In addition to our 2014 Lucille Lortel Award nominations, we are proud to announce that Primary Stages has received three 2014 Drama Desk Award nominations!
Our recent production of The Model Apartment (written by Donald Margulies, directed by Evan Cabnet) is nominated for Outstanding Revival of a Play, while Diane Davis is nominated for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Debby/Deborah.
Diane Davis and Kathryn Grody in The Model Apartment. Photo by James Leynse.
Our most recent production, The Tribute Artist, (written by Charles Busch, directed by Carl Andress) is nominated for Outstanding Music in a Play, for the new score composed by Lewis Flinn.
Julie Halston, Cynthia Harris and Charles Busch in Primary Stages 2014 world premiere of The Tribute Artist, now playing at 59E59 Theaters
Next week Primary Stages will be hosting the 8th Annual New York One-Minute Play Festival (#1MPF)!
The One-Minute Play Festival is a unique exploration of short form playwriting. We are excited for the festival’s return to Primary Stages, after hosting the 5th annual festival in 2011. Since then the event has partnered with several other Off-Broadway and regional theater companies, sparking creativity and discussion wherever it goes.
Dominic D’Andrea, the festival’s Producing Artistic Director and curator, gathers together dozens of playwrights (listed below) who write new micro-plays. They are paired with local directors and actors to collaborate on complete pieces that last no more than two minutes in total. With #1MPF, D’Andrea promotes the spirit of radical inclusion, representing playwrights and actors of different age, gender, race, culture and point of career. The end result is a reflection of our collective theatrical landscape.
Primary Stages sat down with Mary Bacon, currently playing Christina in The Tribute Artist, to chat about inspiration, the neuroses of her character, and her fondness for director Carl Andress.
Mary Bacon as Christina in The Tribute Artist. Photo by James Leynse.
What is your role in The Tribute Artist?
I play Christina, Adriana’s niece. She shows up thinking Adriana has been trying to sell the town home that Uncle Lou specifically left her in his will. She discovers Rita and Jimmy, who she thinks is Adriana, living there. Christina’s arrival with her kid Oliver throws a wrench in the friends’ scheme to impersonate Adriana and sell her seemingly unclaimed home, kicking off the obstacles in the play our heroines have to conquer.
What have you learned while creating this role?
Primary Stages sat down with Keira Keeley of The Tribute Artist, to chat about her experience playing a trans man, and her various artistic inspirations beyond the stage.
Keira Keeley as Oliver in The Tribute Artist. Photo by James Leynse.
What is your role in The Tribute Artist?
I play Oliver, a transitioning female to male transgendered 15-year-old. I basically am the honest, open, truth-teller in this group of ridiculous schemers. I arrive on the scene from out of town with my mother (Christina, played by Mary Bacon) to claim our legal inheritance of the multi-million dollar townhouse that everybody else wants a piece of! Throughout the course of the play and developing a genuine friendship with the faux Adriana (played by Charles Busch), I blossom in confidence and sense of self and step into my identity as a man. There’s a lot of humor and lot of heart in Oliver.
What were your first thoughts when you read the play?
One of the elements of The Tribute Artist that really struck me was how the characters’ sexualities and genders were simply allowed to be a detail about who they each are, but not the sole label of that person. For instance, Oliver is transgender, Rita (played by Julie Halston) is a lesbian, but all of their stage time does not revolve exclusively on this detail, it’s just a facet of them, like having blonde hair or being a certain height. I found that refreshing. (more…)
On a chilly October evening in 1993, I walked several blocks from my home at the time in Sag Harbor to the Bay Street Theater to see a reading of You Should Be So Lucky, a new play by Charles Busch. I was familiar with Charles’ early work with his company Theater in Limbo on plays like Vampires Lesbians of Sodom and Psycho Beach Party. I had always admired Charles for his ease at transforming, for his sly humor, for his adoration of old movies and movie stars, and for his knack at repurposing bygone theater conventions. But mostly I admired Charles as an all-around man of the theater: actor, playwright, comic, producer, founder, visionary.
Primary Stages’ 1994 world premiere of “You Should Be So Lucky,” written by and starring Charles Busch
I recall an interview from the seventies with the great Charles Ludlam, who was the founder of the most aptly named entertainment establishment in history, the Ridiculous Theatrical Company. When asked how he got his start, he replied that when he was ready to enter the business, there was no obvious door for a person of his talents to do so.
“The first thing I had to do was invent the door.”
Tessa LaNeve, Director of ESPA and New Arts Programming
Oh well, hello. How do you do? I must say, that shirt looks really nice on you.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Tessa LaNeve, and I’m the Director of ESPA and New Arts Programming at Primary Stages… and I have the best job in the world. Except for maybe the people who name nail polishes and lipsticks. I’ve always wanted to try that out.
So – the greatest job in the world? Making a home – like, a real home with comfy chairs and a kitchenette – for over 2,000 emerging and established artists at the Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA). Yes, the classes and workshops are stellar. And the faculty is the bee’s knees and the cat’s pajamas. But what makes ESPA a very special place is our belief in having a home. (more…)