Joshua Henry, Tonya Pinkins and Condola Rashad Set for Benefit Reading of ‘Intimate Apparel’

Posted on January 7, 2013 /Theater

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Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage’s acclaimed play INTIMATE APPAREL returns to New York on January 7th, 2013 at 7pm for a one night only benefit reading in the Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street,) directed by Jade King Carroll and featuring an all-star cast. All proceeds from the reading will benefit Donor Direct Action (www.donordirectaction.org), a non-profit organization for which Ms. Nottage is on the board that “strengthens women’s rights organizations around the world by increasing access to funds, advocacy, and visibility.”

The reading is co-produced by Nick Gereffi and Rachel Sussman and stars Quincy Tyler Bernstine as ‘Esther Mills,’ Ari Graynor as ‘Mrs. Van Buren,’ Joshua Henry as ‘George Armstrong,’ Tonya Pinkins as ‘Mrs. Dickson,’ Condola Rashad as ‘Mayme,’ and Morgan Spector as ‘Mr. Marks,’ with Dominique Morisseau as ‘Narrator/ Stage Directions.’

INTIMATE APPAREL tells the heartfelt story of Esther Mills, an African- American seamstress living and working in 1905 New York. Though she hasmanaged a steady livelihood through creating intimate undergarments for a host of clients, Esther has largely seen her own life’s dreams go unfulfilled. When she suddenly finds herself torn between her feelings for the Hasidic merchant whose store she frequents and a lonesome Caribbean man with whom she begins corresponding, the prospect of love and a better future beams bright with promise, but Esther soon learns that the realities of our dreams are often far from what we’ve imagined. A triumphant tale of perseverance that’s equal parts humorous and touching, INTIMATE APPAREL is an ode to the human spirit through one woman’s journey toward claiming her voice at the dawn of a new century.

For tickets, priced $20-$75 (There is a discount code for $20 tickets: INTIMATE20), please visit Ticket Central at www.ticketcentral.com or via phone at 212-279-4200 between the hours of 12PM and 8PM.

BIOGRAPHIES:

QUINCY TYLER BERNSTINE (Esther Mills) New York credits include: We Are Proud to Present a Presentation… and born bad (Soho Rep), Red-Handed Otter (Cherry Lane), Love, Loss, and What I Wore (Westside Theater), Dreams of Flying Dreams of Falling (Atlantic), Family Week (MCC), In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (LCT), Ruined (MTC ) for which she won an Obie, an Audelco and the Clarence Derwent Award, The Misanthrope (New York Theatre Workshop), Chicken (Studio Dante), A Small, Melodramatic Story (The Public Theater/LAByrinth), ‘nami (Partial Comfort Productions), (I am) Nobody’s Lunch, The Ladies, Paris Commune, Gone Missing (all with The Civilians), Matt & Ben (P.S. 122 and National Tour), The Trail of Her Inner Thigh (LAByrinth), among others. She has worked at such regional theaters as The Geffen Playhouse, Intiman, Humana Festival at Actors Theater of Louisville, The Goodman, Woolly Mammoth, The O’Neill, Williamstown, Sundance Theatre Institute, Berkeley Rep, The Alliance, Long Wharf, La Jolla Playhouse, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Virginia Stage Company, and others. Television/Film: Red Hook Summer, Spring/Fall (HBO pilot), Rachel Getting Married, HBO Voyeur Project, Chappelle’s Show, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and All My Children. She is a graduate of Brown University (BA), UC San Diego (MFA) and is a member of LAByrinth Theater Company and The Civilians. Recipient of the 2012 Charles Bowden Actor Award from New Dramatists.

ARI GRAYNOR (Mrs. Van Buren) Broadway: The Performers, Relatively Speaking (Woody Allen’s Honeymoon Motel), The Little Dog Laughed, and Brooklyn Boy at MTC (2005 Clarence Derwent Award for Most Promising Female Actress). Off-Broadway: Trust (Second Stage), Dog Sees God. Film: For a Good Time, Call . . . (also Executive Producer); The Guilt Trip, 10 Years; Celeste and Jesse Forever; The Sitter; What’s Your Number?; Lucky; Holy Rollers; Conviction; Youth in Revolt; Whip It!; Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist; An

American Crime; Game 6; and Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River. TV: recurring roles on “The Sopranos” and “Fringe.” Ari has been singled out by Entertainment Weekly as one of the “Top 25 Funniest Actresses in Hollywood” and received the “Comedy Award” at the 2009 Hollywood Life Young Hollywood Awards.

