(AGENPARL) – mar 19 settembre 2023 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2023
Audible Theater Celebrates its 5^th Anniversary
and Announces Programming Expansion
Since its founding in 2018, Audible Theater has received 35 award nominations and 13 awards; presented 42 live shows; released 100+ audio theater titles; and commissioned 50 playwrights
New live shows this season star Tony Award winner Laura Benanti and Grammy-winning band Punch Brothers
World premiere of Dead Outlaw, Audible Theater’s first commissioned musical from The Band’s Visit creative team
Colman Domingo to star and direct audio adaptation of Wild with Happy
Four new audio Originals release September 21^st starring Chris Gethard, Michael Cruz Kayne, Karla Souza, and more
NEWARK, N.J. and NEW YORK, N.Y. – September 19, 2023 – Audible Inc., the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, is celebrating the fifth anniversary of Audible Theater. Since founding in 2018, Audible Theater has presented 42 live shows at the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York, released 114 audio titles globally on Audible, commissioned 50 playwrights through its Emerging Playwrights Fund, and received 35 award nominations and 13 wins including Tony, Lortel, Drama Desk, and Audie Awards. At a celebratory event last night at the Minetta Lane Theatre, Head of Audible Theater Kate Navin announced the expansion of Audible Theater’s programming, with three new upcoming shows that will also be recorded and released as Audible Originals:
· The Energy Curfew Music Hour featuring the Grammy-winning band Punch Brothers;
· Nobody Cares, a three-night-only show starring Tony Award winner Laura Benanti, who will sing all original music created with Todd Almond; and
· The world premiere of Dead Outlaw, Audible Theater’s first commissioned musical by the Tony Award-winning creative team behind The Band’s Visit, with a book by Itamar Moses, music and lyrics by Erik Della Penna and David Yazbek, and directed by David Cromer.
In further uniting riveting performances with immersive audio, Colman Domingo will star and direct the audio adaptation of his play Wild with Happy. Wild with Happy is a deeply imaginative and utterly outrageous work, from the Tony Award nominee for The Scottsboro Boys and an Obie Award winner for Passing Strange, that explores the bizarre comedy that lies within death and healing.
Navin also announced the fifth cohort of Audible Emerging Playwrights, marking 50 total commissions. The new cohort includes Ava Geyer, Deepak Kumar, Sinfolk (Gabriel Ruiz and J), Gloria Majule, and Omer Abbas Salem. The Emerging Playwrights Fund is a program that invests in and nurtures emerging playwrights and aims to connect extraordinary performers with remarkable original work, amplifying new voices and harnessing the power and potential of audio to reach millions of listeners.
This Thursday, September 21, Audible Theater will release a slate of four audio Originals, including the audio adaptations of three shows that were presented at the Minetta Lane Theatre earlier this year: Erica Schmidt’s Lucy, Chris Gethard’s A Father and the Sun, and Michael Cruz Kayne’s Sorry For Your Loss. A new direct-to-audio play, Audible Emering Playwright Diana Grisanti’s Vanessa in Bed starring Karla Souza, rounds out the slate. Audio performances are a staple of Audible Theater’s programming, which continues to deliver the theater experience to millions of listeners around the world.
“Supporting creative exploration, uplifting emerging voices and spotlighting some of our generation’s most acclaimed talent is at the heart of our vision for Audible Theater. Over the past five years, we’re proud to have collaborated with incredibly gifted artists to share powerful and prolific theatrical experiences with New York audiences and Audible listeners around the globe,” said Kate Navin, Head of Audible Theater.
She continued, “For the next five years and beyond, our home at the Minetta will not only be a space for theater but also for live storytelling, including musical performances, podcasting events, and more. Our upcoming season underscores this expansion, including a series of variety shows from the Grammy-winning Punch Brothers, original music performed by stage and screen luminary Laura Benanti, and our first commissioned musical from the Tony-winning team of The Band’s Visit. All of these live experiences will be recorded and released on Audible, furthering our commitment to sharing the power of live performance with listeners everywhere.”
Further details about Audible Theater’s upcoming live shows, new slate of audio Originals, the new cohort of Emerging Playwrights, and the acclaimed run of Swing State can be found below.
AUDIBLE THEATER SHOWS LIVE AT THE MINETTA LANE THEATRE
The Energy Curfew Music Hour – Featuring Punch Brothers
Saturday, November 11 at 7PM
Wednesday, November 15 at 7PM
Saturday, December 2 at 7PM
Wednesday, December 6 at 7PM
Sunday, December 10 at 7PM
In an imagined near-future where electricity is rationed worldwide, America has instituted a weekly “Energy Curfew,” when the grid goes down completely for 24 hours to promote the unplugged lifestyle. The Energy Curfew Music Hour is an hour of music-driven revelry broadcast across the nation an hour before the lights go out. And you’re invited to the recording!
