Working Theater to Present Off-Broadway Premiere of CHERRY SMOKE, 4/22-5/18 at Urban Stages

Working Theater, in its 29th season off-Broadway, will continue its current exploration of the face of poverty in America, with James McManus’ Princess Grace Award-winning play, CHERRY SMOKE. The play is a brutal love story that details the irrational hope of four destitute young people, all stretching to grasp the American dream. Directed by Tamilla Woodard, the production will run April 22nd through May 18th at Urban Stages, 259 West 30th Street in Manhattan. The official opening is on Thursday, May 1st.

On the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Fish is a ticking time bomb and a back alley fighter who has been in and out of jail his entire life, Cherry is a runaway who has been on her own since age 10 and hopes for a more simple life where she and Fish can be together, Will Fish be able to harness his rage and make a life for him and Cherry?

James McManus captures the devastated remnants of the steel towns of his youth, channeling the frustrations of a working class without work. A vivid combustion of the magical and the mundane, Cherry Smoke takes you to a world rarely seen on the New York stage.

Todd London, Artistic Director of New Dramatists explains that McManus “writes about characters with hard lives and hard luck, and he writes about them with profound love. His dialogue is painful and gorgeous. It’s a poetry of the actual, reminiscent of two American masters–Paddy Chayevsky and, McManus’s great example, August Wilson. But like everything else in CHERRY SMOKE, the voice is entirely his own. James McManus is an important American playwright, who deserves to be more widely known. It’s fitting and encouraging that the Working Theater is producing this beautiful play in New York City.”

The cast of CHERRY SMOKE features Molly Carden (Emotional Creature) Patrick Carroll, (Good People) Julie Jesneck, (Rock and Roll) and Vayu O’Donnell (Golden Boy).

Playwright James McManus is the author of six plays: Love on San Pedro, Dorothy 6, Bulldog Whiskey, Underground, Cherry Smoke and Blood Potato. His plays have been developed and performed at Cornerstone Theater Company, Labyrinth Theater Company, Apothecary Theatre Company, The Clockwork Theatre, Glass Umbrella Creative (Sydney), Revolt Theatre (Melbourne), Gurnet Theatre Project, The Kennedy Center, The BE Company, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Barebones Productions, Irish Repertory Theatre, Son of Semele, The Side Project Theatre Company, The Lark Play Development Center, The Inkwell, Diverse City Theater Company, and the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. James was the recipient of the 2006 Princess Grace Award in Playwriting for Cherry Smoke, which is published by Samuel French. He received an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University and is a resident playwright at New Dramatists.

Tamilla Woodard is a Director residing in New York City. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, an alumnus of The Lincoln Center Directors Lab and founder of PopUp Theatrics, a partnership creating site impacting theatrical events in collaboration with theatre artists working around the globe. Most recent work: Long Distanace Affair: BA Edition, (Bienal Arte Joven Buenos Aires and PopUP Theatrics, Buenos Aires) INSIDE (PopUP Theatrics, Madrid, Spain;) La Ruta, by Ed Cardona Jr ( Working Theater, NYC) With PopUP Theatrics: Long Distance Affair, an international collaboration for live Skype performance; Hotel Project, Co-Creator, world premiere in Querétaro Mexico in July 2011, American premiere at Washington Jefferson Hotel and the Summit Grand Hotel in January 2012; Other recent work includes, 3 Editions of Long Distance Affair, Edinburgh, Scotland, Querétaro, Mexico, New York, USA; DramaTour in Querétaro Mexico (Sabandijas del Palacio) Valiant by Lanna Joffrey at InterAct Theatre (Philadelphia, PA); Nightlands by Sylvan Oswald (New Georges,NYC) and the development and direction of Saviana Stanescu‘s Polanski Polanski (Teatrul Odeon, Bucharest; The Sibiu International Theatre Festival, Sibiu, TIFF International Festival, Cluj; PS122/SoloNOVA festival, HERE, NYC and The Chain, LIC, New York). She has directed for the Working Theater, HERE, The Actors Theatre of Louisville, PS122, DR 2, The Culture Project, Urban Stages, Dance Theatre Workshop, The Kitchen Theatre and for festivals around the US and internationally. She a recipient of The Charles Bowden Award from New Dramatists, The Josephine Abady Award from The League of Professional Theatre Women, New York Theatre Workshop Director Fellowship, New Georges Audrey Residency and a TCG On The Road Grant.


