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Second Stage Theater Adds MAKE BELIEVE to 40th Anniversary Season
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 05:42 pm EST 01/10/19

SECOND STAGE THEATER
ADDS NEW PRODUCTION TO
40TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON

MAKE BELIEVE

By BESS WOHL

Directed by MICHAEL GREIF

New York Premiere Production
Begins Previews Early August 2019
Opening Late August 2019


Continuing its 40th Anniversary Season, Second Stage Theater (Carole Rothman, President & Artistic Director; Casey Reitz, Executive Director) has announced that playwright Bess Wohl and director Michael Greif will return to Second Stage Theater next summer with the New York premiere of MAKE BELIEVE.

Ms. Wohl’s play, American Hero, premiered at Second Stage Uptown in 2014. Mr. Greif’s long history with Second Stage includes his productions of Next to Normal, Boys’ Life, Dear Evan Hansen, and A Parallelogram.

MAKE BELIEVE will begin previews in early August 2019 at Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theater (305 West 43rd Street). The production will officially open in late August. Casting and complete creative team will be announced at a later date.

When does real life collide with make believe? For the four Conlee kids, ages 5 to 10, playing house is no longer a game when their parents inexplicably disappear. Thirty-two years later, their search for answers continues. Bess Wohl returns to Second Stage after her funny and poignant play, American Hero, with a look inside the minds of children, their parents and the mysteries of childhood that haunt us forever.

Second Stage Theater’s 40th Anniversary Season kicked off with the Broadway premiere of Young Jean Lee’s STRAIGHT WHITE MEN, directed by Anna D. Shapiro, followed by the world premiere of DAYS OF RAGE, a new play by Tony Award winner Steven Levenson (Dear Evan Hansen), directed by Trip Cullman.

The 2018-2019 40th anniversary season continues later this month with the world premiere musical, SUPERHERO, with a book by Tony Award winner John Logan, music and lyrics by Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Kitt, and direction by Tony Award nominee Jason Moore.

Spring 2019 will also feature Christopher Shinn’s Pulitzer Prize finalist, DYING CITY, in a new production from acclaimed director Lila Neugebauer (The Wolves, Waverly Gallery), who returns to Second Stage after directing Tracy Letts’ Mary Page Marlowe.

MAKE BELIEVE is currently available as part of a 3-play subscription package. Packages for this season begin at $195 and can be purchased by calling the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422 or visiting the company’s website, www.2ST.com.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM

BESS WOHL’s (Playwright) plays include Small Mouth Sounds (John Gassner Outer Critics Circle Award, top ten lists in The New York Times, The New York Post, The Guardian and others), American Hero, Barcelona, Touched, In, Cats Talk Back and the musical Pretty Filthy with composer/lyricist Michael Friedman and The Civilians (Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Musical). Her play, Continuity, will have its world premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in the spring of 2019. Her plays have been produced or developed at theaters in New York and around the country, including Second Stage, Ars Nova, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, Goodman Theater, The Geffen Playhouse, People’s Light and Theatre Company, The Contemporary American Theater Festival, Vineyard Arts Project, The Pioneer Theatre, The Pittsburgh Public Theater, The Northlight Theater, TheaterWorks New Works Festival, Ojai Playwright's Conference, the Cape Cod Theatre Project, PlayPenn and the New York International Fringe Festival (Award for Best Overall Production). She currently holds new play commissions from Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theater Club, Second Stage, and The Williamstown Theatre Festival. In 2015, Bess won the Sam Norkin special Drama Desk Award for “establishing herself as an important voice in New York theater, and having a breakthrough year.” Other awards and honors include the Athena Award for her screenplay, Virginia, a MacDowell Fellowship, and inclusion on Hollywood’s Black List of Best Screenplays. She is an associate artist with The Civilians, an alumna of Ars Nova’s Play Group, and the recipient of new play commissions from Second Stage Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Hartford Stage and Lincoln Center. She also writes screenplays and has developed multiple original television projects for HBO, ABC, USA, FOX, Disney, Paramount and others. In her previous life as an actress, she appeared onstage in New York and regionally, and in numerous films and TV shows where she has given birth, solved crimes, committed crimes, been wrongly accused, and come back from the dead. She is a graduate of Harvard and the Yale School of Drama.

