New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) Artistic Director James C. Nicola and Managing Director William Russo have announced that tickets are on sale for A Civil War Christmas, written by Paula Vogel and directed by Tina Landau. Performances of this holiday-themed work begin Tuesday, November 13, 2012, at 7pm at NYTW, 79 East 4 Street, between Bowery and Second Avenue. Opening night is scheduled for Tuesday, December 4 at 7pm. A Civil War Christmas is scheduled to run through Sunday, December 30.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel weaves a rich tapestry of a beleaguered and divided nation, war-weary and desperate for goodwill, on a blustery Christmas Eve in 1864. Through the personal stories and struggles of a wide range of historical figures and fictional characters – from the President’s wife to runaway slaves, Union and Confederate soldiers to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Walt Whitman – we learn that, for all their differences, one thing is clear: the yearning for peace cuts across religious and class divisions, color lines and, of course, the Mason-Dixon Line.
At once familiar and freshly re-imagined, the story of that winter night is alive with history, hope and humanity. Vividly staged by director Tina Landau and infused throughout with traditional carols and period music, A Civil War Christmas takes a sprawling new look at the seemingly intractable challenges we once faced to see how far we’ve come as a nation and how far we still have to go.
The cast of A Civil War Christmas will include De’adre Aziza, Sumaya Bouhbal, K. Todd Freeman, Chris Henry, Rachel Spencer Hewitt, Antwayn Hopper, Jonathan-David, Karen Kandel, Sean Allan Krill, Alice Ripley, and Bob Stillman.
Paula Vogel, a playwright since the late 1970s, first came to national prominence with her AIDS-related serio-comedy The Baltimore Waltz, which won the Obie award for Best Play in 1992. She is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned To Drive (1997), which examines the impact and echoes of child sexual abuse and incest. Other notable plays include Desdemona, A Play About A Handkerchief (1979); The Oldest Profession (1981); And Baby Makes Seven (1984); Hot 'N Throbbing (1994); The Mineola Twins (1996) and The Long Christmas Ride Home (2006). In 2004-5 she was the playwright in residence at Signature Theatre, which produced three of her works. During her two decades leading the graduate playwriting program and new play festival at Brown University, Vogel helped developed a nationally recognized center for educational theatre, culminating in the creation of the Brown/Trinity Repertory Company Consortium with Oskar Eustis, then Trinity's artistic director, in 2002. She left Brown in 2008 to assume her current posts as adjunct professor and the Chair of the playwriting department at Yale School of Drama, and the Playwright-in-Residence at Yale Repertory Theatre. Most recent awards include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dramatists Guild (2011) and the 2010 William Inge Festival Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award. In January 2013 she will be inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. She is most honored to have two awards to emerging playwrights named after her: the Paula Vogel Award, created by the American College Theatre Festival in 2003, and the Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting given annually by the Vineyard Theatre since 2007. Ms. Vogel also won the 2004 Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the OBIE for Best Play in 1992, the Hull-Warriner Award, Laura Pels Award, Pew Charitable Trust Senior Award, a Guggenheim, an AT&T New Plays Award, the Fund for New American Plays, the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center Fellowship, several National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the McKnight Fellowship, and the Bunting Fellowship from Radcliffe College. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Double UCross Colony, and Yaddo. Her most recent projects include a collaboration with director Rebecca Taichman and a project with Blanka Ziska and the Wilma theatre, which will involve workshops with veterans in Philadelphia.
Tina Landau is a writer and director, whose work in NYC includes Tarell Alvin McCraney’s In the Red and Brown Water (The Public Theater) and Wig Out! (Vineyard Theatre), ChuckMee’s Iphigenia 2.0 (Signature Theatre Company), Orestes and Trojan Women (En Garde Arts), the Broadway productions of Tracy Letts’ Superior Donuts and Bells Are Ringing (revival, Tony nomination), as well as her original works Floyd Collins with Adam Guettel (Playwrights Horizons), Dream True with Ricky Ian Gordon (Vineyard), Space (The Public), and Stonewall (En Garde.) Tina is an ensemble member at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, where her directing credits include Hot L Baltimore, The Brother/Sister Plays, Superior Donuts, The Tempest, Time of Your Life (also at Seattle Rep, American Conservatory Theater), Diary of Anne Frank, The Cherry Orchard, The Ballad of Little Jo, and Chuck Mee’s Berlin Circle and Time to Burn. Her upcoming work includes the premiere of Tarell McCraney's Head of Passes at Steppenwolf, and the musical, Beauty, for which she is writing the book and directing, with music by Regina Spektor and lyrics by Michael Korie. Tina’s other directing work includes Antony and Cleopatra (Hartford Stage), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (McCarter, Papermill), Sycamore Trees (Signature, VA), Of Thee I Sing (Papermill), Mary Rose (Vineyard), among many others. A graduate of Yale College and the A.R.T. Institute at Harvard, Tina has returned to teach at both, as well as at NYU, Columbia, Northwestern, and other colleges. She is a USA Fellow, as well as recipient of awards from the NEA, Princess Grace Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, and Rockefeller Foundation among others. Tina is the author, with Anne Bogart, of The Viewpoints Book. She directed the premier of A Civil War Christmas at the Long Wharf Theater in 2008.