“Tony Kushner’s A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY … is unabashedly political, thought-provoking, a little scary, and frequently a good deal of theatrical fun … BRIGHT ROOM is … an examination of Nazi Germany in an attempt to shed insight on our own time. It’s brash, audacious, and, depending on your politics, anything from infuriatingly naïve to intoxicatingly visionary. In its 1932-33 span, it tells of a group of Berlin artists and friends, with varying degrees of communist leanings, and of the changes in their lives as democracy falls and Adolph Hitler takes over.” —Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune
“It’s fun to see a show this engaged. This passionate and ready to talk. Wild, uneven, pugnacious, ragged, committed, smart, dumb, satirical, and utterly serious … Always dramatically and intellectually forceful. And most important, always passionately committed. More than a diatribe against Reagan or a falling-into-the-Nazi-abyss history play, A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY is an assertion of the need for commitment.” —Anthony Adler, The Reader
Born in New York City in 1956, and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Tony Kushner is best known for his two-part epic, ANGELS IN AMERICA: A GAY FANTASIA ON NATIONAL THEMES. His other plays include A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY, SLAVS!, HYDROTAPHIA, HOMEBODY/KABUL, and CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, the musical for which he wrote book and lyrics, with music by composer Jeanine Tesori. Kushner has translated and adapted Pierre Corneille's THE ILLUSION, S.Y. Ansky's THE DYBBUK, Bertolt Brecht's THE GOOD PERSON OF SEZUAN and MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN, and the English-language libretto for the children's opera BRUNDIBÁR by Hans Krasa. He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols' film of Angels in America and Steven Spielberg's Munich. In 2012 he wrote the screenplay for Spielberg's movie Lincoln. His screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award, and won the New York Film Critics Circle Award, Boston Society of Film Critics Award, Chicago Film Critics Award, and several others. His books include But the Giraffe: A Curtain Raising and Brundibar: The Libretto, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; The Art of Maurice Sendak: 1980 to the Present; and Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon. His recent work includes a collection of one-act plays entitled TINY KUSHNER, and THE INTELLIGENT HOMOSEXUAL'S GUIDE TO CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM WITH A KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES. In addition, a revival of ANGELS IN AMERICA ran Off-Broadway at the Signature Theater and won the Lucille Lortel Award in 2011 for Outstanding Revival. Kushner is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, an Emmy Award, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, an Arts Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a PEN/Laura Pels Award, a Spirit of Justice Award from the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, a Cultural Achievement Award from The National Foundation for Jewish Culture, a Chicago Tribune Literary Prize for lifetime achievement, and the 2012 National Medal of Arts, among many others. CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, produced at the National Theatre of Great Britain, received the EVENING STANDARD Award, the London Drama Critics' Circle Award and the Olivier Award for Best Musical. In September 2008, Tony Kushner became the first recipient of the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, the largest theater award in the US. He is the subject of a documentary film, Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner, made by the Oscar-winning filmmaker Freida Lee Mock. He lives in Manhattan with his husband, Mark Harris.
If original stage producers credits appear in bold below, all licensees are required to include them in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:
Originally produced by the Heat and Light Company, New York
In addition, the following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
A Bright Room Called Day is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC
Henrik Ibsen, translated and adapted by Anthony Clarvoe
Ibsen’s 1881 masterpiece finds a fresh interpretation in Anthony Clarvoe’s taut adaptation in which a woman has to face her legacy of religious and sexual repression when her grown son comes home to tell her that he has an incurable sexually transmitted disease and asks her to help him die with dignity.
Cast: 5 total (2 female, 3 male) Full Length Drama (about 120 minutes) Single Set Period Costumes
In the Garden of Eden and crosscutting to New York, the enactment and re-enactment of Adam, Lilith, and Eve take the stage as the two women confront one another and the very identify of metaphysical woman. A love triangle which defies the heavens, supernatural Lilith will not willingly disappear from this world.
Cast: 4 total (2 female, 2 male) Full Length Drama (about 90 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements Period Costumes
The title character, based on a legendary Norwegian folk hero, is a rogue who is saved by the love of a woman. Peer Gynt is a charming but arrogant peasant youth who leaves his widowed mother in order to seek his fortune. Confident of success, he has one disastrous adventure after another. In one, he attends the wedding of the wealthy young woman he himself might have married. There he meets Solveig, who falls in love with him. He impulsively abducts the bride from her wedding celebration and subsequently abandons her. Peer Gynt embarks on a series of fantastic voyages around the world, finding wealth and fame but never happiness. Finally, as an old, disillusioned man, he returns to Norway, where Solveig, ever faithful, welcomes him lovingly, and he is redeemed.
