Nilaja Sun performs her multi-award-winning play No Child…, a tour-de-force solo performance based on her experiences as a teaching artist in the New York public schools. With tenderness, insight, and rapid-fire humor, Sun transforms herself into an entire classroom of students, as well as their teachers and family members, the principal, a janitor, and a security guard. No Child… is “thrillingly funny,” says New York Magazine. And The New Yorker raves, “Like Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg in their early work, Sun brings us not her world but the world. [No Child…. is] an object lesson in what should not be missing from any life curriculum: hope.”
Marvelous performance. Touching and funny.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
MEET THE ARTISTS
Nilaia Sun is the solo performer and writer of the Off-Broadway smash No Child…, which had its initial run at the Barrow Street Theatre from July 2006-June 2007 and was recently revived there in an extended run. For her creation and performance of No Child… and its subsequent national tour, Nilaja garnered 21 awards including an Obie Award, a Lucille Lortel Award, two Outer Awards including the John Gassner Playwriting Award for Outstanding New American Play, a Theatre World Award, the Helen Haves Award and an LA Ovation Award. No Child… was named the Best One-Person Show at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. Nilaja’s New York credits also include Einstein’s Gift, Pieces of the Throne, Time and The Conways (all with Epic Theatre Ensemble), Huck and Holden (Cherry Lane Theatre), The Cook (INTAR), and The Adventures of Barrio Grrrl! (Summer Play Festival). She has also been seen on Louie, 30 Rock, Law & Order: SVU, Unforgettable, as Detective Gloria Hubbard in the film The International, and on AMC’s Rubicon. In 2012, she will be seen in the independent films Scoutmasters and Hairbrained. As a solo performer, her projects include the critically acclaimed Blues for a Gray Sun (INTAR), La Nubia Latina, Black and Blue, Insufficient Fare, Due to the Tragic Events of…, and Mixtures. In 2010, Nilaja was awarded the soloNOVA Award for Artist of the Year by terraNOVA Collective. A native of the Lower East Side, she is a Princess Grace Award winner and has worked as a teaching artist in New York City since 1998.
Hal Brooks has worked with Nilaja Sun on her Obie-winning play No Child… since its original run in New York in 2006. Together, they have toured the country (Long Wharf, Center Theatre Group, Berkeley Rep, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth, American Repertory Theatre) and have taken the show internationally as well (Dublin Festival Festival and Edinburgh Fringe Festival). He was recently appointed Artistic Director of the Cape Cod Theatre Project in Falmouth, Mass. Hal directed the world premiere of Will Eno’s Pulitzer Prize finalist Thom Pain. His recent projects include: Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano (Pearl Theatre); Urge for Going (The Public Theater): Creative Consultant on Colin Quinn’s Long Story Short, directed by Jerry Seinfeld; and, for Two River Theater, Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile. The Associate Artistic Director at the Ojai Playwrights Conference, he has developed new work at Ojai, The Public, Sundance Theatre Lab, Juilliard, and other theaters around the country. A Drama League Fellow, he is also a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and a recipient of the 2007-2009 NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors. Upcoming projects include Sam Hunter’s The Whale (Denver Center) and Kimberly Rosenstock’s Tigers Be Still (Dallas Theater Center). He taught as an Adjunct Professor at Yale College in fall 2010.
Original Scenic Design
Narelle Sissons Broadway: All My Sons at Roundabout Theatre. Off-Broadway: How I Learned to Drive [original production] and Stop Kiss [original production], In the Blood [original production], Kit Marlowe [original production], Julius Caesar and Little Flower of East Orange [original production] at The Public Theater. Also in NYC, many productions with: Mabou Mines, LAByrinth Theatre Company [co-member], Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Epic Theatre Ensemble, The Women’s Project, and CSC (Entertaining Mr. Sloane) [Drama Desk nomination]. Regional: Kansas City Rep: Into the Woods, directed by Moises Kaufman; Woolly Mammoth: The Clean House [Helen Hayes nomination for Best Scenic Design]; Shakespeare Theatre: The Taming of The Shrew [Helen Hayes nomination for Best Scenic Design]; ArtsEmerson: Mabou Mines DollHouse [Elliot Norton Award nomination, Outstanding Design]; ACT: Side Man [Backstage West Award]; Repertory Theatre of St Louis: Bad Dates [Kevin Kline Award nomination for Best Scenic Design]; Dallas Theater Center: An Ideal Husband [Leon Rabin Award nomination for Best Scenic Design]; and Maltz Jupiter Theatre: The King and I [Carbonell Award nomination for Best Scenic Design]. International: Jesus Hopped the A Train, director Philip Seymour Hoffman, London and New York; Mabou Mines DollHouse, director Lee Breuer, USA and World Tour. Also: The Syringa Tree in Vienna Austria and Frankfurt Germany, No Child at the Edinburgh Festival and recently Socrates: A Banquet in Prytaneion at VAT Theatre Estonia. Grants and Exhibitions: Fulbright Specialists grant, exhibitor at Prague Quadrennial 2007 and 2011. Ms. Sissons is a graduate of Central St Martins and The Royal College of Art in London and she is an Associate Professor and a Design Option Coordinator in the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University.
