Thursday, April 25, 2019

O'Neill Center Announces Summer Season

The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center announced today the 2019 summer season of plays, musicals, and other works in development at theNational Music Theater ConferenceNational Playwrights ConferenceCabaret & Performance Conference, and National Puppetry Conference
“This summer in Waterford, CT, the O'Neill, the Launchpad of the American Theater, will continue our work with exciting new musicals, plays, puppetry, & cabaret. I'm delighted to welcome audiences from around the world to experience these vital new works during our 55th anniversary season.”  O’Neill Executive Director Preston Whiteway continues, “I am grateful to each of our Artistic Directors for their bold vision in selecting these pieces and artists that will impact the field for decades to come.”

National Music Theater ConferenceAlexander Gemignani, Artistic DirectorReadings: June 22 - July 12> More Info
Since its founding in 1978, the National Music Theater Conference has developed more than 125 new musicals, including early works of award-winning writers and composers such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Kitt, Andrew Lippa, Tan Dun, Robert Lopez, Duncan Sheik, Kirsten Childs, Adam Gwon, Steven Sater, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Maury Yeston, Michael R. Jackson, and Jeanine Tesori.  Each musical will undergo the O’Neill’s signature development process, employing professional creative teams including acclaimed directors, dramaturgs, actors, and musicians.. Selected from 320 submissions, the following three new musicals will be developed:
Borderline
Book by Aryanna Garber
Music & Lyrics by Benjamin Velez
 
JEANNETTE
Book by Lauren M. Gunderson
Music & Lyrics by Ari Ayesha Afsar
Undesirables
Book & Lyrics by Hansol Jung
Lyrics & Music by Brian Quijada
NMTC Artistic Director Alexander Gemignani shares this about his second season: “The three musicals we’ve chosen exemplify the idea of innovation and serve as a reminder of how powerful the art form of music theater can be. I am thrilled that the O’Neill will be ushering these pieces along on this step of their journey. I cannot wait to get started with these groundbreaking and brilliant writers.”

National Playwrights ConferenceWendy C. Goldberg, Artistic DirectorReadings: July 3-27> More Info
The O’Neill’s founding program will present eight new works this summer season by a broad mix of brand new, mid-career, and established writers. Each play will undergo the O’Neill’s signature development process, employing professional creative teams, including acclaimed directors, dramaturgs, actors, and designers to bring new plays to life.  NPC has developed more than 750 new plays, including early works of award-winning writers such as Edward Albee, Lee Blessing, Adam Bock, Kia Corthron, Christopher Durang, John Guare, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Samuel D. Hunter, David Henry Hwang, David Lindsay-Abaire, Martyna Majok. Dominique Morisseau, Lynn Nottage, Robert O’Hara, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Wendy Wasserstein, August Wilson and Lanford Wilson.  The plays were chosen from 1,416 plays received through the O’Neill’s open submissions process. Isaac Gomez (The Way She Spoke) joins as writer-in-residence.
Craig Lucas - Death of the Republic
Zayd Dohrn - The Humanities
Charly Evon Simpson - it's not a trip it’s a journey
George Brant - Tender Age
Anna Ziegler - Antigones
Tearrance Chisholm - Black Dick
Kimber Lee - Untitled F*ck M*ss S**gon Play
Laura Neill - Winter People
NPC Artistic Director Wendy C. Goldberg shares this about her 15th season: “I am excited to welcome these artists to the O'Neill community this summer. These storytellers are visionaries and sages for our culture and speak with great relevance to this moment in our nation's history. It is an honor to collaborate with them as we move these plays into the world."

Cabaret & Performance ConferenceJohn McDaniel, Artistic DirectorPerformances: July 31-August 10> More Info
The conference brings some of the biggest names in Cabaret Theater to perform at the O’Neill each summer, providing valuable development and performance training for select Cabaret Fellows (up-and-coming performers on the cabaret scene) as well as middle and high school students through the Junior Fellows program. Headliners for 2019 include:
Storytellers - Brad Simmons, with special guest Lennie Watts
Thirsty! - Tori Scott
Barb, Brel and more! - Barb Jungr
Carole Cook Tonight!
The Jam: Only Child - Daniel J. Watts
Artistic Director John McDaniel shares this about his seventh season: “This summer we are featuring everything from an old-school Broadway legend to an incredibly modern & hip sensation, with some downtown hilarity thrown in for good measure. It promises to be a season to remember!”
Atlantic Broadband is the premier sponsor of the 2019 Cabaret & Performance Conference.

