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Roundabout announces new production & Associate Artist Rebeck

ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY

Announces

AN EXPANSION OF INITIATIVES

TO SUPPORT PLAYWRIGHTS & COMPOSERS

The expansion includes the appointment of Theresa Rebeck as Associate Artist, the announcement of new play The Dream of the Burning Boy at Roundabout Underground & additional commissions for new work.

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) is pleased to announce an expansion of their initiatives currently in place to support theater artists and develop new work.

The expansion includes the appointment of playwright Theresa Rebeck as Associate Artist, the announcement of an additional Spring 2011 Roundabout Underground production entitled The Dream of the Burning Boy, and the commissioning of 10 playwrights & composers.

These initiatives reflect the not-for-profit’s commitment to provide a nurturing artistic home for theatre artists at all stages of their careers where the widest possible audience can experience their work at affordable prices.

THERESA REBECK, NEW ASSOCIATE ARTIST

Roundabout has appointed Theresa Rebeck as an Associate Artist.  This new relationship follows the recent New York premiere staging of her hit play The Understudy at Roundabout’s Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre.

This marks the first time a playwright joins a group of Associate Artists that includes Scott Elliott, Bill Irwin, Joe Mantello, Mark Brokaw and Kathleen MarshallScott Ellis (Associate Artistic Director), Jim Carnahan (Director of Artistic Development/Director of Casting), Robyn Goodman (Artistic Consultant) and Doug Hughes (Resident Director) are also members of the artistic staff.

Roundabout’s Associate Artists are experienced members of the theater community who have forged a meaningful relationship with the not-for-profit organization. The Associate Artist title is a way of formalizing the relationship with an artist who has really become part of the Roundabout family. An Associate Artist can bring work to Roundabout that needs a developmental home, while Roundabout can discuss potential projects that are being explored for the institution. As an Associate Artist, Ms. Rebeck will be available to consult with the Artistic Director, and assist the theater in various educational and development activities.

The relationship is intended to be mutually beneficial.

Quote from Todd Haimes:

“Associate Artists have primarily been directors in the past, so we’ll be exploring a new avenue by adding Theresa Rebeck as the first playwright to take on this title. With her great knowledge of the industry, especially as Roundabout continues to deepen its commitment to producing and developing new work, we know that her voice will be an important one for the future.”

THE DREAM OF THE BURNING BOY AT ROUNDABOUT UNDERGROUND

Roundabout Theatre Company is pleased to announce The Dream of the Burning Boy as the first Roundabout Underground spring production.  The Dream of the Burning Boy, a new play by David West Read, directed by Evan Cabnet, will begin performances on February 25, 2011 and open on March 20, 2011 in the Black Box Theatre in the Harold & Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre.

Casting & a design team will be announced at a later date.

In The Dream of the Burning Boy the sudden death of a high school overachiever exposes a secret that could destroy those left behind, or bring them closer together. A bittersweet story of choices made, opportunities lost, and finding the strength to move on.

This will be the second Roundabout Underground production of the 2010-2011 season following Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still in Fall 2010.

GROWTH OF ROUNDABOUT’S NEW PLAY INITIATIVE & COMMISSIONS

In 1995, Roundabout created the New Play Initiative to promote the development of new works by established playwrights as an extension of their mission to bring classic theatre to their audiences.  The program encourages playwrights by providing support in the form of commissions for early and mid-career writers, conducting developmental workshops of new musicals and plays, and mounting fully staged productions of new work on the Roundabout stages.

Since 2003, Roundabout has produced 67 workshops and readings and commissioned 12 writers.

In 2007, Roundabout Underground was launched with Stephen Karam’s Speech & Debate with the aim to cultivate new works by emerging playwrights, giving them the opportunity to debut their plays as full-scale productions in the nurturing environment of Roundabout’s 62-seat Black Box Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre.  The program is an essential part of the institution’s future as Roundabout works to build relationships with emerging American writers and directors.

As a result of Roundabout introducing Stephen Karam to the professional theatrical community with Speech & Debate, the play became the third most produced play in the United States in 2009 (according to Theater Communications Group).  Roundabout commissioned Stephen’s newest play, Sons of the Prophet.  The play will receive its world premiere at the Huntington Theatre Company in a production directed by Huntington Theatre Company Artistic Director Peter DuBois and produced by special arrangement with Roundabout.

