Cast & Creative Team Announced for Signature Theatre’s OCTET by Dave Malloy

Octet

Octet

The cast and creative team have been announced for the Signature Theatre (Paige Evans, Artistic Director; Harold Wolpert, Executive Director; James Houghton, Founder) production of Octet, a world premiere musical by three-time Tony Award nominee Dave Malloy and directed by Annie Tippe. Octet is the first production in Malloy’s Signature Residency, which will include three productions over the course of five years.

Octet runs April 30 to June 9, 2019 with a Sunday, May 19 opening night in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues).

Tickets, priced at $35 thanks to the Signature Ticket Initiative, are on sale now for the production. To purchase tickets for all Signature productions, call Ticket Services at 212-244-7529 (Tues. – Sun., 11am – 6pm) or visit www.SignatureTheatre.org.

Featuring a score for an a cappella chamber choir and an original libretto inspired by internet comment boards, scientific debates, religious texts, and Sufi poetry, Octet explores addiction and nihilism within the messy context of 21st century technology. It is the first musical Signature has produced since its founding in 1991.

The cast of Octet includes Adam Bashian (The Phantom of the Opera) as Jim, Kim Blanck (Alice by Heart) as Karly, Starr Busby (Off-Broadway debut) as Paula, Alex Gibson (SpongeBob SquarePants the Musical) as Peter, Justin Gregory Lopez (“Jesus Christ Superstar Live”) as Toby, J.D. Mollison (X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. the Nation) as Marvin, Margo Seibert (In Transit) as Jessica, and Kuhoo Verma(The Big Sick) as Velma. The cast will also include Jonathan Christopher and Nicole Weiss.

 The creative team includes Or Matias (Music Supervision and Music Direction), Amy Rubin Brittany Vasta (Scenic Design), Brenda Abbandandolo (Costume Design),Christopher Bowser (Lighting Design) and Hidenori Nakajo (Sound Design). The Production Stage Manager is Jhanaë Bonnick and Casting is by Caparelliotis Casting.

Special thanks to Time Warner Foundation, Inc., The Michael and Betty Rauch Fund for Residency 5, and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for supporting the Residency 5 Program.

All tickets for the initial run of the production are $35 as part of the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access. For more information, please visitwww.SignatureTheatre.org.

The groundbreaking Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access is a program that guarantees affordable tickets to every Signature production through 2031. Serving as a model for theatres and performing arts organizations across the country, the Initiative was founded in 2005 and is made possible by lead partner The Pershing Square Foundation with additional support provided by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, Margot Adams, The SHS Foundation, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Unlikely Collaborators, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

2018-19 SEASON OVERVIEW

RESIDENCY 1: LYNN NOTTAGE

Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine

By Lynn Nottage

Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz

Final Performance Played January 13, 2019

The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage (Sweat, Ruined) begins her Residency 1 at Signature with Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine, directed by Obie Award-winner Lileana Blain-Cruz. This satirical tale follows successful African-American publicist Undine as she stumbles down the social ladder after her husband steals her hard-earned fortune.

Broke and now pregnant, Undine is forced to return to her childhood home in the Brooklyn projects, where she must face the challenges of the life she left behind. Featuring “punchy social insights and the firecracker snap of unexpected humor” (The New York Times), Fabulation reveals how difficult it is to outrun where we come from.

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

By Lynn Nottage

Directed by Kamilah Forbes

Final Performance Played March 10, 2019

The Irene Diamond Stage

It’s the Golden Age of Hollywood, and aspiring starlet Vera Stark works as a maid to Gloria Mitchell, an aging star grasping at her fading career. Worlds collide when Vera lands a trailblazing role in an antebellum epic starring…her boss. While Vera’s portrayal of a slave turns out to be groundbreaking, decades later scholars and film buffs still grapple with the actress’ legacy in Hollywood and the impact that race had on her controversial career.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage’s fast-paced, sly satire, directed by Kamilah Forbes, will take you on a seventy-year journey through Vera’s life and the cultural climate that originally shaped her and continues today.

A new play by Lynn Nottage will be produced during the 2019-20 Season as part of her residency.

RESIDENCY 5: DAVE MALLOY

Octet

By Dave Malloy

Directed by Annie Tippe

April 30 – June 9, 2019

The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre

Three-time Tony Award-nominee Dave Malloy (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) begins his residency as Signature’s first musical theatre writer with the world premiere musical Octet, directed by Annie Tippe (Ghost Quartet).

Featuring a score for an a cappella chamber choir and an original libretto inspired by internet comment boards, scientific debates, religious texts, and Sufi poetry, Octetexplores addiction and nihilism within the messy context of 21st century technology.

Special thanks to Time Warner Foundation, Inc., The Michael and Betty Rauch Fund for Residency 5, and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for supporting the Residency 5 Program.

LEGACY PROGRAM: WILL ENO

Thom Pain (based on nothing)

By Will Eno

Directed by Oliver Butler

Final Performance Played December 9, 2018

The Irene Diamond Stage

Drama Desk Award-winner Will Eno, the first writer to complete the Residency 5 program, returned to Signature for his first Legacy production with Thom Pain (based on nothing), directed by Oliver Butler (Obie and Lortel Award-winning The Open House). The production starred Golden Globe Award-winner Michael C. Hall (“Dexter,” “Six Feet Under,” The Realistic Joneses).

Called “a small masterpiece” by The New York Times and “one of the best monologues I’ve ever seen” by The Guardian, this surreal and very real one-man show follows Thom Pain as he desperately, and hilariously, tries to save his own life…or at least make it into something worth dying for.

LEGACY PROGRAM: ATHOL FUGARD

Boesman and Lena

By Athol Fugard

Directed by Yaël Farber

Now Extended Through March 24, 2019

The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre

Legacy playwright Athol Fugard has made a home at Signature since being the inaugural Residency 1 playwright at the Center, and his South African-set stories, with themes of complex identities, racial tension, and social protest, remain as relevant as ever.

In this new production of the “prophetic and brilliant” (The New York TimesBoesman and Lena, the human need for kindness, hope and compassion is on display in the struggles of abusive Boesman and his long-suffering wife Lena, who encounter a stranger while wandering the South African wastelands.

LEGACY PROGRAM: SAM SHEPARD

Curse of the Starving Class

By Sam Shepard

Directed by Terry Kinney

April 23 – May 26, 2019

The Irene Diamond Stage

This new production of Curse of the Starving Class, directed by Terry Kinney, honors Pulitzer Prize-winning Legacy Playwright Sam Shepard, who passed away in 2017. Living a stagnant, unhappy existence in rural California, the struggling Tate family is desperate for change, but every family member has a different way of trying to improve their station in life. Last produced in NYC by Signature more than 20 years ago, Curse of the Starving Class was called a play of “eloquent intensity, whirlwind farce and resonantly poignant insight” by Time Magazine.