broadway and the musical Prairie Rose, she wrote Having Our SayExecution of Justice, Still Life, Annulla, An Autobiography; Greensboro (A Requiem)Meshugah, Mrs. PackardHoodwinked (a Primer on Radical Islamism), and seven adaptations. Her play, Gloria: A Life, ran Off-Broadway and aired on PBS’s Great Performances. Her many awards include the Peabody, Hull Warriner, NAACP, 6 Obies, Guggenheim, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwrights’ Award, Margo Jones Award, TCG Visionary Leadership Award, Lilly Award for Lifetime Achievement, and Theater Hall of Fame. 

A picture containing text, person, monitor, screen Description automatically generated
Dylan McDermott as Reverend Shannon and  Phylicia Rashad  as Maxine

Tennessee Williams’s The Night of the Iguana 

Directed by Emily Mann

Performances will stream online March 25 – 28, 2021

March 25 at 7 PM

Conversation with Jean Lichty, Emily Mann and Phylicia Rashad 

Tickets are $15 – $250  and can be purchased by visiting

For more information about La Femme Theatre Productions please visit

 “The Night of the Iguana” is presented by special arrangement
with The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee and Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.