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Signature Theatre Company’s 20th Anniversary gala honors Tony Kushner, November 8




Monday, NOVEMBER 8 at Espace

Signature Theatre Company (James Houghton, Founding Artistic Director; Erika Mallin, Executive Director) will celebrate its 2010-2011 playwright–in-residence Tony Kushner at its 20th anniversary gala on Monday, November 8 at Espace (635 West 42nd Street).

Cocktails will begin at 6:30pm with dinner at 7:30 PM and performances and tribute to Mr. Kushner to follow.   Participants in the gala include Stephen Spinella, Linda Emond, Mike Nichols, Edward Norton and Frank Rich.

Tony Kushner’s original plays and adaptations are courageous in their scope and variety, exploring themes such as politics, history, community, faith, and love. These plays include A Bright Room Called Day; Angels in America, Parts One and Two; Slavs!; Homebody/Kabul; Caroline, or Change, a musical with composer Jeanine Tesori; and The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide To Capitalism And Socialism With A Key To The Scriptures. Mr. Kushner has adapted and translated Pierre Corneille’s The Illusion, S.Y. Ansky’s The Dybbuk, Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Sezuan and Mother Courage and Her Children; and the English-language libretto for the opera Brundibár by Hans Krasa. He also wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols’ film of Angels in America, and Steven Spielberg’s Munich. His books include Brundibar, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; The Art of Maurice Sendak, 1980 to the Present; and Wrestling With Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon. Mr. Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, an Olivier Award, an Emmy Award and an Oscar nomination, among other honors. In 2008, he was the first recipient of the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. He lives in Manhattan with his husband, Mark Harris.

For more information, please contact Jordan Dyniewski at 212-967-1913, extension 28 or via email at jdyniewski@signaturetheatre.org.

Signature Theatre Company, founded in 1991 by James Houghton, exists to honor

Signature Theatre Company, founded in 1991 by James Houghton, exists to honor and celebrate the playwright. Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work, and during this journey, the writer is engaged in every aspect of the creative process. Signature is the first theatre company to devote an entire season to the work of a single playwright, including re-examinations of past writings as well as New York and world premieres. By championing in-depth explorations of a living playwright’s body of work, the Company delivers an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision. Signature remains deeply committed to season-long residencies, and during the company’s tenth and fifteenth anniversaries, Signature introduced the Legacy Program. The Legacy Program invites past Playwrights-in-Residence back to Signature through two series: the Signature Series, which presents “signature,” or more well-known works; and the Premiere Series, which presents New York and world premieres. Since 2005, Signature has been committed to presenting world-class theatre at an affordable price through The Signature Ticket Initiative, which will offer subsidized $20 tickets through the Company’s twentieth anniversary season in 2011.

In October of 2008, Signature announced the creation of the SIGNATURE CENTER, a permanent home to open in early 2012. Designed by Frank Gehry Architects, the Center will be comprised of three theatres, two rehearsal studios, a café, bookstore, and offices all on one level – a configuration that allows the company not only the space to expand its programming, but also the proximity for natural interaction between artists and audiences of the different programs. In its new home, Signature will continue its Master Playwrights Residency and expand the Legacy Program. Signature will also introduce an Emerging Playwrights Residency that will feature early- and mid-career playwrights and guarantee them three full productions over the course of a multi-year residency. This groundbreaking facility will offer a vital presence on West 42nd Street and will make it possible for Signature to collaborate with playwrights throughout

the entire trajectory of their careers.

Signature is currently presenting the critically acclaimed first New York revival of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning ANGELS IN AMERICA: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes at The Peter Norton Space (555 West 42nd Street).  The production, directed by Michael Greif, was originally slated to play through December 19, but has been extended two times by popular demand and will play through February 20.

Signature Theatre Company’s 20th Anniversary season also features the New York premiere of iHo: THE INTELLIGENT HOMOSEXUAL’S GUIDE TO CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM WITH A KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES, also directed by Michael Greif and co-produced with The Public Theater in association with The Guthrie Theater; and THE ILLUSION, Kushner’s freely adapted version of Pierre Corneille’s L’Illusion Comique, directed by Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer.

The season will also include readings of selected other plays from Tony Kushner’s body of work. Plays under consideration include A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY, TINY KUSHNER (A NEW COLLECTION OF ONE ACTS), IT’S AN UNDOING WORLD, OR WHY SHOULD IT BE EASY WHEN IT CAN BE HARD?, THE HENRY BOX BROWN PLAYHYDRIOTAPHIA, OR THE DEATH OF DR. BROWNE and HOMEBODY/KABUL.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit signaturetheatre.org or call (212) 244-PLAY (7529).

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