MCC THEATER ANNOUNCES VIRTUAL BENEFIT READING OF PETER HEDGES’ “GOOD AS NEW” STARRING JULIANNE MOORE AND KAITLYN DEVER ON JULY 16
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, PLEASE
BENEFIT READING AND ACTOR/PLAYWRIGHT DISCUSSION OF
“GOOD AS NEW”
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY PETER HEDGES
STARRING JULIANNE MOORE AND KAITLYN DEVER
THURSDAY, JULY 16 AT 7:00 PM EST
PROCEEDS TO GO TOWARD SUPPORTING MCC THEATER’S 20/21 SEASON, WITH A PORTION OF DONATIONS GOING TO
THE ARTIST CO-OP AND THE OKRA PROJECT
New York, NY (July 1, 2020)– MCC Theater (Bob LuPone, Bernie Telsey, and Will Cantler, Artistic Directors; Blake West, Executive Director) announced today a special benefit reading and discussion with the artists of Peter Hedges’ Good As New starring Julianne Moore and Kaitlyn Dever, directed by the author, to be presented on MCC’s YouTube channel on Thursday, July 16 at 7:00 PM EST.
Revisiting this acclaimed work – a brutal one-act comedy about a learning-to-drive daughter who comes face-to-face with the mother she thinks has let her down – Good As New first played in 1993-94 as part of MCC’s (then called Manhattan Class Company) One Acts. It was then extended to a full-length work and presented by MCC in 1997.
Good As New will be streamed via YouTube with live-captioning and can be accessed via a link sent to ticket buyers before the reading. Tickets for the broadcast start at $5.00 (limited allocation). Additional tickets will be allocated and available at $15.00 and $25.00, on a first come, first served basis. Current patrons and current 20/21 season subscribers of MCC Theater can view for free. All information and tickets can be found on http://www.mcctheater.org/tix/good-as-new
Playwright and Director Peter Hedges says:
“33 years ago I met Julianne Moore at the same time I met MCC Theater. Bernie, Bob, and Will had arranged for a stage reading of my play Andy and Claire. An actress unknown to me at that time, Julianne Moore, read Claire. In that moment, she became one of my favorite actors in all the world. MCC Theater is my favorite theater in all the world. And back when I wrote plays, MCC often workshopped and produced them. I even wrote much of my first novel, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, reading and staging excerpts under the auspices of MCC Theater. In 1994, my one-act play Good As New premiered at MCC. After experiencing the sublime and exquisite live reading this past spring of Alan Bowne’s Beirut with Marisa Tomei and Oscar Isaac, the possibilities of meaningful virtual theater became ever apparent. It was a thrill when MCC approached me about doing a reading of Good As New – and the whole thought of it went to a surreal next level when the great Julianne Moore and one of my favorite younger actors in all the world, the phenomenal Kaitlyn Dever, agreed to come play at what will be a live virtual theatrical party on July 16th.”
MCC Co-Artistic Director Bernie Telsey says:
“As much as you can never replace the thrill of the in-person experience of theater, we have seen through our LiveLab: One Acts series and our previous benefit reading of Beirut in the spring, that our community craves connection to this artform in real time – virtual or not. We’re thrilled to share this benefit play-reading of Peter Hedges’ Good As New on July 16, which was first performed at MCC in 1993 in the Class One Acts series. As well as being an incredible playwright and film director, Peter has been an artist at MCC for over 30 years and is also on the MCC Board. Additionally, to have the incomparable Julianne Moore and Kaitlyn Dever bring this reading to life is such an honor, a project that has been in the pipeline for months!”
All ticket proceeds of this benefit reading will support MCC’s Be Our Light Campaign and will be matched 2-for-1 by the MCC Board, to help the Theater now, and with preparation for the coming 2021 season. While it continues to be a challenging time for theaters with little to no generation of show revenue predicted for this year, MCC acknowledges that there is a widespread financial and emotional struggle at this time. To share ‘benefits’ of this reading, 10% of add-on donations will be split between The Artists Co-op and The Okra Project.
The Okra Project, founded by frequent MCC talkback facilitator Ianne Fields Stewart, provides meals to Black Trans people experiencing food insecurity. Our Theater in Hell’s Kitchen sits opposite The Artist Co-op which supports over 100 artists to create and develop their practice. By sharing a portion of our add-on donations for this event, we hope to support the health and livelihood of the Black Trans community and to help sustain the vibrant Hell’s Kitchen artist community, and to see our neighborhood flourishing once again.
