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Vineyard Theatre partners with The League of Live Stream Theater for Worldwide Live Stream of "Scene Partners"

originally published: 12/02/2023

Vineyard Theatre partners with The League of Live Stream Theater for Worldwide Live Stream of "Scene Partners"

(NEW YORK, NY) -- Sarah Stern, Artistic Director and Suzanne Appel, Managing Director of Vineyard Theatre, are excited to announce that, in partnership with The League Of Live Stream Theater (LOLST), the final four performances of Scene Partners will be streamed worldwide on December 15 at 7:00pm, December 16 at 2:00pm & 7:30pm, and December 17 at 2:00pm. This is the first time that Vineyard Theatre has live streamed a current production on stage in their effort to continue to make theatre more accessible physically, geographically and financially to audiences.

Written by playwright John J. Caswell, Jr. and directed by Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin, the world premiere of Scene Partners received critical praise when it opened last month, with Jesse Green of The New York Times lauding that the production gives two-time Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest a platform to deliver a “master class” in her portrayal saying, “it’s a great pleasure to watch her make Meryl’s innocence and bloodthirstiness equally believable, equally fresh.” Elysa Gardner of The New York Sun echoes this enthusiasm, describing the play as "ingeniously wacky, weirdly moving, altogether wonderful." Robert Hofler from The Wrap finds the comedy “touching,” noting Wiest's perfect fit for her role. Sara Holdren of New York Magazine is captivated, calling it "beguiling and tantalizing," while Adam Cohen from TheaterPizzazz highlights that “this gifted cast weaves a wild engaging spell. The physical production is top notch.”

In addition to Wiest as Meryl, Scene Partners stars Eric Berryman (Primary Trust) as Dr. Noah Drake, Johanna Day (Sweat) as Charlize, Josh Hamilton (Reality) as Hugo, Carmen M. Herlihy (Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie) as Cassie and Kristen Sieh (The Band’s Visit) as Pauline.

Vineyard Theatre partners with The League of Live Stream Theater for Worldwide Live Stream of "Scene Partners"

Winter, 1985. 75-year-old Meryl ditches ice-cold Milwaukee for sunny Los Angeles, hell-bent on becoming a movie star. She’s got big dreams, a little money, and a whole lot of nerve. But will the world ever know her for who she really is?  Starring two-time Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest as Meryl, and directed by Tony Award-winning director Rachel Chavkin (HadestownNatasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812), John J. Caswell, Jr.’s (Wet Brain; Vineyard's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award), Scene Partners is a wildly theatrical, hilarious and genre-twisting gallop through the experience of a woman reborn.

“The continued relevance of theatre as an art form will require a radical reimagining of who our audience might be and a willingness to meet them wherever they are,” says playwright John J. Caswell, Jr.  “Lack of access is a major theme for the characters in Scene Partners so it feels especially wonderful to share this experience with our new friends at home who otherwise couldn’t be with us.”



 
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Jim Augustine and Oren Michels, co-founders of the League of Live Stream Theater say, “Scene Partners epitomizes our vision for the launch of The League of Live Stream Theater’s new off-Broadway and regional theater season. Here’s a limited-run world premiere, showcasing world-class talent, that most theater lovers across the country and around the world would have no other opportunity to see, and it’s an opportunity for a distinguished company like Vineyard Theatre to broaden its audience for this show and many more to come.”

Suzanne Appel, Vineyard Theatre’s Managing Director shared, "For over 40 years Vineyard Theatre has pushed the boundaries of what theatre can be and do, and we see this partnership with LOLST as another opportunity to expand the reach of our form and expand our audiences. It has been incredible to share Scene Partners with packed houses in our intimate theatre on East 15th Street in Union Square. It is thrilling to know that John J. Caswell Jr.'s world-premiere play can now be enjoyed by audiences worldwide. This evolution builds on our industry-first partnership with Audible on our productions of David Cale's Harry Clarke and Ngozi Anyanwu's Good Grief, and award-winning digital programming including The Commissary's Lessons in Survival."