Cast: 28 total (10 female, 18 male) Full Length Drama (about 160 minutes) Multiple Sets Period Costumes
Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, translated by Jo Clifford
A fresh, performable version of Goethe's “unstageable” masterpiece. God and Mephistopheles vie for the mortal soul of Dr Faust. Signing a pact with the nihilistic spirit, Faust is privy to knowledge unbound and sensual delights of which most men can only dream. But before long, the Doctor comes to realise that you should always be very careful what you wish for.
Cast: 12 total (5 female, 7 male) Full Length Drama (about 240 minutes) Multiple Sets Period Costumes
Friedrich von Schiller, translated by Laurence Senelick
Ferdinand is an army major and son of President von Walter, a high-ranking noble in a German duke’s court, while Luise Miller is the daughter of a middle-class musician. The couple fall in love with each other, but both their fathers tell them to end their affair. The President instead wants to expand his own influence by marrying Ferdinand to Lady Milford, the duke’s mistress, but Ferdinand rebels against his father’s plan and tries to persuade Luise to elope with him.
Cast: 9 total (2 female, 7 male) Full Length Drama (about 120 minutes) Multiple Sets Period Costumes
Austin Tichenor, inspired by Kafka's The Metamorphosis
Kafka for kids? Is that a good idea? Fortunately, with a slight change in tone, it is. The fantastical elements of The Metamorphosis strike a chord with adolescents who are often experiencing their own struggles with changing bodies. DANCING ON THE CEILING is an expressionistic fairy-tale about identity and role expectations. It’s scary, funny, and moving.
Cast: 5 total (3 female, 2 male) Full Length Drama (about 75 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements Contemporary Costumes
Set during the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, the play takes place from March 24 to April 4, 1794, when Maximilien Robespierre was in charge of the Committee of Public Safety that, along with the Revolutionary Tribunal, condemned people to the guillotine. Guillotine victims ranged from those who were seen as too radical to those who were viewed as royalist sympathizers and even simply moderates like Danton.
Cast: 26 total (8 female, 18 male) Full Length Drama (about 100 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements Period Costumes
A groundbreaking masterpiece of the modern theatre. The play tells the tale of a poor soldier, a barber in the army, who is overwhelmed by the military and forced to become a human guinea pig for quasi-medical research. Consumed by jealousy over his lover’s infidelity, Woyzeck is driven to despair, to madness, and to murder. Poignant and grotesque, insightful and all-too-human, the play broke every theatrical mold of its time, paving the way for theatre as we know it today.
Cast: 16 total (4 female, 12 male, doubling, bit parts, children, extras) Full Length Drama (about 120 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements Period Costumes
A selfish, cynical woman bored by her marriage to the scholar Jorgen Tesman, Hedda Gabler's father's pair of pistols provide intermittent diversion, as do the attentions of the ne'er-do-well Judge Brack. When Thea Elvestad, a longtime acquaintance of Hedda's, reveals that she has left her husband for the writer Ejlert Lovborg, who once pursued Hedda, the latter becomes vengeful. Learning that Ejlert has forsworn liquor, Hedda first steers him to a rowdy gathering at Brack's and subsequently burns the reputedly brilliant manuscript that he loses there while drunk. Witnessing his desperation, she sends him one of the pistols, and he shoots himself. Brack deduces Hedda's complicity and demands that she become his mistress in exchange for his silence about the matter. Instead, she ends her ennui with the remaining pistol. The work is remarkable for its nonjudgmental depiction of an immoral, destructive character, one of the most vividly realized women in dramatic literature.
Cast: 7 total (4 female, 3 male) Full Length Drama (about 160 minutes) Multiple Sets Period Costumes
Jo M Van Ijssel de Schepper-Becker, translated by Laurence Senelick
A domestic comedy whose homosexual character is part of an ordinary family that views his sexual orientation as unnatural. When the play was first produced in 1922, it enjoyed two performances and then was quietly removed from the repertory as too progressive for its time. It is, however, just right for ours.
Cast: 5 total (2 female, 3 male) Full Length Comedy (about 90 minutes) Single Set Contemporary Costumes