JOSHUA HENRY (George Armstrong) Recently seen starring as Jake in the Tony Award-winning revival of The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Broadway: The Scottsboro Boys (Tony nomination), American Idiot, In the Heights, City Center: The Wiz and Cotton Club. Regional: American Idiot (Berkerley Repertory), Godspell (Paper Mill Playhouse), The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (American Repertory Theatre), Off-Broadway: In the Heights. Film and TV: Sex and the City (film) and “Kings.” Composer of the new children’s musical “Amigo Duende.” Thanks to Station Three entertainment, Ken Weinrib and Cathryn. www.joshuahenry.net

TONYA PINKINS (Mrs. Dickson) won 2012 Lucille Lortel and Audelco Award for her performance in Milk Like Sugar. Tonya’s performances have been nominated for the Olivier, Jefferson, Helen Hayes, NAACP, Drama League, Whats on Stage, Audience Choice, Soap Opera Digest, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. She is the winner of Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Clarence Derwent, Monarch, Black Theater Alliance, Garland, LA Drama Critics, Audelco, and Obie Awards. She stared in As the World Turns and All My Children. Film: Enchanted, Above the Rim, and Beat Street. TV: Army Wives, 24, and Law and Order. She is the author of GET OVER Yourself: How to Drop the Drama and Claim the Life You Deserve. Follow her on Twitter @tonyapinkins and @getoveryourself and on www.tonyatology.blogspot.com www.tonyapinkins.com

CONDOLA RASHAD (Mayme) received a 2012 Tony Nomination for her performance in Stick Fly produced by Alicia Keys and directed by Kenny Leon. Previously, she received rave reviews for her performance in Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize winning production of Ruined, a role which garnered her a TheatreWorld Award as well as a Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination. Her other theater credits include Tambourines To Glory at the Alliance Theatre, directed by Kenny Leon, and Pearl at the Kennedy Center, directed by Debbie Allen. Rashad’s film and TV credits include 30 Beats opposite Justin Kirk and Lee Pace, Sex and the City 2, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Smash, Georgetown, and The Good Wife. She will next be seen starring opposite Queen Latifah and Alfre Woodard in Lifetime’s Steel Magnolias. A graduate of California Institute of the Arts, Condola currently resides in New York.

MORGAN SPECTOR (Mr. Marks) made his Broadway debut as ‘Rodolfo’ in the 2010 revival of Arthur Millers’ A View from the Bridge directed by Gregory Mosher, in which he performed opposite Jessica Hecht, Scarlett Johansson and Liev Schrieber. His career has taken off in these 2 short years since, including performances in four independent films, two critically acclaimed plays, and 3

network television guest starring roles. He received rave reviews along with the stellar cast for his performance as ‘Boris’ in Russian Transport, directed by Scott Elliott Off Broadway at The New Group. Most recently he performed on Broadway as “Dr. Lyman Sanders” in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of the Pulitzer Prize winning comedy Harvey with Jim Parsons. On film, Morgan performs a flashy role as a wheelchair bound competitive ballroom dancer in Director Susan Seidelman’s film Musical Chairs. His other films include M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender, as well as independent films Burning Blue, Grand Street, and Lucky Dog yet to be released. His other theatre credits include ‘Scar’ in the national tour of The Lion King; Dissonance (Bay Street); Yanks, a workshop directed by David Cromer; Enemies: A Love Story (Wilma Theatre) and A Christmas Carol (ACT). Recently seen on television in Person of Interest (CBS), he will next appear on Do No Harm (CBS) and on Zero Hour (FOX). Other television includes Law & Order: CI (NBC) and How to Make it in America (HBO). Morgan is a graduate of Reed College and the American Conservatory Theatre M.F.A. program.

DOMINIQUE MORISSEAU (Narrator/ Stage Directions), writer and actress, is recent alumni of the 2011 Public Theater Emerging Writer’s Group, the Women’s Project Playwrights Lab, and Lark Playwrights Workshop. Her play, Detroit ’67, will receive a world premiere in the 2013 season of the Public Theater in association with the Classical Theatre of Harlem. Her play, Sunset Baby, recently had its world premiere at the Gate Theater in London. Dominique’s inaugural play, Follow Me To Nellie’s, was developed at the 2010 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and produced at Premiere Stages in July 2011. Among her favorite acting credits are: The Mountaintop (originated role of Camae- The Lark), Etymology of Bird (Summer Stage), Breath Boom (MCC Theatre), Shoe Story (NYSAF), and she has worked as an actress with such companies as: BET/Viacom, Women’s Project, McCarter Theater, and Classical Theatre of Harlem. As a poet, she has rocked stages with The Last Poets, Sonia Sanchez, Jessica Care Moore, and her work has been showcased at the Kennedy Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music and featured on MBC Networks’ Spoken Her work has also been published in NY Times bestseller- “Chicken Soup for the African American Soul” and in the Harlem-based literary journal “Signifyin’ Harlem”. Dominique is a Jane Chambers Playwriting Award Honoree, a two-time NAACP Image Award recipient, a commendation-recipient from the Primus Prize by the American Theatre Critics Association, winner of the Stavis Playwriting Award, and the 2012 PoNY (Playwrights of New York) Fellow.

