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CHERRY LANE THEATRE MENTOR PROJECT

CHERRY LANE THEATRE
ANNOUNCES THIS YEAR’S PLAYWRIGHTS FOR
THE OBIE AWARD-WINNING MENTOR PROJECT
CELEBRATING ITS 21st SEASON

Playwrights are:
KAREEM M. LUCAS, MATTHEW PAUL OLMOS, C.A. JOHNSON

 

Joining Previously Announced Mentors
CRAIG muMs GRANT, TAYLOR MAC & MARTYNA MAJOK
at CHERRY LANE THEATRE
February 20 – April 13, 2019

 

New York: (December 4, 2018) Cherry Lane Theatre (Angelina Fiordellisi, Founder; Seri Lawrence, Artistic Director) is proud to announce that this year’s Mentor Project playwrights include Kareem M. Lucas, Matthew Paul Olmos, and C.A. Johnson, who will join the previously announced mentors, Craig muMs Grant, Taylor Mac and Martyna Majok as part of the 21st season of the Obie Award-winning Mentor Project. Mentor Project will culminate in three fully-staged productions presented between February 20 to April 13, 2019.   

This year’s mentors include Craig muMs Grant (celebrated poet, playwright and performer known best for his performance in the HBO hit series “Oz.” Plays include Paradox of the Urban Cliché, A Sucker Emcee) who will mentor Kareem M. Lucas, Taylor Mac (Upcoming Broadway: Gary, A Sequel to Titus Andronicus. Numerous awards include MacArthur Fellow, Kennedy Prize for Drama, NY Drama Critics Award, Obie Award, Guggenheim Award. NYC: A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, Hir received LAMDA Literary Award and Drama League Award nomination) will mentor Matthew Paul Olmos and Martyna Majok (Cost of Living, 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama) will mentor C.A. Johnson.

The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro (February 20 – March 2, 2019)
Written by Kareem M. Lucas, mentored by Craig muMs Grant

The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro is a solo show of heightened poetry and raw self-reflection that takes the audience on the subversive journey of a young Black man coming into himself, as he struggles to break free of what he holds onto most tightly. No one is safe. Nothing is sacred.

three girls never learnt the way home (March 13 – 23, 2019)
Written by Matthew Paul Olmos, mentored by Taylor Mac

After being bussed into a newly integrated school, three friends find themselves in the center of a mysterious encounter which ignites a panic throughout the area. Using elements of magical realism and visceral theatricality, three girls never learnt the way home explores the question of what happens to children caught in the middle of complicated adult fears.

The Climb (April 3 – 13, 2019)
Written by C.A. Johnson, mentored by Martyna Majok

Tiffany is 30, directionless, and the sole subject of her wife’s photography career. So when she absconds on a month-long hiking trip to think, both women find themselves questioning everything from the future of their marriage to the true meaning of a moment captured in time.

The Mentor Project – winner of an Obie Award for its dedication to helping early-career playwrights develop new work – each year partners an emerging author with a seasoned professional for a year of script work, rewrites, casting, rehearsals and a full production at Cherry Lane.  Mentor Project is also the recipient of the James Kirkwood Award for American Playwrights. The Mentor Project is general managed by Mott/Fischer Productions, with casting by Eisenberg/Beans Casting,  Daryl Eisenberg, CSA, Ally Beans, CSA.

 

CHERRY LANE MENTOR PROJECT
February 20 – April 13, 2019

 

The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro, written by Kareem M. Lucas, mentored by Craig muMs Grant

Performances will take place February 20 – March 2, 2019

 

three girls never learnt the way home, written by Matthew Paul Olmos, mentored by Taylor Mac

Performances will take place March 13 – 23, 2019

 

The Climb, written by C.A. Johnson, mentored by Martyna Majok

Performances will take place April 3 – 13, 2019

 

Tickets for the Mentor Project are $20*/$25 (single show) / $50*/$60 (three- show membership)

will go on sale December 3rd, 2019 and can be purchased by visiting www.cherrylanetheatre.org

or call OvationTix at 866 811 4111

 

Cherry Lane Theatre is located at 38 Commerce Street, NYC

*Purchased before December 31st, 2019

Top: Matthew Paul Olmos, Martyna Majok, Craig muMs Grant,  Kareem M. Lucas
Bottom: Taylor Mac, C.A. Johnson
Photo by Monique Carboni.
High res images attached

