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National Theatre partners with Audible to support next generation of young playwrights across UK

National Theatre

The National Theatre is partnering with Audible as the Official Audio Partner for its New Views playwriting competition to support the next generation of writing talent across the UK.

Through this partnership the National Theatre and Audible plan to work with a young writer to adapt their script and publish it in audio. The participant will be supported throughout the process, gaining invaluable experience in audio development.

New Views is the National Theatre’s annual playwriting programme and competition for 14 – 19-year olds which supports students to write their own play with mentoring from professional playwrights, online workshops and masterclasses alongside bespoke training for teachers. Each year one play is selected from hundreds of entries to be produced at the NT with a professional cast and crew, alongside rehearsed readings of eight shortlisted plays. Previous winning and shortlisted scripts will act as a catalogue of plays that may be adapted by the playwright for Audible.

Audible, the leading provider of audio storytelling, is also supporting the National Theatre with the digital delivery of the adapted programme in response to Coronavirus. Participants will be able to access playwriting masterclasses and Audible’s expansive back-catalogue of audio content, in addition to online recordings of NT productions and digital workshops from the NT.

Lisa Burger, Joint Chief Executive of the National Theatre said, “Young writers and theatre-makers are the future of our theatre industry and we are committed to supporting the development of new talent by continuing to provide opportunities and platforms for young people right across the UK in these challenging times. New Views encourages participants to explore their creativity, engage in debate and develop their ideas with the support of fantastic contemporary writers. We are excited to begin our partnership with Audible to develop brilliant new scripts for their platform and ensure the talented voices of the next generation are heard far and wide”.

Kevin Addley, Country Manager at Audible said, “This exciting partnership with the National Theatre’s New Views programme allows us to help support the theatre at a difficult time for the arts. Discovering and supporting young talent has never been more vital, and we look forward to being able to celebrate new young talent in the coming months”.

Applications for schools to take part in New Views 2020-2021 are currently open until Wednesday 7th October. To find out more and to sign up visit: www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/learning/schools/secondary-and-fe/new-views

 

Williamstown Theatre Festival and Audible Announce collaboration to present the 2020 Season in audio form amidst canceled live productions

Williamstown Theatre Festival (Mandy Greenfield, Artistic Director) and Audible (Kate Navin, Artistic Producer) announced today that the 2020 Williamstown Theatre Festival summer season will be produced on Audible, the world’s largest producer and provider of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks.

Forged during and in response to a fraught moment in history, this unprecedented collaboration between two industry leaders preserves the Festival season in a different format, provides continued work for the artists involved in the Festival season, and produces a body of work that will be made available for global Audible listeners to enjoy and experience. It also marks the first time that a theatrical season of work will be produced on Audible.

“This virus might get to tell us what we cannot do but it does not get to dictate what we can do,” Greenfield said. “The voices of these artists will be heard. Through this alliance with Audible, we keep artists and the generative artistic process centered and steady through this unspeakably difficult moment when public gathering simply isn’t possible. Doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and scientists are on the frontlines saving humanity right now; theatre makers can only continue to create work that gives the life we arrive at, on the other side of this crisis, meaning, depth, humor and beauty.”

“Powerful and transcendent, Williamstown and its artists have consistently produced some of the most memorable theater of our time,” Navin said. “Deeply dedicated to our mission of bringing more theater to more people, Audible is thrilled to collaborate with Williamstown in making an extraordinary lineup available to millions of people worldwide. The artists and these poignant works deserve to be experienced and will undoubtedly entertain and inspire audiences everywhere.”

In compliance with Massachusetts Governor Baker’s orders issued on March 23, 2020, combined with the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and anticipated measures at the Federal, State, and local level, Williamstown Theatre Festival is unable to proceed with the theatre season in Williamstown. Williamstown Theatre Festival will be in touch with WTF Bundle buyers and donors about their options and how they can access the 2020 Williamstown Theatre Festival Season on Audible.