JADE KING CARROLL (Director) Jade King Carroll’s directing credits include Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun – Juilliard Drama & Perseverance Theatre; August Wilson’s Radio Golf – Penn State University; August Wilson’s Seven Guitars– People’s Light & Theatre and Point Park University & Pittsburgh Playhouse; Eisa Davis’ The History of Light, Mat Smart’s Samuel J And K, Amber Kain’s The Summer House, David White’s White Baby – Passage Theatre; Nicole Thompson-Adams’ Black Girl You’ve Been Gentrified – Joe’s Pub at The Public;

Ellen McLaughlin’s adaptation of The Persians, Scott Kaiser’s Splittin’ the Raft – People’s Light & Theatre; Christina Hamm’s After Adam – Playpenn; Nisherah Green’s Contents of a Book, Sarah McKnight’s Life as a Balloon– McCarter Youth Ink Festival; Chisa Hutchinson’s Sex on Sunday – BE Company at Urban Stages; Zakiyyah Alexander’s The Etymology of Bird –NYCitiParks Summer Stages; James McManus’ Cherry Smoke –Clockwork Theatre at Theatre Row; Mikyo Reed’s Like Father – Producer’s Club; Catherine Filloux’s White Trash– Players Theatre. She has developed work with playwrights such as Kia Corthron, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Chisa Hutchinson, Joshua Allen, Zakiyyah Alexander, Dominique Morriseau, Sarah Hammond, James McManus, Josh Koenigsberg, Clare Drobot, Wendy Kesselman and others culminating with readings and workshops at New York Theatre Workshop, McCarter Theatre, The Lark, Two River Theatre Company, New York Musical Theatre Festival, New Dramatists, Second Stage Theatre, Primary Stages, Playwright’s Realm, Time Warner New Play Festival, 24 Hour Plays, Chocolate Theatre, New Jersey Rep& Joe’s Pub. Jade was recently an Emerging Artist Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop and this past spring she was the Associate Director on A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway. She recently completed a TCG New Generations Future Leader Award, through which she was the Artistic Associate at Second Stage Theatre where Carole Rothman mentored her in Artistic Direction. In 2010 Jade was presented with the Paul Green Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Professional from the National Theatre Conference and The Estate of August Wilson.

LYNN NOTTAGE (Playwright) Lynn Nottage’s new play, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark, enjoyed an extended run Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre (Lily Award, Drama Desk Nomination) and the Geffen Playhouse. It can be seen this upcoming season at the Goodman Theatre. Her Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club and Goodman Theatre (OBIE, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Audelco, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Play). It subsequently toured widely throughout US regional theatres and premiered internationally at the Almeida Theatre in London. The play has since been produced in countries throughout the world, including Cambodia, Chad, The Caribbean, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and Germany. Her other plays include Intimate Apparel (American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play); Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (OBIE Award); Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por’knockers and POOF!. Nottage is the recipient of the 2010 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, the Dramatists Guild Hull- Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote Prize for Outstanding New American Play (Ruined), Helen Hayes Award (Ruined), the Lee Reynolds Award, and the Jewish World Watch iWitness Award. Her other honors include the 2007 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant,” the National Black Theatre Festival’s August Wilson Playwriting Award, the 2005 Guggenheim Grant for Playwriting, the 2004 PEN/Laura Pels Award for Drama, as well as fellowships from the Lucille Lortel Foundation, Manhattan Theatre Club, New Dramatists and New

York Foundation for the Arts. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, where she is currently a visiting lecturer. She is a co-founder and producer at Market Road Films LLC, a film production company. www.lynnnottage.com

NICK GEREFFI (Co-Producer) has been honored to work with Roundabout Theatre Company, 321 Theatrical Management, Signature Theatre Company, and Junkyard Dog Productions. He has been involved in varying capacities on the Signature Theatre Company revivals of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America and The Illusion, the Broadway productions of Memphis and The Book of Mormon, the National Tour of Bring It On: The Musical, and Leslie Kritzer’s Beautiful Disaster at Joe’s Pub. He dreams of a world where artistic diversity reflects that of collective culture, and he strives each and every day to make it possible.

RACHEL SUSSMAN (Co-Producer) has had the privilege of working with Second Stage Theatre, 321 Theatrical Management, the iEmmys, Dress Circle Publishing, One Foot Productions, and the New York Musical Theatre Festival (for which she is the Co-Coordinator of the Student Leader Program). Recent producing credits include Part of It All: A Concert of New Work (NYMF 2012), Lemon Cake (133rd Street Arts Center), Wounded Bird on Virgin Land (NYU), and Kate Douglas and the Imaginary Menagerie (Joe’s Pub). Rachel feels so blessed to know and work alongside so many wonderful and talented humans. BFA NYU. www.rachel-sussman.com

DONOR DIRECT ACTION (Charity) advances women’s rights by connecting front-line activists to front-line donors—as well as by leveraging the power of internet outreach and collective fundraising, plus networking with political and societal leaders and media, to mobilize worldwide attention and solidarity. Donor Direct Action has a deliberately nontraditional infrastructure: because we are both activists and donors, we know how to function with the least bureaucracy and greatest effectiveness, raising and channeling money to groups while keeping our overhead minimal, our offices virtual, and our work organized largely on a contract basis. Donor Direct Action is a project of Equality Now. www.donordirectaction.org

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