New Works by Rajiv Joseph, Jenny Schwartz and Doug McGrath Will Cling to Vineyard's Vine in 2012-13
By Kenneth Jones
Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre, a crucible for new works, will have two world premieres and one New York premiere, including the new play by Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph in its 30th anniversary 2012-13 season. Playwrights Douglas McGrath and Jenny Schwartz are also represented.
The not-for-profit's leaders Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern also announced that Vineyard will produce a full production of John Kander and writer Greg Pierce's The Landing — a trio of short musicals seen this spring in a developmental lab by the company — in a year, at the start of the 2013-14 season. Walter Bobbie (Venus in Fur, Chicago, The Submission) will again direct.
The world premiere of Checkers by Douglas McGrath, directed by Terry Kinney (reasons to be pretty), will begin Oct. 3. It's "set in 1952 as a young Richard Nixon is campaigning to be his party's candidate for Vice-President — with his wife Pat proudly at his side — when an accusation of financial impropriety almost ends his promising career," according the Vineyard. "In a momentous speech, Nixon takes charge of his fate and changes the character of American politics forever. Checkers is a revelatory look at Nixon's drive, history and most surprisingly, his marriage to Pat, told with wit, insight and unexpected tenderness."
McGrath is an Academy Award nominee for his collaboration with Woody Allen on the screenplay for "Bullet Over Broadway." His first film as writer and director was the Oscar-winning "Emma." He began his career as a writer for "Saturday Night Live."
The North Pool by Rajiv Joseph, directed by Giovanna Sardelli, will make its New York premiere at the Vineyard in February 2013. It was first developed at the Vineyard as part of Joseph's residency as the 2009 recipient of the Vineyard's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award. According to the company, "In this riveting psychological thriller, a high school Vice Principal and a Middle Eastern-born transfer student engage in a politically and emotionally charged game of cat and mouse, with dangerous consequences."
Joseph is a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. The North Pool received its world premiere at Palo Alto's Theatreworks and will also be seen this summer at Barrington Stage. His other plays include Gruesome Playground Injuries, Animals Out of Paper, The Monster at the Door and more.
Somewhere Fun by Jenny Schwartz, directed by Anne Kauffman, will begin previews May 1, 2013, in its world-premiere production. The play "concerns two New Yorkers, Rosemary and Evelyn, friends from a 'hundred thousand years ago' whose orbits intersect again on a windy fall day. With their children grown and the world changing rapidly around them, each finds herself coming face to face with the terrors, joys and surprises of life and time."
Somewhere Fun reunites Schwartz and Kauffman, who collaborated on the critically acclaimed Vineyard production of God's Ear. Schwartz is the author of Cause for Alarm. She is working on a musical with Todd Almond. Schwartz has received a Kessellring honor, a Susan Smith Blackburn commendation, the Dorothy Strelsin Playwriting Fellowship and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Benjamin H. Danks Award in Drama.
Casting and creative team for all 2012-13 productions to be announced.
For performance and ticket information, call the box office at (212) 353-3366 or visit vineyardtheatre.org.
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