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Vineyard Theatre's Lessons In Survival Extends
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 11:05 am EST 11/03/20

Vineyard Theatre's
Lessons In Survival
Extends through November 29th with All Access Pass
Available to Vineyard Theatre Members
through June 30, 2021

Conceived by Marin Ireland, Peter Mark Kendall,
Tyler Thomas, Reggie D. White
Performed by The Commissary
A multigenerational group of more than 40 ​theatre artists
Directed by Tyler Thomas

With Kyle Beltran, Dan Butler,
Helen Cespedes, Adam Chanler-Berat,
Kalyne Coleman, Crystal Dickinson,
Brandon J. Dirden, Ricardy Fabre,
Yonatan Gebeyehu, Peter Gerety,
Birgit Huppuch, Marin Ireland, Bill Irwin,
Peter Mark Kendall, Nicole Lewis,
Kristolyn Lloyd, Sevrin Anne Mason,
April Matthis, Nana Mensah, Joe Morton,
Deirdre O'Connell, Keith Randolph Smith,
Ryan Spahn, Chris Stack,
Myra Lucretia Taylor, TL Thompson,
Nicole Villamil, Victoria Villier, Reggie D. White


Vineyard Theatre Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern announce viewing extensions for Lessons In Survival. To provide more time to view performances, part one episodes 1-8 and four recorded open rehearsals are available with an All Access Pass through November 29th and available to Vineyard Theatre Members through June 30, 2021.

Fueled by the urgency of our present moment, The Commissary, a multigenerational collective of more than 40 ​theatre artists, have come together to reinvestigate the words​ ​of trailblazing artists​ ​and activists ​who survived and created in times of revolution in our country​. Baldwin. Giovanni. Davis. Lorde. Hansberry. Rustin. Hamer. ​In Lessons In Survival, a cohort of actors channel historic conversations, interviews and speeches, listening to original broadcasts on an in-ear feed and speaking exactly what they hear. In bringing these words to new life in the present, they ask what these voices can teach us about our country now and the opportunity for true change that stands before us. How might they propel us to look courageously at the effects of systemic racism, to imagine ourselves outside of its prescriptions, and to create, together, a shared future of collective liberation?

Conceived by Marin Ireland, Peter Mark Kendall, Tyler Thomas, Reggie D. White and directed by Thomas, Lessons In Survival will continue to develop throughout the season, with The Commissary as an artistic-collective-in-residence at The Vineyard, and will be shared with audiences at different stages over the coming months.

Lessons In Survival features video design and editing by Josiah Davis; music by Daniel Kluger; production design by You-Shin Chen; production coordinator Clarissa Marie Ligon; and performed by The Commissary, with Kyle Beltran, Dan Butler, Helen Cespedes, Adam Chanler-Berat , Kalyne Coleman, Crystal Dickinson, Brandon J. Dirden, Ricardy Fabre, Yonatan Gebeyehu, Peter Gerety, Birgit Huppuch, Marin Ireland, Bill Irwin, Peter Mark Kendall, Nicole Lewis, Kristolyn Lloyd, Sevrin Anne Mason, April Matthis, Nana Mensah, Joe Morton, Deirdre O'Connell, Keith Randolph Smith, Ryan Spahn, Chris Stack, Myra Lucretia Taylor, TL Thompson, Nicole Villamil, Victoria Villier and Reggie D. White.

All Access Passes are available for $60. All Access Passholders can watch all eight episodes and four open rehearsals on their own schedule through a private link available through November 29th.

Vineyard Theatre Memberships are available starting at $75 for the season and provide access to watch all of Lessons In Survival through June 30, 2021. Both can be purchased at https://ci.ovationtix.com/34342/store/packages.