The design team for Scene Partners includes scenic design by Riccardo Hernández (Indecent)costume design by Brenda Abbandandolo (The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window), lighting design by Alan Edwards (Harry Clarke), sound design by Leah Gelpe (Mary Jane), video and projection design by David Bengali (Monsoon Wedding), prop design by Andrew Diaz (The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window), hair and wig design by Leah Loukas (The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window) and tapestry design by Patricia Marjorie (Wolf Play). Anne Troup is the video producer. Casting is by Calleri Jensen Davis. Rachel A. Zucker serves as Production Stage Manager.

Streaming tickets are priced through LOLST and start at $60 with a $9 service fee ($69). Tickets are available for purchase online.

The limited run of Scene Partners opened at Vineyard Theatre (108 E. 15th Street) on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 and plays through December 17, 2023. Please visit www.vineyardtheatre.org for more information.

The League of Live Stream Theater (LOLST), a new nonprofit founded in 2022, provides the production, technical, financial, and marketing solutions to bring nonprofit theater to a global audience, via live stream. Founders Jim Augustine and Oren Michels, veterans in the theater and technology industries, have a vision to make Broadway and regional theater more accessible than ever before, driving new audiences to new works, increasing awareness for world-class stages and artists, and helping these nonprofit institutions to thrive for another generation. Founding support for The League of Live Stream Theater has been provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Sherrill Family Foundation.

Under the artistic leadership of Sarah Stern and Douglas Aibel, Vineyard Theatre develops and produces new plays and musicals that push the boundaries of what theatre can be and do. For over 40 years, The Vineyard has nurtured a community of fearless theatre makers whose work has expanded the form, the field, and the larger culture. Vineyard Theatre has transferred eleven shows to Broadway, seven directly after their acclaimed Vineyard premieres: Lucas Hnath’s Dana H. and Tina Satter’s Is This A Room (both New York Times Best Theatre of 2021); Paula Vogel’s Indecent; Nicky Silver’s The Lyons; Kander, Ebb and Thompson’s The Scottsboro Boys; Bell and Bowen’s [title of show]; and Avenue Q by Marx, Lopez and Whitty (Tony Award, Best Musical). In recent years, four additional shows launched at The Vineyard have been revived in their first Broadway productions: Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive; Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar And Grill; Becky Mode’s Fully Committed; and Edward Albee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Three Tall Women.



 
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From their home in NYC’s Union Square, The Vineyard develops and premieres new plays and musicals which go on to be seen around the country and the world. Recently, Jeremy O. Harris’ play “Daddy” (2019) received its London premiere at the Almeida; Ngozi Anyanwu’s Good Grief (2018) and David Cale’s Harry Clarke (2017) were recorded by Audible; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Gloria (2014), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, transferred to Chicago’s Goodman Theatre; Paula Vogel’s Tony Award-winning Indecent (2016) aired on PBS’s “Great Performances” and was one of the most-produced plays nationwide in 2019; and Colman Domingo’s Dot (2016) is being adapted into an AMC series. The Vineyard’s first major digital work, Lessons in Survival, was named one of the top theatrical experiences of 2020 by the New York Times and has been viewed by audiences in more than 40 countries.

The Vineyard’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, Susan Stroman Directing Award, and Colman Domingo Award provide residencies to early-career artists and our education programs serve over 700 New York City public high school students annually, culminating in Developing Artists’ REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival. The Roth-Vogel New Play Commission is awarded annually to a mid- to late-career playwright to create and develop a new play with The Vineyard. Our work and artists have been honored with numerous awards including Pulitzer Prizes and Tony Awards, and the company is proud to be the recipient of special Drama Desk, Obie, and Lucille Lortel Awards for artistic excellence and support of artists.

Vineyard Theatre’s leadership includes Artistic Directors Sarah Stern and Douglas Aibel (on sabbatical 23-24) and Managing Director Suzanne Appel.


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