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Wednesday, 14 November 2012 21:23

Performances Begin Tonight for NYTW's A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS

New York Theatre Workshop

PERFORMANCES BEGIN TONIGHT FOR
NEW YORK THEATRE WORKSHOP PRODUCTION OF

PAULA VOGEL’S

A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS

DIRECTED TINA LANDAU

ALICE RIPLEY AND BOB STILLMAN FEATURED
AS MARY TODD AND ABRAHAM LINCOLN

OPENING NIGHT SET FOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 4

Thursday, November 15, 2012 – New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) Artistic Director James C. Nicola and Managing Director William Russo have announced that performances will begin tonight for A Civil War Christmas, written by Paula Vogel and directed by Tina Landau, at NYTW, 79 East 4 Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue.  Opening night for this holiday-themed work is set for Tuesday, December 4 at 7pm.  A Civil War Christmas is scheduled to run through Sunday, December 30.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel weaves a rich tapestry of a beleaguered and divided nation, war-weary and desperate for goodwill, on a blustery Christmas Eve in 1864. Through the personal stories and struggles of a wide range of historical figures and fictional characters – from the President’s wife to runaway slaves, Union and Confederate soldiers to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Walt Whitman – we learn that, for all their differences, one thing is clear: the yearning for peace cuts across religious and class divisions, color lines and, of course, the Mason-Dixon Line.

At once familiar and freshly re-imagined, the story of that winter night is alive with history, hope and humanity.  Vividly staged by director Tina Landau and infused throughout with traditional carols and period music, A Civil War Christmas takes a sprawling new look at the seemingly intractable challenges we once faced to see how far we’ve come as a nation and how far we still have to go.

The cast of A Civil War Christmas will include Sumaya Bouhbal, K. Todd Freeman, Chris Henry, Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Antwayn Hopper, Amber Iman, Jonathan-David, Karen Kandel, Sean Allan Krill, Alice Ripley, and Bob Stillman.

Paula Vogel, a playwright since the late 1970s, first came to national prominence with her AIDS-related serio-comedy The Baltimore Waltz, which won the Obie award for Best Play in 1992. She is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned To Drive (1997), which examines the impact and echoes of child sexual abuse and incest. Other notable plays include Desdemona, A Play About A Handkerchief (1979); The Oldest Profession (1981); And Baby Makes Seven (1984); Hot 'N Throbbing (1994); The Mineola Twins (1996) and The Long Christmas Ride Home (2006).  In 2004-5 she was the playwright in residence at Signature Theatre, which produced three of her works.  During her two decades leading the graduate playwriting program and new play festival at Brown University, Vogel helped developed a nationally recognized center for educational theatre, culminating in the creation of the Brown/Trinity Repertory Company Consortium with Oskar Eustis, then Trinity's artistic director, in 2002. She left Brown in 2008 to assume her current posts as adjunct professor and the Chair of the playwriting department at Yale School of Drama, and the Playwright-in-Residence at Yale Repertory Theatre.  Most recent awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dramatists Guild (2011) and the 2010 William Inge Festival Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award.  In January 2013 she will be inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.  She is most honored to have two awards to emerging playwrights named after her:  the Paula Vogel Award, created by the American College Theatre Festival in 2003, and the Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting given annually by the Vineyard Theatre since 2007.  Ms. Vogel also won the 2004 Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the OBIE for Best Play in 1992, the Hull-Warriner Award, Laura Pels Award, Pew Charitable Trust Senior Award, a Guggenheim, an AT&T New Plays Award, the Fund for New American Plays, the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center Fellowship, several National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the McKnight Fellowship, and the Bunting Fellowship from Radcliffe College.  She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Double UCross Colony, and Yaddo.  Her most recent projects include a collaboration with director Rebecca Taichman and a project with Blanka Ziska and the Wilma theatre, which will involve workshops with veterans in Philadelphia.

