In the News: Brian Stokes Mitchell Is Sarah Siddons' Actor of the Year, Waiting for Obama to Stream, Cast Set for The Flame!, More | Playbill

Awards In the News: Brian Stokes Mitchell Is Sarah Siddons' Actor of the Year, Waiting for Obama to Stream, Cast Set for The Flame!, More Plus, watch the cast of Children’s Letters to God reunite in a new music video.
Brian Stokes Mitchell Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Read on for some recent theatre headlines you may have missed in today's news.

Brian Stokes Mitchell Named Sarah Siddons' Actor of the Year
Two-time Tony recipient Brian Stokes Mitchell has been named the recipient of The Sarah Siddons Society of Chicago's 2020 Actor of the Year Award. The organization will celebrate Mitchell's theatrical accomplishments as well as his philanthropic work with The Actors Fund during a free virtual event November 29 featuring congratulatory messages from his colleagues. Chicago performers to be named will present musical selections from his past Broadway shows, and the 2020 The Sarah Siddons Society scholarship recipients will be recognized.

“We are delighted to honor such an astonishingly talented actor and someone who continues to make a meaningful difference in the theatre community during these difficult times through his leadership with The Actors Fund,” said The Sarah Siddons Society President Martin Balogh.

Waiting for Obama Play to Stream
Broadway On Demand and The Denver Actors Fund will co-present a radio production of John Moore's Waiting for Obama October 24. The audio adaptation was recorded in August this year, with Brian Freeland directing a cast that includes Laurence Curry, Drew Horwitz, Chris Kendall, Leslie O'Carroll, Jenna Moll Reyes, Jessica Robblee, Luke Sorge, and Mare Trevathan. The play, which premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2016, follows a Colorado family that devolves into paranoia as they cling to their Second Amendment rights. Click here for more information.

Kamilah Forbes Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Kamilah Forbes Wins SDCF’s Annual Zelda Fichandler Award
The Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation is honoring Apollo Theater Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes this year with its Zelda Fichandler Award, a $5,000 prize. “[Forbes’] genre-defining work at both the Hip Hop Theater Festival and the Apollo exemplifies Zelda Fichandler’s spirit of forging field-changing paths outside the mainstream, disrupting and expanding dominant culture while inspiring future generations,” said the selection committee. Among her credits, Forbes directed Lynn Nottage’s By the Way, Meet Vera Stark at Signature Theatre in 2019. Carol Dunne, Seema Sueko, and Pirronne Yousefzadeh were named as finalists. Choreographer Camille A. Brown will present the award to Forbes in a virtual ceremony open to the public.

Geffen Stayhouse Adds More Titles for 2020 and 2021
This winter, Geffen Playhouse will present Helder Guimarães’ The Future, Chelsea Marcantel’s Citizen Detective, and Sri Rao’s Bollywood Kitchen as part of its Stayhouse programming. A virtual Hollywood murder mystery set in the 1920s, Citizen Detective launches November 10 with performances hosted by Mickie McKittrick. The production runs on Zoom with participants working collectively and as small teams to solve the case. Guimarães’ follow-up to his previous virtual production will begin December 4, with special instruction boxes being sent to audiences ahead of the show. In 2021, Rao leads audiences through the making of a homemade Indian meal, interweaving the story of his parents immigrating to America, the joy and nourishment that Bollywood musicals brought to his whole family, and the culinary traditions they shared. Additional Geffen Stayhouse productions are currently in development for 2021. For more information, visit

Jenn Colella and Chilina Kennedy Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Jenn Colella, Chilina Kennedy, Jasmin Savoy Brown, More Will Star in Podcast Series The Flame! This Musical Romantic Comedy
The Flame! This Musical Romantic Comedy, an eight-episode limited podcast series from Lez Hang Out productions, will be available in early spring 2021 featuring Jasmin Savoy Brown (The Leftovers) as Sam, Jenn Colella (Come From Away) as Jo, Chilina Kennedy (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) as Rachel, Harrison White (Waiting in the Wings) as The Narrator, Valerie Rose Lohman (What Remains of Edith Finch) as Mel, Ellie Brigida (Lez Hang Out) as Jamie, Leigh Holmes Foster (Lez Hang Out) as Heather, and Jesse Nowack (PinkBlue) as Harold. Penned by composer Leigh Holmes Foster and librettist Caitlyn Clear, The Flame tells the story of two women: Jamie, a queer bar owner, and Sam, the woman selling the building the bar inhabits. The series is produced by Ellie Brigida, Foster, Valerie Rose Lohman, and Clear.

Lineup Set for Launch of 2020-2021 Broadway's Future Songbook Series Season
The Broadway’s Future Songbook Series, presented by Arts and Artists of Tomorrow, will kick off its 2020-2021 season October 26 at 5:30 PM ET with the virtual concert, A Celebration of Broadway’s Future. Produced and hosted by John Znidarsic, the evening will spotlight some of the songwriters featured at past concerts, including Ben Caplan, David Kornfeld and Kyle Segar, Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair, Preston Allen, James Rubio and David Caudle, Ben Roseberry and Chip Klose, Katya Stanislavskaya, Wes Braver and Rachel Dean, Ross Baum, Alex Ratner, and Kenny Lopez. Interpreting their works will be Annie Golden, Kerstin Anderson, Denise Summerford, Charlotte Maltby, Kayla Pecchioni, Joe Kinosian, Madeline Smith, Lauren Patten, Debbie Christine Tjong, Cathryn Wake, Laura Dadap, Elena Bonomo, Kris Roberts, Daniel Gonko, Alden Terry, Wes Braver, Kenny Lopez, and Cassie Levine. Click here for ticket information.

Tevye Will Be Served at New Jersey's Centenary Stage
Tevye Served Raw, seen Off-Broadway during the 2018-2019 season, will play a limited run at New Jersey's Centenary Stage Company October 22-25 featuring the original New York cast: Allen Lewis Rickman and Yelena Shmulenson (the Yiddish-speaking couple from the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man) and Shane Baker. The production, which is performed in English and Yiddish with English supertitles, is an evening of Sholem Aleichem material, featuring adaptations of Aleichem's Tevye stories (“What, Me Worthy?” and “Get Thee Gone!”), scenes from his own long-unseen Yiddish stage version, and three of his comedic stories newly adapted (“Strange Jews on a Train,” “The Yiddish Sisyphus,” and “A Stepmother’s Trash-Talk”). The theatre will employ a host of preventative measures, including social distancing, masks, reduced seating, and hand-sanitizing stations. Tickets and more information are available at

Watch the Cast of Children’s Letters to God Reunite in Music Video
Four members of the original Off-Broadway cast of Children’s Letters to God—Gerard Canonico, Sara Kapner, Li Jacobson, and Andrew Zutty—virtually reunited to perform the finale from the show. Joining them this time around was Henry Evans. Check out the performance below, including a shout out to the Be An #ArtsHero campaign. The musical opened at the Lamb’s Theatre in 2004.

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