Trinity Rep announces new play commissions, including stage version of 'Prince of Providence'

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Trinity Repertory Company is proud to announce the commission of a number of new playwrights and artists, including George Brant to write the stage version of The New York Times bestseller The Prince of Providence: The Life and Times of Buddy Cianci, America's Most Notorious Mayor, Some Wiseguys, and the Feds by Mike Stanton. Trinity Rep obtained the underlying rights to the book from Stanton and subsequently commissioned Brant to create a play or musical adaptation. The resulting script will go through a series of workshops to prepare it for production on the Trinity Rep stage in a future season. Casting will be announced at a future date. The book, which came out in 2004, examines the life and notorious political story of Buddy Cianci, the two-term mayor whose corruption led to federal investigations.

Playwright George Brant’s first commission for Trinity Rep resulted in Into the Breeches! which recently completed its world premiere run at the theater. Into the Breeches! was among the highest selling world premieres in the company’s history. He is also well-known for the international phenomenon Grounded, which has received over 100 productions in 17 different countries, including a successful off-Broadway production starring Anne Hathaway. A film version also starring Ms. Hathaway, is planned. He is the recipient of numerous national awards including the Lucille Lortel Award, the Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, the David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award, and the Smith Prize, among many others. In addition to Grounded his works include Elephant’s Graveyard, Marie and Rosetta, Grizzly Mama, Good on Paper, The Mourner’s Bench, and Salvage.

Mike Stanton is an author, investigative reporter and associate professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut. He worked for years as a sports writer and investigative reporter for The Providence Journal, where he shared a Pulitzer Prize. His next book, UNBEATEN: Rocky Marciano’s Fight for Perfection In A Crooked World, will be published in June by Henry Holt.

Brant is just one of a number of playwrights recently commissioned by the theater. Other writers and artists include: Lauren Yee, whose new play The Great Leap is a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and will be opening at the Atlantic Theater in New York this spring; Jackie Sibblies Drury, whose play We Are Proud to Present... has been produced across the country and whose play Fairview will open this spring at SoHo Rep; the Providence-based band The Low Anthem to develop a musical based on their concept album Eyeland; and Charise Castro-Smith, familiar to Trinity Rep audiences for her production The Hunchback of Seville, and who has also written for such television shows as Devious Maids and The Exorcist.

The full list of writers includes:  George Brant, Charise Castro-Smith, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Marcus Gardley, Vatic Kuumba, Katie Pearl, Ken Prestininzi, Regina Taylor, Deborah Salem Smith, Whitney White, Lauren Yee and The Low Anthem.

Associate Artistic Director Tyler Dobrowsky runs the new play development program at Trinity Rep. He says, "Trinity Rep has a long and storied history developing new work by and for the people of Rhode Island -- this round of commissions extends that legacy. Over the past few years, we have had the opportunity to hire some of the best playwrights in the country to write plays specifically for Trinity Rep and our fantastic acting company. It's our hope that these stories will resonate strongly not just on a local level, but nationally as well. And we could not have done it without the strong support of our friends at the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, who have helped to fund most of our new play development programs over the past few years. We truly owe them a debt of gratitude."

Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater, Trinity Rep has created unparalleled professional theater for and with its community since its founding in 1963. Trinity Rep strives to facilitate human connection and has been a driving force behind the creativity that fuels and defines the region for more than 50 years.

Trinity Rep is committed to reinventing the public square and inspiring dialogue by creating emotionally-stimulating live productions that range from classical to contemporary and innovative education programs for all ages and abilities. Its annual production of A Christmas Carol has brought families together for 40 years and made memories for over a million audience members.

Subscriptions for the 2017-18 season are now on sale. The season includes Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau, Into the Breeches! by George Brant, Othello by William Shakespeare, Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías, and Ragtime by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow.  For more information and to purchase tickets, call the box office at 351-4242 or visit Trinity Rep's website at www.TrinityRep.com.

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