Tina Landau is a writer and director, whose work in NYC includes Tarell Alvin McCraney’s  In the Red and Brown Water (The Public Theater) and Wig Out! (Vineyard Theatre), ChuckMee’s Iphigenia 2.0 (Signature Theatre Company), Orestes and Trojan Women (En Garde Arts), the Broadway productions of Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts and Bells Are Ringing (revival, Tony nomination), as well as her original works Floyd Collins with Adam Guettel (Playwrights Horizons), Dream True with Ricky Ian Gordon (Vineyard), Space (The Public), and Stonewall (En Garde.) Tina is an ensemble member at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, where her directing credits include Hot L Baltimore, The Brother/Sister Plays, Superior Donuts, The TempestTime of Your Life (also at Seattle Rep, American Conservatory Theater), Diary of Anne Frank, The Cherry Orchard, The Ballad of Little Jo, and Chuck Mee’s Berlin Circle and Time to Burn.  Her upcoming work includes the premiere of Tarell McCraney's Head of Passes at Steppenwolf, and the musical, Beauty, for which she is writing the book and directing, with music by Regina Spektor and lyrics by Michael Korie.   Tina’s other directing work includes Antony and Cleopatra (Hartford Stage), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (McCarter, Papermill),  Sycamore Trees (Signature, VA), Of Thee I Sing (Papermill), Mary Rose (Vineyard), among many others.  A graduate of Yale College and the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard, Tina has returned to teach at both, as well as at NYU, Columbia, Northwestern, and other colleges.   She is a USA Fellow, as well as recipient of awards from the NEA, Princess Grace Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, and Rockefeller Foundation among others.  Tina is the author, with Anne Bogart, of The Viewpoints Book.  She directed the premier of A Civil War Christmas at the Long Wharf Theater in 2008.

The music supervision and arrangements for A Civil War Christmas are by Daryl Waters; the musical director is Andrew Resnick; scenic design is by James Schuette; costume design is by Toni-Leslie James; lighting design is by Scott Zielinski; sound design is by Jill BC Du Boff; production stage manager is Lori Lundquist.

New York Theatre Workshop, now celebrating its 30th season, is a leading voice in the world of Off-Broadway and within the theatre community in New York and around the world.  NYTW has emerged as a premiere incubator of important new theatre, honoring its mission to explore perspectives on our collective history and respond to the events and institutions that shape our lives. In addition, NYTW is known for its innovative adaptations of classic repertory. Each season, from its home in New York's East Village neighborhood, NYTW presents three to five new productions, over 80 readings, and numerous workshop productions, for over 45,000 audience members.  Over the past 28 years, NYTW has developed and produced over 100 new, fully staged works, including Jonathan Larson's Rent, Tony Kushner's Slavs! and Homebody/Kabul, Doug Wright's Quills, Claudia Shear's Blown Sideways Through Life and Dirty Blonde, Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and Valhalla, Caryl Churchill's Mad Forest, Far Away, and A Number, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s Aftermath, and Rick Elice’s Peter and the Starcatcher.  The 2002 remounting of Martha Clarke's seminal work, Vienna: Lusthaus and subsequent American tour was one of the longest-running productions in NYTW's history.  NYTW’s acclaimed productions of Once and Peter and the Starcatcher are currently enjoying Broadway runs, and Rent, which premiered at NYTW, is currently playing an off-Broadway revival.  NYTW supports artists in all stages of their careers by maintaining a series of workshop programs including work-in-progress readings, summer residencies, and minority artist fellowships.  In 1991, NYTW received an OBIE Award for Sustained Achievement and in 2000 was designated to be part of the Leading National Theatres Program by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  The NYTW 2012-2013 season is dedicated to the memory of Joan Stein.

A Civil War Christmas plays at New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, between second Avenue and Bowery.  The regular performance schedule is Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:00pm; Thursday and Friday at 8:00pm; Saturday at 3pm and 8pm; Sunday at 2pm and 7pm.  A Civil War Christmas runs through December 30.  Tickets start at $70 and may be purchased online at www.ticketcentral.com, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or by phoning Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200.  For exact dates and times of performance, visit www.nytw.org.

AfterWords post-performance audience discussions will follow the performances on November 20, 27, December 11.  There will be a special student matinee on Wednesday, November 21 at noon.

NYTW is pleased to make theatre accessible to everyone with its $20 CheapTix Sundays program.  A dedicated number of tickets for Sunday evening performances at 7:00pm can be purchased in person at the NYTW Box Office for only $20.  Tickets may be purchased in advance, payable in cash only and are available to all audience members.

NYTW also has $25 student tickets available for all performances. Student tickets may be purchased in advance from the NYTW Box Office with valid student identification.

In addition, NYTW offers discount ticket prices for adult and student groups of 10 or more. Please contact group sales at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The NYTW Box office is open 1:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

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