WP THEATER Announces 2021-2022 Season: World Premiere of sandblasted; Many Happy Returns; Welcome Home; Pipeline Festival; and more
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 09:06 pm EDT 07/14/21

FOR 2021-2022 SEASON

August 2 – 5, 2021
WP Theater presents
Monica Bill Barnes & Company’s
choreographed by Monica Bill Barnes
written by Robbie Saenz de Viteri
featuring Monica Bill Barnes, Robbie Saenz de Viteri,
with Indah Walsh, Mykel Marai Nairne, and Flannery Gregg

September 20 - October 2, 2021
conceived and created by Rebecca Martinez
sound design & editing by Christopher Darbassie

February 3 - March 13, 2022
World Premiere
by Charly Evon Simpson
directed by Summer L. Williams
A Co-Production with Vineyard Theatre
[Editor’s note: sandblasted should be spelled with a lowercase “s.”]

March 25 - April 23, 2022
written, directed, and produced by Iyvon Edebiri, B.J. Evans, Gethsemane Herron-Coward,
Chika Ike, Nambi E. Kelley, Kristin Leahey, Haruna Lee, Zizi Majid, Ayana Parker Morrison, Daaimah Mubashshir, Sophiyaa Nayar, Machel Ross, Cynthia J. Tong, Katherine Wilkinson

To Be Announced

(New York, NY – July 14, 2021) WP Theater, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Lisa McNulty and Managing Director Michael Sag, is thrilled to welcome audiences back to the theater for their 2021-2022 Season, which will continue to lift up the work of Women+ theater artists in creative new ways.

“After a year of pivoting, learning and growth, we feel so excited to dive back into making work in space, bringing all the lessons that the past eighteen months have taught us into the season ahead,” says Producing Artistic Director Lisa McNulty.

The 2021-22 Season kicks off August 2 – 5 with Monica Bill Barnes & Company’s Many Happy Returns, an inventive and intimate new dance piece. Created by Robbie Saenz de Viteri and Monica Bill Barnes, Many Happy Returns combines language and movement that reflect on the internal interactions that populated our pandemic minds and celebrate the awkward first steps as we move forward and decide, who do we want to be now? Many Happy Returns is a work in progress, much like ourselves in this moment, and will change with each performance, based on the audience each night. The theater will be open to limited-capacity audiences, with proof of vaccination required for purchase and entry. All tickets are $5.

“We look forward to exploring how to inhabit physical spaces again with the extraordinary Monica Bill Barnes & Co, as well as the deeper meaning of place and home with our resident genius Rebecca Martinez,” notes McNulty.

Following Many Happy Returns is “Welcome Home, or Ten Tiny Snapshots of WP”, an audio tour that invites up to four audience members at a time to explore what makes them feel at home in WP’s theater space on the Upper West Side. Conceived and created by WP's current BOLD Associate Artistic Director Rebecca Martinez (Here We Are – New York Times Critics’ Pick), with Sound Design & Editing by Christopher Darbassie (Black Exhibition), this choose-your-own adventure of ten audio snapshots, running September 20 - October 2, will offer a behind the scenes journey into WP’s past, present, and future. Featuring voices and stories from artists at the core of WP Theater’s work, including excerpts from founder Julia Miles, the installation peels back the curtain on spaces not typically accessible to the public, such as the backstage areas, dressing rooms, and the stage itself. The experience reimagines the ways we connect to our physical spaces and the ways the WP community can grow. You are home. Proof of vaccination will be required for purchase and entry. All tickets are $5. Additional artists associated with “Welcome Home” will be announced shortly.

In a co-production with Vineyard Theatre, WP presents sandblasted, written by Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award nominee Charly Evon Simpson (Behind the Sheet) and directed by Elliot Norton
Award-winning director Summer L. Williams (Neighbors), in her New York debut. Angela and Odessa are on a sandy search for something that might not be real but they are determined to make a way out of no way. When they stumble upon ADAH, that’s right THE Celebrity-turned-Wellness-Maven Adah, they decide to follow her lead not knowing that the journey could very well be the cure. sandblasted is a deeply stirring, funny, theatrically daring story of waiting and hoping, time and healing, from the award-winning playwright of Behind the Sheet. Originally slated as part of WP Theater’s 2020 Pipeline Festival, sandblasted will make its world premiere February 3 - March 13 at Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street).