With extraordinary performances and new voices, Audible Theater unleashes the artistic creativity of playwrights worldwide to deliver language-driven storytelling and inspire captivating performances on stage and in audio. Audible’s Broadway credits include John Leguizamo’s Tony-nominated Latin History for Morons and Simon Stephens’ and Nick Payne’s Sea Wall/A Life starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge. Off-Broadway, Audible’s productions include David Cale’s Lucille Lortel-winning Harry Clarke starring Billy CrudupDennis Kelly’s Girls & Boys starring Carey Mulligan and Patti Smith: Words and Music. In 2017, Audible launched a $5 million Emerging Playwrights Fund that identifies and invests in emerging playwrights, making their works available to listeners globally. Recently produced commissions include the audio release of Madhuri Shekar’s Evil Eye and Lauren Gunderson’s The Half-Life of Marie Curie. Visit www.Audible.com/Theater for more information about Audible Theater’s programming.

Further information about the 2020 Williamstown Theatre Festival Season on Audible, including casting and audio release dates will be announced at a later date. For more information about Williamstown Theatre Festival, please visit www.wtfestival.org. For more information about Audible, please visit www.audible.com.

ABOUT THE 2020 WILLIAMSTOWN THEATRE FESTIVAL SEASON

A Streetcar Named Desire

By Tennessee Williams

Directed by Robert O’Hara

With Bobby Cannavale, Carla Gugino, Audra McDonald

Following his 2019 production of A Raisin in the Sun, celebrated as “an absorbing, watershed revival,” by The New York Times, Robert O’Hara returns to Williamstown Theatre Festival to direct this Tennessee Williams masterpiece. With Emmy, Grammy, and six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as Blanche DuBois alongside Carla Gugino as Stella and Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Bobby Cannavale as Stanley, O’Hara takes a fresh and visceral look at the emotionally charged relationship between these two iconic sisters. Haunted by her past, Blanche seeks refuge with Stella and Stanley in New Orleans, where she wrestles with the nature of her sister’s husband, her sister’s denial, and her own unraveling mind.

WORLD PREMIERE

Cult of Love

By Leslye Headland

Directed by Trip Cullman

With Dylan Baker, Kate Burton, Michael Esper, Paige Gilbert, Rebecca Henderson, Chris Lowell, Taylor Schilling, Miriam Silverman

Ginny (Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Kate Burton) and Bill Dahl raised their family with love, music, and Jesus. Every Christmas they welcome home their adult children with carols, figgy pudding, and a vat of Manhattans. But the holiday sours when their devout daughter Diana (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Taylor Schilling) unsettles her secular siblings (Michael Esper and Rebecca Henderson) with her evangelicalism. Trip Cullman directs this dark comedy by Leslye Headland about a family whose fierce determination to love each other may not be enough to keep them together.

Photograph 51

By Anna Ziegler

Directed by Susan Stroman

With Anna Chlumsky

In 1951, chemist Rosalind Franklin works relentlessly in her King’s College London lab, closing in on a major discovery that could unlock the mysteries of the DNA molecule. Undermined by her colleague Maurice Wilkins, she struggles to compete with rival team Watson and Crick as pressure intensifies to produce results. Following a critically acclaimed run in London, Anna Ziegler’s play is brought to life in a new production directed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman, honoring the monumental contribution of one scientist with two X chromosomes whom history nearly left behind.

WORLD PREMIERE

Wish You Were Here

By Sanaz Toossi

Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch

With Nikki Massoud, Marjan Neshat

Nazanin (Marjan Neshat) and her friends are on the brink of adulthood. As they prepare for a wedding, outside their living room the Iranian Revolution simmers and threatens to alter the course of their lives. Set over the course of 14 years, Sanaz Toossi’s timely world premiere play, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, shines a light on the daring potential of friendship amid the relentless aftershocks of political upheaval.

