The company includes Nancy Anderson, Whitney Bashor, Judy Blazer, Reg E. Cathey, Will Chase, Johanna Day, Raul Esparza, Jordan Gelber, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Carla Harting, Roderick Hill, Nicholas Hormann, Christina Kirk, Ezra Knight, Judy Kuhn, Anika Larsen, Piter Marek, Kelly McCreary, Chris Messina, Jennifer Mudge, Novella Nelson, Toi Perkins, Anthony Rapp, Gareth Saxe, Tregoney Shepherd, Michael Stuhlbarg and Price Waldman.
The seven plays to be developed at the 2006 Sundance Institute Theatre Laboratory include Citizen Josh, by Josh Kornbluth, directed by David Dower, "an improvisational solo show which strives to rescue 'democracy' from the sloganeers in a personal autobiographical format; Current Body, by Melissa James Gibson, directed by Daniel Aukin, a modern reinterpretation of Homer's "The Odyssey"; Geometry of Fire, by Stephen Belber, directed by Lucie Tiberghien, "which weaves the story of an American reservist just back from Iraq and a Saudi-American citizen investigating his father’s death; The Evildoers, by David Adjmi, directed by Rebecca Taichman, "a play in which the marriage of two couples unravel in a dark yet comedic context; …And Jesus Moonwalks the Mississippi, by Marcus Gardley, directed by Matt August, "a poetic retelling of the Demeter myth set during the Civil War; Kind Hearts and Coronets, book by Robert L. Freedman, music by Steven Lutvak, lyrics by Robert L. Freedman & Steven Lutvak, directed by Ron Lagomarsino, "a new musical based on the 1949 film classic starring Alec Guinness, which centers on Louis D'Ascoyne Mazzini, who has been callously disinherited by the wealthy and titled D'Ascoyne Family and denied his one true love"; and Steve and Idi, by David Grimm, directed by Eleanor Holdridge, "which features a 30-something gay man whose life is spinning out of control when he is visited by the ghost of General Idi Amin, the Ugandan dictator."
In addition to the seven projects being developed at this year's Lab, playwright Tanya Barfield has been named Playwright-in-Residence and will work on Equal Measure. This new play "juxtaposes the storylines of President Woodrow Wilson and Jade Kingston, an African-American civil servant working in the White House. As Wilson entered World War I in order to 'make the world safe for democracy,' the President also began the reorganization of civil service, systematically removing black federal employees."
The projects being explored this summer were previously reported on Playbill.com.
Also attending the Lab are three young artists from partnering arts organizations: actors Stephani Aguilar (Kennedy Center), and Matt Carlson (National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts) are part of this year's acting company and playwright Angela Gant (Kennedy Center) is participating as an observer. *
The Theatre Lab is under the artistic supervision of Philip Himberg, producing artistic director of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program. Creative advisers for this year's Lab include Gordon Davidson, (founding artistic director of the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum), Molly Smith (artistic director, Arena Stage), and Doug Wright (playwright). The dramaturgy team, lead by Mame Hunt, includes Elissa Adams, Jocelyn Clarke and Sydne Mahone.
Meg Simon and Henry Russell Bergstein are the casting directors for the 2006 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab.