|Vineyard Theatre announces cast and design team for the World Premiere of This Land Was Made|
|Posted by: Official_Press_Release 06:46 pm EDT 03/31/23|
CAST AND DESIGN TEAM FOR
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
THIS LAND WAS MADE
BY TORI SAMPSON
DIRECTED BY TAYLOR REYNOLDS
THE CAST FEATURES
ANTOINETTE CROWE-LEGACY, LELAND FOWLER,
MATTHEW GRIFFIN, SEAN PATRICK HIGGINS,
YASHA JACKSON, EZRA KNIGHT, JULIAN ELIJAH MARTINEZ,
CURT MORLAYE AND OLIVER PALMER
WILSON CHIN, DOMINIQUE FAWN HILL,
ADAM HONORÉ and FAN ZHANG
Vineyard Theatre Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern are pleased to announce the cast and design team for the World Premiere of This Land Was Made, written by Tori Sampson (New York Times Critic’s Pick If Pretty Hurts, Ugly Must Be A Muhfucka) and directed by LPTW Lucille Lortel Award and 2023 Obie Award winner Taylor Reynolds (Tambo & Bones). Previews begin on May 18 at Vineyard Theatre (108 East 15th Street). Opening night for This Land Was Made, the third and final production of Vineyard’s 40th season, is set for June 4.
The cast will feature Antoinette Crowe-Legacy (Slave Play, If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka, “Godfather of Harlem” on EPIX) as Sassy, Leland Fowler (Plays for the Plague Year, If Pretty Hurts, Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka) as Drew, Matthew Griffin (The Collaboration, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical) as Troy, Sean Patrick Higgins (PunchDrunk’s Sleep No More, Off-Broadway’s A Clockwork Orange) as Officer Heanes, Yasha Jackson (“The Flight Attendant” on HBO Max, “Black Mirror” on Netflix) as Gail, Ezra Knight (Broadway’s Mean Girls, Broadway’s Pretty Woman) as Mr. Far, Julian Elijah Martinez (Broadway’s Network, Off-Broadway’s Sanctuary City) as Huey, Curt Morlaye (“We Own This City” on HBO, “Dickinson” on Apple TV+) as Gene, and Oliver Palmer ( American Buffalo at Dorset Theater Festival, Two Gentlemen of Verona with Shakespeare in the Square) as Officer Frey. Additional cast will be announced soon.
The production features scenic design by Wilson Chin (Cost of Living, Pass Over, Next Fall), costume design by Dominique Fawn Hill (Fat Ham), lighting design by Adam Honoré (Ain't No Mo', Chicken and Biscuits), sound design by Fan Zhang (The Far Country, At the Wedding) and movement direction by Adesola Osakalumi (Good Grief, Skeleton Crew). Casting is by Henry Russell Bergstein, CSA and The Telsey Office/Destiny Lilly, CSA.
Anne McPherson will serve as Production Stage Manager.
In the world premiere of This Land Was Made, Oakland in 1967 is a powder keg of social activism ready to boil over into radical action. For the patrons of Miss Trish's bar, it’s all just talking points — until the explosive and seductive force of the revolution walks through the door. History and imagination collide with vibrant humor and echo into our present moment in this stirring new play.
Tickets are now on sale to the general public at www.vineyardtheatre.org or by calling 212-353-0303. Community supported tickets for This Land Was Made are available through Vineyard Theatre’s Good Neighbor program, starting at $37.80 ($35.00 + $2.80 fee). Standard tickets start at $85.32 ($79.00 + $6.32 fee).
Vineyard Theatre’s 40th season includes the world premiere of the musical White Girl in Danger, a co-production by Vineyard Theatre and Second Stage Theater, written by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop) and directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz (The Skin of Our Teeth), currently in previews at the Tony Kiser Theatre (305 West 43 Street). Opening night is on April 10, 2023; the production plays through May 21, 2023.
Antoinette Crowe-Legacy (Sassy) stars opposite Forest Whitaker in the EPIX series “Godfather of Harlem,” the third season of which is currently streaming on MGM+. Antoinette can also be seen opposite Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto in the WeWork limited series “WeCrashed,” for Apple TV+. Before that, she made her Broadway debut in the highly-acclaimed Slave Play at the August Wilson Theatre, which also completed a limited run in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum. Antoinette can also be seen in Rebecca Hall's feature film Passing opposite Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga. The film made a near-record-breaking sale to Netflix for over $16 million at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Among Antoinette's many theater credits, she played leading roles in both Tori Sampson’s play If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka , directed by Leah Gardiner at Playwrights Horizons, as well as in Aziza Barnes’s play BLKS, directed by Robert O’Hara for MCC Theater. Antoinette graduated from Yale’s prestigious MFA Acting Program, where she received the 2018 Carol Finch Dye Award. Past winners include Meryl Streep and Frances McDormand. Antoinette Crowe-Legacy is based in New York.