MICHAEL GREIF (Director) most recently directed Dear Evan Hansen at the Music Box and War Paint at the Nederlander on Broadway. Additional Broadway credits: Rent, Grey Gardens, Next to Normal (Tony noms.); Never Gonna Dance; If/Then. Recent work includes The Low Road (Public) A Parallelogram (Second Stage); Our Lady of Kibeho and Angels in America (NY’s Signature Theatre); The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide… (Public); and The Tempest, A Winter’s Tale and Romeo and Juliet at The Public’s Delacorte Theater. Off-Broadway, he’s received Obie Awards for Machinal, Dogeaters (Public) and Rent (NYTW), and has directed new plays and musicals at Playwrights Horizons, Roundabout, MTC, MCC, New York Theatre Workshop and at Second Stage, where he directed Next to Normal and Dear Evan Hansen. Regional work includes premieres and revivals at Williamstown Theatre Festival (ten seasons), La Jolla Playhouse (AD, five seasons), The Goodman, Arena Stage, Center Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Dallas Theater Center, Trinity Repertory Company. Mr. Greif holds a BS from Northwestern University and an MFA from the University of California, San Diego.

ABOUT SECOND STAGE THEATER

Under the artistic direction of Carole Rothman, SECOND STAGE THEATER operates three New York City venues, exclusively dedicated to producing living American playwrights. Second Stage’s first season on Broadway at The Hayes Theater included Lobby Hero by Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Trip Cullman (Tony nominee for Best Revival of Play, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role, Michael Cera and Brian Tyree Henry) and Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee and directed by Anna D. Shapiro. Among Second Stage’s 180 productions are the 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis; the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey; the 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes; Mary Page Marlowe by Tracy Letts; The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown; Dogfight by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Peter Duchan; Dear Evan Hansen by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Steven Levenson; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage; Trust and Lonely, I’m Not by Paul Weitz; The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz; Everyday Rapture and Whorl Inside a Loop by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott; Let Me Down Easy and Notes From the Field by Anna Deavere Smith; Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo; Torch Song by Harvey Fierstein; Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl; The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane; Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin; Jitney by August Wilson; Crowns by Regina Taylor; Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim; Afterbirth: Kathy & Mo’s Greatest Hits by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy; This Is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan; Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe; A Soldier’s Play by Charles Fuller; The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry; and Tiny Alice and Peter and Jerry by Edward Albee.

The company’s more than 130 citations include six 2017 Tony Awards for Dear Evan Hansen (Best Musical; Best Lead Actor in a Musical, Ben Platt; Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Rachel Bay Jones; Best Book of a Musical; Best Original Score; Best Orchestrations); the 2009 Tony Awards for Best Lead Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley, Next to Normal), Best Score (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Next to Normal), and Best Orchestrations (Tom Kitt and Michael Starobin, Next to Normal); the 2007 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed); the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (Rachel Sheinkin, …Spelling Bee) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Fogler, …Spelling Bee); the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (Mary Zimmerman for Metamorphoses); the 2002 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, 29 Obie Awards, eight Outer Critics Circle Awards, three Clarence Derwent Awards, 13 Drama Desk Awards, nine Theatre World Awards, 20 Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Critics Circle Award and 23 AUDELCO Awards.

In 1999, Second Stage Theater opened The Tony Kiser Theater, its state-of-the-art, 296-seat theater, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. In 2002, Second Stage launched “Second Stage Theater Uptown” to showcase the work of up and coming artists at the 99-seat McGinn/Cazale Theater. The Theater supports artists through several programs that include residencies, fellowships and commissions, and engages students and community members through education and outreach programs. In 2018, Second Stage began producing at its 581 seat Broadway home, The Hayes Theater. Originally named “The Little Theater” and built in 1912, the city landmark has been remodeled by David Rockwell of Rockwell Group.

For more information, please visit www.2ST.com
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