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Monday, 24 June 2013 16:58

Second Stage Theatre Announces Plays for 35th Anniversary Season

SECOND STAGE THEATRE
35th Anniversary Season
To Feature

THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST

New York Premiere

By 2012 Pulitzer Prize Winner

QUIARA ALEGRÍA HUDES

Directed by RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON

SEX WITH STRANGERS

New York Premiere

By LAURA EASON

Directed By DAVID SCHWIMMER

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Previously Announced Musical LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE

Begins Performances October 15

Second Stage Theatre’s (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director) upcoming 35th Anniversary Season will kick off with the previously announced new musical LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, by James Lapine and William Finn, and will continue with the New York premiere of Quiara Alegría Hudes’ THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST, the follow-up to last season’s acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning, Water by the Spoonful, and the final play in Ms. Hudes’ Elliot trilogy, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson.  The season will also include the New York Premiere of Laura Eason’s provocative play, SEX WITH STRANGERS, directed by David Schwimmer.

“Our upcoming 35th Anniversary Season will represent what we do best at Second Stage – presenting thought-provoking new plays from some of the most exciting American writers working today,” said Second Stage Founding Artistic Director Carole Rothman.  “I’m thrilled to welcome Quiara Alegría Hudes – and the two indelible characters she introduced in last season’s Water by the Spoonful – back to Second Stage with THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST.  And I’m very eager to introduce the singular voice of Laura Eason, a vital new writer who will be making her New York City playwriting debut here.” 

The 2013-2014 will commence this fall with the previously announced New York premiere musical, LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, with book and direction by James Lapine and music and lyricsby William Finn, beginning performances October 15.  Mr. Lapine and Mr. Finn return to Second Stage Theatre where they collaborated on The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes’ THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST, the final play in the acclaimed trilogy which also includes Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue and Water by the Spoonful, will be presented in winter 2014, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson.  The provocative new play, SEX WITH STRANGERS, written by Laura Eason and directed by David Schwimmer, will receive its New York premiere in summer 2014.      

Second Stage Theatre’s 35th Anniversary Season, which will celebrate the company’s founder and artistic director Carole Rothman with a spring gala in 2014, continues the company’s mission of producing bold new plays and musicals by American playwrights as well as second stagings of the best of contemporary theatre.

One additional production is still to be announced. 

For subscription or ticket information, please call the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422 or visit the company’s website, www.2ST.com.  All productions are staged at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theatre, 305 West 43rd Street (just west of Eighth Avenue).

More detailed information on Second Stage Theatre’s upcoming season follows:

THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST

New York Premiere

By Quiara Alegría Hudes

Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Winter 2014

Cousins Elliot and Yaz, having long searched for their place in the community, discover the joy in coming home again and the comfort of family, both by blood and by love. While Elliot gets a lucky break in the film business, Yaz takes on the role of familial and neighborhood matriarch, nourishing those that pass through her door.  Beating to the sounds of traditional Puerto Rican folk music, THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST invites you to spend a year with Elliot and Yaz on their journey to peace and purpose in an ever-changing world.

QUIARA ALEGRÍA HUDES received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play, Water by the Spoonful, which had its New York premiere at Second Stage last season.  The play is the second in a trilogy which began with her play, Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, which was also a Pulitzer Finalist, and concludes with The Happiest Song Plays Last.  Hudes wrote the book to the Broadway musical, In the Heights, which premiered off-Broadway and earned the Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical. In the Heights transferred to Broadway where it received the Tony Award for Best Musical, a Tony Nomination for Best Book of a Musical, and was named a Pulitzer Finalist. Hudes wrote the book and lyrics for a children’s musical, Barrio Grrrl!, which premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and toured nationally. Hudes was born and raised in Philadelphia, where she recently returned to receive a Resolution from the City of Philadelphia. Her first play was produced in the tenth grade by Philadelphia Young Playwrights, where she now serves as a board member and mentor to other young writers.  After graduating from public school, she received a B.A. in music composition from Yale and an M.F.A. in playwriting from Brown, where she studied with Paula Vogel.  She lives in New York with her husband and daughter.

RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON is a Tony and Obie award-winning actor, as well as an accomplished writer and director. He recently received the 2013 Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards for Best Direction of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson at Signature Theatre.  Mr. Santiago-Hudson made his directorial debut with August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at the McCarter Theater and the American Conservatory Theatre. Most recently, Ruben directed the highly acclaimed Jitney at the Two Rivers Theater Company. Other directing credits include the New York Premiere of Naomi Wallace’s Things of Dry Hours at the NY Theater Workshop, August Wilson’s Radio Golf at The Kennedy Center, Wilson’s Seven Guitars and Leslie Lee’s The First Breeze of Summer for The Signature Theater Company, where Santiago-Hudson holds the position of Associate Artist and where he recently directed Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa!  Mr. Santiage-Hudson’s Broadway acting credits include Stick Fly and Seven Guitars, which garnered him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor.  His recent film work includes Their Eyes Were Watching God, American Gangster, Mr. Brooks, Shaft, Devil’s Advocate, and Domestic Disturbance. Mr. Santiago-Hudson’s television work includes “NYPD,” “Castle,” “Forgotten Genius,” “The Red Sneakers,” “Michael Hayes,” “The West Wing,” “Law & Order.” 

