Theatre and Screen Stars Head to Sundance Theatre Lab

By Adam Hetrick
08 Jul 2014

Daniel Davis
Daniel Davis
Photo by Robert Mannis

Tony Award winner Blair Brown, Dan Butler, Amari Cheatom, Daniel Davis and Jennifer Lim are among the performers selected for the 2014 Sundance Theatre Lab, which runs through July 27 in Utah.

Supervised by Sundance artistic director Philip Himberg and producing director Christopher Hibma, the residency supports the work of new and established theatre writers who shape their developing works in a supportive environment with the aid of a professional director and cast.

Participating actors include Brown (Copenhagen), Butler ("Frasier"), Cheatom ("Django Unchained"), Davis ("The Nanny") and Lim (Chinglish), as well as Phillip James Brannon (Belleville), David Cale (Palomino), Jarlath Conroy (The Seagull), Flora Diaz, Ramsey Faragallah (Betrayed), Wendell Franklin, Lynda Gravatt (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Maria Helan, Annie Henk, Alex Hurt, Louisa Krause (The Flick), Nikiya Mathis (Milk Like Sugar), James McDaniel ("NYPD Blue"), Emily McDonnell, Brian Mendes, Dearbhla Molloy (Dancing at Lughnasa), Keith Nobbs (Bronx Bombers), Socorro Santiago (Adoration of the Old Woman), Micah Stock (It's Only A Play), Mickey Theis, Heather Velazquez and Johnny Wu (Chinglish).

Creative advisors this year include Amy Freed and London's Tricycle Theatre artistic director Indhu Rubasingham. Sundance dramaturgs are Alex Barron, Mame Hunt, Janice Paran and Liesl Tommy. Sheila Callaghan and Andia Kisia are artists in residence.



The selected works follow:

Caught
Written by Christopher Chen
Directed by Mark Brokaw
"An art gallery hosts a retrospective of the work of a legendary Chinese dissident artist who was imprisoned in a Chinese detention center for a single work of art. Recently profiled in The New Yorker, the artist himself is present, and shares with patrons the details of an ordeal that defies belief. A labyrinthine exploration of truth, art, social justice and cultural appropriation, where nothing is as it first appears."

Ghost Supper
Written by Sheila Tousey
Directed by Leigh Silverman
"Ghost Supper (Spalding Gray, You're Invited, Too) is the disquieting but humorous account of a woman remembering a tale told at the 'ghost supper' she held for her deceased brother. Looking back on the spectre of suicide and her impending eviction, M begins to recall the story: 'My Grandmother Pretty Fields said, "The story told at a ghost supper is the most important part of the ritual. It is the end of the end. The final good-bye.'" Ghost Supper (Spalding Gray, You're Invited, Too) is that story."

The Good Book
Written by Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson
Directed by Lisa Peterson
"The Good Book tells the story of how the Christian Bible became the most powerful collection of texts in human history. Through the lens of two contemporary characters and their struggles with faith, The Good Book examines how and why belief becomes organized, and how the document known as the Bible grew from oral history into the powerful, even dangerous text that American fundamentalists use today."

The Last of the Little Hours
Written and directed by Annie Baker
"The Last of the Little Hours follows the daily life of a group of Benedictine monks."

Posterity
Written and directed by Doug Wright
"Norway's most celebrated sculpture is commissioned to create the last official portrait of her most famous writer, but Henrik Ibsen proves to be an irascible, contentious sitter, as the two men wage war over his legacy and his likeness."

Skeleton Crew
Written by Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Kamilah Forbes
"In this third and final installment of a three-play Detroit cycle, a makeshift family of workers at the last exporting auto plant in the city navigates shifting power dynamics, foreclosure and inevitability as they are pushed to the limits of survival. When the barrier between blue collar and white collar gets blurred, how far over the lines are they willing to step?"

So Go the Ghosts of Mexico, Part Two
Written by Matthew Paul Olmos
Directed by Lee Sunday Evans
Composer/sound designer Marios Aristopoulos
"The second of a three-play cycle about the U.S./México drug wars focuses on the ridiculous and machismo world of the Mexican drug cartels, as played by a cast of all women. The play, with songs, involves two warring cartels where the reins of power are always shifting as the draw of excess and the money of America presides over loyalty."

T.
Written by Dan Aibel
Directed by James Macdonald
"A meditation on the hunger for a quintessentially American sort of success, T. tells the story of an elite figure skater and her manager-husband as they navigate toward the most important competition of their lives."

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