BIOGRAPHIES

KAREEM M. LUCAS (Playwright, The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro) is a Brooklyn born and Harlem based Actor/Writer/Producer/Director. His solo pieces include The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro, From Brooklyn With Love, RATED BLACK: An American Requiem, A Boy & His Bow, and Black Is Beautiful, But It Ain’t Always Pretty. He has performed his solo work at Snug Harbor Cultural Center, The Center for Arts & Culture at Restoration, Harlem School of the Arts, Flushing Town Hall, Pregones Theater, The Greene Space, Aaron Davis Hall at City College, The Town Hall, The Fire This Time Festival, IRT Theater, The Slipper Room, Teatro Circulo, Studio Tisch at NYU Grad Acting, Jimmy’s No. 43, MAGIC TIME at Judson Arts Wednesdays, New York Theatre Workshop, and The Public Theater. He is currently co-collaborating on the development of the immersive theatrical piece The Black History Museum…According to the United States of America, as a writer and performer with the Smoke & Mirrors Collaborative as a part of their Residency at HERE Arts Center. He most recently presented his solo piece, RATED BLACK: An American Requiem, as a part of New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door Series and will next mount his solo piece Black Is Beautiful, But It Ain’t Always Pretty in December at JACK in Brooklyn, NY. This past spring, he concluded his participation in the Devised Theater Working Group, a 6-month residency program of the DTI/Devised Theater Initiative at The Public Theater, which included showings of his work in the 2018 Under The Radar Festival. He is also a teaching artist with The Classical Theatre of Harlem, and The 52nd Street Project. MFA: NYU Graduate Acting Program. For more info you can visit www.KareemMLucas.com or follow him on Instagram @KareemMLucas.

MATTHEW PAUL OLMOS (Playwright, three girls never learnt the way home) is a three-time Sundance Institute Fellowship/Residency recipient, Humana Festival Commissioned Playwright, New Dramatists Resident, Center Theatre Group LA Writer, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Black Swan playwright, Echo Theater Resident, Princess Grace Awardee in Playwriting, and La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Playwright Awardee as selected by Sam Shepard. Mentored by Ruth Maleczech through Mabou Mines/SUITE; former fellow/resident at New York Theatre Workshop Baryshnikov Arts Center, Dramatists Guild, Primary Stages, INTAR; Ensemble Studio Theater lifetime member; proud Kilroys nominator.  His work has been presented nationally, internationally, and is published and taught in university. Currently devising American Nationalism Project, developed through New York Theatre Workshop; a play with music, The Christmas Bridge, developed through Center Theatre Group, and a 3-play cycle concerning U.S. Presidents. Upcoming: So Go The Ghosts Of México, Part Three at UNDERMAIN THEATRE, DALLAS. WWW.MATTHEWPAULOLMOS.COM.

 

C. A. JOHNSON (Playwright, The Climb) hails from Metairie Louisiana, but currently lives and writes in Queens, NY. Her plays include Thirst (2017 Kilroys List, The Contemporary American Theater Festival), An American Feast (NYU Playwrights Horizons Theater School), The Climb (Finalist 2018 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference), All The Natalie Portmans, and Mother Tongue. She is a Core Writer at the Playwrights Center and the 2018 P73 Playwriting Fellow. She was previously The Lark’s 2016-17 Van Lier Fellow, a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a member of The Civilians R&D Group, and a member of The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm.  Her work has been developed with The Lark, PlayPenn, Luna Stage, Open Bar Theatricals, The Dennis and Victoria Ross Foundation, and The Fire This Time Festival. Most recently, C.A. was chosen for a Sundance/Ucross Fellowship and the 2018 Sundance Theatre Lab in Marrakesh, Morocco. BA: Smith College MFA: NYU.

CRAIG muMs GRANT (Mentoring Kareem M. Lucas) is an American actor, poet and playwright. He has performed on New York City stages for more than 20 years. muMs is best known for playing Arnold Jackson aka Poet on the HBO hit show “OZ.” He is a proud member of the Labyrinth Theater Company, debuting in such productions as the critically acclaimed Last Days of Judas Iscariot, A View from 151st and Penalties and Interests, all performed Off-Broadway at NYC’s Public Theater. muMs was last seen in his own production of A Sucker Emcee, Lucy Thurber’s The Insurgents, Netflix’s “Luke Cage” and Louis C.K.’s “Horace and Pete.” Other acting credits include: Birdman, “The Knick,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Side Effects,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “Law and Order,” “Cold Case,” “Blue Bloods,” “Boston Legal,” “Law and Order: CI,” and “The Sopranos,” among others.  muMs is also a proud company member of Poetic Theater Productions who recently produced the critically acclaimed world premiere production of his play Paradox of the Urban Cliché.

