In the News: Lauren Patten in Concert at Tavern on the Green, Hermitage Artist Retreat Announces New Play Commission Award | Playbill

Regional News In the News: Lauren Patten in Concert at Tavern on the Green, Hermitage Artist Retreat Announces New Play Commission Award Plus: Mezzo-sopranos Jamie Barton and Stephanie Blythe will make role debuts as Carmen and Don José for Chicago Opera Theater.
Lauren Patten Joseph Marzullo/WENN

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

Lauren Patten in Concert at Tavern on the Green
The TodayTix at Tavern summer concert series continues with current Tony nominee Lauren Patten (Jagged Little Pill, Fun Home) performing under the stars at Central Park's famous eatery Tavern on the Green. The one-night-only concert begins at 7:30 PM ET June 28, with doors opening at 6 PM to allow for dinner and drinks before the show. Previous concerts in the series have included Ariana DeBose, Shoshana Bean, and Kathryn Gallagher. For more information on the concert, click here.

Jamie Barton and Stephanie Blythe Take on Carmen and Don José
Chicago Opera Theater will return to live, in-person performances for the 2021-2022 season, beginning in September with Bizet’s Carmen, with mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton making her role debut as the title character and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe in her role debut singing Don José. The family-friendly holiday opera, Becoming Santa Claus, by American composer and librettist Mark Adamo will make its Chicago premiere in December. The mainstage season concludes in April–May with the world premiere of the COT-commissioned opera Quamino’s Map by Errollyn Wallen. The story centers on Juba Freeman, a man who, after winning his freedom from slavery, returns to London and struggles to build a life for himself. Chicago-based tenor Curtis Bannister stars as Juba, with Flora Wall and Damien Geter co-starring, conducted by Jeri Lynne Johnson. For more information, visit

New Play Commission From the Hermitage Artist Retreat
The Hermitage Artist Retreat, with an $800,000 multi-year commitment from Flora Major and the Kutya Major Foundation, has established the Hermitage Major Theater Award. The new annual prize will recognize a playwright or theatre artist, selected by a jury of theatre arts leaders, with a commission of $35,000 to create an original piece of theatre. The prize also includes a residency at the Hermitage in Manasota Key, Florida, as well as a reading or workshop in a cultural center city such as New York, London, Chicago, or Los Angeles. Since its establishment in 2002, the Hermitage Artist Retreat has provided residencies and Fellowships to hundreds of artists spanning theater, music, visual art, literature, and more, including Pulitzer Prize winner David Auburn, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Michael R. Jackson, Donald Margulies, Lynn Nottage, and Doug Wright. This is the first major award created under the direction of Tony-winning producer Andy Sandberg, who began as artistic director and CEO of the Hermitage in 2020.

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