3 men, 4 women (doubling): 7 total
In a new comedy from the Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright of Ruined, Lynn Nottage draws upon the screwball films of the 1930s to take a funny and irreverent look at racial stereotypes in Hollywood. BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK is a seventy-year journey through the life of Vera Stark, a headstrong African-American maid and budding actress, and her tangled relationship with her boss, a white Hollywood star desperately grasping to hold on to her career. When circumstances collide and both women land roles in the same Southern epic, the story behind the cameras leaves Vera with a surprising and controversial legacy scholars will debate for years to come.
"That this show is so informed and incisive while being wildly entertaining may be Nottage's biggest achievement here: In a way, she's beaten Hollywood at its own game." —NY Post.
"A satisfying screwball comedy in which Nottage uses stereotypes to expose them, tapping into a current of rueful emotion beneath the surface." —Vogue.
"[Nottage's] play has fangs. It gnaws at racial typecasting and at smarty-pants who build myths and think they understand all there is to know about someone by reviewing films." —NY Daily News.
"VERA STARK breezes by with the playfulness of a Russian nesting doll, each image reflecting on the previous ones while entertaining on its own." —NY Newsday.
About the Author
Lynn Nottage's new play, "By The Way, Meet Vera Stark," enjoyed an extended run Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre (Lily Award, Drama Desk Nomination). It can be seen this upcoming season at The Geffen Playhouse and Goodman Theatre. Her Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Ruined" premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club and Goodman Theatre (OBIE, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics' Circle, Audelco, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play). It subsequently toured widely throughout US regional theatres and premiered internationally at the Almeida Theatre in London. The play has since been produced throughout the world, including Cambodia, Chad, The Caribbean, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and Germany. Her other plays include "Intimate Apparel" (American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for Best Play); "Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine" (OBIE Award); "Crumbs from the Table of Joy"; "Las Meninas"; "Mud, River, Stone"; "Por'knockers" and "POOF!."
Nottage is the recipient of the 2010 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play ("Ruined"), Helen Hayes Award ("Ruined"), the Lee Reynolds Award, and the Jewish World Watch iWitness Award. Her other honors include the 2007 MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant," the National Black Theatre Festival's August Wilson Playwriting Award, the 2005 Guggenheim Grant for Playwriting, the 2004 PEN/Laura Pels Award for Drama, as well as fellowships from the Lucille Lortel Foundation, Manhattan Theatre Club, New Dramatists and New York Foundation for the Arts. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, where she is currently a visiting lecturer. She is a co-founder and producer at Market Road Films LLC, a film production company.
Nottage is a board member for Theatre Communications Group, BRIC Arts Media Bklyn, Donor Direct Action, The New Black Fest, Voice and Vision, and the Dramatists Guild.