“In March of 2020 we had to cancel our Pipeline Festival, which was meant to include the theatrically inventive, playful, human, and incisive sandblasted by Charly Evon Simpson,” adds McNulty. “So, it feels beyond meaningful to partner with the Vineyard Theatre to bring the play to full life under the brilliant hand of Summer L. Williams. We are also thrilled for sandblasted to be the first of a two-play collaboration with Vineyard and look forward to welcoming them to WP’s theater for our next project together!”

Created by five collaborative teams of writer/director/producers from WP Theater’s artistic center, its celebrated two-year Lab residency, the biennial WP Theater 2022 Pipeline Festival will take place March 25 – April 23, 2022. This can’t-miss event showcases five new plays from the next generation of incredible Women+ theatermakers.

“If the pandemic began with the transition of the 2020 Pipeline Festival to online, it feels so satisfying to end the '21-'22 season with the 2022 Pipeline Festival, and to showcase the voices of the brilliant artists of the '20-'22 WP Lab,” continues McNulty. “This Lab is the future of this industry, and every one of these artists is a creative superhero--we feel so fortunate to be a step on their journeys."

WP will also continue to evolve their partnership with the young Women+ from viBe Theater Experience – an organization providing girls, young women, and nonbinary youth of color (aged 13-25) in New York City with free, high-quality artistic leadership and academic opportunities. The evolution follows the successful collaboration on Where We Stand in which five young Women+ worked alongside the creative and production team, as well as last season’s launch of the first Pages to Stages cohort. This year’s program will bring together young writers and designers with theater professionals from WP’s community of designers, writers, and directors, to mentor their writing of new plays and offer an in-depth look into the process of developing new work for professional production. The mentorship will culminate in a presentation of their work on WP’s stage. The details for the presentations will be announced at a later date.

For additional information and to purchase tickets to the 2021-22 season, please visit: www.WPTheater.org. Covid-19 safety protocols for sandblasted, the Pipeline Festival, and the viBe Pages to Stages Presentations will be announced closer to the events.



ABOUT WP THEATER (Lisa McNulty, Producing Artistic Director; Michael Sag, Managing Director), now in its 44th Season, is the nation’s oldest and largest theater company dedicated to developing, producing, and promoting the work of Women+ at every stage of their careers.

For over four decades we have served as leaders of a global movement towards gender parity, and the example we set and the artists we have fostered have grown into a robust, thriving community in theater and beyond. WP empowers Women+ artists of all kinds to reach their full potential, challenging preconceptions about the kinds of plays they write and the stories they tell.

Founded in 1978 by Julia Miles as Women’s Project Theater, WP Theater has earned acclaim as a home for Women+ theatermakers, historically marginalized in the field, to hone their craft while becoming leaders, change-makers, and advocates in the industry. To date, we have produced more than 600 Mainstage productions and developmental projects and published 11 anthologies of plays by Women+ artists. WP Theater is proud of the ways in which we have made a difference in the artistic landscape of New York and beyond, and we continue to forge forward by offering these artists a platform to develop and present their stories.

Today, WP accomplishes its mission through several fundamental programs, including: the WP Lab, a celebrated two-year mentorship and new play development program for Women+ playwrights, directors, and producers; the Domestic Partner residency program; the Developmental series of workshops and readings; the Commissioning program, and the Mainstage series, which features a full season of Off-Broadway productions written and directed by extraordinary theater artists. Current artists under commission are: Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Emily Kaczmarek, MJ Kaufman, Sylvia Khoury, Zoe Sarnak, and Leah Nanako Winkler.

WP Theater received a 2018 Lucille Lortel Award, a 2019 Obie Award, both for Outstanding Body of Work, and a 2020 Special Drama Desk recognizing WP and its founder, Julia Miles. As the premier launching pad for some of the most influential artists in theater, television, and film, our work has a significant impact on the field. Nearly every notable female theater artist has been through our doors, including: 2019 Tony Winner Rachel Chavkin; two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner Lynn Nottage, 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner Martyna Majok; 2018 MacArthur “Genius” Grant Winner Dominique Morisseau; 2013 Tony Winner Pam MacKinnon; and 2013 Tony Winner Diane Paulus. At WP, these powerful women found an early artistic home and are a testament to our role as a driving cultural force.

When we say Women+ we mean people who are cis women, trans, non-binary, or gender-nonconforming people, and all gender identities which have been systematically oppressed throughout history in the theater and beyond.
Link http://www.WPTheater.org

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