Hilton Als is, and has been, an invaluable contributor to American cultural life for decades. Join this Pulitzer Prize-winning critic, artist, writer and curator as he lifts up and takes a different look at what he considers marginalized classics of the 20th Century. Until now.
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PART 1: Portrait of Jason
Featuring Jessica Almasy & Mikéah Ernest Jennings
Shirley Clarke’s Portrait of Jason was a groundbreaking work of cinema verité when it was released in 1967. Captured over a single evening, the portrayal of gay African-American hustler and aspiring cabaret performer Jason Holliday interrogated race, class and sexuality in ways that were and still are ahead of its time. Pulitzer Prize-winning critic, artist, writer and curator Hilton Als has adapted the film into an audio drama that captures the intimacy, vulnerability and rawness of the original piece while probing power and the price of storytelling itself. Join NYTW for an intimate evening with Jason along with Hilton’s unique commentary and analysis.
PART 2: Selections from Tennessee Williams
Clothes for a Summer Hotel, In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel and The Red Devil Battery Sign
by Tennessee Williams
Featuring Reed Birney, Raúl Castillo, André Holland, Marin Ireland, Nadine Malouf, Michelle Williams & James Yaegashi
In the second part of this series, Hilton Als will explore excerpts from three lesser-known Tennessee Williams plays. While Williams is known, of course, for formidable women in his plays, these excerpts will bring Williams’ powerful men to the fore as well—characters who have a lot to say about masculinity in general and masculinity and the artist in particular.
Clothes for a Summer Hotel, In the Bar of a Tokyo Hotel and The Red Devil Battery Sign are presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. All works in this series are presented by special arrangement with the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee. Episode 2 was available for streaming until July 31, 2021.
(she, her) I am just beyond honoured to voice the work led by Mr. Als, whose writing and artist life has profoundly affected me, especially reading him in the Pandemic. I’ve talked on tape for 35 years, every species of text from soft core porn to YA Star Wars. At an early crossroads in my career, I was asked to choose between Hollywood and devising original work about the underbelly of America, and I chose the latter, selecting to play sticky historical figures especially for a white girl from the Dirty Jers, people like Richard Nixon, Margaret Mitchell, and a pro-Trump Appalachian coal miner. The Lenape land barrier island on which I now live floods every full moon, where I am writing an existentialist game-show glam-rock musical about Simone de Beauvoir called P_T _ND V_NN_, (pat and vanna), with director Sanaz Ghajar, and composer Chad Raines. I am an affiliated artist of New Georges where I am engaged in a collective imagining of an anti-racist future and I am humbly entering into a deep undoing alongside Sandra Kim’s course Healing From Internalized Whiteness. If this speaks to you, and you feel called to ask me about it, I would love it.
Mikéah Ernest Jennings is an art theater and performance creator from the rural Mojave Desert living in New York. Interested mainly in the inutility of the 4th wall Mikéah has sought out collaborations with artists who reframe the conventions of the audience/performer
relationship as a way to highlight the performance of the audience as an equally vital component of the theatrical ritual. Mikéah has shared his acting work across the country collaborating with various artists such as Anne Washburn, Dave Malloy, Young Jean Lee, Rachel Chavkin, Lila Neugebauer (The Signature Plays), Charlotte Brathwaite, Taibi Magar (The Foundry Theater), and Dan Rothenberg/Pig Iron Theatre Company (I Promised Myself to Live Faster). He has also performed at REDCAT, Paramount Studios, Cal Performances in Berkeley, Humana Festival, OnTheBoards in Seattle, The Wexner Center, and Woolly Mammoth Theater in DC. Mikéahs performance experience in NY has included Lincoln Center Theater, Soho Rep, Dance Theater Workshop, the Performing Garage, New York Theatre Workshop, PS122, The Signature Theater, 3LD, Dixon Place, The Chocolate Factory, and The Kitchen. Mikéah has toured internationally with numerous companies including Caden Mansons/Big Art Group, Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company and with the works of Jay Scheib & Co. Mikéah has created and taught classes for the theater departments of MIT, The New School, and SUNY Purchase.
Reed Birney has been an actor since 1974, making his Broadway debut at 21 in Albert Innaurato’s comedy smash, GEMINI. He made an auspicious film debut in 1981 in Arthur Penn and Steve Tesich’s FOUR FRIENDS. His work in the theater has been highly lauded, having nominated for two Tony Awards and winning once. He has won three OBIE Awards and a Drama Desk Award honoring his career. Recent film: LOST GIRLS and THE 40 YEAR OLD VERSION on Netflix, the Universal/Blumhouse film THE HUNT, and the upcoming MASS, written and directed by Fran Kranz, costarring with Ann Dowd, Martha Plimpton and Jason Isaacs. On Televison thhis season he will be seen on “Home Before Dark” (Apple TV), “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu), “Succession” HBO, “EVIL” (CBS). Past appearances on TV include “House of Cards,” “The Blacklist,” “High Maintenance” and “The Americans.”
