Sundance Institute Selects Acting Company and Creative Advisors for 2014 Theatre Lab at Sundance Res

New York, NY — Sundance Institute today announced the acting company and creative advisors that are participating in its 2014 Theatre Lab, which is now taking place and runs through July 27 at the Sundance Resort in Utah. The Lab is the centerpiece of the Institute’s year-round work with the theatre community and is one of 10 residential Labs hosted by Sundance Institute this summer, collectively representing 15 weeks of residency support and mentorship for the most promising new independent theatre and film projects from the United States and around the world.

Under the supervision of Theatre Program Artistic Director Philip Himberg and Producing Director Christopher Hibma, the three-week Lab supports emerging and established playwrights and directors developing new work for the stage. The Institute provides rehearsal space, dramaturgical support, and an acting company, creating an immersive environment where artists can experiment, see their work take shape and collaborate with creative advisors, dramaturgs, actors and Institute staff to address the compelling needs of their text. The Lab’s unique day-on, day-off rehearsal structure provides Fellows additional time to explore revisions and new writing between rehearsals. The Lab culminates in a closed presentation of each project for Lab participants, followed by a collaborative feedback session.

This year’s participants include:

Acting Company
Phillip James Brannon (Belleville), Blair Brown (Copenhagen, Fringe), Dan Butler (Frasier), David Cale (Palomino), Amari Cheatom (Newlyweeds, Django Unchained), Jarlath Conroy (The Seagull, The Weir), Daniel Davis (The Nanny), Flora Diaz, Ramsey Faragallah (Betrayed), Wendell Franklin, Lynda Gravatt (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Doubt), Maria Helan, Annie Henk, Alex Hurt, Louisa Krause (Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Flick), Jennifer Lim (Chinglish), Nikiya Mathis (Milk Like Sugar), James McDaniel (NYPD Blue, Detroit 187), Emily McDonnell, Brian Mendes (Cook County Theatre Department), Dearbhla Molloy (Dancing at Lughnasa), Keith Nobbs (Bronx Bombers, Lombardi), Socorro Santiago (Adoration of the Old Woman), Micah Stock (It’s Only A Play), Mickey Theis, Heather Velazquez, Johnny Wu (Chinglish)

Creative Advisors
Amy Freed, Indhu Rubasingham (Artistic Director, Tricycle Theatre, London)

Alex Barron, Mame Hunt, Janice Paran, Liesl Tommy

Kennedy Center Playwright Observer
Briandaniel Oglesby

Sheila Callaghan, Andia Kisia (Nairobi, Kenya)

Stage Management
Cynthia Cahill, Amy Ehrenberg, Carol A. Simon, Amanda Spooner

Production Assistants
Eliza Anastasio (Sarah Lawrence College), Kailee Ayyar (NYU),
Zachary Davidson (CalArts), Sarah Kachel (CalArts)

Special Guest
Lucien Bourjeily (Beirut, Lebanon)

As previously announced, the projects selected for the Theatre Lab are:

Written by Christopher Chen
Directed by Mark Brokaw
An art gallery hosts a retrospective of the work of a legendary Chinese dissident artist who was imprisoned in a Chinese detention center for a single work of art. Recently profiled in The New Yorker, the artist himself is present, and shares with patrons the details of an ordeal that defies belief. A labyrinthine exploration of truth, art, social justice and cultural appropriation, where nothing is as it first appears.

Ghost Supper (Spalding Gray, You’re Invited, Too)
Written by Sheila Tousey
Directed by Leigh Silverman
Ghost Supper (Spalding Gray, You’re Invited, Too) is the disquieting but humorous account of a woman remembering a tale told at the “ghost supper” she held for her deceased brother. Looking back on the spectre of suicide and her impending eviction, M begins to recall the story: “My Grandmother Pretty Fields said, ‘The story told at a ghost supper is the most important part of the ritual. It is the end of the end. The final good-bye.’” Ghost Supper (Spalding Gray, You’re Invited, Too) is that story.

The Good Book
Written by Denis O’Hare & Lisa Peterson
Directed by Lisa Peterson
The Good Book tells the story of how the Christian Bible became the most powerful collection of texts in human history. Through the lens of two contemporary characters and their struggles with faith, The Good Book examines how and why belief becomes organized, and how the document known as the Bible grew from oral history into the powerful, even dangerous text that American fundamentalists use today.

The Last of the Little Hours
Written and directed by Annie Baker
The Last of the Little Hours follows the daily life of a group of Benedictine monks.

Written and directed by Doug Wright
Norway’s most celebrated sculpture is commissioned to create the last official portrait of her most famous writer, but Henrik Ibsen proves to be an irascible, contentious sitter, as the two men wage war over his legacy and his likeness.

Skeleton Crew
Written by Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Kamilah Forbes
In this third and final installment of a three-play Detroit cycle, a makeshift family of workers at the last exporting auto plant in the city navigates shifting power dynamics, foreclosure and inevitability as they are pushed to the limits of survival. When the barrier between blue collar and white collar gets blurred, how far over the lines are they willing to step?

So Go the Ghosts of Mexico, Part Two
Written by Matthew Paul Olmos
Directed by Lee Sunday Evans
Composer/Sound Designer Marios Aristopoulos
The second of a three-play cycle about the U.S./México drug wars focuses on the ridiculous and machismo world of the Mexican drug cartels, as played by a cast of all women. The play, with songs, involves two warring cartels where the reins of power are always shifting as the draw of excess and the money of America presides over loyalty.

Written by Dan Aibel
Directed by James MacDonald
A meditation on the hunger for a quintessentially American sort of success, T. tells the story of an elite figure skater and her manager-husband as they navigate toward the most important competition of their lives.

The Sundance Institute Theatre Program is supported by an endowment from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, with generous additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, John and Marcia Price Family Foundation, Time Warner Foundation, LUMA Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Shubert Foundation, Inc., The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and Karen Lauder

Sundance Institute Theatre Program
The Theatre Program has been a core component of Sundance Institute since Robert Redford founded the Institute in 1981. The Theatre Program identifies and assists emerging theatre artists, contributes to the creative growth of established artists, and encourages and supports the development of new work for the stage. Under the guidance of Artistic Director Philip Himberg and Producing Director Christopher Hibma, the Theatre Program is one of the leading play development programs in the United States. Titles such as Appropriate, Fun Home, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Circle Mirror Transformation, An Iliad, The Lily’s Revenge, The Good Negro, The Light in the Piazza, Passing Strange, Stuck Elevator, Spring Awakening, The Laramie Project and I Am My Own Wife have gone from Theatre Program Labs to production from coast to coast and internationally, garnering multiple Pulitzers, Tonys, OBIEs and other recognition. The Theatre Program’s East Africa initiative is the only professional program of its type on the continent, offering Labs, cross-cultural exchange, mentorship and exposure to artists in six African countries and now expanding to include the MENA region. The Theatre Program’s newest initiative is the Theatre Directors Retreat in France.

Sundance Institute
Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to connect audiences to their work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling as art and as a compelling and powerful way to inform, inspire and unite people. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute has supported such projects as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, Sin Nombre, The Invisible War, The Square, Dirty Wars, Spring Awakening, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and Fun Home. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

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