Roundabout Commissions

Roundabout’s commissioning program has seen significant growth in recent years.  Due to several essential grants, Roundabout grew from an average of one or two commissions per year to having 10 currently in various stages of development.  Writers being developed range from Pulitzer finalists to playwrights with major regional success to younger writers in need of early career support.  Readings, workshops and feedback help support this diverse group to create strong and exciting work.

Through the support of Roundabout’s New Play Initiative donors, the following ten writers are currently under commission: Bekah Brunstetter, Julia Cho, Lydia Diamond, Diana Fithian, Nathan Louis Jackson, Stephen Karam, Steven Levenson, Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Julie Marie Myatt.

The commission of Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez is the institution’s first time commissioning a new musical.

Julia Cho’s The Language Archive was commissioned by Roundabout, made possible by a gift from The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation’s Theatre Visions Fund Award, and received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2010.  The play will be produced in the Fall 2010 at Roundabout Theatre Company’s Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre following a production at South Coast Repertory, produced by special arrangement with Roundabout and directed by Roundabout Associate Artist Mark Brokaw.

BIOGRAPHIES:

DAVID WEST READ (Playwright, The Dream of the Burning Boy) is currently a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at The Juilliard School, and a recent graduate of the MFA program in Dramatic Writing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.  His play The Dream of the Burning Boy was developed at the 2010 National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.  His work has been featured in the Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Repertory, the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, NYU’s Festival of New Works, the Toronto Fringe, and the SummerWorks Festival, and he is currently working on a commission for South Coast Repertory.  Selected honors include the Robertson Davies Playwriting Award, the Alta Lind Cook Prize for Drama, and NYU’s John Golden Prize for Graduate Playwriting.  David is a native of Toronto, Canada.

EVAN CABNET (Director, The Dream of the Burning Boy). Credits include:  Elizabeth Meriwether’s Oliver Parker! (Cherry Lane, world premiere), Bekah Brunstetter’s Oohrah! (Atlantic Theatre Company, world premiere), Mark Schultz’s The Gingerbread House (stageFARM at the Rattlestick, world premiere), Donald Margulies’ Shipwrecked! An Entertainment (Long Wharf Theater, East Coast premiere), Elizabeth Meriwether’s The Mistakes Madeline Made (Naked Angels, world premiere), new plays by Adam Rapp, Schultz, and Meriwether as part of SPIN (Cherry Lane), Lewis Black and Rusty Magee’s The Czar of Rock and Roll (Joe’s Pub), his own adaptations of Ubu Roi and Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Williamstown), and the 2009 TFI Sloan staged readings for the Tribeca Film Festival. Upcoming: David West Read’s The Dream of the Burning Boy at the O’Neill National Playwrights’ Conference and the World Premiere of Michele Lowe’s Map of Heaven at Denver Center Theatre.  He has developed new works by: Carly Mensch (Playwrights Horizons), Rajiv Joseph (Vineyard), Lucy Thurber (MCC), Molly Smith Metzler (MTC), Steven Levenson (LCT3), Zayd Dorn (Naked Angels), David West Read (Roundabout), Annie Baker, Beau Willimon, Liz Flahive (all at Ars Nova) and many others. Five seasons at the Williamstown Theater Festival, including the 2003 Boris Sagal and 2002 Bill Foeller Fellowships. Recipient of the 2008 Claire Tow Award for Emerging Artists.