Leland Fowler (Drew). Off-Broadway: Plays for the Plague Year, Henry V, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Public); one in two (The New Group); Novenas for a Lost Hospital (Rattlestick); If Pretty Hurts, Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka (Playwrights Horizons); Measure for Measure (TFANA). Regional: Williamstown Theatre Festival, Dorset Theatre Festival, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Westport Country Playhouse, McCarter Theatre Center, Yale Rep, Chautauqua Theatre Company, Alliance Theatre. TV: “City on a Hill.” Education: BA, Morehouse College; MFA, Yale School of Drama.
Matthew Griffin (Troy) is thrilled to be a member of this incredible company and show. Credits include Broadway’s The Collaboration (u/s Jean-Michel Basquiat) and the original cast of Tina — The Tina Turner Musical; Off-Broadway’s The New Yorkers at City Center, Born For This at Cutler Majestic Theatre, Cruel Intentions the Musical, and Much Ado About Nothing. TV: “Inventing Anna” (Netflix) and “Godfather of Harlem” (EPIX). Education: Circle in the Square Theater School. All Glory to God. Thankful for my family and friends, KMR Talent, Henry Russell Bergstein and Destiny Lily, and you.
Sean Patrick Higgins (Officer Heanes) is returning to the Vineyard Theatre after the workshop production of This Land Was Made, to bring the play fully to life. Off-Broadway: Sleep No More (PunchDrunk NYC), A Clockwork Orange (New World Stages), Awful Event! (BAC). Regional: D’Artagnan in The Three Musketeers (Pennsylvania Shakespeare), Robin Hood in Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood (New Theatre), Macbeth in Macbeth (STL Rebel & Misfits) and 14 plays from Shakespeare’s canon. TV/Film: “The Blacklist” (NBC), “Operation Hyacinth” (Netflix), And Tomorrow The Entire World, and the short films “Early Light,” “Dirty,” “White Flags,” “Small Dancing Particles,” among others. Certificate from Oxford (BADA). BFA, University of Wyoming. MFA, Yale School of Drama.
Yasha Jackson (Gail). TV: “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max, SAG Ensemble Award), “Love Life” (HBO Max), “Black Mirror” (Netflix), “Ray Donovan” (Showtime), “Run the World” (Starz), “Blue Bloods” (CBS), “Manifest” (Netflix), “The Get Down” (Netflix), “The Bold Type” (Freeform), “Helpsters” (Apple+), “Nurse Jackie” (Showtime), and “Law & Order: SVU” (NBC). Film: Space Cadet (upcoming), The Hating Game (BCDF Films/Hulu), Clifford the Big Red Dog (Paramount Pictures), A Killer Among Us, Either Side of Midnight, and Little Boxes.
Ezra Knight (Mr. Far). Vineyard debut. Broadway: Mean Girls, Pretty Woman (OBC), and Cymbeline. Off-Broadway: Coal Country at the Public Theatre/Audible Theatre (original cast), Toni Stone at Roundabout Theatre (original cast), Merchant of Venice at Tfana, Oroonoko at Tfana, Julius Caesar at the Public Theatre. Regional: Ivo Van Hove's A View From The Bridge at Goodman Theatre, Playing the Assassin at Penguin Rep/TheatreWorks Hartford/DTC, Othello with The Acting Company. TV: “East New York” (CBS), “The Equalizer” (CBS), “Found” (NBC), “Ordinary Joe” (NBC), “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” (Starz), “Billions” (Showtime), “Daredevil” (Netflix), “The Blacklist” (NBC), and “Law & Order” (NBC). Film: The Tender Bar, Lost Cat Corona, The Abandoned , Blood, Sand & Gold, and the short film “Symposium.”
Julian Elijah Martinez (Huey). Vineyard debut. Broadway: Network. Off-Broadway: Sanctuary City (New York Theater Workshop); Anatomy of A Suicide (Atlantic Theater Company); Mud (Boundless Theater Company); Alligator (New Georges). Regional: King Lear (Shakespeare Theater Company); Father Comes Home From The Wars Part 1, 2, 3 (co-production Yale Rep and A.C.T.); and 9 Circles (Forum Theatre, Helen Hayes nomination). TV: “Wu-tang: An American Saga” “Law and Order: SVU;” “That Damn Michael Che Show;” “Prodigal Son;” and “Elementary.” Other: Company member of The Acting Company, co-founder of the Encompass Collective, Board member of Developing Artist. Training: MFA David Geffen School of Drama at Yale. julianelijahmartinez.com
Curt Morlaye (Gene) recently completed production on the independent film Rob Peace, directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor. He can be seen in David Simon's HBO limited series "We Own This City," season 3 of the Apple TV+ series "Dickinson," and the Showtime series "City On A Hill." Recent theatre credits include Lockdown (Rattlestick Theater) and Wrong River (Flint Repertory Theatre).
