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Vineyard Theatre resumes performances of Lessons in Survival: 1971 with Reggie D. White

Reggie D. White

Vineyard Theatre has announced that Lessons in Survival: 1971 will resume performances on Wednesday, June 15 with Reggie D. White temporarily stepping into the role of James Baldwin. White is a co-conceiver of the show as one of the members of The Commissary and the Vineyard Theatre’s 2022-2023 Colman Domingo Award recipient.

Lessons in Survival: 1971 is co-conceived by Marin Ireland, Peter Mark Kendall, Tyler Thomas and Reggie D. White, and is created with The Commissary. This innovative work stars Emmy-nominated Carl Clemons-Hopkins (“Hacks”) as James Baldwin and Theatre World Award winner Crystal Dickinson (Tony Award-winning Clybourne Park) as Nikki Giovanni and is directed by Tyler Thomas. Clemons-Hopkins is expected to return to the show on June 21.

In 1971, 28-year-old poet Nikki Giovanni interviewed renowned novelist James Baldwin, 47, on America’s first “Black Tonight Show,” SOUL!  Fifty years later, Lessons in Survival: 1971 reintroduces their candid, provocative dialogue on race and liberation in America to our present moment. Building on the digital exploration of Lessons in Survival, which was recognized by the New York Times in their “Best Theater of 2020,” this revelatory live staging explores the layers of intimacy and ideas between two Black revolutionary artists of different generations, with astonishing resonance for today.

The creative team includes You-Shin Chen (Scenic Design), Mika Eubanks (Costume Design), Amith Chadrashaker (Lighting Design), Lee Kinney and Daniel Kluger (Sound Design), Daniel Kluger (Original Composition), Matthew Glasner, CSA (Casting Director) and Rachel A. Zucker as Production Stage Manager.

Vineyard Theatre had cancelled performances of Lessons in Survival: 1971 through Tuesday, June 14. Ticket holders for impacted performances (June 10-14) will be contacted by phone and email regarding rebooking and next steps. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Vineyard Theatre box office at 212.353.0303 or boxoffice@vineyardtheatre.org for further assistance.

Tickets are now on sale to the general public at www.vineyardtheatre.org or by calling 212-353-0303.

About Vineyard Theatre

Vineyard Theatre is an Off-Broadway theatre company dedicated to nurturing the voices of daring artists and developing and producing work that pushes the boundaries of what theatre can be and do. One of the country’s preeminent centers for the creation of new plays and musicals, our work seeks to challenge and inspire all of us to see ourselves and our world from different perspectives.

The Vineyard’s 2021-22 season launched with the Broadway transfers of its productions of Tina Satter’s Is This A Room, named “Best Theater of 2019 and 2021” by the New York Times, Time Out and New York Magazine and winner of the Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience; and Lucas Hnath’s Dana H., chosen as the New York Times and Time Out’s “Best Theater of 2020 and 2021” and winner of the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show, which played in repertory at the Lyceum Theatre in the fall of 2021. Deirdre O’Connell recently won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for Dana H. Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive, which premiered at The Vineyard 25 years ago, played on Broadway this past spring, reuniting original cast members Mary-Louise Parker, David Morse and Johanna Day with director Mark Brokaw.

The Vineyard’s fall season also included commissioned new works from Ngozi Anyanwu, Kirsten Childs, Jared Mezzocchi, Polly Pen and Madeline Sayet. The World Premiere of Lessons in Survival: 1971 will be performed from May 25 – June 30.  Building on the digital exploration of Lessons in Survival, which was recognized by the New York Times as Best in Theater 2020, this revelatory live staging explores the layers of intimacy and ideas between two Black revolutionary artists of different generations, with astonishing resonance for today.

Notable Vineyard Theatre premieres include Ngozi Anyanwu’s Good Grief; Jeremy O. Harris’ “Daddy”; Mara Nelson-Greenberg’s Do You Feel Anger?; David Cale’s Harry Clarke (2018 Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel Awards); Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman’s Indecent (two 2017 Tony Awards); two Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, Paula Vogel’s How I Learned To Drive and Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Gloria; Nicky Silver’s The Lyons; Marx, Lopez and Whitty’s Avenue Q (Tony Award, Best Musical); Kander, Ebb, and Thompson’s The Scottsboro Boys; Bell and Bowen’s [title of show]; Polly Pen’s Goblin Market; Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Wig Out!; Jenny Schwartz’ God’s Ear; Will Eno’s Middletown; Becky Mode’s Fully Committed; Colman Domingo’s Dot, and many more.

The Vineyard’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, Susan Stroman Directing Award, and Colman Domingo Award provide residencies to early-career artists and our education programs serve over 700 NYC public high school students annually and culminate in presenting Developing Artists’ REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival.  The recently created Roth-Vogel New Play Commission is awarded annually to a mid- to late-career playwright to create and develop a new play with The Vineyard. Works developed and premiered at our home in Union Square have gone on to be seen around the world and The Vineyard is proud to be the recipient of special Drama Desk, Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards for artistic excellence.

The Vineyard’s 2021-2022 Artists-in-Residence include The Commissary, Ryan Haddad, Michael R. Jackson, Lightning Rod Special, Tyler Thomas, and Reggie D. White.

Vineyard Theatre’s leadership includes Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern and Managing Director Suzanne Appel.

www.vineyardtheatre.org