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Second Stage Theater Announces ‘Cardinal’

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July 11, 2017 – Second Stage Theater (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director; Casey Reitz, Executive Director) has announced that the world premiere of GREG PIERCE’s play, CARDINAL, directed by KATE WHORISKEY, has been added to the 2017-18 season. The production will open in Winter 2018 at the Tony Kiser Theater (305 West 43rd Street).

Paint it red. So begins Lydia’s wild idea to invigorate her Rust Belt town. But when a whip-smart entrepreneur co-opts her scheme, a precarious rivalry is born. A battle for the town’s soul ensues, causing its obsessive mayor, its defiant matriarch, and the rest of its residents to question who they are and where they’re headed.

CARDINAL is the Benjamin Maurice Rosen Commission for Second Stage Theater.

Second Stage Theater’s 2017-18 season at the Tony Kiser Theater also includes the 35th anniversary production of HARVEY FIERSTEIN’s TORCH SONG, directed by MOISÉS KAUFMAN and starring MICHAEL URIE and MERCEDES RUEHL, and the New York Premiere of TRACY LETTS’ acclaimed play, MARY PAGE MARLOWE, directed by LILA NEUGEBAUER.

On Broadway at The Hayes Theater, Second Stage will present KENNETH LONERGAN’s LOBBY HERO, directed by TRIP CULLMAN and starring MICHAEL CERA and CHRIS EVANS in his Broadway debut, as well as the Broadway Premiere of YOUNG JEAN LEE’s STRAIGHT WHITE MEN, directed by ANNA D. SHAPIRO.

Subscriptions are currently available for $345, inclusive of all five productions in the 2017/18 season, including the company’s inaugural productions on Broadway. For subscription and ticket information, please visit 2ST.com or call the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422.

Casting and additional creative team members will be announced at a later date.

BIOGRAPHIES
GREG PIERCE (Playwright) grew up in Shelburne, Vermont. His play Slowgirl was the inaugural play of Lincoln Center’s Claire Tow Theater (LCT3). It was subsequently produced by Steppenwolf Theatre and the Geffen Playhouse, among others. His play, Her Requiem, a Lincoln Center Theater commission, was also produced by LCT3. The Landing, a musical written with composer John Kander, premiered at the Vineyard Theater in NYC. His second musical with Kander, Kid Victory, was co-produced by Signature Theatre in Virginia and the Vineyard Theater. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, co-written with director Stephen Earnhart, based on the novel by Haruki Murakami, premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival, and went on to play the Singapore Arts Festival. The Quarry, with music by Greg’s brother Randal Pierce was commissioned and produced by Vermont Stage Company. Fellow Travelers, an opera he wrote with composer Gregory Spears, based on the novel by Thomas Mallon, premiered at Cincinnati Opera. Greg has received fellowships from the Edward F. Albee Foundation, Yaddo, The Djerassi Institute, New York Public Library, and Baryshnikov Arts Center. He currently holds a commission from Manhattan Theatre Club/Sloan Foundation. His work has been developed with Naked Angels, The New Group, Atlantic Theater Company, Asia Society, the Rattlestick Theater, and the Public Theater’s Under the Radar festival. He has a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the WGA.

KATE WHORISKEY (Director) most recently directed Pulitzer Prize-winning Sweat at Studio 54. Her work has been seen on Broadway, off-Broadway, and regionally. In New York, she has directed at Circle in the Square, the Public, Second Stage, Manhattan Theatre Club, Lincoln Center Theater, the Vineyard Theater, Theatre for A New Audience, and Playwrights Horizons. She has directed the premieres of Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, Fabulation, Ruined, and Sweat; Julia Cho’s Aubergine and The Piano Teacher; Greg Pierce’s Her Requiem, among others. She was nominated for a Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel for her work on Ruined. She has worked regionally at The Goodman Theatre, South Coast Rep, The Geffen, the American Repertory Theatre, the Shakespeare Theatre, the Huntington, Baltimore Center Stage, the Arena Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Perseverance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Sundance Theatre Lab, The Fisher Center, and The Eugene O’Neill Center. Internationally, she directed Magdalena at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris and Teatro Municipal de Sao Paolo.

