The American Place Theatre, one of Off-Broadway's most revered institutions, will present a monumental double header celebration Wynn, Place & Show in honor of the Theatre's 45th anniversary and the 85th birthday of its beloved co-founder/artistic director, the legendary Wynn Handman.
In true American Place style the gala will unconventionally combine witty intelligent satire with all the elements of an elegant dinner-dance and will feature a specially created performance piece written by Jonathan Reynolds and directed by Ed Sherin.
Among the long list of accomplished world class actors who were either trained by Handman or got their start at The American Place Theatre participating in this historical salute are: Alec Baldwin, Eric Bogosian, Norman Lear, Doris Roberts, Phyllis Newman, Tony Roberts, Mark Rydell, Dael Orlandersmith, Marian Seldes, Richard Schiff and Sam Shepard. The evening's alumni chairs are Ed Bullins, Chris Cooper, Michael Douglas, Maria Irene Fornes, Richard Gere, Allison Janney, Woodie King Jr., John Leguizamo , Emily Mann and Denzel Washington.
The show will explore in a comic manner the history and brilliant accomplishments - seemingly against all odds and conventions - of both Wynn and The American Place Theatre. Alumni will "take the stand" with some certain to be outrageous testimony both for and against! Built on the wry supposition that anyone who spends over a half century in the precarious world of not for profit theater must surely be daft, the show is sure to touch a chord of recognition. It will be a theatrical romp through the cliff hanging episodes in the lives of theater folk who put passion before practicality - a world most audiences could scarcely imagine. The program will include the announcement of a special National Endowment for the Arts Citation given by former NEA director Jane Alexander.