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Christian Parker is a director, dramaturg and teacher who recently stepped down as Associate Artistic Director at the Atlantic, after nearly thirteen years with the company, in order to prioritize his freelance career. At Atlantic he collaborated closely with Neil Pepe on programming and producing the season, and oversaw commissioning and new play development. He directed several times for the company, including The Hiding Place by Jeff Whitty, Arrangements by Ken Weitzman, Birth and After Birth by Tina Howe, and Make Me by Leslie Ayvazian, as well as several short plays in 10x20 and 10x25. He is Associate Professor and Chair of the graduate Theatre program at Columbia University, where he oversees the concentration in Dramaturgy. He has also worked directing and developing plays at Sundance Theatre Labs, the O'Neill Center, the Lark, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Keen Company, P73, the Labyrinth Theatre Company, and Soho Rep, among others. He is the newly appointed Resident Director of the Kenyon Playwrights Conference. He began his career as the Literary Manager at Manhattan Theatre Club, and holds a BA from Middlebury College and an MFA from Columbia.
Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014, 5:00-6:00 p.m. Robert Schenkkan Discusses ‘All The Way’ A reading and conversation with author Robert Schenkkan and actor Brandon Dirden, and a book signing
Playwright Robert Schenkkan will be reading from “All the Way” with actor Brandon Dirden, who portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King opposite Bryan Cranston’s Lyndon Johnson in this award-winning play. There will be a discussion and book signing afterwards with audience participation encouraged.
ROBERT SCHENKKAN is a Pulitzer-prize winning, Tony Award winning, Writer's Guild Award winning, two-time Emmy nominated writer of Stage, Television, and Film. He is the author of twelve original full-length plays, two musicals, and a collection of one-act plays. He co-wrote the feature film, THE QUIET AMERICAN and his television credits include THE PACIFIC, THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN and SPARTACUS.
About the Book:
Winner of the 2014 Tony Award for Best Play, as well as Best Play awards from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, the Outer Critics Circle, the Drama League, the Drama Desk, the Boston Elliot Norton Award, the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama, and the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Award, All the Way is a masterful exploration of politics and power from Pulitzer winner Robert Schenkkan. Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston played the lead role in the play’s celebrated Broadway performance at the Neil Simon Theatre, for which he was awarded the Tony Award for Best Actor. In this volume, Cranston provides a never-before-published illuminating and personal introduction to the play.
All the Way tells the story of the tumultuous first year of the presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Thrust into power following the Kennedy assassination and facing an upcoming election in just one year, Johnson is nevertheless determined to end the legacy of racial injustice in America and rebuild it into the Great Society—by any means necessary. In 1964, this pivotal year in American history, LBJ struggles to overpower opposition to change in Congress while also trying to forge a compromise with Martin Luther King and the increasingly fractious Civil Rights Movement, in order to pass the landmark 1964 Civil Rights bill.
Note: Guests with a Drama Book Shop receipt for All The Way receive priority seating. If you are unable to attend but would like an autographted copy, please call 212-944-0595.
Time Out London, Edinburgh Fringe theatre highlights top ten 2014 >>. If you only see one show: Picking one feels a bit unfair, but on the basis that his ‘Quietly’ was the best thing at the Trav in 2013, we’d direct you towards Owen McCafferty’s ‘Unfaithful’, a four-hander about two couples trying to overcome betrayal in their relationship.
Edinburgh 2014: Will Eno – 'It takes work to sound like a real person talking'. The playwright talks about his monologue Title and Deed, the influence of Beckett, and not being deliberately enigmatic —The Guardian >>
Edinburgh theatre 2014: what to see. The best plays and theatre shows to see at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, as chosen by our critics, including Unfaithful, SmallWar, Donald Robertson is Not a Stand-Up Comdeian, Confirmation, and Tittle and Deed. —The Telegraph >>
Edinburgh 2014: Our picks of the Fringe and EIF. The job of picking highlights from the 400-plus page programme is no mean feat, but we've given it a good go. Shows are listed in time order to help you plan your Festival schedule. Includes Lippy, Lungs, Our Teacher's A Troll, Spine, and The James Plays. —WhatsOnStage.com >>
Donald Robertson is Not a Stand-up Comedian has won the 2014 Flying Artichoke, the Scottish Arts Club/Edinburgh Guide.com Scottish Theatre Fringe Award for outstanding quality in the Fringe Festival. The judges described the winner as "a tale of Stand-up Comedy with a sharp twist that both startles and satisfies."
The James Plays: Herald Angel Award
Lippy: Herald Angel Award
Donald Robertson is Not a Stand-up Comedian: The Scottish Arts Club / Edinburgh Guide Award
Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
John Lahr Talk and Booksigning John Lahr Presents His New Biography, TENNESSEE WILLIAMS: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh
David Finkle of the Huffington Post, TheaterMania.com, etc., will moderate.
About the Author: JOHN LAHR is the author of seventeen previous books on the theater and two novels, among other publications. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker, where for two decades he was the magazine’s senior drama critic. He previously wrote for The Nation, The Village Voice, and British Vogue, among other publications. He has twice won the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism and twice been included in volumes of The Best American Essays. His stage adaptations have been performed around the world; he is the first critic ever to win a Tony Award (for co-authoring Elaine Stritch at Liberty). He lives in London. For more information, including his fall schedule of events, please visit: www.johnlahr.com. Follow him on Twitter: @johnlahrwriter
About the Book: Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh gives intimate access to the mind of one of the most brilliant dramatists of his century, whose plays reshaped the American theater and the nation's sense of itself. This astute, deeply researched biography sheds a light on Tennessee Williams's warring family, his guilt, his creative triumphs and failures, his sexuality and numerous affairs, his misreported death, even the shenanigans surrounding his estate.
