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Roundabout announces full casting for TONI STONE
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 05:50 pm EST 03/05/19

Roundabout Theatre Company

Announces updated casting for the world premiere of

TONI STONE

Obie Award Winner April Matthis joins the company in title role.

Also joining the company:

Eric Berryman, Harvy Blanks, Phillip James Brannon, Daniel J. Bryant, Jonathan Burke, Toney Goins, Kenn E. Head & Ezra Knight.

By LYDIA R. DIAMOND

Directed by Tony Award winner PAM MACKINNON

A new play commissioned by Roundabout Theatre Company

Based on Curveball, The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone by Martha Ackmann

Performances begin May 23, 2019
Opening night will be June 20, 2019

Off-Broadway at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre

Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director/CEO), in association with Samantha Barrie, presents the world-premiere production of TONI STONE, by Lydia R. Diamond, directed by Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon. April Matthis will play the role of “Toni Stone,” replacing formerly announced star Uzo Aduba who has departed the production for scheduling reasons. A fixture of the New York theatre scene, Matthis recently was awarded the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance.

Toni Stone will also feature Eric Berryman (Elzie), Harvy Blanks (Alberga), Phillip James Brannon (King Tut), Daniel J. Bryant (Spec), Jonathan Burke (Stretch), Toney Goins (Jimmy), Kenn E. Head (Millie), Ezra Knight (Woody).

As part of Roundabout’s commitment to foster talent through the New Play Initiative, Toni Stone is a Roundabout commission.

Toni Stone will begin preview performances Off-Broadway on May 23, 2019 and open officially on June 20, 2019 at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street). This will be a limited engagement through August 11, 2019.

Toni Stone is an encyclopedia of baseball stats. She’s got a great arm. And she doesn’t understand why she can’t play with the boys. Stone knocks it out of the park as the first woman to go pro in the Negro Leagues. Featuring a bullpen of players crossing age, race and gender to portray all supporting roles, Toni Stone is a vibrant new play about staying in the game, playing hard, playing smart, and playing your own way.

The creative team includes Camille A. Brown (Choreography), Riccardo Hernandez (Sets), Allen Lee Hughes (lights), Dede Ayite (Costumes), Daniel Baker & Aaron Meicht (Original Music & Sound Design).

TICKET INFORMATION:

Tickets for Toni Stone are available by calling 212.719.1300, online at roundabouttheatre.org, in person at any Roundabout box office: American Airlines Theatre Box office (227 West 42nd Street); The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street) and Studio 54 (254 West 54th Street); or by visiting StubHub, The Premier Secondary Ticketing Partner of Roundabout. Ticket prices range from $79-89.

For groups of 10 or more please call 212-719-9393 x 365 or email groupsales@roundabouttheatre.org.

ABOUT THE NEW PLAY INITIATIVE

Through the New Play Initiative, Roundabout proves its devotion to the development and production of new works by significant writers and artists. The Roundabout Underground program in particular, provides substantial artistic and financial resources to emerging playwrights to stage their debut productions in New York and on Roundabout’s stages. In addition to producing their first play, writers receive a commission for a future play, showing a level of commitment to writers’ careers and the future of theatre in New York that is unparalleled. The New Play Initiative has discovered and brought audiences some of the most important new voices in theatre and is dedicated to creating a diverse canon for the future of theatre. To learn more about Roundabout’s commitment to the development of new work, visit New Play Initiative.



A Roundabout commission supported by The Educational Foundation of America.



MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation is a proud sponsor of Toni Stone.



Toni Stone is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award.



This production is supported, in part, by the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.



We gratefully acknowledge the Roundabout Leaders for New Works: Alec Baldwin, James Costa and John Archibald, Linda L. D’Onofrio, Peggy and Mark Ellis, Howard Gilman Foundation, Jodi Glucksman, Sylvia Golden, Judith and Douglas Krupp, K. Myers, Katheryn Patterson and Tom Kempner, Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater, Ira Pittelman, Laura S. Rodgers, Mary Solomon, Lauren and Danny Stein, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, and The Tow Foundation.