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SEX WITH STRANGERS

New York Premiere

By Laura Eason

Directed by David Schwimmer

Summer 2014

How far will you go to get what you want? Will you be the same person if you finally do? When star sex blogger and memoirist Ethan tracks down his idol, the gifted but obscure novelist Olivia, he finds they both crave what the other possesses. As attraction turns to sex, and they inch closer to getting what they want, both must confront the dark side of ambition and the near impossibility of reinventing oneself when the past is only a click away.

LAURA EASON is the author of twenty plays, both original works and adaptations, a musical book writer and a staff writer on season two of the Netflix show House Of Cards.  Recent productions include  The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer (Hartford Stage, CT; New Victory, NYC; People’s Light, PA; Actor’s Theatre, KY; KC Rep; St. Louis Rep; Denver Center), Around The World In 80 Days (also director, Lookingglass Theatre, Chicago; Baltimore Centerstage; additional productions at New Vic, UK; Lamb’s Theatre, CA), and Rewind (Side Project, Chicago).  Other plays include The Vast In-Between (Denver Center commission), The Undeniable Sound Of Right Now (developed by Rattlestick Theatre and Rising Phoenix Rep, NYC) and Plainfield Ace (developed by Two River Theatre, Lookingglass, Theatre and Rattlestick Theatre, NYC).  Days Like Today, with music and lyrics by Alan Schmuckler, was commissioned by and will be produced by Writers’ Theatre, Chicago in 2014. Laura is a long-time Ensemble Member of Lookingglass Theatre (2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award) and served as the company’s Artistic Director for six years. 

DAVID SCHWIMMER is co-founder of the Lookingglass Theatre Company of Chicago, where he is currently directing the world premiere of Keith Huff's Big Lake Big City.  He has acted in and directed many productions for Lookingglass including Trust, Our Town, West, The Master and Margarita, The Jungle, Eye of the Beholder, The Odyssey, The Idiot, Of One Blood and his adaptation of Studs Terkel's book, Race.  He starred in the premieres of D Girl and Turnaround in Los Angeles, Glimmer Brothers in Williamstown, Some Girls in London, the revival of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial on Broadway, and Detroit at Playwrights Horizons.  Schwimmer's notable television and film credits include The Iceman, Nothing But The Truth, Madagascar I, II, & III, Duane Hopwood, Big Nothing, Band of Brothers, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Six Days Seven Nights, Apt Pupil, The Pallbearer and the hit comedy series Friends, for which he received an Emmy Award nomination.  Television directing includes Friends, the HBO series Little Britain USA, and the pilot for the upcoming NBC comedy Growing Up Fisher.  Film directing includes Since You've Been Gone, Run Fat Boy Run and Trust starring Clive Owen, Catherine Keener and Viola Davis.

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ABOUT SECOND STAGE THEATRE

Founded in 1979 under the leadership of Artistic Director Carole Rothman, SECOND STAGE THEATRE produces a diverse range of premieres and new interpretations of America’s best contemporary theatre, including Tiny Alice and Peter and Jerry by Edward Albee; The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry; The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane; The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown; Little Murders by Jules Feiffer; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin; A Soldier’s Play by Charles Fuller; Afterbirth: Kathy & Mo’s Greatest Hits by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy; Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo; Painting Churches and Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe; Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes; Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants and On the Stem by Ricky Jay; Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey; Living Out by Lisa Loomer; This Is Our Youth and The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan; Some Men by Terrence McNally; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage; Dogfight by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Peter Duchan; eurydice by Sarah Ruhl; Everyday Rapture by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott; Let Me Down Easy by Anna Deavere Smith; Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim; Crowns by Regina Taylor; Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein; Trust by Paul Weitz; Spoils of War by Michael Weller; Before It Hits Home, Jar the Floor and Birdie Blue by Cheryl L. West; Jitney by August Wilson; Lemon Sky, Serenading Louie and Sympathetic Magic by Lanford Wilson; and Metamorphoses and The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci by Mary Zimmerman. 

The company’s more than 130 citations include the 2010 Pulitzer prize for Next to Normal, the 2009 Tony Awards for Best Score, Best Orchestrations, and Best Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley) for Next to Normal, the 2007 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed), 2005 Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical (Rachel Sheinkin, ...Spelling Bee) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Fogler, ...Spelling Bee), 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (Mary Zimmerman for Metamorphoses), the 2002 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, 27 Obie Awards, seven Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Clarence Derwent Awards, 12 Drama Desk Awards, nine Theatre World Awards, 17 Lucille Lortel Awards, the NY Drama Critics Circle Award and 23 AUDELCO Awards.

In 1999, Second Stage Theatre opened The Tony Kiser Theatre, its state-of-the-art, 296-seat theatre, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.  In 2002, Second Stage launched “Second Stage Theatre Uptown” series to showcase the work of up and coming artists at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre.  The Theatre supports artists through several programs that include residencies, fellowships and commissions, and engages students and community members through education and outreach programs.

SECOND STAGE THEATRE AT THE HELEN HAYES

Second Stage Theatre has acquiredthe right to purchase the historic Helen Hayes Theatre, located at 240 W. 44th Street.  With this new home, Second Stage will be the only theatre company on Broadway dedicated exclusively to the development and presentation of contemporary American theatrical productions.  Second Stage will also become one of only four non-profit theatre companies that own and operate theatres on Broadway.  The company will continue to lease and operate their original theatres on the city’s Upper West Side and in Midtown Manhattan.

For more information, please visit www.2ST.com

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Last modified on Monday, 24 June 2013 17:05