Created by Chris Thile and Claire Coffee, each episode of this fully acoustic musical variety show is performed and recorded live with Punch Brothers hosting very special guests in a night of music and one-night-only collaboration you won’t want to miss.
Nobody Cares starring Laura Benanti
Friday, February 2, 2024 at 7PM
Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 7PM
Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 7PM
Tony Award-winning performer Laura Benanti is bringing her new show to the Minetta Lane Theatre for three memorable nights only. Be part of the live audience as the Broadway legend debuts all-new music, created with Todd Almond, alongside a few sensational stories from Laura that you’ve never heard before.
Dead Outlaw – World premiere of Audible Theater’s first commissioned musical
Previews begin Wednesday, February 28, 2024
Opening Sunday, March 10, 2024
Limited engagement through Sunday, April 7, 2024
Dead Outlaw features a book by Tony Award winner Itamar Moses (The Band’s Visit), music & lyrics by Erik Della Penna & Tony Award winner David Yazbek (The Band’s Visit, Tootsie), and directed by Tony Award winner David Cromer (The Band’s Visit, The Sound Inside, Prayer for the French Republic).
Elmer McCurdy was an ambitious, turn-of-the-20^th-century outlaw whose death at the hands of a Western posse ended a life of failed crime and alcoholism and began a brilliant career as a mummified side-show attraction that travelled the USA for decades. By the time this journey ended, his name had been forgotten and his desiccated body was hanging in a house-of-horrors ride at an amusement park in Southern California, spray-painted a day-glo orange. Then one day, a grip for the “Six-Million Dollar Man” TV show jostled what he thought was “just a dummy” and an arm fell off, revealing a human bone and beginning a hunt for the origins of this enigma.
David Yazbek, haunted by this true story for thirty years, told his friend and bandmate Erik Della Penna the story, and as the two of them discussed why this tale of money, ambition, fame, memory and death was so compelling, they started writing songs for a stage-piece based on this odd life and these universal yet somehow very American themes. Realizing they were onto something as unique and challenging as anything they’d heard or written before, they approached Yazbek’s The Band’s Visit collaborators Itamar Moses and David Cromer, who quickly became haunted and charmed by Elmer’s story. You will too.
New Slate of Four Audible Theater Originals Releases September 21
Written and Directed by Erica Schmidt
Performed by Brooke Bloom, Lynn Collins, and Charlotte Surak
Performed live at the Minetta Lane Theatre in January and February 2023
Ashling is every busy parent’s dream: a professional nanny with experience and a warm, sunny attitude. But from the moment Mary hires her to look after her young children, things start to feel just a little…off. Are Mary’s stressful work schedule and lack of sleep playing games with her own sanity, or has she welcomed an unstable troublemaker into her home? At once harrowing and hilarious, Erica Schmidt’s Lucy explores the wild range of parents’ emotions, asking if we can entrust others with our family’s safety.
Written and Performed by Chris Gethard
Performed live at the Minetta Lane Theatre in March and April 2023
Chris Gethard, the “significantly funny” (The New York Times) comedian, actor, and “cool kid of American hipster comedy” returns in a thoughtful and hard-hitting new show. Known for the critically acclaimed special Career Suicide as well as his unforgettable characters in shows like “The Office” and “Broad City,” Gethard is currently taking on his most prolific role yet: as a father. Charting the emotional experiences and revelations each new parent faces, A Father and the Sun is a hilarious ride bursting with palpable punchlines as Gethard tenderly explores generational differences, toxic masculinity, what it means to be a dad, and the truly unexpected joys of lawn maintenance.
Written and Performed by Michael Cruz Kayne
Directed by Josh Sharp
Performed live at the Minetta Lane Theatre April – June 2023
Like all the world’s most insightful theatrical works, it began with a tweet. On the tenth anniversary of a profound loss, comedian Michael Cruz Kayne felt compelled to describe his feelings of grief in 140 characters or less. Much to his surprise, hundreds of thousands came back with shows of support from all corners of the globe. Overwhelmed by the response, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert writer and host of A Good Cry created Sorry for Your Loss, a sidesplitting, heartrending look at life—and death. This powerfully personal world premiere cuts through the platitudes, directly reaching out to anyone who has ever experienced loss—or will. So… everyone.