 

TAYLOR MAC (Mentoring Matthew Paul Olmos) who uses “judy”, lowercase sic, not as a name but as a gender pronoun) is one of the world’s leading theater artists. A playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer and “Critical darling of the New York scene” (NY Magazine), judy’s work has been performed in hundreds venues including New York City’s Town Hall, Lincoln Center, Celebrate Brooklyn, The Public Theatre and Playwrights Horizons, as well as London’s Hackney Empire and Barbican, D.C.’s Kennedy Center, Los Angeles’s Royce Hall and Ace Theater (through the Center for the Art of Performance), Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, the Sydney Opera House, The Melbourne Festival (Forum Theater), Stockholm’s Sodra Theatern, the Spoleto Festival, and San Francisco’s Curran Theater and MOMA. Judy is the author of many works of theater including the soon to be produced plays, Gary, A Sequel to Titus Andronicus (premiering on Broadway in the spring of 2019, starring Nathan Lane and Andrea Martin, and directed by George C. Wolfe), Prosperous Fools, and The Fre, and the previously produced works, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, Hir, The Walk across America for Mother Earth, Comparison Is Violence, The Lily’s Revenge, The Young Ladies Of, Red Tide Blooming, The Be(a)st of Taylor Mac, Cardiac Arrest or Venus on a Half-Clam, The Face of Liberalism, Okay, Maurizio Pollini, A Crevice, and The Hot Month.  Sometimes Taylor acts in other people’s plays (or co-creations). Notably: Shen Teh/Shui Ta in The Foundry Theater’s production of Good Person of Szechwan at La Mama and the Public Theater, in the City Center’s Encores production of Gone Missing, Puck/Egeus in the Classic Stage Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and in the two-man vaudeville, The Last Two People on Earth opposite Mandy Patinkin and directed by Susan Stroman. Mac is a MacArthur Fellow, a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Drama and the recipient of multiple awards including the Kennedy Prize, a NY Drama Critics Circle Award, a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim, the Herb Alpert in Theater, the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, 2 Bessies, 2 Obies, a Helpmann, and an Ethyl Eichelberger Award.  An alumnus of New Dramatists, judy is currently a New York Theater Workshop Usual Suspect and the Resident playwright at the Here Arts Center.

 

MARTYNA MAJOK (Mentoring C.A. Johnson) was born in Bytom, Poland and raised in Jersey and Chicago. She was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cost of Living (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club). Other plays include Sanctuary City (New York Theatre Workshop), Queens (LCT3/Lincoln Center, La Jolla Playhouse), and Ironbound (Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, WP Theater/Rattlestick Playwright Theater, Geffen Playhouse, and other theatres in America and abroad, including The National Theatre of Warsaw in Poland). Awards include The Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding New Play, The Greenfield Prize (first female recipient in drama), Champions of Change Award from the NYC Mayor’s Office, Francesca Primus Prize, two Jane Chambers Playwriting Awards, The Lanford Wilson Prize, The Lilly Award’s Stacey Mindich Prize, Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play from The Helen Hayes Awards, Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, ANPF Women’s Invitational Prize, David Calicchio Prize, Global Age Project Prize, NYTW 2050 Fellowship, NNPN Smith Prize for Political Playwriting, and Merage Foundation Fellowship for The American Dream. MFA: Yale School of Drama, Juilliard; BA: University of Chicago. Alumna of Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood and WP Lab. Core Writer at Playwrights’ Center, NYTW Usual Suspect, and member of The Dramatists Guild and The Writers Guild of America East. Television/film work includes HBO, Focus Features/Maven Pictures, and Apple TV. Martyna was the 2015-2016 PoNY Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center and is a 2018-2019 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University.

One of the most renowned theatres in the country, Cherry Lane Theatre has produced a large succession of plays by leading writers from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Gertrude Stein, Samuel Beckett, Edward Albee and Harold Pinter.  Cherry Lane Theatre was founded by Angelina Fiordellisi in 1996, and remains devoted to developing and producing new works for the stage. Seri Lawrence is Artistic Director, Reed Ridgley is Development Manager, Sangeeta Bhagat is Director of Individual and Corporate Giving, Lex Morton is Facility Manager, and Mary Geerlof is Director of Community Engagement.

 

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