America In Play

2011 Festival

Fire Escape at the Shepard Theatre

AMERICA-IN-PLAY presents a work in progress showing of


fire escape 


Richmond Shepard Theatre
309 East 26th Street at 2nd Ave.
Saturday, May 14 at 8pm and Sunday, May 15 at 5pm
Ticket prices: $15 / $12 for students and seniors
Reservations: 212-684-2690


By Laura Henry, Andrea Lepcio, 
Susan Tenneriello and DeLora Whitney


Music by Rob Hartmann 

Lyrics by Rob Hartmann & Andrea Lepcio 

Conceived & Directed by Lynn M. Thomson 

Choreography & Movement by Yvonne Conybeare

Dramaturgy by Lynn M. Thomson,
Elizabeth Bojsza, Yvonne Conybeare

Video by Myra Mniewski & Chana Pollack

Stage Manager Kimberly Wadsworth


Darcie Champagne*, Tawny Sorensen*,
Stephanie Lynge*, Tessa Zugmeyer*, and Shaundra Noll*




Artistic Director Lynn M. Thomson 
Associate Artistic Director Dominic Taylor
Sponsored artist of The Field
Visit us at
Equity Approved Showcase.
* Actors are appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.

The Yankee Peddler: The Newsletter of America-in-Play
  October 9, 2010

Breaking News: America-in-Play has been nominated to receive a subsidized run at the Brooklyn Lyceum.  Only one group wins, so it’s up to you to make America-in-Play the winner.  Vote during Open House New York TODAY or TOMORROW (10/9-10/10) ONLY at the Lyceum Fall Marketplace. See the Lyceum’s website  for more information.  Thanks for voting!
BEYOND THE HORIZON: the coming-up seasonLast season was one day for surprises after another as performance opportunities expanded and the new piece kept changing shape. We are thrilled that AIP went so far beyond what we’d initially envisioned when our Crossing Over: A Medicine Show Entertainment turned into a glorious mini-tour to four venues uptown and downtown: The Tenement Museum, The Spoon, Martin Segal Center, and University Settlement. This upcoming season, at the invitation of the Tenement Museum, we are undertaking two new projects, created by a collaboration of our most experienced writers.  Both projects will start their journeys in the Tenement Museum’s new building and presenting space and then move to other venues. The Tenement Museum is also joining with us to build relationships with other partners.

Our first project is inspired by “A Bintel Brief,” a column that appeared for some eighty years inForverts, the Yiddish language newspaper (now the Jewish Daily Forward, published in English).  The column printed unsolicited letters from readers: people needing a place to shout their troubles and share their secrets. The stories, gathered together, offer an extraordinary collage of immigrant life on the Lower East Side.  Please plan to join us for the first performance of this new theatre piece on February 24, 2011.

Our second piece, now using the working title, Fire Escape, explores the infamous Triangle factory fire. Nearly 150 people died for a complex array of reasons rooted in neglect of safety measures: some were locked into the building under a policy meant to limit theft.  The fireproofed building still stands on the campus of NYU; the incident is honored yearly. 2011 is the centennial anniversary of the fire and commemorative events will occur throughout the city. AIP is proud to be the Tenement Museum’s offering for this significant memorial. This play will see its first performance on March 22, 2011.

Meanwhile, we seek to join with other institutions in the city, as we did last year, and to move again beyond the horizon. We will keep you informed!

Lynn M. Thomson
Artistic Director, America-in-Play




Dominic Taylor

Anne Bogart
Polly K. Carl,
Anne Cattaneo
Jennie Greer
Linda Herring
Morgan Jenness
Shelby Jiggetts-Tivony
Susan Jonas
Lynn Nottage
Joel Ruark
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2010-2011 Staff


The America-in-Play staff continues to grow as we welcome back artists from previous seasons and introduce new collaborators.  Sarah Stern, Associate Artistic Director of the Vineyard Theatre, and Elizabeth Bojsza, literary manager of Young Playwrights Inc., will both continue their dramaturgical work for the company. Elizabeth is now Resident Dramaturg, working primarily onCrossing Over and the Bintel project, along with facilitating the whole season. We are also pleased to welcome back video artist Linsey Bostwick and to introduce new staff member Shane Breaux, graduate student of theatre history at Brooklyn College, as literary assistant. America-in-Play remains under the direction of founding Artistic Director Lynn M. Thomson and Associate Artistic Director Dominic Taylor.

Play along with us 
America-in-Play aims to expose playwrights to little-known plays from the American theater.  We have hidden the titles of some of those plays in this newsletter.  Can you find them?

Email the names of all of the play titles that you find in this newsletter to America-in-Play at: Then keep your eyes open for future newsletters, because we’ll hide titles in our next newsletter too.

Find all the titles and, at the end of our season, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a prize and dramaturgical bragging rights!

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America-in-Play visits the Hudson Opera House.  Pictured actors (from l to r) are Leeanne Hutchison, Susan Dey and Keith Randolph Smith.
America-in-Play’s pieces often start to find their shape at annual retreats. In early 2010, writers on the Crossing Over project met with a terrific group of actors at the Hudson Opera House–the oldest surviving theatre in New York State. More pictures of the retreat can be seen here.

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Quincy Long Awarded NYSCA Grant
A round of Applause: for Quincy Long, who will receive a New York State Council on the Arts Individual Artists grant.  AMERICA-IN-PLAY asked Quincy to propose a new work that could be part of our plans for 2011/12 . He brought to us the idea for a play with the working title of The Gospel According to Trains, a piece to use heartily so many of the American archetypes of story and character we’ve been exploring. AIP is delighted that our grant request was successful.  The project will be given a workshop and stage reading in the late fall of 2011: and inaugurate also an extension of our season.  The year will be devoted to The Recovery Project, which we’ll announce next spring: so do stay with us for more than many a day for surprises.

*  *  *
A Welcome to Our New ArtistsWe searched high and low, hitting the streets and sidewalks of New York and after a competitive application process, America-In-Play is pleased to welcome a new cohort of thirteen artists who will participate in a three-year residency.  Applicants were asked to provide a sample of their work as well as letters of recommendation and a personal statement that specifically addressed why he or she wanted to collaborate with our theatre company.

The new cohort is quite the melting pot, coming from diverse backgrounds and experiences.  Some are natives to New York, others are transplants, and still others will commute from such far away states as Massachusetts and New Jersey.  Some are early in their work life; others have well-established careers.  These artists bring to us an array of ethnicities and writing voices.  Please join us in welcoming:  Katie Baldwin Eng, Deborah Brevoort, Darren Canady, Cheryl L. Davis, Jennie Eng, Willy Holtzman, Georgia James, Barry Jay Kaplan, Kait Kerrigan, Victor Lesniewski, Kalle Macrides, Karen Lee Ott, and Monica Raymond.
On September 25th, the group  convened for the first time and began a series of workshops which will continue throughout the year.  Each workshop will consist of dramaturgical presentation, discussion, and writing/creating time. Subjects to be explored include the evolution and contrast between American character archetypes, minstrelsy, and the origin of an American music.   Tentative (virtual) field trips include a trip to Niagara, attending the Mulligan guard ball, and taking a glance at New York.
484 W. 43rd Street
New York, New York 10036