Posts Tagged Stephen Karam

Introducing the Company of THE HUMANS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT
Rachel Wandrei |wandrei@parksquaretheatre.org
Emily Halstead | halstead@parksquaretheatre.org

A FRESH PERSPECTIVE ON FAMILY IN THE HUMANS

Saint Paul, MN. August 25, 2022: Park Square Theatre’s 2022-2023 Season opens with the Tony Award-winning comedy-drama THE HUMANS (September 14 – Oct 9, 2022) by Stephen Karam, directed by Lily Tung Crystal. A one-act performed in real time, the play takes place as three generations gather for Thanksgiving at the new apartment of one of the children. Blisteringly funny but with a dark underside, Karam offers a stunning portrayal of a family navigating the challenges of everyday life.

Audiences are likely to come away commenting about how they relate to one or all of the family members. “This play is deeply and delightfully about family,” shares director Lily Tung Crystal. “What I love about THE HUMANS is that it fully captures the joy, humor, and dysfunction of family in all its nuances. The characters are doing the best they can to get through this one Thanksgiving dinner and everything else life throws at them–the trauma of 9/11, economic hardship, health challenges, broken relationships, old age, the effects of a hurricane. No one is perfect, but no one is a villain either, and somehow their love for one another helps bind them together, for better or worse.” 

After premiering in Chicago in 2014, THE HUMANS opened on Broadway in 2016 where it became a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play, but Tung Crystal is busy thinking about how to interpret it for a Minnesota audience in 2022. “There are a lot of Asian adoptees around the country, but particularly in Minnesota, and portraying a family of White parents with Korean adoptee daughters seemed to make a lot of sense. In fact, that choice has opened up many new ways to think about the play, which the audiences here in the Twin Cities will understand and resonate with. People often have a monolithic perception of what it means to be an ‘American family,’ but we are approaching this show with a 2022 lens, embracing a blend of different ethnicities, backgrounds, and beliefs, rather than the ‘traditional’ family construct. Portraying the family in this way allows us to embrace all the diversity that family can be.” 

Three generations will by played by John Middleton* and Charity Jones* as parents Erik and Deirdre Blake, Laura Anderson* and Dexieng “Dae” Yang as their daughters, Aimee and Brigid, Angela Timberman* as grandmother Fiona “Momo” Blake, and Darrick Mosley* as Brigid’s boyfriend, Richard. Lori Constable, Gary David Keast, James Rodriguez, and Janet Scanlon will understudy.

Examining human relationships and the bonds that tie people together is a through-line in the Park Square 2022-2023 Season. Executive Director Mark Ferraro-Hauck notes that THE HUMANS and BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY (at Park Square May 24- June 18, 2023) both specifically portray American family life. “A large part of the USA’s contribution to theatre is the exploration of family,” says Ferraro-Hauck. “It is really important to recognize that these two plays are in the same vein. While the central storytelling is told with different voices and comes from different lived experiences, they both show us ways in which our lives are bound together through the common experiences of family life.” 

Ferraro-Hauck also appreciates the deft hand in which Karam crafts the play. “What is amazing about THE HUMANS is how it weaves its way through both the best and worst of family experience but does so without judgment. It embraces us as flawed beings trying to make community and family together. It allows us to laugh at it, get angry, and cry over it simultaneously.” Who hasn’t felt that way after a holiday spent with their own family?

The production team for THE HUMANS includes Roshni Desai (Assistant Director), Erik Paulson (Set Designer), Matthew LeFebvreᐩ (Costume Designer), Katharine Horowitz (Sound Designer), Karin Olson (Lighting Designer), John Novak (Properties Designer), Katie Bradley (Dramaturge), Andrea Moriarity (Wigs Designer), Isabella Dawis (Music Director), Shae Palic (Intimacy Director), Keely Wolter (Dialect Coach), Lyndsey R. Harter* (Stage Manager), and Em Friedman (Assistant Stage Manager).
* Member, Actors’ Equity Association, ᐩ Member, USA Union 829

CALENDAR INFORMATION:

THE HUMANS

Park Square’s Proscenium Stage

Previews: September 14, 15

Opening Night: September 16

Regular Run: September 16–October 9

Audio Description: September 23

Pay-As-You’re-Able: September 25

ASL: September 25

Open Captioning: October 7, 8, 9

Post-Show Discussions: September 25, 29

TICKET PRICES: Previews: $27-$37. Regular Run: $40-$55. Pay-As-You’re-Able on Sunday, Sept 25. Discounts are available for students and educators, seniors, military personnel, those under age 30, and groups of 10 or more. Tickets are on sale by phone at 651.291.7005, (12 noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday), or online at parksquaretheatre.org.   #pstHumans

PHOTOS: As available, production photos will be posted at: PST The Humans_FOR PRESS.

