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Thursday, 08 March 2012 14:49

Signature Theatre Company to Introduce Supplemental Programs

Signature Theatre Company


Signature Theatre is pleased to introduce new supplemental programs which will allow more intimate and direct access to a playwright’s vision and process. Just as the layout of The Pershing Square Signature Center encourages a dialogue between different plays and audiences, these supplemental programs invite theatregoers to go deeper into the world of a play, and the world of the artists behind it. The following three events are free of charge, and do not require a reservation.

{module ad_left_body}THE WORLD OF THE PLAY is a new discussion series that takes participants further into the world of one of the plays currently running at the theatre. Experts will join members of the creative team to discuss topics and themes tackled on stage in that particular play.

Hurt Village: Poverty in Concentrated Communities

Saturday, March 10 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre Lobby

The first panel in “The World of the Play” series features award-winning journalist Esther Armah leading a discussion on urban poverty, focusing on the people and the variables that make up communities like the one depicted in Hurt Village. Guest panelists include sociologists Elijah Anderson (Yale University, author of Code of the Street, The Cosmopolitan Canopy), Phyllis Betts (University of Memphis), and Hurt Village playwright Katori Hall. A book signing with Professor Anderson will follow the event.

BACKSTAGE PASS is a pre-show “behind-the-scenes” discussion with one of the production’s designers about the creative design process for the show.

Edward Albee's The Lady from Dubuque: Scenic Design

Thursday, March 15 at 6 p.m.

The End Stage Theatre

The next “Backstage Pass” will feature scenic designer John Arnone, talking about creating the set for the Signature production of Edward Albee’s play.

SIGNATURE BOOK CLUB is a bi-monthly book group, exploring the plays, memoirs, short stories and novels by current and past Signature playwrights.

Heathen Valley by Romulus Linney

Wednesday, March 21 from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre Lobby

The first selection in the “Signature Book Club” is Heathen Valley by 1991-1992 Playwright-in-Residence Romulus Linney. This searing 1962 novel was the basis for the play that inspired the founding of Signature Theatre. Heathen Valley is available for purchase at the Signature Bookstore.

Other supplemental programs include “Page to Stage,” a moderated conversation between the playwright and director, “The Art of Collaboration,” a talk between a Playwright-in-Residence and a frequent artistic collaborator, “Post-Performance Talkbacks” with cast members and Signature staff brought to you by American Express, and “Signature Cinema,” a screening series that will begin next month in the End Stage Theatre. For more information, visit the supplemental programming page on the Signature Theatre website:

The productions now running at The Pershing Square Signature Center are BLOOD KNOT by Athol Fugard (now through March 11th), HURT VILLAGE by Katori Hall (now through March 25th) and EDWARD ALBEE’S THE LADY FROM DUBUQUE (now through April 15th). Tickets are on sale for all three shows.




Written and Directed by Athol Fugard

Now playing through March 11, 2012

Tickets on sale now

Between patchwork walls in a one-room shack, two biracial South African brothers grapple with crippling poverty and lonely isolation. Fugard’s revolutionary breakthrough play is a searing indictment of apartheid and one of his most celebrated works.


By Athol Fugard

Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson

May 1 – June 10, 2012

Written in 1989 shortly before the end of apartheid, My Children! My Africa! presents an honest and unflinching portrait of a country on the brink of revolution, and is a testament to the power and potential of youth, hope, and ideas.

THE TRAIN DRIVER                                  *** NEW YORK PREMIERE ***

Written and Directed by Athol Fugard

August 14 – September 23, 2012

Based on a true story, The Train Driver is a soulful exploration of guilt, suffering and the powerful bonds that grow between strangers.



Directed by David Esbjornson

Extended again through April 15, 2012

Tickets on sale now

At a late night party, Sam and Jo entertain their friends with a round of Twenty Questions and another round of drinks. When an unexpected guest and her mysterious companion arrive, the question "Who are you?" gains a whole new and desperate meaning.


HURT VILLAGE                                                      *** WORLD PREMIERE ***

By Katori Hall

Directed by Patricia McGregor

Extended through March 25, 2012

Tickets on sale now

It’s the end of a long summer in Hurt Village, a housing project in Memphis, Tennessee, and a government Hope Grant means relocation for many of the project’s residents. A bold, gritty and devastating work, Hurt Village earned Katori Hall the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, given annually to an outstanding female playwright.

