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Friday, 27 July 2012 10:46

Signature Theatre Announces Upcoming Supplemental Programs

Signature Theatre Company

Signature Theatre is pleased to announce the next wave of upcoming supplemental programs, which 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. Unless noted, all supplemental programs are free and open to the general public.

{module ad_left_body}SIGNATURE CINEMA showcases films written by Signature playwrights and films that explore the “world of the play” currently in production, screened in the comfort of a theatre designed by world class architect Frank Gehry. This series was launched earlier this month with a sold-out screening of Margaret, written and directed by Residency Five Playwright-in-Residence Kenneth Lonergan. Tickets are $5 for subscribers and $13 for general public.

Falls the Shadow - The Life & Times of Athol Fugard

A documentary by Tony Palmer

Monday, August 20, 2012 at 7pm

The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre

Acclaimed film director Tony Palmer has created an in-depth and revealing profile of Athol Fugard whom Time Magazine has called “the greatest living playwright in the English-speaking world.” A self-described “regional writer,” for over fifty years Fugard has born witness to the devastations and triumphs of his native South Africa, giving “voice to the voiceless.” Palmer takes us to Fugard’s hometown of Port Elizabeth, the setting for many of his plays, and traces the history of South Africa under apartheid. The film also features extended footage of Fugard’s plays and films, with performances by Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Matthew Broderick, Danny Glover, Zakes Mokae, and Fugard himself, as well as interviews with Nobel laureates F.W. de Klerk and Nadine Gordimer, and actors Pieter-Dirk Uys, Ben Kingsley, James Earl Jones, Antony Sher, and Janet Suzman.

There will be special talkback with Athol Fugard after the screening.

Paris, Texas

Screenplay by 2012-13 Season Legacy Playwright-in-Residence Sam Shepard; Directed by Wim Wenders

Tuesday, August 28 at 7pm.

The Irene Diamond Stage

A lonely figure wanders across the desert of the American Southwest with nothing but a ragged suit. With no memory of his past and no plan for his future, he presumably is wandering nowhere — until his brother finds him, and helps him remember the life he led before he walked out on his wife and son four years earlier. Based on Sam Shepard’s autobiographical collection of short fiction, The Motel Chronicles, Paris, Texas embodies Shepard’s love of the open road, cowboy philosophy, and the wild American frontier. “This character of Travis, this lost soul…sort of appeared out of these stories somehow,” says Shepard.  Directed by Wim Wenders, the critically acclaimed Paris, Texas stars Hunter Carson, Aurore Clément, Nastassja Kinski, Harry Dean Stanton, and Dean Stockwell. It won the Cannes Palme D'Or for Best Film in 1984 and was hailed as a “modern classic” by The Guardian.


Based on the novel by 2012 Inaugural Season Residency One Playwright Athol Fugard; Written & Directed by Gavin Hood

Monday, September 24 at 7pm

The Irene Diamond Stage

Set amidst the sprawling Johannesburg township of Soweto – where survival is the primary objective – Tsotsi traces six days in the life of a ruthless young gang leader who ends up caring for a baby accidentally kidnapped during a car-jacking. The film won the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and was hailed as “a stunning film” by Jeffrey Lyons from NBC-TV. Tsotsi stars Presley Chweneyagae, Mothusi Magano and Israel Makoe.

Tickets for all three screenings are on sale now. To purchase tickets for Signature Cinema, call the Signature Theatre Box Office (212-244-7529) or visit

POST-PERFORMANCE TALKBACKSfeature company members and Signature staff in a discussion about the play just performed. Post-performance talkbacks are scheduled for Sam Shepard’s Heartless on August 15, August 21, August 30 and September 11. Talkbacks for Athol Fugard’s The Train Driver are on August 23, August 28, September 4 and September 20.

The Train Driver Talkback Series is brought to you by American Express.

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

Day Out of Daysby Sam Shepard

September 5 at 7:30pm

The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre Lobby

The third selection of “Signature Book Club” is Day Out of Days,1996-97 Playwright-in-Residence Sam Shepard’s latest collection of stories. It charts a surreal and mythic road trip through a lonesome and bizarre contemporary America.