BIOGRAPHIES:

LILY TUNG CRYSTAL (she/her) is a director and actor and the artistic director of Theater Mu. She is grateful to be collaborating with such talented and generous artists. In the Twin Cities, she has directed Jiehae Park’s peerless, Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, and the live film-theater production of Susan Soon He Stanton’s Today Is My Birthday at Mu and Art is a Verb (Harrison Rivers, librettist) at MNOpera. Other shows include David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish and Flower Drum Song at Palo Alto Players, and the world premiere of Leah Nanako Winkler’s Two Mile Hollow at Ferocious Lotus. For all three shows, she was named a Theatre Bay Area Award Finalist for Outstanding Direction. As an actor/singer, Lily has performed at theaters across the country, including Cal Shakes, Crowded Fire, Magic Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, New World Stages, Playwrights’ Center, Portland Center Stage, SF Playhouse, and Syracuse Stage. She is a YBCA 100 honoree, named by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as a “creative pioneer making the provocations that will shape the future of culture.” theatermu.org; lilytungcrystal.com

PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul
Ticket Office: 651.291.7005. www.parksquaretheatre.org

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A Season of Perspective and Sharing

Park Square and SteppingStone Theatres Announce Joint Season

MEDIA CONTACTS
Mark Ferraro-Hauck: 952.220.2178 mark@steppingstonetheatre.org
Rachel Wandrei: 617.543.5770 wandrei@parksquaretheatre.org

Saint Paul, Minn., April 20, 2022 – Park Square Theatre and SteppingStone Theatre for Youth announced their 2022-2023 season plans today, continuing the process of bringing the two companies together in one downtown Saint Paul home. The two organizations will retain their names for their first united season, but are planning to become a single legal entity this fall.

For Park Square’s 48th season, the cohort of five artistic associates has worked to select plays that come from many points of view, with the goal of creating theatre filled with both meaning and entertainment. “We strive to be a place where everyone is able to tell their story, and where we can hear and see each other with open hearts, particularly as we rebuild connections and communities after these years apart,” says Executive Director Mark Ferraro-Hauck. The season includes two world premieres, two regional premieres, a Tony Award winner, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and the 25th anniversary of a play that has become central to Park Square’s youth education programs. The SteppingStone performance calendar will include a winter-themed play, Shakespeare performed by young people, and a touring production for very young audiences.

A slightly smaller season than in previous years, the theatres are aiming to reset and organically rebuild after the pandemic. Each play will have a slightly shorter run, have fewer preview performances and a modified rehearsal schedule that eliminates the “10 out of 12” rehearsal days that are notoriously grueling for the artists involved. 

The theatre year will open with the 2016 Tony Award winner for Best Play, THE HUMANS (Sept 14 – Oct 9, 2022), by Stephen Karam. Three generations of the Blake family have assembled for Thanksgiving and everyone is determined to make the best of it, but as they attempt to focus on the positive, old wounds, current mistakes, and future fears threaten their stability. Both blisteringly funny and deeply chilling, the play offers a stunning portrayal of the human condition; a family at its best and worst navigating the challenges of everyday life.

Next, Park Square deepens its relationship with Full Circle Theater Company with a co-production of FIRE IN THE NEW WORLD (Oct 19 – Nov 6, 2022), written by Rick Shiomi, who is a co-founder of Full Circle and serves as an artistic associate for Park Square. In this world premiere noir mystery, Sam Shikaze, hard-boiled private eye, fights crime and discrimination in Vancouver’s Japantown in the years after WWII. When the beautiful Japanese American wife of an ambitious real estate developer goes missing, Sam is on the case in a savvy detective caper that mixes social commentary with plenty of sly intrigue.