Scenic Design Adaptation
Neil Prince: No Child… is Neil’s 19th production for Two River Theater Previous productions include: The Cocktail Hour, Curse of the Starving Class, Blithe Spirit, Light Un the Sky, The Heiress, House of Blue Leaves, You Can’t Take it With You, Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Visiting Me Green, and True West. He has designed many productions at the English Theatre of Frankfurt: Visiting Me Green, A Streetcar Named Desire, Deathtrap, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof which enjoyed subsequent productions at Vienna’s English Theatre and the Salzburg State Theatre. For Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara: The Glass Menagerie and Tea at Five, also subsequently produced at the Falcon Theatre in Los Angeles, the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, and at the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Mass. He continues to design commercial film projects in both New York and Los Angeles, and is currently designing The Lion in Winter at the Ensemble Theatre of Santa Barbara.
Jessica Gaffney: Off-Broadway: Nilaja Sun’s No Child… directed by Hal Brooks (Barrow Street Theatre, Epic Theatre Ensemble); Our Dad Is in Atlantis directed by Debbie Saivetz (QTP/ Working Theater); The Secret Agenda of Trees by Colin McKenna (Push Productions). Other New York credits include Thomas Bradshaw’s Purity (P.S. 122); Marat/Sade, Shannon in Ambient Light, Len Jenkin’s The Kraken and Actors Are F*@#ing Stupid, all directed by Michael Kimmel for Push Productions; The Internationalist directed by Ken Rus Schmoll (13P/Fairfield Theatre Company); Crumble directed by Katie Pearl (Clubbed Thumb); Patty Red Pants, Eureka, Fits and Starts: The Sacred Heart and Local Story, all for Overlap Productions. Regional: American Repertory Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Kirk Douglas Theatre, Berkeley Rep, and Lookingglass. Jessica received her MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Mark Barton: Off-Broadway credits include The Select (The Sun Also Rises), Notes from Underground, Gatz (Lortel nomination), Circle Mirror Transformation (Lortel nomination), The Shipment, Chair (Lortel nomination), The Sound and the Fury (April 7th, 1928) (Hewes Design Award nomination), No Child…, and Paradise Park. Other recent work includes the world premiere of Elevator Repair Service’s The Select (The Sun Also Rises) at the 2010 Edinburgh International Festival. He has done many shows with many New York companies, including Elevator Repair Service, Young Jean Lec Theater Company, Theatre for a New Audience, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop Target Margin, Signature Theatre, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Salt Theater, P.S. 122, New Georges, and Clubbed Thumb, among many others. International: productions of ERS’s Gatz across Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. Regional: South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Yale Rep, Perseverance Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Los Angeles Theatre Center/Kirk Douglas Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Amen Repertory Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Syracuse Stade, Asolo Rep. He has designed many productions for the Curtis Opera Theatre in Philadelphia.
Ron Russell is a Co-Founder of Off-Broadway’s Epic Theatre Ensemble, for which he has directed, and designed sound for, the Off-Broadway premieres of J.B. Priestley’s Time and the Conways, Kate Fodor’s Hannah and Martin, Vern Thiessen’s Einstein’s Gift and A More Perfect Union, and a new adaptation (with Godfrey L. Simmons Jr.) of Shaw’s Widowers’ Houses. His other credits include more than 25 public new play workshops including No Child… and, most recently, Dispatches from (A) mended America by Brandt Adams and Godfrey L. Simmons Jr.; four professional /student productions as part of Epic’s nationally acclaimed Shakespeare REMIX program; and an uncountable number of in-school student presentations as part of Epic’s in-depth education programs. His classroom experience includes more than 50 educational sites, including the Bronx High School for Writing and Communication Arts, which Epic co-founded in 2004, and for which he has won citations from the Municipal Arts Society, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the Norwegian Parliament.
Production Stage Manager
Whitney McAnally has previously stage managed Much Ado about Nothing, Candida, and Opus at Two River. She spent 10 seasons as a resident stage manager at Milwaukee Repertory Theater where she worked on more than 35 productions, including The Normon Conquests, Escape from Happiness, Tartuffe, Half Life, The Magic Fire, Work Song, and The Blonde Brunette and the Vengeful Redhead. Regionally she has also stage managed at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Madison Repertory Theatre, Austin Lyric Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera. Whitney just returned from her 11th summer season at Cincinnati Opera, where she stage managed A Flowering Tree and The Magic Flute. This is for Raymond, who brought me here to New Jersey in the first place.