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Innovation Without Compromise

Within The Academy’s walls a trusted space has been created to explore original work and drive the standards of performing arts. By offering a safe haven for creativity, leading playwrights, directors and even students are inspired to bring their work to The Academy to develop, workshop and produce. Many of our students and alumni are included in the creation of these outstanding new works. The result is the birth of profound artistry, much of which goes on to accomplish great success and recognition.


Past Main Stage Live Participants

Barbara Rubin Barbara Rubin Director
Over the past two decades, Barbara Rubin has cultivated a career as an inventive director of contemporary and classical theatre in New York and abroad. She has worked on Broadway and Off, regionally, in Europe, and in her native South Africa. Credits include Let Me Cook For You with TheatreLab, the Broadway revival of The Elephant Man with Sean Mattias, The Odyssey with Mary Zimmerman for McCarter Theater, and the South African premiere of Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive at the Market Theatre. Rubin is also a highly sought-after dialect coach for stage, film, and television, having worked with actors including Hilary Swank, Rosemary Harris, Jennifer Hudson, Terrence Howard, and Carla Gugino. Known for her longtime collaboration with legendary South African playwright Athol Fugard, Rubin coached all five productions in his Signature Theatre Residency, including the 2016 revival of Master Harold... and the Boys. Recent TV credits include NBC's Blindspot and Chicago Med. At The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, Barbara is co-director of the third year Company.
 
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Vanessa Claire Stewart Vanessa Claire Stewart Actress and Writer
Vanessa Claire Stewart is an actress, producer, and writer, who penned the smash hit Stoneface for Sacred Fools Theatre, which went on to win the LA Weekly Award for Best Production 2012. Stoneface (starring Academy alum French Stewart), about the rise and fall of Buster Keaton, garnered glowing reviews during its 2014 run at Pasadena Playhouse. In addition, Stewart co-wrote and starred as Keely Smith in Louis and Keely: Live at the Sahara (Ovation for best musical, LA Weekly Award for best musical, LADCC for best musical), which became the longest-running show at the Geffen Playhouse and was directed by Academy Award-winning director Taylor Hackford. Stewart wrote and starred in the feature film Chase the Slut (Edinburgh Film Festival) and was a writing contributor to the film anthology Girls Girls Girls starring Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer (San Diego Film Festival, LA Femme Film Fest). Her film and TV credits include: Alex & The List, Girls Girls Girls, and appearances on Rules of Engagement, The Wanda Sykes Show and Sensitive Men.
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Timothy Stickney Timothy Stickney Actor
Timothy Stickney is an actor, most recognized for his long-running turn as the villainous Randall James "R.J." Gannon on the ABC soap opera, One Life to Live. His numerous stage credits include Shakespeare in Love at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Macbeth at the Old Globe, King Lear (opposite Kevin Kline) and Romeo and Juliet in the Public Theater's "Shakespeare in the Park" productions at the Delacorte. Stickney was also a member of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival for several seasons, co-starring with Christopher Plummer in productions of Caesar and Cleopatra and The Tempest under the direction of Des McAnuff, which were filmed in HD for theatrical release by Bravo/CBC. Film and television credits include Marvel's The Punisher on Netflix, The Good Wife, Cop Land, Madam Secretary, and Blue Bloods. Stickney has been nominated for four NAACP Image Awards, and is an artist-in-residence at the Harlem School of the Arts.
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Neil LaBute Neil LaBute Writer and Director
Neil LaBute is an award-winning film director, screenwriter, playwright, and actor. His films include In the Company of Men (New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First Film and the Filmmakers Trophy at Sundance Film Festival), Your Friends & Neighbors, Nurse Betty, Possession, The Shape of Things, a film adaptation of his play by the same title, The Wicker Man, Dirty Weekend, Some Velvet Morning, and Death at a Funeral. His plays include bash: latter-day plays, The Mercy Seat, The Distance from Here, Fat Pig (Olivier Award-nominated for Best Comedy), Some Girl(s), This Is How It Goes, Filthy Talk for Troubled Times, In a Dark Dark House, reasons to be pretty (Tony Award-nominated for Best Play), In a Forest, Dark and Deep (London's West End), The War on Terror, The Money Shot, and The Way We Get By. His latest, How to Fight Loneliness, premiered at Utah Shakespeare Festival in 2017. LaBute's writing for television includes Van Helsing, Hell on Wheels, Billions, Full Circle, and Billy & Billie. He is also the author of several fiction pieces that have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar and Playboy, among others.
 