With vivid cameos of the formative influences in Williams's life—his fierce, belittling father Cornelius; his puritanical, domineering mother Edwina; his demented sister Rose, who was lobotomized at the age of thirty-three; his beloved grandfather, the Reverend Walter Dakin—Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh is as much a biography of the man who created A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as it is a trenchant exploration of Williams’s plays and the tortured process of bringing them to stage and screen.
The portrait of Williams himself is unforgettable: a virgin until he was twenty-six, he had serial homosexual affairs thereafter as well as long-time, bruising relationships with Pancho Gonzalez and Frank Merlo. With compassion and verve, Lahr explores how Williams's relationships informed his work and how the resulting success brought turmoil to his personal life.
Lahr captures not just Williams’s tempestuous public persona but also his backstage life, where his agent Audrey Wood and the director Elia Kazan play major roles, and Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Bette Davis, Maureen Stapleton, Diana Barrymore, and Tallulah Bankhead have scintillating walk-on parts. This is a biography of the highest order: a book about the major American playwright of his time written by the major American drama critic of his time.
Praise: “This is a masterpiece about a genius. Only John Lahr, with his perceptions about the theater, about writers, about poetry and about people could have written this book. What a marvelous read.”
“One cannot imagine a more appropriate subtitle for a biography of Tennessee Williams or a more appropriate author. Senior drama critic ofThe New Yorker, Lahr has what it takes to detail Williams’s challenging family life, messy love life, and overwhelming guilt as well as the genius of his plays.”
“John Lahr invests the Tennessee Williams of this brilliant new biography with the same vitality and honesty that the playwright used to bring his characters to life. Lahr’s feel for Williams’s literary creations and for Williams himself show a perspicacity wanting in previous biographies...His achievement is not likely to be surpassed.” ─Publishers Weekly
“Lahr knows his subject intimately and portrays him with clear-eyed compassion. Drawing on vast archival sources and unpublished manuscripts, as well as interviews, memoirs and theater history, he fashions a sweeping, riveting narrative. There is only one word for this biography: superb.” ─Kirkus Reviews
“Unsurpassable....An eloquent, spellbinding narrative that emerges as an instant classic."
─Ron Chernow, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of George Washington
“Splendid beyond words. It would be hard to imagine a more satisfying biography.”
“Could this be the best theater book I’ve ever read? It just might be.Tennessee Williams had two great pieces of luck: Elia Kazan to direct his work and now John Lahr to make thrilling sense of his life.” ─John Guare, author of Six Degrees of Separation
“Bbrilliant and seamless. A labor of the profoundest love, and it comes from the heart and mind of one of our greatest theater writers.”
─André Bishop, Artistic director of Lincoln Center Repertory Theater
“Swear-to-god, it's the most original, insightful, thrilling biography I've ever read!”
“It is a MAGNIFICENT work. Mesmerizing, illuminating, and heartbreaking.” ─André Gregory
“A splendid book, one of the finest critical biographies extant.” ─Robert Brustein
DYING FOR IT
by Moira Buffini
a free adaptation of The Suicide by Nikolai Erdman
directed by Neil Pepe
Atlantic Theater, December 17, 2014-January 25, 2015
“Buffini’s voice is distinctively dark yet dazzlingly funny.”-The Guardian
DYING FOR IT is the story of Semyon, a man down on his luck, married to a nag, and out of options. When he decides to throw in the towel and kill himself, a deluge of sympathetic visitors descends upon him, determined to make him a martyr for their many causes. Swept up in the firestorm of attention, Semyon does take matters into his own hands, but not quite in the fashion that everyone expects. An outrageous satire on the hypocrisy and illogic of Soviet life, this play was banned by Stalin before it ever saw the light of day, and is now regarded as an under-known 20th century classic comedy.
With Kieran Culkin (Dennis), Michael Cera (Warren) and Tavi Gevinson (Jessica) at Broadway's Cort Theatre, previews begin August 18, 2014, opens September 11, through January 4, 2015, following a run at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater.
The "Arrested Development" star will appear opposite Kieran Culkin and fashion pundit Tavi Gevinson in a revival of Kenneth Lonergan's 1996 play, produced by Scott Rudin, with music by Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij
"This Is Our Youth," the 1996 play by Kenneth Lonergan about affluent but disaffected college-age Manhattanites, will get a new, Chicago-to-Broadway production this summer from the powerful movie and Broadway producer Scott Rudin in collaboration with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. The fast-tracked project will include a starry cast of young talent, seemingly designed to attract a new generation to the theater: Michael Cera ("Arrested Development"), Kieran Culkin ("Igby Goes Down") and Tavi Gevinson, the 17-year-old high-school senior from Oak Park whose teen-oriented Web fashion magazine, Rookie, has turned her into a fast-rising media darling with a big-time agent and a nascent Hollywood career.
This will do nothing for Michael Cera’s on-screen reputation as a young slacker without peer: this summer, he will make his Broadway debut in a new production of Kenneth Lonergan’s “This Is Our Youth,” one that he and his co-star, Kieran Culkin, have been trying to bring to the stage for nearly five years.