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Abingdon Theatre Company announces Artists in Residence for upcoming 29th Season
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 07:21 pm EDT 05/12/21

Abingdon Theatre Company announces Artists in Residence for upcoming 29th Season

(New York, NY – Wednesday, May 12th, 2021) Abingdon Theatre Company (Chad Austin, Artistic Director) has announced three new Artists in Residence for their upcoming 29th Season beginning in the fall. Christine Toy Johnson, Ilda Mason and Matthew McLachlan are set to be the next participants in the Carolyn Halpert Artist in Residence Program which began in 2017.

Carolyn Halpert was a lifelong devotee of the arts but, as an actress, her heart lay in the theatre. She became a staunch supporter of Abingdon Theatre Company and when she passed away in late 2015, she remembered ATC in her will. As a result, Abingdon named the Artist-in-Residence program in her honor. Every season, ATC selects artists for a year-long residency. The program aims to nurture emerging artists and new work offering mentorship and the opportunity to continue further exploration of their work.

Artistic Director, Chad Austin said, "I am thrilled to be able to shine a light on the talents of Ilda, Matthew, and Christine. They are extraordinary artists and people. I am looking forward to seeing them grow in our 29th Season as we get back to live theatre and more exciting programming. I couldn't be happier to welcome them to the ATC family."

Christine Toy Johnson was the winner of ATC's inaugural Fall Festival of Short Plays with her piece Empress Mei Li Lotus Blossom. She is an award-winning writer, actor, director and advocate for inclusion. Her written works have been produced and/or developed by the Roundabout, Village Theatre, Ars Nova, Barrow Group, Prospect Theatre, Weston Playhouse, O'Neill, Women's Theatre Festival, CAP 21, Greater Boston Stage Company, the Abingdon Theatre Company, Towne Street Theatre and more and are included in the Library of Congress's Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection (Playwrights Division). She is an alum of the BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, was a 2016 fellow of The Writers Lab (supported by Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Oprah Winfrey), serves as Treasurer of the Dramatists Guild and is host of the Guild's podcast "Talkback" on Broadway Podcast Network. As an actor, Christine has appeared extensively on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in regional theatres across the country and nearly 100 television and film appearances including recurring guest star roles on Marvel's "Iron Fist," "Bull", "The Americans." "You," "Law and Order: SVU" and more. She is on "extended intermission" from the North American tour of Come From Away. Rosetta LeNoire, JACL, Asian American Arts Alliance, Obie awards for advocacy in diversity and inclusion.

Ilda Mason was born and raised in Panamá where she began her acting career with productions such as Peter Pan (Peter Pan), The Beauty and the Beast, A Chorus Line (Bebe) and Hello Dolly (Minnie) among others. She was a professional dancer on Panamá's Dancing with the Stars (Season 2 Champion). Her favorite credits in the U.S include the Broadway revival of West Side Story, On Your Feet! (National tour), West Side Story (Paper Mill Playhouse, Signature Theatre), Cinderella (National tour), and Legally Blonde (International tour). She can be seen as Luz in the upcoming Steven Spielberg remake of West Side Story coming to theatres in 2021.

Matthew McLachlan is a Dramatist Guild Member and award-winning playwright born in Scotland and based in New York City. His plays include: The Demand of Avarice, This God Damn House, Jack & Melissa, Orion, and The Place We Are Meant to Be, among others. His plays have been presented by Nylon Fusion, The NOW Collective, The Farm Theater, The PIT, Thespis Theater Festival, New Works Festival, The Midnight Factory and performed regionally in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Wyoming, & Florida. He is the resident playwright for The Midnight Factory, a Pulse Ensemble Theatre member, and a Wynn Handman playwright in observance. Other credits include: Nominated for Best Writer of a Web-Series (ADULTish), The Roast of Michael Musto (Head-Writer), & his published works A Collection of One-Acts & Other Things You May or May Not Enjoy and full-length play Orion are available now on Amazon.

Abingdon will present a short film of Christine Toy Johnson's piece, "Empress Mei Li Lotus Blossom" followed by a talk back with the writer and cast, moderated by Reggie Lee on May 25th at 7pm ET. This event is free. This piece is being screened in May to Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and can be watched HERE.

Abingdon Theatre Company was formed in 1993 by a group of theatre artists, eager for ongoing collaboration and greater control over their creative lives. Now, over 25 years later Abingdon has collaborated with over 200 playwrights including Tony Award Winner, V (Formerly Eve Ensler), Philip Dawkins, David Greenspan, Anne Bogart, James Lecesne, Michael Weller, Dominque Fishback, Charles Mee and many more. In recent years their annual galas have honored artists such as Bebe Neuwirth, Donna Murphy and Andrew Lippa. Recent productions include the New York Premieres of both Fruit Trilogy and The Gentleman Caller and the critically acclaimed Drama Desk Nominee, Get On Your Knees. The company provides a safe home where playwrights, directors and actors can collaborate within a supportive and nurturing environment. They search for stories about the human experience that reflect our social, political, historical and cultural diversity. They are acutely aware of the theatre's power to unite disparate population groups through stories about common human interests and strive to shed light on a variety of perspectives.

EMPRESS MEI LI LOTUS BLOSSOM Watch Party and Talkback is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement and Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by LMCC.

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