THERESA REBECK (Associate Artist) is a widely produced playwright throughout the United States and abroad. Her newest work, The Understudy, premiered at the 2008 Williamstown Theatre Festival and ran in New York at the Laura Pels Theater in a Roundabout Theatre Company production as part of their 2009 – 2010 season.  Past New York productions of her work include Mauritius at the Biltmore Theatre in a Manhattan Theater Club Production; The Scene, The Water’s Edge, Loose Knit, The Family of Mann and Spike Heels at Second Stage; Bad Dates, The Butterfly Collection and Our House at Playwrights Horizons; and View of the Dome at New York Theatre Workshop. Omnium Gatherum (co-written, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2003) was featured at the Humana Festival, and had a commercial run at the Variety Arts Theatre. All of Ms. Rebeck’s past produced plays are published by Smith and Kraus as Theresa Rebeck: Complete Plays, Volumes I, II and III and in acting editions available from Samuel French or Playscripts. Ms. Rebeck’s other publications are Free Fire Zone, a book of comedic essays about writing and show business. She has written for American Theatre Magazine and has had excerpts of her plays published in the Harvard Review. Ms. Rebeck’s first novel, Three Girls and Their Brother, was published by Random House/Shaye Areheart Books in April 2008 and is available online and at booksellers everywhere. Her second novel, Twelve Rooms With A View, will be published by Random House/Shaye Areheart Books in May of this year.  In television, Ms. Rebeck has written for “Dream On,” “Brooklyn Bridge,” “L.A. Law,” “American Dreamer,” “Maximum Bob,” “First Wave,” and “Third Watch.” She has been a writer/producer for “Canterbury’s Law,” “Smith,” “Law and Order: Criminal Intent” and “NYPD Blue.” Her produced feature films include Harriet the Spy, Gossip, and the independent features Sunday on the Rocks and Seducing Charlie Barker, an adaptation of her play, The Scene. Awards include the Mystery Writer’s of America’s Edgar Award, the Writer’s Guild of America award for Episodic Drama, the Hispanic Images Imagen Award, and the Peabody, all for her work on “NYPD Blue.” She has won the National Theatre Conference Award (for The Family of Mann), and was awarded the William Inge New Voices Playwriting Award in 2003 for The Bells. Mauritius was originally produced at Boston’s Huntington Theatre, where it received the 2007 IRNE Award for Best New Play as well as the Eliot Norton Award.  Ms. Rebeck is originally from Cincinnati and holds an MFA in Playwrighting and a PhD. in Victorian Melodrama, both from Brandeis University. She is a proud board member of the Dramatists Guild and has taught at Brandeis University and Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Jess Lynn and two children, Cooper and Cleo.

ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY is a not-for-profit theatre dedicated to providing a nurturing artistic home for theatre artists at all stages of their careers where the widest possible audience can experience their work at affordable prices. Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the revival of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established playwrights and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate loyal audiences.

Roundabout Theatre Company currently produces at three permanent homes each of which is designed specifically to enhance the needs of the Roundabout’s mission.  Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics.  Roundabout’s Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions.  Together these three distinctive venues serve to enhance the work on each of its stages.

The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre reflects Roundabout’s commitment to produce new works by established and emerging writers as well as revivals of classic plays. This state-of-the-art off-Broadway theatre and education complex is made possible by a major gift from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The Trust was created in 1986 by Harold Steinberg to promote and advance American Theatre as a vital part of our culture by supporting playwrights, encouraging the development and production of new work, and providing financial assistance to theatre companies across the country. Since its inception, the Trust has awarded over $45 million to more than 100 not-for-profit theatre organizations.

American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. Flatotel is the official hotel of Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout productions are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Department of State, the New York State Department of Education, and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Roundabout Theatre Company thanks The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; New Play Production Fund Partners: Jodi and Daniel Glucksman, The Laura Pels Foundation, and Laura S. Rodgers/The Honorable Ann W. Brown & Donald A. Brown; Musical Theatre Fund Partners: Marty and Perry Granoff, HRH Foundation, Ted and Mary Jo Shen, Peter and Leni May, Tom and Diane Tuft, The Kaplen Foundation, and one anonymous donor; and Play Production Fund Partners: Beth and Ravenel Curry and The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation.

Roundabout Underground is also supported, in part, by funds from the City of New York Theater Subdistrict Council, LDC, the City of New York, and The Educational Foundation of America.

Roundabout Theatre Company’s 2010-2011 season features George Bernard Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession starring Cherry Jones & Sally Hawkins, directed by Doug Hughes; Noël Coward’s Brief Encounter, adapted and directed by Emma Rice; Kim Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still, directed by Sam Gold; Julia Cho’s The Language Archive, directed by Mark Brokaw; Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, starring and directed by Brian Bedford; Tennessee Williams’ The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore starring Olympia Dukakis, directed by Michael Wilson; Anything Goes starring Sutton Foster, directed & choreographed by Kathleen Marshall.  Roundabout’s sold out production of The 39 Steps made its third transfer to the New World Stages after a successful Broadway run at three Broadway theatres.

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