St. Louis Actors’ Studio will return to New York City this winter with the fourth installment of the LaBute New Theater Festival. The festival will feature three new one-act plays by Neil LaBute and will play The Davenport Theatre January 10–27, 2019.
In the past the festival was presented at 59E59 Theaters and featured plays by various playwrights. The 2019 festival will feature plays exclusively by LaBute: the world premiere of Unlikely Japan, directed by LaBute and starring Gia Crovatin; the world premiere of Great Negro Works of Art, directed by John Pierson and starring KeiLyn Durrel; and the New York premiere of The Fourth Reich, directed by Pierson and starring Eric Dean White.
LaBute himself returns Off-Broadway following the cancellation of his play Reasons to be Pretty Happy, scheduled for production by MCC Theater earlier this year. The Off-Broadway company severed ties with the playwright in February and immediately terminated his tenure as its playwright-in-residence.
“I’m very excited to be working with William Roth and St. Louis Actors’ studio on our fourth incarnation of The LaBute New Theater Festival in New York (and headed toward our seventh season in St. Louis in 2019). Together we have created a wonderful venue for a variety of artists to see their work performed in full productions in front of paying audiences—the most valuable way to test their writing in the crucible of an actual performance—along with an important program that caters to high school authors as well," said LaBute in a statement. “I feel very lucky to have three of my new short plays being staged this year and look forward to a continued partnership with William and his forward-thinking company from the midwest.”
“We are proud of our relationship with Neil and to bring these new plays to New York City as part of The LaBute New Theater Festival," said Roth, St. Louis Actors’ Studio artistic director. "Neil is a prolific and generous playwright and the Festival in St. Louis and NYC is the highlight of what we do. We are thrilled to bring this festival to the Davenport Theatre and are excited to have audiences experience this festival.”
The festival will celebrate its official opening January 14.