Raúl Castillo is an actor across the film, television, and theater mediums. He is best known for his portrayal of Paps in the critically acclaimed independent feature We the Animals, based on the Justin Torres novel of the same name and directed by Jeremiah Zagar, which brought him an Independent Spirit Award nomination; and for his starring role as Richie on the Michael Lannan-created groundbreaking HBO series Looking. Upcoming releases include Mattson Tomlin’s Mother/Android for Hulu, Guy Ritchie’s Wrath of Man for MGM and Army of the Dead from writer/director Zack Snyder for Netflix.
André Holland’s film credits include High Flying Bird, Ava DuVernay’s adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, Moonlight (Academy Award for Best Picture), Selma (Academy Award Nominee), 42, Miracle at St. Anna, and the acclaimed 2008 independent film Sugar. Holland TV Credit’s include the Stephen King inspired series, Castle Rock (Hulu/Bad Robot) and Steven Soderbergh’s The Knick. Holland made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning 2009 revival of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and most recently performed in Othello alongside Academy Award and Tony-Winning actor Mark Rylance at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. Other select theater credits include the Tony Award-Winning production of August Wilson’s Jitney, The Whipping Man at MTC, The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park productions of All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It. Social: @andreholland on IG
Marin Ireland’s theatre credits include Reasons to be Pretty, for which she won a Theatre World Award and was nominated for a Tony. Other New York credits include The Big Knife and After Miss Julie (Broadway), Ironbound at Rattlestick, Kill Floor at Lincoln Center, Three Sisters at Classic Stage, Cyclone at Studio Dante (Obie Award), Blasted and Marie Antoinette, both at Soho Rep, and In the Wake at the Public Theatre. TV/Film includes: 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, playing activist Melissa Mays. She’s currently shooting the FX series Y: The Last Man, and co-founded the website hrforthearts.org, which aims to be a resource to help address harassment and bullying within the arts community. Social – @marinireland on IG & Twitter
Off-Broadway: A Bright Room Called Day (The Public); Dead are my People (Next Door at NYTW); Intractable Woman, Oh My Sweet Land (The Play Company); queens, The Who & the What (LCT3); Today is my Birthday, Ultimate Beauty Bible (Page 73). Regional: Yerma (Huntington); A Thousand Splendid Suns (Old Globe/A.C.T./Theatre Calgary); Salomé (Shakespeare Theatre Company). Television/Film: “High Fidelity,” “High Maintenance,” “The Looming Tower,” American Insurrection, May in the Summer. Lincoln Center Theater’s 2019 Emerging Artist Award. Instagram: @nadine.malouf
Michelle Williams recently earned Primetime Emmy®, Golden Globe®, Critics Choice®, and Screen Actors Guild® Awards for her portrayal of “Gwen Verdon” in the FX limited series FOSSE/VERDON, on which she also served as an Executive Producer. This Fall, she will be seen on screen reprising her role in the film VENOM in its sequel: VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE. Williams has received Academy Award® nominations for her work in the films MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, BLUE VALENTINE, and BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. Her other recent film credits include AFTER THE WEDDING, I FEEL PRETTY, ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD, THE GREATEST SHOWMAN, WONDERSTRUCK, and CERTAIN WOMEN. On stage, Williams starred in David Harrower’s BLACKBIRD, garnering her a Tony nomination. She made her Broadway debut as “Sally Bowles” in the Roundabout Theatre Company production of CABARET. Her other theatre credits include Off-Broadway productions of Mike Leigh’s SMELLING A RAT, Tracy Letts’s KILLER JOE, and THE CHERRY ORCHARD for the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Broadway: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Take Me Out (2003 Tony for Best Play, original cast). Off-Broadway: Durango, Richard III, Take Me Out, etc. (The Public); The Oldest Boy (Lincoln Center); House Rules, I_NY (Ma-Yi); A Few Stout Individuals (Signature); and Macbeth (TFANA). Regional: Longwharf, South Coast Rep, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Kennedy Center, etc. International: Singapore Arts Festival, Edinburgh Int’l Festival, Donmar Warehouse, and Taganka Theatre. Film & TV: Robert Minoru on Marvel’s Runaways, The Blacklist, New Amsterdam, Madame Secretary, Man on a Ledge, Thomas Crown Affair, etc. Interactive: Grand Theft Auto series, Bio Shock series, etc. Social media: @Jamesyaegashi
Hilton Als began contributing to The New Yorker in 1989, writing pieces for Talk of the Town. He became a staff writer in 1994, a theater critic in 2002, and chief theater critic in 2013. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Writing, a George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, the American Academy’s Berlin Prize, and the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his work at The New Yorker in 2017. He is the author of the critically acclaimed White Girls, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the winner of the Lambda Literary Award in 2014 and a Professor at Columbia University’s Writing Program He lives in New York City.
Alex Barron is an audio producer, director and designer based in New York. He works on WNYC’s The New Yorker Radio Hour (for which he has won two New York Press Club Awards), and produces The New Yorker’s Politics and More podcast. He won a Sarah Lawrence College International Audio Fiction Award for directing and designing Lucas Hnath’s NightNight for Playwrights Horizons’ Soundstage podcast. Alex was previously a member of the artistic staff at Manhattan Theatre Club, Naked Angels, MCC Theater and the Sundance Institute.