EP 1: "Survival Is Not A One Time Decision"
Excerpts of conversations and speeches with Nina Simone (1968), Lorainne Hansberry (1964), and Audre Lorde and Blanche Cook (1982), tackling radicalism, survival, and the role of the artist in times of revolution. (Runtime: 26 minutes)
Featuring: Kalyne Coleman, Nicole Lewis, Deirdre O'Connell, Myra Lucretia Taylor

EP 2: "I'm Trying to Make You See Something"
Dick Cavett hosts a conversation with James Baldwin and Yale professor of philosophy Paul Weiss, where they discuss what it is to be Black in America in 1969. (Runtime: 33 minutes)
Featuring: Dan Butler, Ricardy Fabre, Chris Stack

Live Open Rehearsal 1*
Each week, a group of actors and director Tyler Thomas will explore material not seen in other episodes, working on it and talking candidly about the content and the process. (Runtime: 80 minutes)
Interviews: Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis/Angela Davis (2002); Richard Pryor/Dick Cavett (1985)
Featuring: Crystal Dickson, Brandon J. Dirden, Peter Mark Kendall, Victoria A. Villier, Reggie D. White
In conversation with: Dan Butler, Kalyne Coleman, Marin Ireland, Nicole Lewis, Deirdre O'Connell, Chris Stack

Live Community Conversation 1**
Conversations with leading artists and thinkers of today. (Runtime: 60 minutes)
Special Guests Colman Domingo, Joe Morton, Lisa B. Thompson
Moderated by Sarah Stern, Reggie D. White

EP 3: "When You Say Revolution... What Do You Mean?"
Women leaders of the Civil Rights Movement: Angela Davis discusses the role of Communism in the Black Power Movement and breaks down the path to true revolution (1972 and 2008); Georgia Gilmore reflects on organizing the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1979); and Fannie Lou Hamer offers a critical diagnosis of the moral state of America in 1968. (Runtime: 35 minutes)
Featuring: Helen Cespedes, Crystal Dickinson, Ricardy Fabre, Nicole Lewis

Live Open Rehearsal 2*
Each week, a group of actors and director Tyler Thomas will explore material not seen in other episodes, working on it and talking candidly about the content and the process.
Interviews: Bobby Seale (1968), Bobby Seale/Bob Costas (1992), Ericka Huggins/Angela Davis/JoNina Abron/Barbara Rogers (1989)
Featuring: Adam Chanler-Berat, Brandon J. Dirden, Nicole Lewis, Clarissa Marie Ligon, Kristolyn Lloyd, Sevrin Anne Mason, April Matthis, Reggie D. White

Live Community Conversation 2**
Conversations with leading artists and thinkers of today.
With special guest Pearl Cleage, Andy Jean, Cody Renard
Moderated by members of The Commissary Crystal Dickinson and Brandon J Dirden

EP 4: "The Old Leadership is Dead"
Three different actors take on Bayard Rustin's 1968 speech "Firebombs or A Freedom Budget", in which he presents a plan for the redistribution of wealth to the Black American poor. (Runtime: 32 minutes)
Featuring: Kyle Beltran, Yonatan Gebeyehu, TL Thompson

EP 5: "Something is Beginning to Crack"
Maya Angelou speaks with British television host Mavis Nicholson in 1987 about her writing, personal life and growing into courage; James Baldwin speaks with Mavis that same year, during London rehearsals for his play "The Amen Corner", about the invention of race and the breakdown of the social contract.
Featuring: Marin Ireland, Joe Morton, Deirdre O'Connell, Myra Lucretia Taylor

Live Open Rehearsal 3*
Each week, a group of actors and director Tyler Thomas will explore material not seen in other episodes, working on it and talking candidly about the content and the process.
Interviews: Miles Davis (1988), Muhammed Ali/Nikki Giovanni (1971), Joan Baez (1984), Pete Seeger (2006)
Featuring: Kalyne Coleman, Peter Gerety, Jennifer Ikeda, Peter Mark Kendall, TL Thompson, Nicole Villamil

Live Community Conversation 3**
Conversations with leading artists and thinkers of today.
Special Guests Casey Llewellyn, Michael R. Jackson, Claudia Rankine
Moderated by members of The Commissary

EP 6: "This Country's My Problem and Your Problem"
In a 1968 interview turned debate with conservative commentator R.H. Darden, James Baldwin discusses the erupting racial tensions in the country and challenges mythologies of American history and institutions. Twenty-five years later, Toni Morrison speaks with Charlie Rose about the psychology of racism and whiteness as ideology.
Featuring: Dan Butler, Yonatan Gebeyehu, Nana Mensah, Ryan Spahn

EP 7: "Lie To Me"
In part one of this celebrated 1971 interview, Nikki Giovanni and James Baldwin talk about their generational approaches to the movement for Black liberation, and the responsibility of Black men and women to each other.
Featuring: Kalyne Coleman, Crystal Dickinson, Reggie D. White