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Daniel Goldfarb Daniel Goldfarb Writer and Producer
Daniel Goldfarb made his Broadway debut with Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. His Off-Broadway credits include Cradle and All and Sarah, Sarah, both at Manhattan Theatre Club; The Retributionists at Playwrights Horizons; Modern Orthodox at Dodger Stages; and Adam Baum and the Jew Movie at Blue Light (which won the Oppenheimer Award for Best New York Debut, and the Canadian Authors Association Award for Best Play), and most recently the musical Piece of My Heart at Signature Theatre. Goldfarb’s regional credits include Legacy and Party Come Here at Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Radio Girl at Goodspeed. On television, Goldfarb was an Executive Story Editor on F/X’s Tyrant and DirecTV’s Rogue, and has developed pilots for Showtime, CBS, and Sphere Media. His film credits include screenplays for HBO, Maven Pictures, and Chicago Films. Goldfarb is a graduate of The Juilliard School and NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing, where he is an Assistant Arts Professor and Area Head of Playwriting. He serves on the council of the Dramatist’s Guild, and represents the guild as a Tony Award Nominator for The Broadway League.
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Nandita Shenoy Nandita Shenoy Playwright
Nandita Shenoy is a New York-based actor and playwright who enjoys hearing an audience laugh. Her play Washer/Dryer was produced Off-Broadway by Ma-Yi Theater in New York, where she also played the leading role of Sonya. Washer/Dryer premiered at East West Players in Los Angeles and in Chicago at Rasaka Theater. Her first play, Lyme Park: An Austonian Romance of an Indian Nature, was produced by the Hegira in Washington, DC. Shenoy was the winner of the 2014 Father Hamblin Award in Playwriting for her commissioned one-act, Safe Haven. Her plays have been read at the Kennedy Center, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Bleecker Street Theater, and The Lark Play Development Center. Notable acting credits include world premieres of Eric Pfeffinger’s Some Other Kind of Person, Richard Dresser’s Trouble Cometh, and Adam Szymkowicz’s Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood, as well as a season at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. She is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, the Dramatists Guild, and the Lincoln Center Director's Lab.
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Keelay Gipson Keelay Gipson Playwright
Keelay Gipson is an activist, teaching artist, and award-winning playwright whose work includes #NewSlaves, CRH, or the placenta play, and What I Tell You in the Dark. He is the recipient of the prestigious Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists, as well as writing fellowships with Lambda Literary, The Amoralists, Page 73, Dramatists Guild Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts. Gipson has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Cultural Affairs Department of the City of New York, the Administration of Children’s Services of the City of New York, as well as a residency at New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater Season at Vassar. His work has been seen/developed at HERE Arts Center, National Black Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Lark, The Fire This Time Festival, Classical Theater of Harlem, and New York Theatre Workshop.
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Derek Ahonen Derek Ahonen Playwright
Derek Ahonen is a playwright, director, and founder of the award-winning Amoralists Theatre Company in New York City. Notable works include The Transcendents, The Pied Pipers of the Lower East Side, Happy in the Poorhouse, The Bad and the Better, The Cheaters Club, Pink Knees on Pale Skin, Amerissiah, Pokin’ the Bears in a Zoo, While Chasing the Fantastic, and The Qualification of Douglas Evans. Ahonen has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The New Yorker, Backstage, and Time Out New York, and his work is regularly named to New York Theatre Top Ten lists. In 2012, he was named as a NYtheatre.com Person of The Year. Ahonen collaborated with actress Sarah Roy on Catherine And Anita, which earned raves at the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and later transferred to the King's Head Theatre in London. He premiered the film adaptation of The Transcendents at the Sarasota Film Festival, marking his feature directorial debut.
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Sandy Martin Sandy Martin Director
Over the course of her remarkable career, Sandy Martin has appeared in more than 70 stage productions, including A House Not Meant to Stand, where she was nominated for multiple awards as Best Female Lead in a Play. She got her start at the age of 15 touring with Martha Raye in Good-Bye Charley, and has performed at Lincoln Center, La MaMa, Playwrights Horizons, and The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Martin was a founding company member of both the WPA Theatre and the Perry Street Theatre. She also co-founded Hothouse Stage Company in Los Angeles, producing the award-winning The Killing of Sister George (Best Revival of the Year winner) and East/West Game. In addition to her stage work, Martin’s TV credits include regular roles on Transparent, Playing House, Hand of God, Big Love and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. On the big screen, Martin was featured in Martin McDonagh's Academy Award-winning Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and appears in Tim Burton's live-action Dumbo.
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John Cariani John Cariani Playwright
John Cariani is a Tony Award-nominated actor and accomplished playwright, most recently appearing on Broadway as Itzik in the critically-lauded musical The Band's Visit. He made his Broadway debut in the 2004 revival of Fiddler on the Roof as Motel the Tailor and received the Outer Critics Circle Award and a Tony nomination for his performance. Cariani was also nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award for his performance in Something Rotten!  Notable television and film credits include a recurring role on Law & Order, as well as Homeland, The Good Wife, The Blacklist, Showtime (with Robert De Niro), Scotland, PA (with Christopher Walken), and Elephant Sighs. As a writer, John is best known for his first play, Almost, Maine, which is one of the most frequently produced plays in the country and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. His plays, Last Gas and LOVE/SICK, are published through Dramatists Play Service.
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Douglas Carter Beane Douglas Carter Beane Playwright and Screenwriter
Douglas Carter Beane is a five-time Tony Award nominee whose show, Hood: The Robin Hood Musical Adventure, made its world premiere at Dallas Theatre Center, where it won the top prize from the Dallas-Fort Worth Critics Forum Awards. His plays include the world premiere of his autobiographical Shows for Days, starring Patti LuPone, which ran at Lincoln Center Theatre. It followed his acclaimed production of The Nance, starring Nathan Lane, which was nominated for five Tony Awards. Other works include the revised book for Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella; Xanadu, for which he won a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award and was nominated for a Tony; Sister Act, Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical; Lysistrata Jones, Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical; The Little Dog Laughed, nominated for the 2007 Tony Award for Best Play, an Olivier Award and recipient of the GLAAD Media Award; and As Bees in Honey Drown, which received the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Playwriting Award and the Drama Desk Best Play Nomination. He is also the screenwriter of the cult classic To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, and his musical, To Wong Foo, based on that screenplay, was developed and debuted at The Academy featuring the third year Company. Two previous original works, Me and the Girls and Fairycakes, were also premiered at The Academy.
 