WORLD PREMIERE

Chonburi International Hotel & Butterfly Club

By Shakina Nayfack

Directed by Laura Savia

With Kate Bornstein, Annie Golden, Shakina Nayfack

In Shakina Nayfack’s world premiere play, a vibrant, international group of transgender women band together at a hotel in Thailand to confront the challenges and joys of gender confirmation surgery. Despite the group’s warm welcome, Kina (Nayfack) prepares for her life-altering operation all alone. But a caring nurse, a wise couple (Kate Bornstein and Annie Golden), and a karaoke-loving bellhop may be exactly who she needs to ignite her truest sense of self. WTF Associate Artistic Director Laura Savia directs this spirited comedy about one woman who tests the bonds of an unlikely sisterhood.

WORLD PREMIERE MUSICAL

Row

Book by Daniel Goldstein

Music & Lyrics by Dawn Landes

Directed by Tyne Rafaeli

Inspired by A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure

Tori aims to be the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic. As a child, she raised her younger brother Lamar, defending him against discrimination and neighborhood bullies. Now, with nothing but her body and a hand-built boat, she squares off with her own tormentor: the ocean. Inspired by A Pearl in the Storm by Tori Murden McClure, this uplifting world premiere musical, directed by Tyne Rafaeli with a book by Daniel Goldstein and music and lyrics by Dawn Landes, interrogates and reveals the resilience, fear, and ambition inside one individual undeterred by the odds.

WORLD PREMIERE

Animals

By Stacy Osei-Kuffour

Directed by Whitney White

Lydia and Henry’s dinner guests are about to arrive when Henry’s spontaneous marriage proposal threatens to burn the evening to a crisp. Wine bottles and years of unspoken tensions are uncorked, and, before the evening is through, Lydia must confront her long-held fears and feelings if she’s going to commit to a future with Henry. Directed by Whitney White, Stacy Osei-Kuffour’s world premiere comedy marches into the muddy intersection of romantic entanglement, identity, pride, and survival.

Audible Theater Announces Limited Runs of Liza Jessie Peterson’s THE PECULIAR PATRIOT and IN LOVE AND STRUGGLE at the Minetta Lane Theatre

LIZA JESSIE PETERSON
LIZA JESSIE PETERSON

LIZA JESSIE PETERSON

Audible, the world’s largest producer and seller of original spoken-word entertainment and audiobooks, today announced two new limited engagement events this February and March at the Minetta Lane Theatre, Audible’s creative home for live performances in New York. In celebration of the power of female storytelling and the intersection of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, Audible will produce In Love and Struggle featuring Sarah Jones, Anita Hill and more, and The Peculiar Patriot written and performed by Liza Jessie Peterson. As with previous Audible Theater shows at the Minetta Lane, In Love and Struggle and The Peculiar Patriot will be recorded live as Audible Original productions and made available to listeners globally on Audible later this year.

On February 28th, 29th and March 1stIn Love and Struggle will bring together a collection of extraordinarily dynamic and talented women of color for evenings of powerful monologues, music, comedy and tributes. The three-night limited engagement connects Black History Month and Women’s History Month as only a leap year can, to create a unique storytelling moment for these impactful voices.

On March 5th, 6th, and 7th, the multi-talented writer and performer Liza Jessie Peterson will showcase her acclaimed solo play – hailed as “powerful” by the Boston Globe – The Peculiar Patriot, a timely and urgent look at mass incarceration in America and the effects of a racially skewed justice system.

“Audible is committed to highlighting the power of storytelling and we are proud to bring these two incredible, female-led shows to the Minetta Lane Theatre in the coming months,” offered Kate Navin, Artistic Producer, Audible Theater. She continued, “In Love and Struggle and Peculiar Patriot showcase voices, experiences, and stories of vibrant women, which we hope will inspire and engage the community across both the live audiences and Audible listeners.”