Oliver Palmer (Officer Frey) feels incredibly blessed to be making his Off-Broadway debut at the Vineyard Theatre. Regional: American Buffalo (Dorset Theater Festival), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare in the Square). Film/TV: “FBI” (CBS), “Blue Bloods” (CBS), “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix), “Daredevil” (Netflix). B.F.A. NYU Tisch Stella Adler Studio/Experimental Theatre Wing. Originally from Owensboro, Kentucky, Oliver Palmer is an award-winning screenwriter dedicated to sharing southern stories. To Elizabeth: my heart, always. More at www.olivercpalmer.com
Tori Sampson (Playwright) is a native of Boston. By introducing her daughter to the genius that was Carroll O’Connor, Tori’s mother opened her eyes to the art and power of comedy for “goodness sake.” And it was on and poppin’ from there. Today, Tori focuses her imagination on creating comedies for the stage and screen. Her plays include This Land Was Made (Vineyard Theatre, 2023), If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka (Playwrights Horizons, 2019) and Cadillac Crew (Yale Repertory Theater, 2019). Her plays have been developed at Great Plains Theatre Conference, Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s The Ground Floor residency program, Victory Garden’s IGNITION Festival of New Plays, Playwrights Foundation, Ubuntu Festival, and Vineyard Theater. Tori is a 2017–18 Playwright’s Center Jerome Fellow and a 2018-19 McKnight Fellow. Two of her plays appeared on the 2017 Kilroys List. Her awards and honors include the 2016 Relentless Award, Honorable Mention; the 2016 Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting from The Kennedy Center; the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, Second Place; the Alliance Theatre’s 2017 Kendeda Prize, Finalist; the 2018 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Finalist. Tori is currently working on commissions from Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, and Atlantic Theater Company. She holds a BS in sociology from Ball State University and an MFA in playwriting from Yale School of Drama.
Tori is currently a writer on “His & Hers” at Netflix. Other TV credits include “Citadel” at Amazon, “Three Women” at Showtime, “Hunters” at Amazon, and an episode for the Amazon anthology “Solos.” On the development front, she is currently co-creating an adaptation of the novel The Secret Lives of Church Ladies for HBO Max and an original animated series for Bad Robot. Prior to that, she developed a drama with Anonymous Content and Drake, and wrote a comedy for HBO with Issa Rae producing. On the feature side, Tori wrote the movie 61 for Disney+ that tells the true story of Chris Paul.
Taylor Reynolds (Director) is an Obie Award-winning director based in New York, originally from Chicago. Selected directing credits: Clyde's (Berkeley Rep/Huntington Theatre), La Race (Page 73/Working Theater), Tambo & Bones (Playwrights Horizons/CTG), Man Cave (Page 73), The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, New York Times Critic's Pick), Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally (Baltimore Center Stage/Playwrights Realm), Plano (Clubbed Thumb, Drama Desk nomination for Best Director), Songs About Trains (Radical Evolution), and Think Before You Holla (creator/deviser). Taylor has worked as a director, assistant, and collaborator with companies including Keen Company, Ojai Playwrights Conference, MCC, New Georges, MTC, Signature Theatre Company, and The 24 Hour Plays. She is the 2021 LPTW Lucille Lortel Award recipient, a New Georges Affiliated Artist, 2017-2018 Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellow, and Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab alum.