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A. Rey Pamatmat A. Rey Pamatmat Playwright

A. Rey Pamatmat’s latest play Here Are Our Monsters premiered in January 2018 at Philadelphia’s InterAct Theatre. His work includes House Rules at Ma-Yi Theatre Company, after all the terrible things I do for About Face's 25th Anniversary Season, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them at the Humana Festival, Thunder Above, Deeps Below, and DEVIANT. Recent short works include This Is How It Ends as part of 59E59’s Summer Shorts, and Gratuitous Nudity and the Undisclosed Costs of Questioning Surveillance Rather Than Bad Broccoli for Actors Theatre of Louisville. Rey’s work has been developed at The Public Theater, South Coast Repertory, The McCarter Lab, Victory Gardens’ Ignition Festival, Playwrights’ Horizons, Ars Nova, The Lark, Rattlestick, and New Dramatists. Pamatmat is Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, teaches at Primary Stages/ESPA and SUNY Purchase, and was a Hodder, PoNY, and Princess Grace Fellow. It was recently announced that he will be part of The 2018 Working Farm, SPACE on Ryder Farm's resident writers’ group.

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Production Stills from Previous Performances

Fairycakes

Fairycakes

New York Campus

Douglas Carter Beane directing Academy Company members in rehearsal for his debut production of Fairycakes.

Fairycakes

Fairycakes

New York Campus

A shot of the character Puck in Douglas Carter Beane’s Fairycakes.

On Prosperity

On Prosperity

New York Campus

Academy student Charly Clive’s debut of her original work, On Prosperity, directed by Company Director Jonathan Bolt.

On Prosperity

On Prosperity

New York Campus

Gareth Balai in a scene from On Prosperity.

Lady of Fadima

Lady of Fadima

Los Angeles Campus

Academy students perform a reading of Lady of Fadima, directed by Sandy Martin and written by Edward Allan Baker.

Happy in the Poorhouse

Happy in the Poorhouse

New York Campus

A performance of Happy in the Poorhouse, written and directed by Academy alum Derek Ahonen.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood

New York Campus

The finale scene of Robin Hood, written and directed by Douglas Carter Beane.

North of Providence

North of Providence

Los Angeles Campus

Academy alum Sandy Martin directing students in a special reading of Edward Allan Baker’s North of Providence.