ABOUT MCC’S ‘BE OUR LIGHT’ CAMPAIGN
The “Be Our Light” campaign consists of a Challenge Grant, which will match contributions 2-for-1. The campaign aims to support the company in the months they are unable to produce live shows, and beyond. At such a pivotal time for the theater, just a year after moving into their new home, The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space in Hell’s Kitchen, the entire MCC Board and staff are determined to keep alive the creativity and energy that flourished in the space from its opening in January 2019.
ABOUT THE ARTIST CO-OP
The Artist Co-op (TAC) is a not-for-profit coworking space and community for artists, uniting all actors, directors, dancers, playwrights, musicians, and more, with programs and services to support the arts community. Our mission is to create a thriving environment to nurture the innate multidisciplinary nature of the artist community.
As of March 2020, TAC served over 175 artist members plus the greater NYC artist community with coworking space, rehearsal rooms, resource library, business amenities (mailbox, printer & scanner), curated member services (networking, workshops & happy hours), and incubator performances (new plays & musicals).
Due to COVID-19, TAC unfortunately had to close our physical location. They have pivoted their model online with virtual coworking sprints, community check ins, member skill shares, and arts industry panels.
Although they are sad to close their space, they believe this is an exciting opportunity to rethink their model and how they support more artists across the USA. TAC looks forward to continuing to create space and opportunities for artists whether that’s virtually or in person.
ABOUT THE OKRA PROJECT
Founded by Ianne Fields Stewart – a Black queer nonbinary transfeminine New York-based storyteller working at the intersection of theatre and activism – The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever we can reach them.
During the Middle Passage, people from African countries snuck okra onto captive ships to sustain themselves and plant in the new world. Black Diasporic cooking traditions often use the okra plant for its versatility, and it is often associated with health, prosperity, and community.
In this spirit, The Okra Project hopes to extend free, delicious, and nutritious meals to Black Trans people experiencing food insecurity.
ABOUT MCC THEATER
MCC Theater is one of New York’s leading nonprofit Off-Broadway companies, driven by a mission to provoke conversations that have never happened and otherwise never would. Founded in 1986 as a collective of artists leading peer-based classes to support their own development as actors, writers, and directors, the tenets of collaboration, education, and community are at the core of MCC Theater’s programming. One of the only theaters in the country led continuously by its founders, Artistic Directors Bob LuPone, Bernie Telsey, and Will Cantler, MCC fulfills its mission through the production of world, American, and New York premiere plays and musicals that challenge artists and audiences to confront contemporary personal and social issues and robust playwright development and education initiatives that foster the next generation of theater artists and students.
MCC Theater’s celebrated productions include Theresa Rebeck’s Seared, Aziza Barnes’s BLKS, C.A. Johnson’s All The Natalie Portmans, Jocelyn Bioh’s School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play; Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike; Robert Askins’s Hand to God (Broadway transfer; five 2015 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play); John Pollono’s Small Engine Repair; Paul Downs Colaizzo’s Really Really; Sharr White’s The Other Place (Broadway transfer); Jeff Talbott’s The Submission (Laurents/Hatcher Award); Neil LaBute’s Reasons to Be Happy, reasons to be pretty (Broadway transfer, three 2009 Tony Award® nominations, including Best Play), Some Girl(s), Fat Pig, The Mercy Seat, and All The Ways To Say I Love You; Michael Weller’s Fifty Words; Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride; Bryony Lavery’s Frozen (Broadway transfer; four 2004 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play, Tony Award® for Best Featured Actor); Tim Blake Nelson’s The Grey Zone; Rebecca Gilman’s The Glory of Living (2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist); Margaret Edson’s Wit (1999 Pulitzer Prize); and the musicals Coraline, Carrie, Ride the Cyclone, Alice By Heart, and The Wrong Man. Many plays developed and produced by MCC have gone on to productions throughout the country and around the world.
Blake West joined the company in 2006 as Executive Director. MCC opened the doors to its new home in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, on January 9, 2019, unifying the company’s activities under one roof for the first time and expanding its producing, artist development, and education programming.
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