TITLE AND DEED                                                  *** U.S. PREMIERE ***

By Will Eno

Directed by Judy Hegarty Lovett

In association with Gare St. Lazare Players Ireland

May 8 – June 3, 2012

A nameless traveler from a far off place searches for connection and solace in an unknown country in this funny and sad meditation on mortality, loneliness, innocence, home, family, love, funerals, words, and the world. A provocative new work by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Horton Foote Prize winner Will Eno, whom The New York Times called “a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation.”

MEDIEVAL PLAY                                                    *** WORLD PREMIERE ***

Written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan

May 15 – June 24, 2012

Two French mercenary knights set out on a quest for relative moral redemption against the classic comic background of late 14th century ecclesiastical politics. A story of friendship, love, noble feats of arms, indiscriminate brutality, the progressive refinement of medieval table manners and the general decline of the chivalric ideal at the onset of the Great Papal Schism of 1378.  A new and meandering comedy with no contemporary parallels worth noting by Kenneth Lonergan.

Tickets to the initial runs of all productions of Signature’s inaugural season at The Pershing Square Signature Center are $25, part of the groundbreaking Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access, a program that guarantees affordable and accessible tickets to every Signature production for the next 20 years.  Serving as a model for theatres and performing arts organizations across the country, the Initiative was founded in 2005 and is made possible by a lead gift from The Pershing Square Foundation. Time Warner Inc. is the founding sponsor of the Signature Ticket Initiative and additional seed support for the Generation of Access has been provided by Margot Adams, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.


Founded in 1991 by James Houghton, Signature Theatre exists to honor and celebrate the playwright.  Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work, and during this journey, the writer is engaged in every aspect of the creative process.  Signature is the first theatre company to devote an entire season to the work of a single playwright, including re-examinations of past writings as well as New York and world premieres. By championing in-depth explorations of a living playwright’s body of work, the Company delivers an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision. 

Signature has presented entire seasons of the work of Edward Albee, Lee Blessing, Horton Foote, Maria Irene Fornes, John Guare, Bill Irwin, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, the Negro Ensemble Company, Sam Shepard, Paula Vogel, August Wilson and Lanford Wilson.  Signature remains deeply committed to season-long residencies, and during the company’s tenth and fifteenth anniversaries, Signature introduced the Legacy Program.  The Legacy Program invites past Playwrights-in-Residence back to Signature through two series: the Signature Series, which presents “signature,” or more well-known works; and the Premiere Series, which presents New York and world premieres. 

Signature, its productions and its resident writers have been recognized with a Pulitzer Prize, fourteen Lucille Lortel Awards, sixteen Obie Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and twenty-two AUDELCO Awards, among many other distinctions. The National Theatre Conference recognized the company as the 2003 Outstanding National Theatre of the Year. For more information on Signature please visit us on-line at


The Pershing Square Signature Center is the new, permanent home of Signature Theatre.  Spanning an entire city block at 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenue, the Frank Gehry-designed Pershing Square Signature Center features three intimate theatres, a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, and a public café and bookstore and will serve as both a theatre community hub and neighborhood destination. Working hand-in-hand with Signature leadership and architect of record H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture LLC, Gehry’s design has been carefully calibrated to foster interaction among playwrights, artistic collaborators and the public. The Pershing Square Signature Center will allow the 20-year old Company, critically acclaimed for its programs that celebrate the playwright’s body of work, to expand and enhance its programming, introduce new initiatives, and build audiences. 

At The Pershing Square Signature Center, the Company’s expanded programming includes: Residency One, the continuation of Signature’s core program which provides audiences with an immersive exploration of the work of a singular playwright; Residency Five, which provides five-year residencies for multiple playwrights, guaranteeing three full productions of new work over the course of each playwright’s residency; and the Legacy Program, which honors the lifetime achievement of playwrights who have previously been in residence at Signature through the production of a premiere or earlier play.   The Pershing Square Signature Center will serve as the artistic home for as many as 9 playwrights at any one time, fostering a dynamic creative community where playwrights will engage directly with audiences and one another.

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Last modified on Thursday, 08 March 2012 14:52