BIOS:

APRIL MATTHIS (Toni Stone) is an Obie-award winning actor and a member of the groundbreaking experimental theater company Elevator Repair Service, where she was mostly recently seen in the international revival tour of GATZ as Jordan Baker. Other theater credits include: Fairview at Soho Rep, Measure for Measure (The Public), Signature Plays/Funnyhouse of a Negro (The Signature), IOWA, Antlia Pneumatica (Playwrights Horizons), LEAR (Young Jean Lee), and On the Levee, directed by Lear DeBessonet (LCT3). Regional credits include Little Bunny Foo Foo (World Premiere, Music by Dave Malloy, Actors Theater of Louisville), and A Streetcar Named Desire (Yale Rep), for which the New York Times called her performance “splendid”. In the experimental performance world, Ms. Matthis premiered dance pioneer Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room at Walker Art Center with Macarthur Genius Okwui Okpokwasili. Ms. Matthis also stars in the film Fugitive Dreams, currently in development.



ERIC BERRYMAN (Elzie). Off-Broadway: The B-Side: Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons, A Record Album Interpretation (St. Ann’s Warehouse/The Wooster Group), Steel Hammer, The Bacchae, Glory of the World (BAM), pool, no water (Barrow Street Theater). Selected Regional: The Amen Corner (The Guthrie Theater), I Wish You Love(Penumbra Theatre/The Kennedy Center/ Hartford Stage) Fly (Ford’s Theatre); Red, Topdog/Underdog, Noises Off, A Raisin in the Sun (Everyman Theatre). Selected Film/TV: Barry (NETFLIX), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Untitled Noah Baumbach Project and After Louie. Education: Carnegie Mellon University.



HARVY BLANKS (Alberga) appeared on Broadway as Shealy in the Tony winning production of Jitney directed by Ruben Santiago Hudson. Off Broadway, he received the Drama Desk Award for his performance in Tabletop. Other Off-Broadway credits include First Breeze of Summer and Guest at Central Park West. His many regional appearances include Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow (Williamstown), Familiar (Yale Rep, The Guthrie and Seattle Rep) and Fire on the Mountain (TheatreWorks Palo Alto). At The Denver Center he starred in Ruined, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Gem of the Ocean, Seven Guitars and Radio Golf among others. At Two River Theatre, Blanks appeared in Two Trains Running, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and King Hedley II. Harvy can be seen this season in Terrence Nance’s Random Acts of Flyness on HBO. His other television appearances include Preacher and Crime Story.



PHILLIP JAMES BRANNON (King Tut). Broadway: JUNK (Lincoln Center). Off-Broadway: Log Cabin, BootyCandy (Playwright's Horizons, Obie Award), The Antipodes (Signature), Tiny Beautiful Things, ToasT (The Public), The City of Conversation (Lincoln Center), Nat Turner in Jerusalem, Love and Information, Belleville (New York Theatre Workshop) We Are Proud... (Soho Rep). Regional: Dangerous House (Williamstown), Huntington, Wilma, Woolly Mammoth, KC Rep, Steppenwolf, Goodman, Court, Chicago Shakespeare. TV/Film: Servant, The Good Fight, Elementary, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Law & Order: SVU, Contagion. BFA in Acting, DePaul University.



DANIEL J. BRYANT (Spec). Daniel is thrilled to be making his NY debut at Roundabout. Prior to this most of Daniel’s work as an actor has been in Chicago and include ’16th Street Theater’s Broken Fences and Master Harold and the Boys at Timeline Theater, People’s Temple a rep of Topdog/Underdog and True West co-produced between American Theater Company and Congo Square Theatre, where Daniel has been an ensemble member for more than a decade. Other Congo Square acting credits include Richard Wesley’s The Talented, Jeff nominated Joe Turner’s Come and Gone co-produced with the Goodman Theater and Lydia Diamond’s original world premiere of Stick Fly. Also at the Goodman, Daniel was seen in Vivisections from the Blown Mind and By the Music of the Spheres. A few additional theater credits include Wheatley at Victory Gardens, A Clockwork Orange at Steppenwolf Theatre directed by ensemble member Terry Kinney. At Chicago Theatre Company Daniel appeared in Do Lord Remember Me, which garnered the BTAA award for best Ensemble and he was also nominated for BTAA’s Best Featured Actor playing the role of Mouse in CTC’s adaptation of Walter Mosley’s A Red a Death. Regionally, he’s appeared in the premiere production of Lynn Knottage’s Las Meninas at San Jose Rep, Kia Korthron’ Slide, Glide the Slippery Slope at the Mark Taper and the Louis Slotin Sonata at Circle X Theatre in Los Angeles. Daniel is also a Voice over artist, theater director and producer.



