30th Anniversary Season

Catching up with Kelly Hutchinson

Kelly Hutchinson

Lives of the Saints is a collection of six short plays by David Ives. If you could pick one of these worlds to live in, which would you choose and why?

If I could pick a world to live in I honestly think it would be the 1950s land of Soap Opera mostly because I would get to wear awesome clothes and tiny pill box hats.

In one of the short plays, you play a woman with a doppelganger. If you had your own double in real life, what kind of trouble would you get into together?

If I had a doppleganger I would probably just have my double do all of the logistics of running my life – you know, paying bills, doing taxes, returning emails, while I lie cave like in my bed watching horrible trash television (I’m looking at you “Vanderpump Rules”!)

Primary Stages - Lives of the Saints

(from left) ARNIE BURTON, RICK HOLMES, KELLY HUTCHINSON, and LIV ROOTH in Lives of the Saints. (c) 2015 James Leynse Primary Stages production of Lives of the Saints by David Ives, directed by John Rando at Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street.

In another of the plays, a man meets another iteration of himself where he chose another path in life. If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing with your life?

Well, I’m a writer as well so I’d probably be doing that. OR I would be a detective. But without the dangerous parts. I’d like to be a female Hercule Poirot. Sailing on French cruise ships while pointing fingers at would be poisoners. That would be the life!

You’re married to fellow Lives of the Saints cast member Rick Holmes. What’s the best advice you can give husband and wife teams who work together?

We just feel really lucky cuz we goof around, talking in accents and wearing wigs at home, and now we get to do it in front of people. Also, always make sure to stay out of his light.

There are six short plays in Lives of the Saints. Describe the evening in six words.

Friendship. Love. Second Chance. Faith. Wigs.

See Kelly in Lives of the Saints, playing now through March 27, 2015 at Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street. Tickets can be purchased online at PrimaryStages.org or at Dukeon42.org, by phone at 646-223-3010, or at the box office.

30th Anniversary Gala

Primary Stages held its 30th Anniversary Gala on November 3, 2014.

Meet Sharon Washington

Get to know actor Sharon Washington, who plays Eva in the Primary Stages production of Billy Porter’s While I Yet Live.

S. EPATHA MERKERSON and SHARON WASHINGTON in While I Yet Live. (c) 2014 James Leynse Primary Stages production of While I Yet Live by Billy Porter, directed by Sheryl Kaller at Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street.

S. EPATHA MERKERSON and SHARON WASHINGTON in While I Yet Live. (c) 2014 James Leynse Primary Stages production of While I Yet Live by Billy Porter, directed by Sheryl Kaller at Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street.

Tell us a little about your character, Eva.

I’ve based my character Eva’s relationship with Maxine (played by S. Epatha Merkerson) on the relationship between my mom and her sister, my Aunt Millie. Even though Eva and Maxine are not sisters, the dynamic is similar.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

Cooking two turkeys so everyone gets to have their favorite part. And even though I never really liked the taste, I loved the look on the table of the glazed ham covered with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries in the center. There was a prop ham made for this production that we had in rehearsal. It looked exactly like that but got cut during tech week. I miss it. I’m hoping to take it home as a souvenir.

(more…)

A Chat with Sheria Irving

Get to know actor Sheria Irving, who plays Tonya in the Primary Stages production of Billy Porter’s While I Yet Live.

SHERIA IRVING in While I Yet Live. (c) 2014 James Leynse Primary Stages production of While I Yet Live by Billy Porter, directed by Sheryl Kaller at Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street.

SHERIA IRVING in While I Yet Live. (c) 2014 James Leynse. Primary Stages production of While I Yet Live by Billy Porter, directed by Sheryl Kaller at Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street.

Tell us a little about your character, Tonya.

In While I Yet Live, Tonya is the unrestricted raconteur. She’s the only player that fosters a relationship with the audience, with whom she divulges her truth and takes on a trip down memory lane. Tonya’s memories aren’t all pleasant and become weapons that constantly assault, enrage, disappoint and empower her throughout the life of the play. She’s like so many of us trying to reconcile the past in order to press forward to our future.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

Since my undergraduate years at Florida State University, my dearest friends and I have created our own thanksgiving tradition. Each year I make my special slow-baked turkey and gather with my best buddies to share what we are thankful for, eat, drink and laugh the day away.

How did you approach the play and your character? Were there any surprising discoveries about your character during the rehearsal process?

What surprised me most about working on Tonya was how similar her religious upbringing is to my own. Like Tonya, I was raised never to question God. Tonya’s family believe in God and the Bible unequivocally, which leaves no room for her to explore her own beliefs. Tonya, however, decides to make room and as she matures develops her own understanding of the world and determines her relationship with God on her own terms.

Performances run through October 31st at The Duke on 42nd Street.  To order tickets online, click here.  Or you can call the box office at (646) 223-3010.

First Casting Announcement of 2014/15!

We are pleased to announce the casts for the first two shows of our 30th Anniversary Season! Title Treatment copy copyWIYLTitleTreatments Our first show, the New York premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s new comedy, Poor Behavior, is directed by Evan Cabnet (The Model Apartment, A Kid Like Jake) features a cast of faces new to our stage including Heidi Armbruster, Brian Avers, Jeff Biehl and Katie Kreisler.   PoorBehaviorHeadshotStripB&W Heidi Armbruster has been seen in Lincoln Center Theater’s production of Disgraced and the film “My Man is a Loser”. Her play Dairyland was also developed in ESPA Drills 2012 Series. Brian Avers appeared in The Explorers Club at MTC and The Lieutenant of Inishmore and Rock N Roll on Broadway. Jeff Biehl was a part of Roundabout’s recent production of Machinal on Broadway and previously appeared in the film, “A Master Builder” and Katie Kreisler recently appeared in Lincoln Center Theater’s premiere of Nikolai and The Others and The House of Blue Leaves on Broadway. We are excited to bring you these talented actors and to welcome them into our Primary Stages family.

For our second production, we will present the World Premiere of While I Yet Live by the Tony-winning star of Kinky Boots and Angels in America, Billy Porter, and directed by Tony Award nominee Sheryl Kaller (Mothers and Sons, Next Fall, Adrift in Macao). This new work will feature Elain Graham (The Picture Box, “Smash”), Emmy Award winner S. Epatha Merkerson (Come Back, Little Sheba; “Law & Order”)  Kevyn Morrow (The Scarlet Pimpernel, Dreamgirls), Sharon Washington (The Scottsboro Boys, Wild With Happy), Larry Powell (Broke-ology, Dutchman) and Tony Award winner Lillias White (The LifeFela!).

Poor Behavior runs July 29 -September 7, CLICK HERE to get tickets! While I Yet Live runs September 23 – October 31. Both shows will take place at Primary Stages new home, The Duke on 42nd Street.

A letter from our Executive Producer and Artistic Director

Andrew Leynse and Casey Childs

Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director and Casey Childs, Founder and Executive Producer

Dear Friends,

Believe it or not, our 30th Anniversary is almost here and we have some very exciting announcements about this upcoming season.

(more…)