Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie, Guggenheim and PEN Award-winning playwright and performer Dael Orlandersmith will perform a Staged Reading of her newest CTG-commissioned piece, “FOREVER,” onTuesday, May 6, 2014 at HERE. This one-night only performance is a special benefit for the League of Professional Theatre Women, an organization Dael supports as a member of the board of directors.
Inspired by her experiences in Paris at the famed Père Lachaise Cemetery – the final resting place of such legendary artists as Marcel Proust, Richard Wright and Jim Morrison - Dael Orlandersmith explores the strange way we form powerful bonds with people who, though unrelated to us by blood, come to feel like family. Observing strangers from around the world making pilgrimages to their favorite artist’s graveside, Orlandersmith investigates the complex legacy she received from her mother, a legacy of bitterness, abuse and frustration but also of poetry, music and art. “FOREVER” is a fascinating exploration of the meaning of family and the surprise of discovering who you are. “FOREVER” will be produced during 2014/2015 at the KirkDouglas Theatre (part of Mark Taper Forum), Long Wharf Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, and at Portland Center Stage.
(Bio as of September 2012)
Dael Orlandersmith received a commission from the Goodman in 2014 for a new play called Lady in Denmark, she previously collaborated with the Goodman on Stoop Stories during the 2009/2010 Season. Ms. Orlandersmith first performed Stoop Stories in 2008 at The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival and Apollo Theater’s Salon Series; Washington, DC’s Studio Theatre produced its world premiere in 2009. Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men was developed as a co-commission between the Goodman and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it was staged in May 2012. Her play Horsedreams was developed at New Dramatists and workshopped at New York Stage and Film Company in 2008, and was performed at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in 2011. Bones was commissioned by the Mark Taper Forum where it premiered in 2010. Ms. Orlandersmith premiered The Blue Album, in collaboration with David Cale, at Long Wharf Theatre in 2007.Yellowman was commissioned by and premiered at McCarter Theatre in a co-production with The Wilma Theater and Long Wharf Theatre. Ms. Orlandersmith was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and Drama Desk Award nominee for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Actress in a Play for Yellowman in 2002. The Gimmick, commissioned by McCarter Theatre, premiered in their Second Stage OnStage series in 1998 and went on to great acclaim at Long Wharf Theatre and New York Theatre Workshop; Ms. Orlandersmith won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Gimmick in 1999. Her play Monster premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in November 1996. Ms. Orlandersmith has toured extensively with the Nuyorican Poets Café (Real Live Poetry) throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. Yellowman and a collection of her earlier works have been published by Vintage Books and Dramatists Play Service. Ms. Orlandersmith attended Sundance Institute Theatre Lab for four summers and is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, The Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, a Guggenheim and the 2005 PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for a playwright in mid-career. She is the recipient of a Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights Fellowship and an Obie Award for Beauty’s Daughter. Ms. Orlandersmith is a board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women.