JONATHAN BURKE (Stretch). Broadway: Choir Boy (Pharus Jonathan Young); Tuck Everlasting. Off-Broadway: Joan of Arc: Into the Fire (Public Theater); Langston in Harlem (Urban Stages). Tours: Mary Poppins (u/s Valentine); A Christmas Story: The Musical; Joseph... (u/s Joseph); Cats (Mungojerrie). Regional: Choir Boy (David Heard, Studio Theatre); Head of Passes (Crier, Berkeley Rep); Amazing Grace (Tyler, Goodspeed); Mary Poppins (Bert, Syracuse Stage, SALT Award - Leading Actor in a Musical); Meet Me In St. Louis (Lon Smith, The Muny); Rent (Angel, Hangar Theatre); Hairspray (Seaweed, MGR Playhouse); Born For This (Michael Winans/Howard McCrary, Broad Stage). TV: "New Amsterdam" (NBC). BFA, Ithaca College. Instagram/Twitter: @jondbeee



TONEY GOINS (Jimmy) is excited to be making his debut on the New York stage with this production. He's a Philly native and graduate of The Juilliard School in Drama where he acted in Father Comes Home From The Wars, and Cymbeline. Goins has worked and received many awards as a dancer and choreographer since the age of 16 working with some casts as big as 90. He discovered his passion for acting through poetry in 6th grade at The Haverford School where he played leads in Pippin and A Few Good Men. Goins plays the piano and drums, speaks Spanish, raps and writes.



KENN E. HEAD (Millie) is happy to be joining the company of Toni Stone. He has performed on many stages in the Chicago theater scene. He is delighted to once again work on a Lydia Diamond piece, the last one being Harriet Jacob's for Steppenwolf Theater some years ago. At Steppenwolf he was last seen in Monster and before that, briefly as Sissy NaNa in Airline Highway. And many loved his performance as the Doctor in the Bruce Norris play The Unmentionables. He also was seen in Douglass performed at Theater Wit. Before that you may remember him in ‘Suckered Punch’ at Victory Gardens. Lost Boys of Sudan was his previous show there. Some audiences will remember his performance as Dr. Black in a very celebrated production of ‘The Project(s)’ at American Theater Company. He appeared in Fish Men at the Goodman as well as The Convert by Danai Gurira. He was also part of a very successful run of Invisible Man at Court Theatre where he also did “Spunk”. You may have seen him in Romeo and Juliet at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Some of his work that he is most proud of include a very successful run of The Overwhelming directed by Kimberly Senior at Next Theater. Other theaters familiar with his work include Congo Square where he was proud to be part of Seven Guitars where they garnered the coveted Jeff Award for Ensemble as well as Best Play. His television credits include “The Chi,” “Chicago Med,” “Empire,” “The Exorcist,” “Chicago Fire,” “Early Edition” and “ER” as well as various commercials.



EZRA KNIGHT (Woody). Knight was seen most recently on Broadway as Mr. Duvall in Mean Girls. Other Broadway Credits Include: Pretty Woman The Musical (Original Cast); Nederlander Theatre, Cymbeline; Lincoln Center. Regional: Ivo Van Hove's A View From The Bridge; Goodman Theatre, Playing The Assassin; Dtc. TV: Murphy Brown, Daredevil(S3), Random Acts of Flyness, Quantico, Billions, The Blacklist, The Following, OITNB, Law & Order. Film: Addicted, The Abandoned, Lost Cat Carona, Straight Outa Tomkins, Table One, Symposium (Short Film). Ezra resides in Harlem NYC. Ezraknight.Com