October 29 at 8:30PM | Live Open Rehearsal 4*
Interviews: Lucille Clifton/Sonia Sanchez (2001), Sarah Keys Evans (2019), John Lewis (1963), Paul Robeson (1960)
Featuring: Helen Cespedes, Kalyne Coleman, Nicole Lewis, Kristolyn Lloyd, Peter Mark Kendall, Joe Morton, Keith Randolph Smith
In Conversation with: Tyler Thomas, TL Thompson, Nicole Villamil, Reggie D. White

Live Community Conversation 4**
The creators of Lessons in Survival join actors Dierdre O'Connell and TL Thompson in conversation to reflect on the project and the interviews, ideas, and moments they will carry forward.
Moderated by Marin Ireland, Peter Mark Kendall, Tyler Thomas, Reggie D. White with special guests Deirdre O'Connell and TL Thompson

EP 8: "To Teach is a Revolutionary Act"
In part two of this intimate 1971 conversation, Nikki Giovanni and James Baldwin discuss their Black literary forebears, and the role of language in liberation.
Featuring: Kyle Beltran, Kalyne Coleman, Nana Mensah, Joe Morton

*Open Rehearsals provide an inside look into The Commissary's process of rehearsing and creating Lessons In Survival. Each week, a group of actors and director Tyler Thomas explore material not seen in other episodes, working on it and talking candidly about the content and the process.

**Community Conversations are free and open to the public and can be viewed on The Vineyard's YouTube and Facebook pages.

"The VT Show," a monthly online series featuring Vineyard artists will next air Tuesday, November 24 at 5:30 PM ET with special guests to be announced.

"The VT Show" programming is free and open to the public, and can be accessed by visiting Vineyard's Theatre's YouTube page or Facebook page. Recordings of the live shows will also be available on both platforms for later viewing, as well as on The Vineyard's website, www.vineyardtheatre.org.

About Vineyard Theatre

Vineyard Theatre is an Off-Broadway theatre company dedicated to nurturing the voices of daring artists, and developing and producing work that pushes the boundaries of what theatre can be and do. One of the country's preeminent centers for the creation of new plays and musicals, our work seeks to challenge and inspire all of us to see ourselves and our world from different perspectives.

Notable premieres include David Cale's Harry Clarke (2018 Drama Desk, Obie, Lucille Lortel Awards); Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman's Indecent (two 2017 Tony Awards); two Pulitzer Prize-winning plays, Paula Vogel's How I Learned To Drive and Edward Albee's Three Tall Women; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Gloria; Nicky Silver's The Lyons; Marx, Lopez and Whitty's Avenue Q (Tony Award, Best Musical); Kander, Ebb, and Thompson's The Scottsboro Boys ; Bell and Bowen's [title of show]; Lanie Robertson's Lady Day At Emerson's Bar And Grill; Polly Pen's Goblin Market; Tarell Alvin McCraney's Wig Out!; Jenny Schwartz' God's Ear; Will Eno's Middletown ; Becky Mode's Fully Committed; Colman Domingo's Dot; Ngozi Anyanwu's Good Grief; Jeremy O. Harris' "Daddy"; Mara Nelson-Greenberg's Do You Feel Anger?; Tina Satter's Is This A Room, named "Best Theater of 2019" by The New York Times and New York Magazine and nominated for four Lortel Awards with Emily Davis winning for Outstanding Actress in a Play; and most recently Lucas Hnath's Dana H., a 2020 New York Times Critic's Pick which was nominated for three Lortel Awards, winning Outstanding Solo Show and Outstanding Sound Design.

The Vineyard's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, Susan Stroman Directing Award, and Colman Domingo Award residencies recognize and provide resources to gifted early-career artists, and our education programs serve over 700 NYC public high school students annually, culminating in the Rebel Verses Youth Arts Festival in collaboration with Developing Artists. Works developed and premiered at our home in Union Square have gone on to be seen around the world, and The Vineyard is proud to be the recipient of special Drama Desk, Obie, and Lucille Lortel awards for artistic excellence.

The Vineyard's 2020-2021 Artists-in-Residence include John Caswell Jr., The Commissary, Michael R. Jackson, Charly Evon Simpson, York Walker, Whitney White and more to be announced this fall.