For more information, visit the supplemental programming page on the Signature Theatre website:

To purchase tickets for all Signature productions and events, call the Signature Theatre Box Office (212-244-7529) or visit Subscriptions are currently on sale for the 2012-13 Season, which will include plays by David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin and David Shiner, Sam Shepard, Regina Taylor, August Wilson and Lanford Wilson. 

Tickets to the initial runs of all Signature productions 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 lead partner The Pershing Square Foundation. Additional support provided by Founding Sponsor Time Warner Inc., Margot Adams, the Ford Foundation, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.


The final production of the 2011-12 Season in the Athol Fugard series is THE TRAIN DRIVER.

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

Written and Directed by ATHOL FUGARD

August 14 – September 23, 2012

Tickets on sale now

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






October 23 – December 2, 2012

After three years working abroad, a Chinese businessman sets off a dangerous power struggle in his polygamous Chinese household. Inspired by his own family history, David Henry Hwang's 1997 Obie Award-winning and 1998 Tony nominated Golden Child explores the often-painful process through which change comes to people and cultures.



Directed by MAY ADRALES

February 5 – March 17, 2013

On a California mountaintop in 1867 near the Transcontinental Railroad, two Chinese workers struggle through poverty and hunger to reconnect with the traditions of their homeland.

KUNG FU                                                                                          *** WORLD PREMIERE ***

By David Henry Hwang

Directed by Leigh Silverman

Fall/ Winter 2013 (Dates TBA)

A young martial artist comes to America from Hong Kong in the 1960’s with dreams of becoming the biggest movie star in the world, and struggles to overcome the West’s view of Asian men as less than truly masculine.


HEARTLESS                                                                                   *** WORLD PREMIERE ***


Directed by DANIEL AUKIN

August 7 – September 16, 2012

Tickets on sale now

Sally lives with her mysterious family in a cavernous home overlooking Los Angeles. When a visitor arrives, Sally's dark secrets – and the secrets of those around her – threaten to come into the light. A world premiere from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sam Shepard, Signature’s 1996-97 Playwright-in-Residence.

Opening Night is Sponsored by Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited.




October 30 – December 9, 2012

In Pittsburgh’s Hill District in 1936, the Charles family battle each other over their shared legacy – an antique piano. The fourth play of Wilson’s epic Century Cycle, Pulitzer Prize-winning The Piano Lesson is a stunning and moving drama of family, history, and survival.


Created and performed by BILL IRWIN and DAVID SHINER

February 12 – March 24, 2013

2003-04 Playwright-in-Residence Bill Irwin reunites with fellow clown David Shiner for a new work combining their inimitable magic, slapstick, and hilarity. Using music, technology, and movement, plus other tricks up their sleeves, Irwin and Shiner create another wild and remarkable outing of theatre for a new generation of audiences. Signature is proud to present this dynamic duo’s first collaboration since the smash Broadway hit Fool Moon.



Directed by JO BONNEY

February 26 – April 7, 2013

A team of archeologists descends on an Indiana town to unearth the mysteries of the Mound Builders. As they excavate the remains of this Native American civilization, they confront powerful and dangerous forces of ambition and legacy. 2002-03 Playwright-in-Residence Lanford Wilson’s searing drama of class, culture and gender clash won the 1975 Obie Award for Distinguished Playwriting.

Support for the Legacy Program is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


---- and potatoes                                                                 *** WORLD PREMIERE ***

By Regina Taylor

Summer/Fall 2013 (Dates TBA)

A crossword loving Chicago book publisher faces the challenge of how to adapt his business in the rapidly changing digital age and begins to look for clues of his own identity as a husband, businessman, and an African-American. A new play from Residency Five playwright Regina Taylor.

The planning and launch of Residency Five is supported, in part, by funds from the City of New York Theater Subdistrict Council, LDC and the City of New York.


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, Athol Fugard, 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.  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. 

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, bar and bookstore and serves 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 is carefully calibrated to foster interaction among playwrights, artistic collaborators and the public. The Pershing Square Signature Center has allowed the Company to expand and enhance its programming, introduce new initiatives, and build audiences. The Center serves as the artistic home for as many as 9 playwrights at any one time, fostering a dynamic creative community where playwrights engage directly with audiences and one another.

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