More about In Love and Struggle, Friday, February 28 & Saturday, February 29 @ 8PM; Sunday, March 1 at 3PM:

In Love and Struggle brings together a group of prestigious women of color to share their stories during this unique calendar moment, a leap year which serves as a bridge, uniting Black History Month and Women’s History Month. A rotating slate of participants will include actor Sarah Jones, law professor Anita Hill, commentator Brittany Packnett Cunningham, model and speaker Aaron Philip, poet Mahogany L. Browne, writer Bassey Ikpi, scholar Salamishah Tillet, musician Toshi Reagon, author Jodie Patterson, hip-hop artist Mumu Fresh, harpist Brandee Younger and more to be announced. In Love and Struggle will be recorded live at the Minetta Lane Theatre and released as an Audible Original later this year, extending its reach to millions of Audible listeners around the world. Performers subject to change.

With creative producer and director Monica L. Williams, curator Rebecca Carroll and creative advisor Kamilah Forbes, Audible Theater’s presentation of In Love and Struggle features lighting design by Jen Schreiver, sound design by Justin Ellington and projection design by Katherine Freer and Alex Koch.

The show takes its name from a phrase writer Alice Walker inscribed years ago into a book she signed for young journalist Rebecca Carroll—now a critic at WNYC and the curator of the show.

Tickets to In Love and Struggle start at $49 and are available now at Ticketmaster.com.

 More about The Peculiar Patriot, Thursday, March 5- Saturday, March 7 at 7 PM:

Betsy LaQuanda Ross is a self-proclaimed “Peculiar Patriot,” who makes regular visits to penitentiaries in order to boost the morale of her loved ones. When she is not sharing neighborhood updates and gossip, Betsy illuminates our country’s cruel and unjust criminal justice system and its impact not only on the 2.3 million people behind bars, but also their family and friends. Written and performed by the inimitable Liza Jessie Peterson and inspired by her decades-long work with prison populations including on the notorious Riker’s Island, The Peculiar Patriot is a fierce, funny, and shrewd indictment of the systemic inequity within America’s fastest growing industry, tracing its roots from the plantation to the prison yard. Originally produced by the National Black Theatre and Hi-Arts, The Peculiar Patriot will be recorded live at the Minetta Lane Theatre and released as an Audible Original later this year, extending its reach to millions of Audible listeners around the world.

With Original Direction by Talvin Wilks, Audible Theater’s presentation of The Peculiar Patriot features staging by Jonathan McCrory, scenic and lighting design by Maruti Evans, costume design by LaToya Murray-Berry, sound design by Luqman Brown and projection design by Katherine Freer.

Tickets to The Peculiar Patriot start at $23 and are available now at Ticketmaster.com.

Additionally, a limited amount of rush tickets for In Love and Struggle and The Peculiar Patriot will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 10:00am on both performance days. Rush tickets will be sold exclusively by TodayTix for $25. To gain access to rush tickets, ticket-buyers must download the TodayTix app and unlock the functionality by sharing on their Facebook or Twitter pages. Tickets will be available for pick up at the Minetta Lane Theatre box office. Mobile rush concludes when inventory has sold out or two hours before the performance.

Other upcoming events at Audible’s Minetta Lane Theatre include Dan Rather’s “Stories Of A Lifetime,” directed by Kimberly Senior, playing two performances only on Tuesday, February 18 and Wednesday, February 19 at 7PM. Recent live events have included The Half-Life of Marie Curie, an Audible Emerging Playwrights Fund commission by Lauren Gunderson, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, and starring Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany; and Common’s “Bluebird Memories: A Journey Through Lyrics & Life.” These and other award-winning and critically acclaimed Audible performances of captivating stage productions starring Billy Crudup, Judith Light, John Lithgow, Carey Mulligan, Aasif Mandvi, and more are available for pre-order or download at www.audible.com/theater.

Additional events at the Minetta Lane Theatre will be announced in the coming months and

Audible has also announced live performances in London and Los Angeles. Information about previous and future live programming produced by Audible is available here.