Vineyard Theatre's leadership includes Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern and Managing Director Suzanne Appel.


www.vineyardtheatre.org
Follow Vineyard Theatre on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
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Lessons In Survival

Tyler Thomas (she/hers), director and co-conceiver, is a director and choreographer, currently based in NYC. Her work has most recently been shown at The New Ohio, Signature Theatre, The Flea, HERE Arts Center, NYMF, Paradise Factory, and NYU Tisch. As an associate and assistant, she has worked with directors such as Lear deBessonet, Taibi Magar, Whitney White, Young Jean Lee, Lee Sunday Evans, Niegel Smith and Jo Bonney, as well as with the Builders Association as Associate Dramaturg. Tyler is a former SDCF Observer, member of the Lincoln Center Directors' Lab, Visiting Artist at the Athens Conservatoire in Greece, Resident Director at The Flea, current 2050 NYTW Fellow and Foeller Fellow at Williamstown Theatre Festival. She holds a BFA in Drama and MA in Arts & Politics from the Tisch School of the Arts.

Marin Ireland (she/hers), co-conceiver. Theatre credits include Reasons to be Pretty, for which she won a Theatre World Award and was nominated for a Tony. Her other New York credits include The Big Knife and After Miss Julie (Broadway), Ironbound at Rattlestick, Kill Floor at Lincoln Center, Blasted and Marie Antoinette, both at Soho Rep, Three Sisters at Classic Stage, Cyclone at Studio Dante (Obie Award), and In The Wake at the Public Theatre. Some of her TV and film work includes the second season of the "Umbrella Academy," "Girls," "Homeland," "Masters of Sex," The Divide, "The Slap," "Sneaky Pete," Glass Chin (Independent Spirit nomination 2016), Sparrows Dance, The Family Fang, 28 Hotel Rooms, The Irishman, Hell or High Water and the Lifetime movie Flint, about the Flint water crisis, playing activist Melissa Mays. She co-founded the website hrforthearts.org with civil rights and liberties lawyer Norman Siegel, which aims to be a resource to help address harassment and bullying within the arts community.

Reggie D. White (he/him), co-conceiver. Broadway: The Inheritance (Drama Desk Award for Best Play). International: Flood In The Valley (China). Off-Broadway: Hundred Days, I & You , For The Last Time. Regional: The Luckiest (La Jolla Playhouse), The Bluest Eye (Arden Theatre), And She Would Stand Like This (The Movement Theatre Company), Frontieres Sans Frontieres (Bushwick Starr), The Last Tiger in Haiti (Berkeley Rep/La Jolla Playhouse), Party People (Berkeley Rep). Film & TV: "Gotham", "Blindspot", "The Parent 'Hood", Buzzer, Medias Res, Stranger In Blood. Training: Atlantic Theater School, Cal State Hayward. Reggie is a Company Member of The Williams Project - a living wage theatre company. Reggie is also a recipient of the TBA Titan Award and the TCG Fox Fellowship. www.reggiedwhite.net

Peter Mark Kendall (he/him), co-conceiver. Broadway: Six Degrees of Separation (Tony nomination for Best Revival), The Rose Tattoo (The Acting Company: with Patti LuPone & Bobby Cannavale). Off-Broadway: Blue Ridge (Atlantic), The Harvest (LCT3), Mercury Fur (The New Group), Joe's Pub (with Whitney White), Judson, Partial Comfort. Regional: Lake Lucille Chekhov, Bay Street, Baltimore Center Stage, Trinity Rep., Chautauqua, Gloucester Stage, Baltimore Shakespeare, Studio Theatre (DC), Rep Stage, Kennedy Center. Film: Entangled, Time Out of Mind, Louder Than Bombs, The Ticket (TriBeCa), The Rest of Us, Seven Lovers. Television: "Strange Angel," "Outpost" (series regular), "Girls," "The Americans," "Chicago Med," "Eye Candy" (recurring), "Awkwafina...from Queens," "The Good Fight," "Gotham," "Law and Order: SVU," "The Leftovers," "Blue Bloods," "Public Morals." Upcoming TV: "The President is Missing" on Showtime (recurring); Upcoming films: The Scottish Play, Top Gun: Maverick. Education: M.F.A., Brown/Trinity Rep. Peter is also a musician, and creates music with the band Hickory.
Link http://www.vineyardtheatre.org
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