Paula Vogel's Civil War Christmas Will Sing at NYTW; Sontag: Reborn Also Added to Season
By Kenneth Jones
April 23, 2012
A Civil War Christmas, written by Paula Vogel and directed by Tina Landau, will make its New York City premiere in the 2012-13 season of New York Theatre Workshop, the Off-Broadway theatre where Rent was born.
The one-person show, Sontag: Reborn, inspired by the work of essayist Susan Sontag, will also play the theatre on East 4th Street in the East Village. Marianne Weems will direct the piece, which is adapted by and features Moe Angelos.
These titles join Amy Herzog's Belleville (which premiered at Yale Repertory Theater in 2011) and Alexander Dinelaris' Red Dog Howls.
Here's how NYTW characterizes the works:
A Civil War Christmas
By Paula Vogel
Directed by Tina Landau
"Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive) weaves a rich tapestry of a beleaguered and divided nation, war-weary and desperate for goodwill, on a blustery Christmas Eve in 1864. Through the personal stories and struggles of a wide range of historical figures and fictional characters — from the President's wife to runaway slaves, Union and Confederate soldiers to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Walt Whitman — we learn that, for all their differences, one thing is clear: the yearning for peace cuts across religious and class divisions, color lines and, of course, the Mason-Dixon Line. At once familiar and freshly re-imagined, the story of that winter night is alive with history, hope and humanity. Vividly staged by director Tina Landau and infused throughout with traditional carols and period music, A Civil War Christmas takes a sprawling new look at the seemingly intractable challenges we once faced to see how far we've come as a nation and how far we still have to go."
Based on the book by Susan Sontag and edited by David Rieff
Adapted and performed by Moe Angelos
Directed by Marianne Weems
Produced in collaboration with The Builders Association
"Adapted from the first volume of Susan Sontag's journals written between 1947 and 1963 by performer Moe Angelos, Sontag: Reborn is a tender look at the prolific essayist before she was a world-renowned author and activist. As the young Sontag wrestles with her emerging confidence and innate insecurity, her journey to womanhood and notoriety is as stilted by frailty and doubt as it is driven by determination and curiosity. The refuge of her diary is as important to her development as a writer as it is to her personal growth and maturity. Sontag says herself, 'In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could in person. I create myself.' Directed by Marianne Weems and using the Builders' signature synthesis of poetic video and sound, this tightly-crafted story of self-discovery and sexual identity is both exuberant and intimate, exploring the private life, loves, and idiosyncrasies of the iconic intellectual. Sontag: Reborn reveals through her own words that before there was Sontag, there was Susan."
Red Dog Howls
By Alexander Dinelaris
"A box of old letters and a father's dying wish leads Michael Kiriakos to dig up the buried memories of his hidden family history. After meeting Rose, his father's now-elderly pen pal, Michael slowly learns of a past he never knew existed, one of exile, sacrifice and, ultimately, redemption. Written by Alexander Dinelaris (The Chaos Theories), Red Dog Howls explores the horrors of human atrocities, the enduring strength of the human spirit and how the choices we make as husbands, sons, wives and daughters will — for better or worse — reverberate for generations."
By Amy Herzog
Directed by Anne Kauffman
"The newest drama from the acclaimed playwright Amy Herzog (4000 Miles, After the Revolution) and director Anne Kauffman (Maple and Vine, This Wide Night), is a chilling look at the limits of trust, truth, deception and dependency in a world where both love and loss can be pathological and cathartic. Abby and Zack — young, American and married — have shirked the stability of a comfortable post-graduate life in the Midwest for Belleville, a bustling, bohemian, multicultural neighborhood in Paris. In an attempt to build a life together away from their family and friends, their passive-aggressive and aggressively passionate relationship is put to test after an awkward afternoon discovery, a landlord's ultimatum and a cracked toenail."
For season membership information, visit ticketcentral.com or call (212) 279-4200.
The final production of NYTW's current 2011-12 season, Food and Fadwa, begins performances May 18.
Broadway's current Peter and the Starcatcher and #Once played NYTW prior to Broadway.
New York Theatre Workshop is under the leadership of artistic director James C. Nicola and managing director William Russo.
For more information about New York Theatre Workshop, visit www.nytw.org.