TDF Will Celebrate Wendy Wasserstein and Open Doors Program With Special Performance of The Heidi Chronicles

News   TDF Will Celebrate Wendy Wasserstein and Open Doors Program With Special Performance of The Heidi Chronicles
 
Theatre Development Fund will celebrate Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein and the arts education program Open Doors with a special reception and performance of The Heidi Chronicles April 18.

The first arts education program to be awarded a special Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, Open Doors was co-founded by the late Wasserstein. It is now in its 17th year.

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The event will include a lunch reception at West Bank Cafe, where the stars of the show will appear, followed by a 2 PM performance of the play.

"Wendy was a tireless advocate for the arts," Victoria Bailey, TDF’s executive director, said in a statement. "We shared her belief that it was the birthright of every New Yorker to attend the theatre. With that conviction, we created Open Doors in 1998.  Since then, the program has grown in size and scope. We now have 24 groups, each mentored by a group of theatre professionals giving generously of their time and passion, and reaching across New York City middle and high schools. Since its inception, over 2100 students have participated in the program."

Founded in 1998 by Wasserstein and her long-time stage manager Roy Harris, Open Doors pairs groups of New York City middle and high school students with distinguished theatre and dance professionals. Together, they attend six live performances throughout the school year, and after each performance, they discuss their experience over lunch or dinner.

The first Broadway revival of  Wasserstein's Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Heidi Chronicles, following the life of feminist art historian Heidi Holland, opened at the Music Box Theatre March 19 following previews that began Feb. 23. The revival features "Mad Men" star Elisabeth Moss, Jason Biggs, Tony nominee Bryce Pinkham and Tracee Chimo. Pam MacKinnon, who won a 2013 Tony Award for her revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, directs.

In The Heidi Chronicles, Heidi and her friends — male and female, gay and straight — mature from the 1960s to the 1980s as they search for political, professional and personal fulfillment.

Read Playbill.com's interview with Moss, where she discusses "having it all," here.

Biggs (The Graduate) plays Scoop Rosenbaum, a writer who has a flirtatious friendship with Heidi, and Pinkham (Ghost the Musical) plays Peter Patrone, Heidi's gay best friend. Chimo plays the roles of Fran, Molly, Betsy and April.

Pinkham shares why he is excited to be in a production written by and directed by a woman.

Also in the cast are Ali Ahn as Susan Johnston, Leighton Bryan as Jill/Debbie/Lisa, Elise Kibler as Becky/Clara/Denise and Andy Truschinski as Chris Boxer/Mark/Waiter/Ray.

The Heidi Chronicles was first produced by Playwrights Horizons in 1988 before moving to Broadway, winning the Pulitzer Prize, the Tony Award, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Hull-Warriner Award and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

The original production also took home a 1989 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play (Boyd Gaines). Joan Allen, who starred in the title role, was Tony-nominated for her performance.

The Broadway revival features scenic design by John Lee Beatty, costume design by Jessica Pabst, lighting design by Japhy Weideman, sound design by Jill BC Du Boff, projection design by Peter Nigrini and hair and make-up design by Leah J. Loukas. Casting is by Daniel Swee.

Read Playbill.com's interview with MacKinnon, where she talks about restoring cut dialogue to the play, here.

The Heidi Chronicles is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Susan Gallin, Mary Lu Roffe, Eagle Productions LLC, Stacy Jacobs, LTPS Productions, Gabrielle Palitz, Sally Horchow, Rebecca Gold, Ken Greiner, Grimaldi & WSProductions, Jamie deRoy & friends, Amy Kaissar, Suzanne Friedman, Ed Goldstone, Jessica Genick, and Will Trice.

Tickets are available at Telecharge.com, by calling (212) 239-6200, or by visiting the box office of the Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th St).

Tickets for this special benefit event are $250 each. To purchase tickets online go to tdf.org/heidi.

Visit TheHeidiChroniclesOnBroadway.com for more information.

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