Theater News

The Weekend Report: Jackie Sibblies Drury and Lauren Yee Win Steinberg Awards

The writers of ”Fairview” and ”The Great Leap” will receive $50,000 prizes.

Welcome to TheaterMania's Weekend Report, where you'll find recent news stories from the New York theater scene and beyond.

Jackie Sibblies Drury and Lauren Yee.
Jackie Sibblies Drury and Lauren Yee
(© photos provided by Slate PR)

Steinberg Playwright Award Recipients Announced

Playwrights Jackie Sibblies Drury (Fairview) and Lauren Yee (The Great Leap) will receive the 2019 Steinberg Playwright Awards from the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The awards will be presented on January 13 at Lincoln Center Theater.

The Steinberg Playwright Awards are presented biennially to playwrights in early and middle stages of their careers, who have distinctive and compelling voices, and whose current bodies of work exhibit exceptional talent and artistic excellence. Each recipient will receive a cash award of $50,000.

Charlotte Moore will direct London Assurance at the Irish Repertory Theatre.
Charlotte Moore will direct London Assurance at the Irish Repertory Theatre.
(© Tristan Fuge)

London Assurance Gets a Revival

Dion Boucicault's 1841 comedy London Assurance will receive a rare New York revival at the Irish Repertory Theatre this winter.

Staged by artistic director Charlotte Moore, performances will run December 6-January 26, with cast and creative team still to be announced. The play follows the amorous goings-on between Sir Harcourt Courtley, his 18-year-old intended Grace, and their respective crushes.

Sarah Ruhl
Sarah Ruhl
(© David Gordon)

Sarah Ruhl Is Writing a Memoir

Simon & Schuster will publish Smile, a new memoir by playwright Sarah Ruhl that chronicles her diagnosis of Bell's palsy and its aftermath.

Ruhl is a Pulitzer finalist whose plays include The Clean House, Dead Man's Cell Phone, and In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play). The book will explore her condition, which causes facial paralysis, and is described as "a meditation on illness and societal constructions of female beauty." The release date is still forthcoming.

Ms. Ruhl will explore her nearly decade-long struggle with Bell's palsy, her search for a way to speed up her recovery and how she reckoned with the inability to fully express her inner self in a forthcoming memo

Timothy Douglas.
Timothy Douglas
(© D'Ambrose Boyd)

Meet the Director of Frankenstein

Timothy Douglas (Fences) will direct Tristan Bernays's upcoming adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at Irish Repertory Theatre, running January 30-March 15.

Bernays's stage version of the work is described as "an electrifying metaphysical adaptation strongly rooted in the tradition of theatrical storytelling" and will be performed by two actors. It will run in repertory with Kate Hamill's adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, directed by Sarna Lapine, which begins performances January 14.

Anna Deavere Smith, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Saheem Ali.
Anna Deavere Smith, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Saheem Ali
(© Omar Khan)

Fires in the Mirror Gets Extended Again

Signature Theatre has extended Anna Deavere Smith's Fires in the Mirror for the second time. The production, which starts performances October 22 and opens November 11, will now play through December 8.

Featuring Michael Benjamin Washington and directed by Saheem Ali, Fires in the Mirror is Smith's theatrical response to the Crown Heights riots in 1991. The creative team includes Arnulfo Maldonado (scenic design), Dede M. Ayite (costume design), Alan C. Edwards (lighting design), Mikaal Sulaiman (sound design), Hannah Wasileski (projection design), and Dawn-Elin Fraser (dialect coach).

Alma Cuervo
Alma Cuervo
(© David Gordon)

An Enchanted April Will Play in November

The new musical An Enchanted April, by Elizabeth Hansen (book and lyrics) and C. Michael Perry (music and lyrics), will play a limited engagement at Theatre Row, November 1-16. Directed by Alice Jankell and presented by Utah Lyric Opera, the work is based on Elizabeth von Arnim's novel The Enchanted April.

An Enchanted April will feature Leah Hocking, Alma Cuervo. Jim Stanek, Christiana Cole, Aaron Phillips, Gena Sims, Peter Reid Lambert, and Melody Meeks Putnam. The creative team includes Richard Danley (music director), Matthew Solomon (costume design), William Armstrong (scenic and lighting design), Erin Dinnell Bjorn (projections design), and Liz Burdick (props).

Harvey Fierstein
Harvey Fierstein
(© Seth Walters)

Special Events for Harvey Fierstein's Bella Bella

A series of special events have been announced tied to Manhattan Theatre Club's New York City Center — Stage I production of Harvey Fierstein's Bella Bella, about the life of Bella Abzug.

Post-show conversations will take place on October 27 and November 1, 12, and 20, featuring luminaries like Liz Abzug, Donna Lieberman of the NYCUL, and author Letty Pogrebin. Additionally, in conjunction with, the production will have Vote Early NY materials available in the lobby for the duration of the run. Bella Bella opens October 22.

In Other News…

• MCC Theater will present several new works as part of their PlayLab and SongLab series this fall. Works that will be presented are Gina Femia's Allond(ra); Ana Nogueira's Mask Only, C.A. Johnson's I Know I Know I Know, Brian Otaño's The Dust, and Michael Thurber, Jocelyn Bioh, Saheem Ali, and Mkhululi Z. Mabija's new musical Goddess.

• Stephen Schwartz and Kelly Devine will be honored at the New York Musical Festival's 2019 benefit concert, to be held November 18 at the Pershing Square Signature Center. Performers will be announced at a later adte.

• Broadway couple Matt Cavenaugh (Grey Gardens) and Jenny Powers (Little Women) have founded the Link Theatre Company, based out of Jonesboro, Arkansas. The theater company will make its debut with Cavenaugh's production of The Fantasticks, running March 6-8 at the Glass Factory in downtown Jonesboro.