In the News: Daniella De Jesús Wins New Play Award, 2nd Averno Universe Album Released, More
Plus: Watch the video for “Here Comes the Change” from The Broadway Sinfonietta, featuring Hamilton and Wicked alum Shoba Narayan.
Read on for some recent theatre headlines you may have missed in today’s news and over the weekend.
Over and Out, the Second Album in the Averno Series, Released
Broadway Records has announced the release of Over and Out, the second album from Averno, a fictional universe of interlocking musicals, comics, novels, and virtual reality centered around a single town in the south. Over and Out tells the story of Solar, a lonely student at Averno’s A New School, trying to contact aliens after years of gazing up at the stars. The first album in the Averno Series, Willow, was released in September and reached Number 7 on the Billboard Cast Album charts. Written by Smith and Greenwood, it has been streamed over 1 million times on Spotify. Averno was created by Morgan Smith, who provides the book for Over and Out, with a score by Sushi Soucy.
Winners Announced for 2021 Bonnie and Terry Burman New Play Award
Barrington Stage Company has named three winners of the 2021 Bonnie and Terry Burman New Play Award. The award is given to emerging playwrights for unproduced full-length works that are wholly original. This year’s grand prize winner is Daniella De Jesús for her play, Get Your Pink Hands Off Me Sucka and Give Me Back, a “dark comedic exploration of the insidiousness of colonization.” She will receive a $25,000 prize and a staged reading at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA. Two other playwrights were awarded $5,000 prizes for their works: Miki Kim for After the Fall and Laura Winters for Just the Melody. Both plays will also receive staged readings at BSC.
Slumber Party With Tim Murray Joins the iHeartPodcast Network
iHeartRadio Broadway, in collaboration with D’Marie Productions, has announced the podcast Slumber Party With Tim Murray has joined the iHeartPodcast Network. Stand-up comedian, musical theatre performer and YouTuber Murray (50 Shades! The Musical) hosts the weekly podcast with a guest star mix of Broadway performers, drag artists, and LGBTQ+ comics for “games, gossip, and their chance to share embarrassing stories of their childhood sleepovers.” The podcast is available on iHeartRadio or wherever you get your podcasts.
Ta(l)king Direction Season 2 Launches
In other podcast news, The Drama League has recently launched the second season of its podcast Ta(l)king Direction, which explores the joys and challenges of theatremaking. The new roster of guests will discuss the changing state of the industry and what early steps are being taken as the promise of reopening is on the horizon. Leigh Silverman stops by in the season premiere, which dropped January 13 across all podcast streaming services. Later episodes will feature directors and artistic leaders Saheem Ali, David Cromer, Jacob Padrón, Colette Robert, and Gabriel Stelian-Shank, representatives from various theatre undergraduate programs across the U.S., and more.
Eric Oberstein Named New Managing Director of Harlem Stage
The performing arts center has announced Eric Oberstein as the new managing director, overseeing institutional operations at Harlem Stage. Oberstein most recently served as interim director of Duke Performances at Duke University, his alma mater, where he has also been an adjunct faculty member in Arts Administration. He is a Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning producer and former executive director of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. Patricia Cruz moves from her role as executive director of Harlem Stage to artistic director and CEO.
Plus: Watch the video for “Here Comes the Change” from the Broadway Sinfonietta, a new, all-female orchestra founded by Egyptian-American orchestrator and music director Macy Schmidt (they were recently heard in the streaming benefit of the Ratatouille TikTok musical). The performance stars Shoba Narayan (Hamilton, Wicked), directed by Sammi Cannold. It was created to honor Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris on the eve of her inauguration.