With a 30-day membership trial at Audible, new listeners can enjoy any one audiobook, including the audio performances of productions at the Minetta Lane Theatre, free.

LAMDA and Audible release four new audio dramas

  • Four new audio dramas commissioned from emerging writers, Rebecca Boey, Eno Mfon, Joe White and Ross Willis
  • Performed by LAMDA students as part of creative collaboration with Audible to train the next generation of audio artists
  • Developed especially for young people, in line-with growing demand for audio content
  • GNR8T will be available to download exclusively at www.audible.co.uk/podcasts from 24th October 2019

LAMDA (London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art) and Audible UK announced the release of GNR8T, a collection of four original audio dramas. Commissioned from some of the UK’s most exciting emerging writers and workshopped by LAMDA students, the final productions were recorded by 2019 LAMDA graduating students as part of the two organisations’ ongoing partnership.

Exploring themes of identity, displacement, hysteria, environmental collapse and a dystopian epidemic, the thought-provoking short dramas have been created by and for young people.  Award-winning playwright Joe White and director Guy Jones paint a portrait of contemporary Britain in Doggerland as two women dream of escape from their isolated lives. Two young people with hidden superpowers are on the run in Ross Willis’ fast-moving, fantastical adventure PowF*ckingPow, directed by Jane Fallowfield. Eno Mfon’s mystery drama The Falling, directed by Sophie Moniram, sees a young journalist trying to uncover a mystery illness which has befallen the inmates at Holloway Prison. Rebecca Boey transports audiences to a dystopian world and a battle for survival in Locusts, directed by Miranda Cromwell.

The performers for the audio dramas are: Samuel Adebayo, Mercedes Assad, King Boateng, Bradley Craig, Michael De Filippis, Akiel Dowe, Phoebe Ellabani, Chloe English, Lucy Girling, Alex Heath, Rose Jackson-Smith, Liam King, Michael Kosko, Abi McLoughlin, Ethan Moorhouse, Stanley Morgan, Samuel Morgan-Davies, Kiefer Moriarty-Short, Stephanie Payne, William Robinson, Julia Romano, Esme Scarborough, Sam Stafford, Chloe Tannenbaum, Stuart Thompson, Matilda Tucker, Amy Vicary-Smith, Wyatt Warner and Matthew Yulish.

Laurence Howell, VP of Content at Audible said: “At Audible we are honoured to work with the world’s finest actors, and we are passionate about nurturing the next generation of talent. With GNR8T it’s fantastic to bring this commitment to life by working with some of the UK’s finest writing talent to create new, original dramas starring LAMDA students for Audible customers around the world. We are thrilled with the results.”

Peter Holliday, Acting Principal of LAMDA said: “Our partnership with Audible over the past year has provided LAMDA students with a fantastic opportunity to learn from one of the world’s leading audio producers. I’ve really enjoyed following the progress of these exciting new audio dramas, featuring LAMDA students. We can’t wait to share their work with the public.”

As one of the leading producers of audio entertainment, Audible is committed to constantly innovating the development of content in-line with growing demand. The release of the audio dramas forms part of a wider three-year creative collaboration formed in July 2018 between Audible and LAMDA, which aims to train the next generation of audio performers and create original content for new audiences. Support provided includes £150,000 of funding to the drama school, a scholarship for undergraduate students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and specialised audio skills training.

Recent audio success for LAMDA students has seen 2019 graduating actor Ell Potter narrate Audible’s Thriller of the Year Winter Dark by Alex Callister and the sequel Winter Rising. LAMDA also celebrated success at this year’s BBC Carleton Hobbs Bursary Awards, with all four students who entered recognised by the panel. Scarlett Courtney won a highly coveted BBC Carleton Hobbs Bursary, Ell Potter was named runner-up and further commendations were awarded to Joe McNamara and Benjamin Bridson.