Robin Hood

Robin Hood

New York Campus

Academy Company member David English in Douglas Carter Beane’s original musical adaptation of Robin Hood, developed with students and alumni at The Academy.

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Previous Performances


Satisfaction November 9-12, 2017 New York Campus

Satisfaction follows the lives of 4 New York women of color in different phases of their lives as they balance their busy careers with their desires for fulfillment, sexual and otherwise. As they pursue their individual desires, they are forced to ask themselves and each other whether it is possible to be truly satisfied.
 


Industry Professionals:
Adam Fitzgerald
Directed by
Adam Fitzgerald
Nandita Shenoy
Written by
Nandita Shenoy

Reservations

  Performance Times
Performances are free. Click on time to RSVP.

November 9, 2017
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
November 10, 2017
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
November 11, 2017
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
November 12, 2017
2:00PM - SOLD OUT
  Location

New York Campus
120 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016


CRH May 10-13, 2017 New York Campus

A group of thirty-somethings reunite after life puts a damper on their social lives. What happens next, may give them a case of indigestion. A semi-finalist in the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwright Conference, this deliciously decadent, dark comedy is a mediation on what it means to be a member of The Mooching Class amidst the Age of Trump, technology, and student loans.


Industry Professionals:
Adam Fitzgerald
Directed by
Adam Fitzgerald
Keelay Gipson
Written by
Keelay Gipson

Reservations

  Performance Times
Performances are free. Click on time to RSVP.

May 10, 2017
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
May 12, 2017
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
May 13, 2017
2:00PM - SOLD OUT
May 13, 2017
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
  Location

New York Campus
120 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016


cul-de-sac October 5-8, 2016 New York Campus

In cul-de-sac you'll meet the Smiths, the Johnsons and the Joneses. They live in a nice little cul-de-sac in a nice little suburb in a nice little state in a nice big country. And they’re happy. Or—trying to be. The lengths to which they go to be--or seem or feel--happy are hilarious and heartbreaking. cul-de-sac is a not-quite-for-families family comedy that examines the American dream—and the nightmare it can become.


Industry Professionals:
Adam Fitzgerald
Directed by
Adam Fitzgerald
John Cariani
By
John Cariani

Reservations

  Performance Times
Performances are free. Click on time to RSVP.

October 5, 2016
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
October 6, 2016
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
October 7, 2016
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
October 8, 2016
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
  Location

New York Campus
120 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016


The Shotgun Message May 11-14, 2016 New York Campus

In The Shotgun Message, journalist Kent MacDonald is no saint and certainly no savior. At least he never meant to be until 17-year-old Jared — the primary source of his article on teenage camwhores — winds up missing after turning in his pedophile clients to the FBI. In a lurid world of online sex, naïve parents, and kids who know too much, it’s up to Kent to find Jared, bring him home, and save both their souls in the process. The Shotgun Message was developed by Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, IL by Chay Yew, Artistic Director, as part of Ignition 2012.

The Shotgun Message will feature performances by Academy alumni Hugh Buller (Class of 2012), Connor Delves (Class of 2016), Marie Dinolan (Class of 2016), Alexander Hodge (Class of 2016), Emmy Tanzy ( Class of 2015) and Melody Vargas (Class of 2010).


Industry Professionals:
Adam Fitzgerald
Directed by
Adam Fitzgerald
A. Rey Pamatmat
Written by
A. Rey Pamatmat

Reservations

  Performance Times
Performances are free. Click on time to RSVP.

May 11, 2016
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
May 12, 2016
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
May 13, 2016
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
May 14, 2016
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
  Location

New York Campus
120 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016


Robin Hood April 2-7, 2015 New York Campus

The Academy invites our alumni home to reconnect before a special Company performance of Robin Hood, the new musical written and directed by Academy alumnus, Douglas Carter Beane. Please join us before the performance on opening night for an alumni reception.
 


Industry Professionals:
Douglas Carter Beane
Written and Directed by
Douglas Carter Beane
Lewis Flinn
Music and Lyrics by
Lewis Flinn

Reservations

  Performance Times
Performances are free. Click on time to RSVP.

February 2, 2015
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
February 3, 2015
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
February 4, 2015
2:00PM - SOLD OUT 7:00PM - SOLD OUT
February 5, 2015
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
February 6, 2015
2:00PM - SOLD OUT 7:00PM - SOLD OUT
February 7, 2015
7:00PM - SOLD OUT
  Location

New York Campus
120 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

SeeHide Past Productions