For the holiday season, SteppingStone will present THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS (Dec 1 – 23, 2022). With a script by Jerome Hairston, and based on the books by Ezra Jack Keats, this magical tale will explore the wonder of a fresh snowfall, the delight of whistling for the first time, the awe in finding special treasures, and the joy of making new friends. A timeless classic, THE SNOWY DAY is the most checked-out volume of all time at the New York Public Library and is known for being the first book featuring an African American child to win the Caldecott Medal. This new ensemble-driven production will explore connections to water and the changing of the seasons through movement and storytelling.

Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett’s adaptation of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK has become a core part of Park Square’s educational offerings over 25 years, with over 265,000 students having experienced Anne Frank’s story at the theatre. To commemorate the anniversary, the company will present an all-new production. As the Frank family hides in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, Anne shares both her everyday teenage challenges and the terror of the Holocaust. Now more relevant than ever, this resonant story of hope and imagination in the darkest of times illuminates a part of history that must not be forgotten. On the Park Square Theatre mainstage for all audiences Jan 18 – Feb 12, 2023, with an extended run for education groups.

In February, SteppingStone will produce its first ever Shakespeare featuring a cast of actors ages 16-21. A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Feb 8 – Mar 5, 2023) will bring a genuinely youthful perspective to some of the bard’s most well-known young characters. Available to both school and public audiences, this production will be a new variation on the theme of literary classics that have been at home on the Park Square stage for many years. 

Collaboration continues in the spring with a co-production with PRIME Productions of THE REVOLUTIONISTS (Mar 29 – Apr 16, 2023), by Lauren Gunderson. In this riotous comedy four women find themselves caught up in the French Revolution: an assassin, a spy, a playwright, and, of course, Marie Antoinette. They plot murder, find friendship (and do some good writing), in an irreverent, poignant comedic romp that considers how we go about changing the world.

A comedy-drama exploring fatherhood, loneliness, and the complexity of justice, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY (May 24 – Jun 18, 2023), by Stephen Adly Guirgis, won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The New York Times describes it as “a rich new play… Mr. Guirgis has a splendid ear in blurring lines between the sacred and profane and it is a dizzying and exciting place to be.” Surrounded by a beautiful and eclectic stream of family and houseguests, ex-cop and recent widower “Pops” is barely holding on to his stability and his once-grand apartment on Manhattan’s Riverside Drive. This production features a cast of well-known local artists led by James A. Williams as Pops.

SteppingStone has two titles yet to be announced for the spring and summer. In May, the theatre will devise a new work for very young audiences. The work will be hugely interactive and travel to schools, libraries, museums and other hot-spots of the under-5 set. Later, SteppingStone will bring back its annual summer musical performed by some of the Twin Cities’ most talented young performers.

Summer rolls in with some firebrand comedy as Park Square presents ANN (Jun 7 – Jul 2, 2023), a no-holds-barred portrait of Ann Richards, the legendary governor of Texas. This inspiring and hilarious solo play brings us face to face with a complex, colorful and captivating character bigger than the state from which she hailed. ANN takes a revealing look at this impassioned woman as she grows into her power and holds fast to her convictions while enriching the lives of her followers, friends, and family.

Finally, Park Square concludes its season with a world premiere mystery by Jeffrey Hatcher and Steve Hendrickson. HOLMES/POIROT (Jul 19 – Aug 20, 2023) is based on “Murder on the Links” by Agatha Christie with characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, bringing not one, but two of the greatest detectives of all time to the stage in a tour-de-force of cunning plot twists and deft storytelling. Separated by 25 years, the two master sleuths examine a related case, each employing their signature methods and indelible personalities. 

SEASON TICKETS are on sale now for the Park Square season. Subscriptions include seven or five show packages, as well as choose-your-own packages. Subscription prices begin at $66 and offer discounts up to $100 over single tickets. SINGLE TICKETS will be available on a rolling basis, with the fall productions becoming available July 5. SteppingStone’s THE SNOWY DAY is available for school bookings now. General audience tickets will become available July 5. 

The ticket office is open Wednesday and Thursday, noon-5pm, at 651.291.7005, or at tickets@parksquaretheatre.org.

Tickets

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Please call 651.291.7005.

For service other days of the week, please email tickets@parksquaretheatre.org.

Tickets can be purchased online at anytime.

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