Drama Desk and Obie Award-Winning
Announces Its 19th Season:
Music and Lyrics by Adam Gwon
Directed by Jonathan Silverstein
“A quietly affecting show... Mr. Gwon writes crisp, fluid and funny lyrics. Ordinary Days captures with stinging clarity that uneasy moment in youth when doubts begin to cloud hopes for a future of unlimited possibility.” — The New York Times
Limited Engagement Begins October 2nd
SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY
by Chisa Hutchinson
Directed by Jessi D. Hill
“Ms. Hutchinson has a sharp ear for dialogue… (a) dry, roguish, gutsy voice” – New York Times
Limited Engagement Begins February 26th
Today Keen Artistic Director Jonathan Silverstein announced his plans for the upcoming season: “I am thrilled to announce Keen Company’s 19th season, two uplifting stories about the big impact of small actions. This fall Keen will produce our fourth intimate musical, the first NY revival of Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days. I’ve been a fan of Adam’s work for years and am so excited to work with him to bring this beloved musical to life in a brand new production with new orchestrations. Ordinary Days beautifully depicts the search for connection and how one person’s actions can influence complete strangers. In the spring we will present the New York premiere of Surely Goodness and Mercy, a truly Keen story about an exceptional boy living a troubled life in Newark, NJ who does a good deed for an often unnoticed person. Chisa is a rare writer who speaks to our complicated times today with a full heart and a singular voice. I am thrilled to welcome her into the Keen family,” said Silverstein.
From the company that brought you the acclaimed revivals of Marry Me a Little, John and Jen,and Tick, Tick…BOOM! comes Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days, a refreshingly humorous and inspiring musical about making simple connections in a chaotic city. Written by one of musical theater's most exciting new composers, Ordinary Days tells the story of four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect in unexpected ways as they search for success, happiness, love, and taxis. The Washington Post declared “If life really were more like a musical, you’d be contented if that life percolated as vibrantly as does Ordinary Days, Adam Gwon’s sweet, fleet and tender survey of four youngish New Yorkers, fighting through the emotional noise and dramatic traffic to arrive at a clearer sense of who they are and what they want to be.”
“Having my first revival feels like a milestone. I've seen all of Keen's musical revivals over the years, from Marry Me a Little to Tick...Tick...Boom, and I'm honored they've chosen to produceOrdinary Days alongside these intimate musicals I've loved for so long. It's a show with New York City at its heart, and I can't wait to share it with a whole new audience here,” said Gown.
Adam Gwon is an award-winning composer and lyricist whose musicals have been produced on five continents, in more than half a dozen languages. Off-Broadway: Ordinary Days(Roundabout), Old Jews Telling Jokes (Westside Theatre); Regional: String (Village Theatre),Cake Off (Signature Theatre, Helen Hayes Award nomination; Bucks County Playhouse),Cloudlands (South Coast Rep), The Boy Detective Fails (Signature Theatre), Bernice Bobs Her Hair (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma); West End: Ordinary Days (Trafalgar Studios). Adam’s songs have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and more, by such luminaries as Audra McDonald, Kelli O’Hara, and Brian d’Arcy James. Honors include the Kleban Award, Fred Ebb Award, Richard Rodgers Award, Frederick Loewe Award, Second Stage Theatre’s Donna Perret Rosen Award, Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, ASCAP Harold Adamson Award, and the MAC John Wallowitch Award, as well as commissions from Roundabout, Playwrights Horizons, Signature Theatre, South Coast Rep, and Broadway Across America. Recordings include: Ordinary Days (Ghostlight Records), Audra McDonald’s Go Back Home(Nonesuch), The Essential Liz Callaway (Working Girl Records), Tracy Lynn Olivera’s Because, and Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Album. Adam has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the O’Neill Music Theater Conference, and the Dramatists Guild.
Performances for this limited Off-Broadway engagement of Ordinary Days, directed by Keen Artistic Director Jonathan Silverstein, will begin Tuesday, October 2nd, and continue through November 17th only, with opening night set for Wednesday, October 17th. Additional matinees on Wednesdays November 7th and November 14th at 2pm. Cast and design team to be announced later.
Surely Goodness and Mercy has spent the last year charming audiences across the country: “Notably absent from Hutchinson's frank and sobering story: cynicism” – Chicago Reader; “(Surely Goodness and Mercy has) a soul-stirring quality, touching audiences with its sincerity” – Daily Utah Chronicle; “it's impossible not to like it” - The Salt Lake Tribune.
