The Public Theater is presenting the world premiere of White Noise, written by Public Theater Master Writer Chair and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks. Oskar Eustis directs this fierce new play about race, friendship, and our rapidly unraveling social contract starring Daveed Diggs, Sheria Irving, Thomas Sadoski and Zoë Winters.
White Noise begins with a Joseph Papp Free Preview performance on Tuesday, March 5 in The Public’s Anspacher Theater and will run through Sunday, April 14, with an official press opening on Wednesday, March 20. Click here for tickets and more information.
I got a sneak peek of White Noise on December 3rd when The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust presented Ms. Parks with the 2018 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the 11th Annual “Mimi” Awards at Lincoln Center Theater in New York. The “Mimi” Awards are presented annually to honor the outstanding artistry and accomplishments of some of the most gifted American Playwrights. Check out photos of the celebration below, in honor of Black History Month.
The Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award is presented biennially to honor and encourage the artistic excellence and achievement of an American playwright whose body of work has made significant contributions to the American theatre. The recipient of the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award receives a cash award of $200,000 and “The Mimi,” a statuette designed by David Rockwell, Tony Award-nominated scenic designer and architect.
Ms. Parks kicked off the program performing with her husband, Christian Konopka.
Brandon J. Dirden, Amari Cheatom, Crystal A. Dickinson and Roslyn Ruff performed excerpts from her plays.
Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith, Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis, Lincoln Center Theater Artistic Director André Bishop, Jim Steinberg, Carol Steinberg, Michael Steinberg, Carole Krumland, Ted Krumland, members of The Steinberg Family, Atlantic Theater’s Neil Pepe, Mary McCann and Jeffory Lawson, People’s Light Artistic Director Zak Berkman, Lynn Nottage, Jocelyn Bioh, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Martyna Majok, Jo Bonney, J.T. Rogers, Zainab Jah, Mirirai Sithole, Gillian Glasco, Reynaldo Piniella, Julian Rozzell, Jr., David Ryan Smith, Donovan Mitchell, J. Cameron Barnett, Russell G. Jones, Amelia Workman, Amari Cheatom, Alfonso Johnson, Louis Cancelmi, Hannah Cabell, Garth Kravits and the playwright’s sister, Stephanie Parks were in the house for the celebration.
Suzan-Lori Parks was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next New Wave,” and is the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Topdog/Underdog. She is a MacArthur “Genius Grant” prize recipient and she’s also received The Gish Prize for Excellence in the Arts. Broadway credits include: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess which was awarded the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical and Topdog/Underdog, which starred Jeffrey Wright and Mos Def and was directed by George C. Wolfe. The play received a Tony Nomination and recently was named by the New York Times as the most important American play within the last 25 years. Other plays include: In The Blood (Pulitzer Prize finalist), Fucking A, The Death of The Last Black Man In The Whole Entire World aka The Negro Book Of The Dead and more recently Father Comes Home From The Wars (parts 1,2&3) (Pulitzer Prize Finalist). In 2003 Parks wrote a play a day culminating in 365 Days/365 Plays; the plays were produced globally in over 700 theatres, which, at the time, was said to be the largest theatrical grass-roots undertaking of its kind. More recently, to reflect on the current presidential administration Parks wrote 100 Plays For The First Hundred Days. Parks has authored a novel: Getting Mother’s Body which is published by Random House. Her screenplays include Girl6 (directed by Spike Lee); Their Eyes Were Watching God (produced by Oprah Winfrey); Anemone Me (produced by Christine Vachon and Todd Haynes) and she’s got two new screenplays in production: an adaptation of Richard Wright’s Native Son, (directed by Rashid Johnson) and The United States vs Billie Holiday, (directed by Lee Daniels.) She’s at work on a stage-musical adaptation of the film The Harder They Come and two new stage plays, one of them: White Noise which will receive its world premiere this coming season and will be directed by Oskar Eustis. Parks is The Public Theater’s Master Writer Chair, where she performs Watch Me Work, a weekly writing class free of charge and open to all. She also writes songs and fronts her band: Suzan-Lori Parks & The Band.
In 2008, the Board of Directors created an advisory committee of prominent theater professionals to establish the awards criteria, nominate individual candidates and select each recipient.
The 2018 Advisory Committee is comprised of Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director, Public Theater; Sarah Lunnie, Literary Director, Playwrights Horizons; Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director, Manhattan Theatre Club; Hana S. Sharif, Associate Artistic Director, Baltimore Center Stage; Molly Smith, Artistic Director, Arena Stage; Kent Thompson, Theatre Director, Producer and Author; and Les Waters, Theatre Director.
The Board of Directors of The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust is made up of Carole A. Krumland, James D. Steinberg, Michael A. Steinberg, Seth M. Weingarten, and William D. Zabel.
Click below for an in-depth recap of the night.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
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