“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 www.broadwayplaypub.com
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
Originally published in 1892 and first performed in 1893, THE MASTER BUILDER explores the needs of the artist in relation to those of society and the limits of artistic creativity. There is an autobiographical element in the depiction of the aging architect, Halvard Solness, who feels pressure from a younger, more idealistic and ambitious generation of architects and fears the decay of his own creativity.
Cast: 7 total (3 female, 4 male) Full Length Drama (about 120 minutes) Multiple Sets Period Costumes
Strindberg’s chilling anatomy of a marriage — in which the two partners duel with each other until one is utterly defeated. Edgar and Alice, embittered husband and wife, live on an army base on a Swedish island: Alice calls it “Little Hell,” and it’s about to get worse. Written in 1900, THE DANCE OF DEATH is full of destruction and bitterness, laced with grim humor.
Cast: 6 total (3 female, 3 male) Full Length Drama (about 140 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements Period Costumes
Lynne Alvarez, adapted from a story by Pam Muñoz Ryan
ESPERANZA RISING is the story of a young girl who is uprooted, transplanted, and re-grown in alien soil. The glorious, live music of Mariachis carries Esperanza (whose name means “hope”) across the dividing line that cuts through the center of this play. That line (both literal and figurative) divides two countries, two cultures, and two languages. It also separates Mexico and California, the year 1930 from 1931, and Act One from Act Two. Brought up in the lush and beautiful world of the Mexican aristocracy and then torn away and replanted in the impoverished world of a migrant labor camp in California, Esperanza ultimately fulfills the promise of her name.
Cast: 11 total (6 female, 5 male) Full Length Drama (about 90 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements 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
One of Ibsen's most powerful studies of female psychology. Ellida Wangel cannot give herself fully to her husband because she is overwhelmed by memories of the past and her attraction to the ocean. Will she suffocate on dry land, or find freedom across the sea?
Cast: 8 total (3 female, 5 male) Full Length Drama (about 200 minutes) Multiple Sets Period Costumes
A promising Ethiopian soccer star in Israel is courted by an American sports agent. The athlete is involved with another Ethiopian who risks being deported. Meanwhile, there is also a reckless, clandestine operation afoot to airlift one last group of Falasha Jews from Ethiopia to Israel.
Cast: 8 total (3 female, 5 male, multiethnic cast) Full Length Drama (about 85 minutes) Multiple Sets Contemporary Costumes
In THE UNDERPANTS, she is waiting in the crowd — Berlin, circa 1910 — craning her neck forward to see the Kaiser pass by. Her panties fall down. It is possible that the Kaiser might see them at her feet. What crisis could be bigger than that? Carl Sternheim poses this question at the outset of THE STERNHEIM TRILOGY. By the end, the lady is pregnant, pregnant, one might say, with the future of the booboisie in the person of THE SNOB, Christian Maske, who rises, in the second part, from the lower booboisie to the higher. In the third part, 1913, Christian rises higher all the way to the top of bourgeois society in twentieth-century mode. The whole crisis of 1914–1918 looms. 1933–1945 is not far away.
Cast: 8 total (4 female, 4 male) Full Length Comedy (about 100 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements Period Costumes
Frank Wedekind, English version by Kenneth Tigar and Clayton Koelb
Possibly the ultimate coming-of-age drama. The play follows a group of high-school friends in Victorian-age Germany who begin to experience their first sexual desires in a world where even talking about sex is taboo. Each struggles to travel the route from childhood to adulthood without a roadmap. Along the way they touch the heights of elation and the depths of despair while being forced to confront the problems of lust, sadism, masochism, rape, abortion, and homosexuality. Some survive the journey, others do not. Funny and horrifying by turns, the play explores the budding of those basic drives that make us who we are.
Cast: 25 total (7 female, 18 male, some doubling) Full Length Drama (about 120 minutes) Minimal Set Requirements Period Costumes