Now, Keen is honored to bring this big-hearted new play to New York for the first time. Set in an under-funded public school in Newark, this vibrant new play by emerging playwright Chisa Hutchinson, tells the story of a bible-toting boy with a photographic memory who befriends the cantankerous old lunch lady. Against all odds, Tino and Bernadette help each other through the mess of growing up and growing old. “When I met with Jonathan and he told me about the kind of work that Keen likes to do-- stuff that's an uplift, but for like grown-ass realists who know that happy endings are hard-won and rare-- I felt so honored and encouraged that they saw my play fitting into that mission. And New York is a city full of grown-ass realists so I'm very ready to bring Surely Goodness and Mercy here with Keen,” said Chisa. Jessi D. Hill (Cusi Cram'sThe Helpers at 59E59, Melissa Li & Kit Yan’s Interstate - NYMF, Kit Yan's Queer Heartache - A.R.T, Larissa FastHorse's Vanishing Point - HERE Arts Center, Jackob Hoffman's A Persistent Memory - Theatre Row, Topher Paine's Medicine Showdown - 4th St. Theatre at NYTW, Alicia Jo Rabins' A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff - Joe's Pub) will direct.
Chisa Hutchinson is a New York-based playwright who has happily presented her plays, which include Dirt Rich, She Like Girls, This Is Not The Play, Sex On Sunday, Tunde’s Trumpet, The Subject, Somebody’s Daughter, Alondra Was Here, Surely Goodness and Mercy, From The Author Of, Amerikin and Dead & Breathing at such venues as the Lark Theater, SummerStage, Atlantic Theater Company, Rattlestick Theater, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the Contemporary American Theater Festival, the National Black Theatre, Salt Lake Acting Company, Writers’ Theatre of New Jersey, Delaware REP, Second Stage Theater and Arch 468 in London. She has been a Dramatists Guild Fellow, a Lark Fellow, a Resident at Second Stage Theater, a Humanitas Fellow, a New York NeoFuturist, and a staff writer for the Blue Man Group. She's also won a GLAAD Award, a Lilly Award, a New York Innovative Theatre Award, the Paul Green Award, a Helen Merrill Award, the Lanford Wilson Award, and has been a finalist for the highly coveted PoNY Fellowship. Lately, Chisa's been venturing into film and is presently working mercenary-style on two screenplays, one for A&E/Lifetime and the another spearheaded by Simon Cowell for Sony, and entering pre-production for two indie film projects. And while she’s flexing new muscles, she figured she may as well accept a commission from Audible to write radio play. She'll never give up live theater, though, no matter how little it pays, so in addition to being a Fellow at Primary Stages and a proud fifth-year member of New Dramatists, Chisa is currently gearing up for two NYC theater productions and settling down to write a revenge play about white folks who call the police on black folks commissioned by South Coast Rep. BA, Vassar College; MFA, NYU - Tisch School of the Arts. To learn more, visit www.chisahutchinson.com .
Performances for this limited Off-Broadway engagement of Surely Goodness and Mercy will begin Tuesday February 27th and continue through Saturday April 14th only, with opening night set for Wednesday March 13th. Additional matinee on Wednesday April 11th at 2pm. Cast and design team will be announced shortly.
Keen Company creates theater that provokes identification, reflection, and emotional connection. In intimate productions of plays and musicals, we tell wholehearted stories about people striving to do their best and the decisive moments that change us. Keen has been honored with eleven Drama Desk nominations, two Drama Desk Awards, two Drama League nominations, and two Obie Awards.
All performances will be at The Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues) and will be Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7pm; Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm; and Sunday matinees at 3pm. Tickets for Ordinary Days will be $75; premium tickets will be $90. Tickets for Surely Goodness and Mercy will be $65; premium tickets will be $80. (All ticket prices include restoration fees.)
A subscription package for both shows of the season is only $100 which includes unlimited exchange privileges, invitations to Keen Company readings, and admission to Keen Teens Festival of New Work! Save over 35% off full ticket price ($160.00). Subscribers also get free invitations to Keen’s Play Club discussion series. discounts on the purchase of Keen’s new cast recordings of Keen’s productions of Marry Me a Little and John & Jen, as well as advance notice and discounted tickets to The Playwrights Lab Series, and Keen Company’s Annual Gala.
Keen patrons 30 or under see both shows for just $25 each with a KEENConnect Subscription at only $50. That's all the perks of a regular subscription for the price of a rush ticket! Save over 65% off the full ticket price! (Please note, government issued ID must be presented at box office).
Individual tickets and subscriptions are on sale NOW! To purchase single tickets, visit the Theatre Row Box Office (410 West 42nd Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues), online at Telecharge.com, or call 212-239-6200. For subscriptions, please visit www.keencompany.org/subscribe.
For more information, visit www.keencompany.org