Stephen Karam Gets Second Roundabout Commission; Sons of the Prophet Gets Added Week

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26 Oct 2011

Santino Fontana and Yusef Bulos in <i>Sons of the Prophet</i>.
Santino Fontana and Yusef Bulos in Sons of the Prophet.
Joan Marcus

Roundabout Theatre Company has given playwright Stephen Karam a second commission following his first commission, Sons of the Prophet, which is currently enjoying an acclaimed run Off-Broadway at Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre.

In addition to announcing the new commission on Oct. 26, Roundabout revealed that Sons of the Prophet will be extended to Jan. 1, 2012. The production was originally scheduled to play a limited engagement through Dec. 23.

Karam's Sons of the Prophet — about a trouble-plagued family — is part of Roundabout's New Play Initiative, a collection of programs designed to foster and produce new work by emerging and established artists.

The New Play Initiative "cultivates new work by gifted playwrights at all stages of their careers through a three-pronged approach consisting of commissioning new works; developmental readings and workshops; and productions of new works through Roundabout Underground programs and mainstage productions," according to Roundabout. "Since 1995 Roundabout has commissioned 15 playwrights, conducted developmental readings and workshops of over 100 new works, produced six Roundabout Underground productions, 30 mainstage productions of new works and employed over 5,000 artists across all aspects of the New Play Initiative."

Sons of the Prophet was commissioned by Roundabout Theatre Company, following his acclaimed New York debut with Speech & Debate in 2007 at Roundabout Underground. Speech & Debate not only launched the Roundabout Underground program, it also went on to play in over 100 theatres in the United States and Canada."



Karam said in a statement, "I've always viewed Sons of the Prophet as the first part of a larger trilogy — not three plays dependent on each other, but three stand-alone plays connected by theme, and likely, further adventures of the Douaihy family. I'm grateful I will have the opportunity to explore this idea further. And I'm fortunate to be able to call Roundabout my artistic home and to have their support and resources offered through the generous people who donate to the New Play Initiative."

Directed by Peter DuBois, Sons of the Prophet opened on Oct. 20 at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre/Laura Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46th Street.

Roundabout artistic director Todd Haimes said in a statement, "Stephen's success with Sons of the Prophet is everything I could have hoped for. We created Roundabout Underground to provide opportunities for artists — like Stephen — who didn't have a home from which to launch their promising careers. To see Stephen prove that he's not just a young playwright with potential but a truly gifted and mature voice in the American theatre, is incredibly satisfying. It's been a fulfilling artistic relationship to have developed Stephen's two plays here at Roundabout. I can't imagine his next play being done anywhere else. I'm thrilled Stephen is an integral part of our artistic family and our ongoing efforts to support more contemporary playwrights."

For more information, visit roundabouttheatre.org.