LYDIA R. DIAMOND (Playwright). Award-winning plays include: Smart People, Stick Fly (Broadway run at Cort Theatre), Voyeurs de Venus, The Bluest Eye, The Gift Horse, Harriet Jacobs, The Inside, and Stage Black. Theatres include: Arena Stage, Arden Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, Company One, Congo Square, Goodman, Hartford Stage, Huntington, Jubilee, Kansas City Rep, Long Wharf, Writer’s Theatre, Lorraine Hansberry, McCarter, Mo’Olelo, MPAACT, New Vic, Playmakers Rep, Plowshares, Second Stage, Steppenwolf and TrueColors. Commissions include: Arena Stage, Second Stage, Steppenwolf (four), McCarter, Huntington, Center Stage, Victory Gardens and The Roundabout. A recipient of many playwriting awards, Lydia was also an ’05/’06 W.E.B. Du Bois Institute non-resident Fellow, a 2007 TCG/NEA Playwright in Residence at Steppenwolf, an 06/07 Huntington Playwright Fellow, a 2012 Sundance Institute Playwright Lab Creative Advisor, is a Board Member at Chicago Dramatists, and a 2012/2013 Radcliffe Institute Fellow. Lydia is an NU graduate (’91), has an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Pine Manor College and is 2013-14 Playwright in Residence at Arena Stage. Lydia was a Consulting Producer for Showtime’s season four of “The Affair” and co-wrote episodes 406 and 407. Lydia is on faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she teaches playwriting.



PAM MACKINNON (Director) is the Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco. Currently in rehearsal at the The National Theatre in London is her production with Steppenwolf Theatre Co of the world premiere of Downstate by Bruce Norris. Pam won the Tony and Drama Desk Awards as well as an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for her direction of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Steppenwolf, Arena Stage and Broadway). She won an Obie Award and a Tony Award nomination For Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park (Playwrights Horizons, Mark Taper, Broadway). Other recent directing credits include Edward Albee’s Seascape (A.C.T.); Beau Wilimon’s The Parisian Woman (Broadway), starring Uma Thurman; Jordan Harrison’s Log Cabin (Playwrights Horizons). Pam is the president of the executive board of the national labor union, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), an alumna of the Lincoln Center and Women’s Project Directors’ Labs, and Associate Artist of the Roundabout Theatre, and after six seasons of being board chair now sits on the advisory board of the New York City theater company Clubbed Thumb, dedicated to new American plays.



The Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre opened in March 2004 with an acclaimed premiere of Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel starring Viola Davis, directed by Dan Sullivan. In the ten years since that landmark production, the center has expanded beyond the Laura Pels Theatre to include the Black Box Theatre and now a new education center. The Steinberg Center continues to reflect Roundabout’s commitment to produce new works by established and emerging writers as well as revivals of classic plays. This state-of-the-art off-Broadway theatre and education complex is made possible by a major gift from The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The Trust was created in 1986 by Harold Steinberg to promote and advance American Theatre as a vital part of our culture by supporting playwrights, encouraging the development and production of new work, and providing financial assistance to not-for-profit theatre companies across the country. Since its inception, the Trust has awarded over $70 million to more than 125 theatre organizations.



Roundabout Theatre Company celebrates the power of theatre by spotlighting classics from the past, cultivating new works of the present, and educating minds for the future. A not-for-profit company, Roundabout fulfills that mission by producing familiar and lesser-known plays and musicals; discovering and supporting talented playwrights; reducing the barriers that can inhibit theatergoing; collaborating with a diverse team of artists; building educational experiences; and archiving over five decades of production history.



Roundabout Theatre Company presents a variety of plays, musicals and new works on its five stages: Broadway’s American Airlines Theatre, Studio 54 and Stephen Sondheim Theatre, and Off-Broadway’s Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre.



American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout productions are supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.



Roundabout 2018-19 Broadway season includes True West by Sam Shepard, directed by James Macdonald, starring Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano; Kiss Me, Kate, directed by Scott Ellis, starring Kelli O’Hara, Will Chase and Corbin Bleu, and Arthur Miller’s All My Sons starring Annette Bening, Tracy Letts and Benjamin Walker, directed by Jack O’Brien.



Off-Broadway in 2018-2019, Roundabout’s season continues with Merrily We Roll Along by Stephen Sondheim and George Furth, directed by Noah Brody in a Fiasco Theater production; Toni Stone by Lydia R. Diamond, directed by Pam MacKinnon; and Something Clean by Selina Fillinger, directed by Margot Bordelon at Roundabout Underground.



In 2020, Roundabout will present three new works Off-Broadway, including: 72 Miles to Go… by Hilary Bettis; …what the end will be by Jiréh Breon Holder, directed by Margot Bordelon; and Darling Grenadine, book, music & lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik, directed and choregraphed by Michael Berresse.
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