OSF's American Revolutions commissions will head to Broadway early next year
October 8, 2013
Ashland, Ore.—News of the transfer from American Repertory Theatre to Broadway of Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way was confirmed this weekend. The Broadway opening date of All the Way, directed by Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Bill Rauch, will be announced soon.
“At the Oregon Shakespeare Festival,” said Rauch, “we had a dream of creating work that spoke to the urgent issues of today by dramatizing moments of change in American history. The fact that Robert’s brilliant play, developed and premiered in Ashland and further developed at A.R.T., will be reaching even more audiences in New York is deeply meaning and moving to all of us.”
All The Way was commissioned by OSF through its American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle. It premiered at OSF in July 2012 and featured Jack Willis as President Lyndon Baines Johnson, Peter Frechette as Hubert H. Humphrey and Kenajuan Bentley as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The production was a huge success with critics and audiences and ran at 98% of capacity. OSF is currently developing Schenkkan’s The Great Society, which continues the Johnson story. The Great Society was commissioned by Seattle Repertory Theatre and will premiere at OSF July 23, 2014, also under the direction of Rauch.
All the Way began its run at A.R.T. on September 13 with a new cast and Emmy Award-winning Bryan Cranston as LBJ. The sold-out run closes October 12.
Lead producers for the Broadway production are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Louise Gund. Cranston and much of the A.R.T. cast will be going to Broadway.
More about American Revolutions
The plays of American Revolutions look at moments of change in America's past, helping to establish a shared understanding of our national identity and illuminate the best paths for our nation's future.
OSF has commissioned 21 projects for American Revolutions.
Full productions at OSF include American Night by Culture Clash and Richard Montoya (2010) and Ghost Light, written by Tony Taccone, and conceived and developed by Taccone and Jonathan Moscone (2011). In 2012, two American Revolutions plays were produced in one season: Party People by UNIVERSES (Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz, William Ruiz, a.k.a. Ninja) and Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way. Both plays were among the five finalists nominated for the Kennedy Theater Prize, and All the Way was the recipient of prize, established to honor Senator Edward M. Kennedy and his interest in American history. Also staged in 2012 was Frank Galati’s The March, a co-commission with Steppenwolf Theatre Company, produced at Steppenwolf.
This season, Naomi Wallace’s The Liquid Plain, directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, opened July 2. This play will move to Baltimore’s CenterStage in 2014. Wallace was one of two recipients of the 2012 Horton Foote Prize, a biennial award named for legendary playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote. The Liquid Plain received the award for promising new American play.
Commissions to date: Ayad Akhtar, Tanya Barfield, Bill Cain, Culture Clash (Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza), Kristoffer Diaz, Michael Friedman, Frank Galati, Kirsten Greenidge, Quiara Alegría Hudes, David Henry Hwang, Stephen Karam, Young Jean Lee, Lisa Loomer, the team of Jonathan Moscone and Tony Taccone, Lynn Nottage, Robert Schenkkan, collaborators Rebecca Taichman and Paula Vogel, Naomi Wallace, Universes (includes core performers Steven Sapp, Mildred Ruiz, William Ruiz), Rhiana Yazzie and Karen Zacarías. American Revolutions has created partnerships with Arena Stage, CenterStage, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Public Theatre, The Playwrights’ Center and Yale Repertory Theatre. Mr. Friedman’s commission is shared by American Revolutions and the Edgerton Fund for New Musicals.