ABOUT SECOND STAGE THEATER

Under the artistic direction of Carole Rothman, SECOND STAGE THEATER produces a diverse range of premieres and new interpretations of America’s best contemporary theater by living American playwrights, including 2015 Pulitzer Prize winner Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis; 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey; 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes; The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown; Dogfight by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and Peter Duchan; Dear Evan Hansen by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, and Steven Levenson; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage; Trust and Lonely, I’m Not by Paul Weitz; The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz; Everyday Rapture and Whorl Inside a Loop by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott; Let Me Down Easy by Anna Deavere Smith; Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo; Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl; The Little Dog Laughed by Douglas Carter Beane; Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee by William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin; Jitney by August Wilson; Jar the Floor by Cheryl L. West; Uncommon Women and Others by Wendy Wasserstein; Crowns by Regina Taylor; Saturday Night by Stephen Sondheim; Afterbirth: Kathy & Mo’s Greatest Hits by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy; This Is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan; Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants by Ricky Jay; Coastal Disturbances by Tina Howe; A Soldier’s Play by Charles Fuller; Little Murders by Jules Feiffer; The Good Times Are Killing Me by Lynda Barry; and Tiny Alice by Edward Albee.

The company’s more than 130 citations include six 2017 Tony Awards for Dear Evan Hansen (Best Musical, Best Lead Actor in a Musical, Ben Platt; Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Rachel Bay Jones; Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Orchestrations), the 2009 Tony Awards for Best Lead Actress in a Musical (Alice Ripley, Next to Normal) and Best Score (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, Next to Normal); the 2007 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play (Julie White, The Little Dog Laughed); the 2005 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical (Rachel Sheinkin, …Spelling Bee) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Dan Fogler, …Spelling Bee); the 2002 Tony Award for Best Director of a Play (Mary Zimmerman for Metamorphoses); the 2002 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, 30 Obie Awards, eight Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Clarence Derwent Awards, 13 Drama Desk Awards, nine Theatre World Awards, 19 Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Critics Circle Award and 23 AUDELCO Awards.

In 1999, Second Stage Theater opened The Tony Kiser Theater, its state-of-the-art, 296-seat theater, designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. In 2002, Second Stage launched “Second Stage Theater Uptown” series to showcase the work of up and coming artists at the McGinn/Cazale Theater. The Theater supports artists through several programs that include residencies, fellowships and commissions, and engages students and community members through education and outreach programs.

SECOND STAGE THEATER ON BROADWAY
Second Stage Theater purchased the historic Helen Hayes Theater, located at 240 W. 44th Street, in 2015. The company will continue to lease and operate their original theaters on the city’s Upper West Side and in Midtown Manhattan. Second Stage Theater has enlisted David Rockwell and The Rockwell Group to make renovations and updates to the 104 year old landmark building.

Second Stage Theater’s inaugural Broadway season will begin in March 2018 with Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero, directed by Trip Cullman and starring Michael Cera and Chris Evans in his Broadway debut. The season will also include the New York Premiere of Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men, directed by Anna D. Shapiro.

This inaugural season kicks off Second Stage’s mission of creating and building a permanent home on Broadway dedicated exclusively to American plays and living American playwrights.

Second Stage Theater is investing in its future on Broadway by co-commissioning established playwrights through its STAGE-2-STAGE program, launching with Los Angeles’s Center Theatre Group. This ongoing program will provide a pathway to Broadway, with each play receiving an initial production in Los Angeles at one of CTG’s three theaters before moving to New York. The commissioned playwrights are Jon Robin Baitz, Will Eno, Lisa Kron, Young Jean Lee, Lynn Nottage, and Paula Vogel.

Second Stage Theater is also co-commissioning a new work from Bess Wohl for Broadway, through a partnership with the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and new works for Broadway from Lydia R. Diamond and Dominique Morisseau, which will be developed in association with Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theater.

SECOND STAGE THEATER OFF-BROADWAY

Second Stage Theater’s upcoming off-Broadway productions include the New York premiere of Bruce Norris’s A Parallelogram, directed by Michael Greif, currently in previews and opening August 2.

For more information, please visit www.2ST.com

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