National Puppetry ConferencePam Arciero, Artistic DirectorPerformances: June 14 & 15> More Info
The National Puppetry Conference welcomes artists from around the globe to explore the range and power of the puppet, with rehearsals and workshops in puppet and mechanism building, writing, music, marionettes, and more.  As previously announced, artists leading Conference intensives this summer include: Tyler Bunch, Melissa Dunphy, James Godwin, Alice Gottschalk, Kurt Hunter, Jim Kroupa, Bobbi Nidzgorski, Jim Rose, Richard Termine, Fred Thompson, and Derron Wood. Guest artists include Polina Borisova (Body - Object - Space), Tracy Broyles (Unsettling: Unsettling: An Expulsion of Breath), Dan Hurlin (Reading/Misreading Action), and Hansol Jung & Lexy Leuszler (Little Red Writing Hood), The Conference concludes with  two public performances featuring an extraordinary mix of devised work from throughout the Puppetry Conference, led by guest artists, artists-in-residence, and a vast array of performance styles.
Artistic Director Pam Arciero shares this about his 17th season: “This summer our Conference is full of an international mix of creative artists who give our conference it's unique spark. We look forward to featuring works that explore the extraordinary range and power of the puppet.”

National Theater Institute - TheatermakersRachel Jett, Artistic DirectorFREE Performances: Mondays, June 17 - July 22> More Info
One of six programs from the O’Neill’s flagship educational program the National Theater Institute. Theatermakers Summer Intensive trains students in a credit-earning curriculum of acting, directing, and playwriting alongside the O’Neill’s professional artists. Join us each week as students share their works-in-progress with the public.


National Critics Institute
Chris Jones, DirectorJune 30- July 14> More Info
Chris Jones, critic and columnist at the Chicago Tribune, helms America's only boot camp for arts writers. NCI is a two-week residential workshop and conference, designed for writers and critics looking to strengthen their skills in an increasingly competitive and fast-paced industry. Past faculty members include: Mark Blankenship, Ben Brantley, Sarah Kaufman, Peter Marks, Michael Phillips, Tejal Rao, and Dan Sullivan.

Commercial Theater InstituteTom Viertel, CTI Executive Director & O’Neill Board ChairJuly 10-12> More Info
The Commercial Theater Institute’s three-day summer intensive focuses specifically on the producer as a creative force. CTI provides aspiring producers the unique opportunity to get close to the development process as it unfolds at the O’Neill. In this hands-on intensive, teams of participants develop plans for a several of the O’Neill’s plays and musicals through a mixture of sessions with working producers and theater professionals, interaction with writers and directors, and group discussion. The workshop culminates with the teams presenting their strategies to a panel of industry professionals. The program is led by Tom Viertel — CTI Executive Director, O’Neill Board Chair, and Tony Award-winning Broadway producer — along with an all-star faculty from the New York theater community. Applications for 2019 are due June 17. 

The O’Neill Box Office opens to the public June 5. Advance ticket sales are available to O’Neill members May 20.  For more information, visit www.theoneill.orgor call 860-443-5378.

The 2019 Summer Season is made possible by: The Shubert Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Burry Fredrik Foundation, Connecticut Office for the Arts, Geraldine Stutz Trust, The Jerome Robbins Foundation, The Jane Henson Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Edward and Mary Lord Foundation, The Mohegan Tribe/Mohegan Sun, Dramatist Play Service, Foundation of the American Theatre Critics Association, The Joseph C. and Esther Foster Foundation, The Rodgers & Hammerstein Foundation, Actors' Equity Foundation, Chester W. Kitchings Foundation, New London Education Foundation/Karl Kelly Fund, Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc. and the support of individual O’Neill donors.

About the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center: Founded in 1964, the O’Neill is the country’s preeminent organization dedicated to the development of new works and new voices for the American theater, and named in honor of Eugene O’Neill, four-time Pulitzer Prize-winner and America’s only playwright to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.  The O’Neill has been home to more than 1,000 new works for the stage and thousands more emerging artists. Scores of projects developed at the O’Neill have gone on to full production at theaters around the world. O’Neill programs include the National Playwrights ConferenceNational Music Theater ConferenceNational Critics InstituteNational Puppetry ConferenceCabaret & Performance Conference, and National Theater Institute – which offers six credit-earning undergraduate training programs. In addition, the O’Neill owns and operates Monte Cristo Cottage as a museum open to the public. The O’Neill is the recipient of two Tony Awards and National Medal of Arts. www.theoneill.org.

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists. Her play concept, "From Reel to Real: The Jennifer O'Neill Story" was presented as part of the League of professional Theatre Women's Julia's reading Room Series in New York in February 2018.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Intensive and other training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/.

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (http://ctarts.blogspot.com), an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com. She previously served as theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer, Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp.com and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

She is a Co-Founder of the Connecticut Chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women. She is a former vice preseint and voting member of The Drama Desk.

She is a freelance writer and playwright (member Dramatists Guild of America). She is a member if the The Outer Critics Circle (event manager for the annual awards ceremony), The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and the Drama League. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She also is a member of the Episcopal Actors' Guild, the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts and The O'Neill Theatre Center..

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.

Copyright

All material is copyright 2008- 2018 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact reflectionsinthelight@gmail.com

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Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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