Written by Diana Grisanti
Directed by Pirronne Yousefzedah
Performed by Karla Souza, Gisela Chípe, Carson Elrod, Annie Golden, Socorro Santiago, and Zoë Winters
Getting paid $80,000 to stay in bed for 13 weeks? That sounds like a dream job for Vanessa, one of twelve participants chosen for a bedrest study. Played by Karla Souza (“How to Get Away with Murder”), Vanessa is looking forward to earning extra money while putting her troubles—including a recent falling out with her cousin/best friend Brigid (Zoë Winters of “Succession”)—on pause. Vanessa quickly realizes, however, that she cannot outrun her problems…especially with her legs beginning to atrophy. Written by Audible Emerging Playwright Diana Grisanti, Vanessa in Bed is an inventive, subversive new comedy that explores the courageous choices we all must make for the sake of our own humanity, and beyond.
5^th Cohort of Audible Emerging Playwrights Announced
AVA GEYER is a playwright and screenwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. She’s a 2023 resident of SPACE on Ryder Farm, a member of Obie-winning writers group EST/Youngblood and under commission by La Jolla Playhouse. Past honors include Theater Masters’ Visionary Award (2020) and Shank Residency at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (’19-’20). She writes about tech, economics, sex, and female consciousness. Plays include Monster (finalist, Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition), B-Storm (pub. by Concord Theatricals; winner, National MFA Playwrights Festival), Death Cleaning (Bloodworks Reading Series ’23) and Fruit Snacks (“Hopeful Decade” event, Williamsburg, BK). Ava is an Artist Advocate for Healing TREE, a mental health nonprofit dedicated to promoting trauma-focused therapy. Generally regarded as the most promising young writer to emerge from her Crown Heights apartment. MFA: UC San Diego ’19. BA: Princeton University ’15.
DEEPAK KUMAR is a South Asian-American playwright, lyricist, composer based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.His work prominently features Asian-Americans grappling with the messiness of their identities. His first show, Baked! The Musical (co-written with Jord Liu) was featured at the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival 2020, where it won awards for best lyrics, best lead performer, best supporting performer, and best ensemble. His theater work has been produced with the O’Neill Theatre Center (NPC ’22), the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival of New Musicals (NAMT ’22), the National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO), Musical Theatre Factory, PACE University, Faultline Theater, Underscore Theatre, and Shotgun Players. When Deepak is not writing plays and musicals, he moonlights as a computing researcher.
SINFOLK (Gabriel Ruiz and J) is a NYC-based writing team committed to elevating their music experiences with narrative journey. J’s original music and voice can be heard on network TV shows and commercials worldwide and her self-produced music videos have been viewed by millions. Gabriel Ruiz’s acting career has sent him from stage to screen to Broadway while he has written and produced podcasts and original music. They’ve made a habit of writing love songs since they started dating that has continued into their marriage. Together they combine their abilities in composition and sound design to become a genre-bending creative duo bridging the distance between stages and recording studios.
GLORIA MAJULE is a playwright from Dodoma, Tanzania presently residing in Seattle, WA. She seeks to tell stories that bring multiple black voices together from across the world, and are accessible to black audiences no matter where they are. She writes plays about Africans and the African diaspora. Gloria is an inaugural recipient of Atlantic Theater Company’s Judith Champion Launch Commission, and is the 2023 winner of the Leah Prize from the Leah Ryan Fund. Her plays have been developed at Vassar’s Powerhouse Theater, The New Group, Premiere Stages at Kean University, Great Plains Theater Commons, A is For, Alliance Theater, Westport Country Playhouse and Aye Defy. She graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University with a BA in Performing & Media Arts and Spanish, and holds an MFA in Playwriting from Yale School of Drama.
OMER ABBAS SALEM is a playwright and actor. His work has been produced by Steppenwolf Theatre, The Goodman Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, About Face Theater, Steep Theatre, First Floor Theater, Jackalope Theater, The New Coordinates, National Queer Theater, and The Theatre School of DePaul. He is the winner of the 3Arts Award in Theater for 2022, the 2022 Cunningham Commission, the 2022 Blueprint Commission, a semi-finalist for the 2021 Amplify Commission, a member of the 2022 Goodman Playwrights Unit, the 2021 Steppenwolf Scout Development, and attended The New Harmony Project in 2023 as a writer. He is an ensemble member of Steep Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, First Floor Theater, and The New Coordinates. He is represented by Gray Talent Agency and The Gersh Agency.
SWING STATE CONTINUES ACCLAIMED RUN
“A powerfully affecting drama about love and loyalty, and loss and betrayal, too.”
Charles Isherwood, The Wall Street Journal
“Perhaps the first of the great American plays of this decade.”
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
Jesse Green, The New York Times
“A thoughtful, undeniably riveting American drama.”
Zachary Stewart, TheaterMania
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(AGENPARL) – mar 19 settembre 2023 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2023