In the News: Larry Powell Awarded Playwriting Commission, Donmar Reimagines Assembly for Digital Production | Playbill

Industry News In the News: Larry Powell Awarded Playwriting Commission, Donmar Reimagines Assembly for Digital Production Plus: New Federal Theatre will present readings of Pearl Cleage and Cassandra Medley plays for Women's History Month.
Larry Powell Lelund Durond Thompson

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

Larry Powell Awarded IAMA Theatre's Shonda Rhimes-Backed Commission
Playwright Larry Powell has been awarded the Rhimes Unsung Voices Playwriting Commission from L.A.'s IAMA Theatre Company. The commission, sponsored by writer and producer Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal), was created in 2018 for emerging artists with emphasis on cultural inclusion and the goal to showcase fresh, creative, thought-provoking work. Powell's play The Gaze...No Homo was a 2020–2021 finalist at the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, and his online adaptation of that play, produced by Center Theatre Group, is currently available for streaming. As an actor, Powell has appeared in Lucas Hnath's The Christians for Playwrights Horizons and Billy Porter's While I Yet Live at Primary Stages. Previous commission recipients include Sanaz Toossi and Ryan J. Haddad.

New Federal Theatre Presents Readings by Pearl Cleage and Cassandra Medley
New York's New Federal Theatre will present two retrospective readings for its March series, New Federal Theatre Celebrates Women's History Month: Pearl Cleage's Hospice and Cassandra Medley's Ma Rose, which both premiered in the 1980s and center on generational issues in Black women's lives. Hospice is directed by Awoye Timpo and stars Margaret Odette and Patronia Paley; it will be available for streaming March 13-15. Eileen Morris directs Ma Rose, with a cast including Denise Burse Fernandez, Elain Graham, Nambi E. Kelley, Lizan Mitchell, Kim Sullivan; it streams March 20-21. New Federal Theatre, founded by Woodie King, Jr., is now in its 51st season. For more information, visit

Donmar Warehouse Reimagines Assembly for a Digital Production
Assembly was originally slated for the 2020 season and was meant to be Donmar Warehouse's first production with the new Local Company—members of the community who live and work in the Donmar's home boroughs of Camden and Westminster—but plans were halted and the show postponed. It has now been reimagined as a digital performance, and will broadcast live on the theatre's YouTube channel March 20. The production is created by writer Nina Segal, director Joseph Hancock, and the Donmar Local Company. With video design by Andrzej Goulding, sets and costumes by Frankie Bradshaw, original music and sound design by Max Pappenheim, and lighting by Sam House, Assembly will mix live performance, animation, and sound in this innovative production about the "impact of humans on nature and what we might build together for a better future."

Regional News
Read the latest news about theatre produced outside of New York City.

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