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Composer-Lyricist Peter Mills Awarded Donna Perret Rosen Award

Second Stage Theatre, under the artistic direction of Carole Rothman, has awarded its second annual Donna Perret Rosen Award for excellence in musical theatre to composer-lyricist Peter Mills.

The $10,000 award was established at the Off-Broadway company’s 2011 gala to honor Second Stage Theatre trustee Donna Perret Rosen in recognition of her long-standing commitment to young artists and new works. This year’s award recipient was chosen by musical director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, actor Lonny Price and fellow lyricist Richard Maltby Jr.

The first recipient of the Donna Perret Rosen Award was composer-lyricist Adam Gwon in 2012.

Mills’ musicals have been performed at New York City venues, including 59E59 and West End Theatre. His musicals include Illyria, Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge, The Flood and The Taxi Cabaret. He has supplied lyrics for the Off-Broadway show Iron Curtain (book by Susan DiLallo, music by Stephen Weiner), which ran in November 2011. He co-wrote The Flood with Carla Reichel, which was selected for the 2001 ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop. His show Marco Polo, written with composer Deborah Abramson, was selected for the ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop in 2000, and both Mills and Abramson were chosen as 2000-01 Dramatist Guild Fellows.

In addition to the Donna Perret Rosen Award, Mills is the recipient of the 2011 Cole Porter Award, the 2010 Kleban Award for lyrics, the 2007 Fred Ebb Award for emerging songwriters, a 2006 Drama Desk nomination for his show The Pursuit of Persephone (Best Music and Best Orchestrations), the 2003 Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award from the ASCAP Foundation and a 2002 grant from the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation.

Mills is currently writing lyrics for the Broadway-aimed musical The Honeymooners.

For more information, visit”


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Kathleen Turner to return to the West End in Bakersfield Mist

“…Kathleen Turner is set to return to London in Stephen Sachs’ BAKERSFIELD MIST at the Duchess Theatre, commencing 10th May, 2014. Together with her will be Ian McDiarmid.

Turner will be celebrating her 60th birthday in June and said: “How I look now is what gives me the ability to pick great theatre roles where I can play women of character.”

She describes her character in BAKERSFIELD MIST as “this blousy woman, a little rundown – the kind of cliche of an American woman you Brits just love! – but there’s more to her. It’s about the transformative power of art and class and truth.”

The actress will star as ‘Maude Gutman’, an unemployed bartender who buys an abstract painting for $3 and discovers it could be a priceless Jackson Pollock piece. McDiarmid plays an art expert and appraiser who tells Maude what she’s uncovered.

This will be Turner’s third appearance in the West End, after The Graduate and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, both of which she also starred in on Broadway. Turner has also appeared on Broadway in 1990s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Indiscretions in 1995, and High in 2011. She was nominated for Tony Awards for her performances in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. Turner is currently starring in Mother Courage at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.”

Read the original article by Neil Cheesman at LondonTheatre1

T. Schreiber Theatre is proud to present BLOOD SKY by Yasmine Beverly Rana ~ Directed by Terry Schreiber

bloodskyAlong the Mississippi River, an animalistic call triggers a traumatic event for a young woman attempting to break free from her past.

February 26 – April 6, 2014

BLOOD SKY is published in a critically-acclaimed anthology of plays called “The War Zone Is My Bed and Other Plays” by Yasmine Beverly Rana. 

“Written with soulful realism and aching beauty”

 -Pat Taylor, The Tolucan Times

TICKETS ($15 advanced tickets use code EBIRD. Valid until 1/20/14)

THE HINTERLANDS Nominated for 4 IAWTV Awards



IAWTV ANNOUNCES 2014 AWARDS NOMINATIONS – Danny Larsen and Michelle Elliott‘s musical web series THE HINTERLANDS has been nominated for four IAWTV awards:



Best Dramatic Series

Best Dramatic Writing

Best Leading Actor – Connor Russell

Best Cinematography – Danny Larsen

You can catch up on episodes and learn more about the show at See the official press release and other IAWTV nominees here.

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