Wilson Chin (Scenic Designer) (he/him). Broadway: Cost of Living, Pass Over (Drama Desk and Lortel Award nominations), Next Fall. Off-Broadway: A Bright New Boise (Signature Theatre), the bandaged place (Roundabout Underground), The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons), Space Dogs (MCC, Lortel Award nomination), Teenage Dick (Ma-Yi/Public), Sakina’s Restaurant (Audible). Opera: Turandot (Washington National Opera), Lucia di Lammermoor (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Eine Florentinische Tragödie/Gianni Schicchi (Canadian Opera, Dora Award
winner). Film/Television: Pass Over (dir. Spike Lee), “Game Theory with Bomani
Jones” (HBO), “Blindspot” (NBC). Eastern Region Board member of Local USA
829. Instagram: @wilsonchindesign
Dominique Fawn Hill (Costume Designer). Broadway: Fat Ham. Regional: Hedwig and The Angry Inch, Rent (Portland Center Stage); Dark Girl Chronicles: CHRONICLE X (The Shed); 125th & FREEdom (National Black Theatre); Fat Ham (The Public Theater & The National Black Theatre); Tambo & Bones (Playwrights Horizons & CTG); Where the Mountain Meets the Sea (MTC). Awards and Nominations: Lucille Lortel Award Nominee, Obie Award, and the USITT/USA Prague Quadrennial Best Costume Design Award. Website: dominiquefhill.com
Adam Honoré (Lighting Design). Broadway: Ain't No Mo', Chicken and Biscuits. Select Off-Broadway: A Man of No Importance (Classic Stage), Patience (Second Stage), Ain't No Mo' (The Public), Carmen Jones (Classic Stage). Select Regional: Trading Places (Alliance Theatre), The Bluest Eye (Huntington Theater Co), The Amen Corner (Shakespeare Theatre Co). Drama Desk, Elliot Norton, Henry Hewes, and Helen Hayes Award nominee; AUDELCO Award recipient. @itsadamhonore
Fan Zhang (Sound Design). Off-Broadway: The Far Country (Atlantic); At the Wedding (Lincoln Center); Snow in Midsummer (Classic Stage); Paris (Atlantic), Our Dear Dead Drug Lord (Second Stage & WP), Pumpgirl (Irish Rep), Suicide Forest (Ma-Yi), Molly Sweeney (Theatre Row), Behind the Sheet (Ensemble Studio), The Trail of the Catonsville Nine (Transport Group), On That Day in Amsterdam (59E59). Regional: Old Globe, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Berkeley Rep, Arena Stage, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Milwaukee Rep, Capital Rep, Artists Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf, Pittsburgh City Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Studio Theatre D.C., Yale Rep, Two River Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse, Huntington Theater, and more. Head of the sound program at Purdue University. Education: MFA, Yale School of Drama. www.fanzhangsound.com
Adesola Osakalumi (Movement Director): Good Grief (Vineyard), Skeleton Crew (Broadway MTC), Drinking in America (Audible), Cullud Wattah, Coal Country, Othello (Public Theater), runboyrun, Eyewitness Blues (NYTW), Jam on the Groove (Minetta Lane) and the film School of Rock. As an Actor: Skeleton Crew, Fela!, Equus (Broadway), runboyrun (NYTW), Syncing Ink (Flea/Alley Theater) and the films Red Pill, IBRAHIM, Enchanted, Across the Universe, and Sex and the City 2. TV: "Endgame", “Ice”, "Blue Bloods." Awards: Bessie Award Recipient, Drama Desk & Antonyo Award Nominee. I give thanks to my Family for their constant support and love.
Henry Russell Bergstein, CSA (Co-Casting Director). Most recently VP of casting at HBO Max. Theatre: Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway, specializing in new American plays and musicals. Over 20 productions at Vineyard Theatre and numerous productions at Ars Nova, LCT3, Signature, Rattlestick, and PS 122. Emmy nominated for HBO’s “Succession,” Netflix’s “Inventing Anna” Other television: “The Other Two” (HBO Max), “Mozart in the Jungle” (Amazon), “Black Mirror” (Netflix), and the pilot of “Ramy”(Hulu). Film: Mass (Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award), Black Bear, The Kindergarten Teacher, Saturday Church, It Felt Like Love, Grandma, The Week Of, Love After Love and Vampires Vs. The Bronx. Podcasts: “Homecoming” and “Anthem: Homunculus.”
The Telsey Office/Destiny Lilly, CSA (Co-Casting Director). With offices in both New York and Los Angeles, The Telsey Office casts for theatre, film, television and commercials. The Telsey Office is dedicated to creating safe, equitable, and anti-racist spaces through collaboration, artistry, heart, accountability and advocacy.
Anne McPherson (Production Stage Manager). Vineyard debut! Some Broadway: My Fair Lady, Once on This Island, The Iceman Cometh, M. Butterfly, Holiday Inn, Chicago, The King and I, Wicked, Les Misérables, Pippin, Motown, Mary Poppins, The Phantom of the Opera, The Coast of Utopia, Doubt, Absurd Person Singular. Some Off-Broadway: Suffs, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, The Rolling Stone, Hurricane Diane, Pacific Overtures, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Also: several National Tours, “This American Life: The Radio Drama Episode,” and lots of fun workshops and events. Head of Stage Management at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
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