New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) Artistic Director James C. Nicola and Managing Director William Russo have announced that Things of Dry Hours, written by Naomi Wallace and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, will begin performances Friday, May 22, at NYTW, 79 East 4th Street, between Second Avenue and Bowery. Opening night is scheduled for Monday, June 8 at 7:00pm. The production will run through Sunday, June 28.
Naomi Wallace's Things of Dry Hours marks the return to the New York stage of noted stage and screen star Delroy Lindo, who received Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations for his last Broadway appearance in the original Joe Turner's Come and Gone. Lindo is joined by OBIE Award-winner Roslyn Ruff, who just earned rave reviews for her performance in Athol Fugard's Coming Home at Long Wharf, and Garret Dillahunt (No Country for Old Men, The Assassination of Jesse James, the current Fox series “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”). Set in Depression-era Alabama, Things of Dry Hours tells the story of Tice Hogan (Lindo), an African-American, out-of-work Sunday school teacher and member of the Communist Party, and his daughter Cali (Ruff) whose lives get turned upside down when they take in a mysterious white factory worker (Dillahunt) on the run. Tony Award-winning actor/writer/producer Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Lackawanna Blues, Seven Guitars) directs.
Commenting on Things of Dry Hours, Mr. Nicola says, “It has been over a decade since we collaborated with Naomi Wallace on her play The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, and though we have tried more than once to bring Things of Dry Hours to East Fourth Street over the last few years, it’s only now that we have managed to assemble a team of theatrical collaborators that are capable of facing the challenges her rich, demanding play present. As always, she is obsessed with our national history, returning over and over again to its forgotten corners, only to delve in and discover there the truth of our present conditions. She brings not only the historian’s tools to the task, but more importantly, the poet’s.”
Naomi Wallace’s work has been produced in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States. Her plays include One Flea Spare, In the Heart of America, Slaughter City, The Inland Sea, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, and The Fever Chart: Three Short Visions of the Middle East. Her work has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Kesselring Prize, the Fellowship of Southern Writers Drama Award, and an Obie. She is also a recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship. Her award-winning film Lawn Dogs is available on DVD. She is presently working on a commission for Actor's Theatre of Louisville and Clean Break of London.
Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Broadway acting credits include Seven Guitars (1996 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor), Jelly's Last Jam and Gem of the Ocean. Other stage credits include A Raisin in the Sun, Glengarry GLen Ross, East Texas Hot Links, Henry VIII and Measure for Measure, among many others. Television: "Their Eyes Were Watching God," "Forgotten Genius," "Rear Window," "Law and Order," "West Wing," "NYPD Blue," "Solomon and Sheba" (the first biblical movie starring actors of color) and "Lackawanna Blues," which he also wrote for stage and film. Feature film: American Gangster, Mr. Brooks, Devil's Advocate and Shaft. In 2007 Santiago-Hudson was given an honorary doctorate by Buffalo State College. Other honors include a Humanitas Award, NAACP Image Award, OBIE Award, Christopher Award, two AUDELCO Awards and two Helen Hayes Awards.
Garret Dillahunt is probably best known for his role as Deputy Wendell, Tommy Lee Jones’ sidekick in No Country for Old Men, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. He also recently co-starred in The Assassination of Jesse James opposite Brad Pitt. Other recent films include The Road with Viggo Mortenson and Charlize Theron and Last House on the Left. He currently plays the role of Cromartie on the Fox series “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” Dillahunt gained notoriety for his roles in the acclaimed series “Deadwood” where he portrayed two different characters—the assassin Jack McCall and the complex and deadly Francis Wolcott. He portrayed Jesus Christ in the controversial series “Book of Daniel” and had recurring roles on “ER” and “The 4400.” He also co-stared in the cable series “John From Cincinnati,” from “Deadwood” producer David Milch and has guest-starred in such television series as “Numb3rs,” “Law & Order” and “C.S.I.” He was featured in the controversial, Sundance Grand Jury prize-winning “The Believer,” and the Oscar-nominated short, “By Courier.” Dillahunt’s theatrical resume includes performances both on and off-Broadway, and at such respected theater companies as Steppenwolf, ACT San Francisco, Seattle Rep, Huntington Stage, Williamstown, and the Berkshire Theater Festival. He appeared in the New York Theatre Workshop production of Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest. Dillahunt studied journalism at the University of Washington and went on to earn his MFA at New York University’s graduate acting program.
Delroy Lindo’s films include David Mamet’s Heist; The Cider House Rules; Spike Lee’s Clockers, Crooklyn, and Malcom X (NAACP Image Award nomination); This Christmas (also Executive Producer); Wondrous Oblivion; The Core; The Last Castle; Domino; The One; Gone in 60 Seconds; Ransom; (Best Supporting Actor NAACP Image Award nomination); A Life Less Ordinary; Get Shorty; Feeling Minnesota; Romeo Must Die; Mr. Jones; L’Exil du Roi Behanzin; Devil’s Advocate; Bright Angel; and Mountains of the Moon. On TV, Lindo starred in the NBC series “Kidnapped” and was featured in “Lackawanna Blues” (HBO) and “The Exonerated” (Court TV). He appeared to critical acclaim in the CBS drama “Profoundly Normal;” starred as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in the Peabody Award-winning drama, “Strange Justice” (Showtime); and played baseball legend Satchel Paige in HBO’s “Soul of the Game.” He also starred as Arctic explorer Matthew Henson in “Glory and Honor” (TNT) and appeared in “First Time Felon” (HBO). Also for television, Lindo conceived, produced, hosted, directed, and co-edited documentary interviews featuring Spike Lee, Charles Burnett and Joan Chen. On Broadway, Lindo received Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, and appeared in the acclaimed play Master Harold and the Boys. He played Walter Lee in the Kennedy Center and Los Angeles productions of A Raisin in the Sun (Helen Hayes Award Nomination and NAACP Image Award, Best Actor) and was most recently seen in the title role of Agamemnon at the Getty in Los Angeles. He also appeared in the London production of The Exonerated. Theatre directing credits include critically acclaimed productions of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (fall 2008), and a new play, Blue Door, both for Berkeley Rep. Additionally, Lindo won a 2006 Los Angeles Theater Weekly Award for his work directing the Vietnam era drama, Medal of Honor Rag.
Roslyn Ruff has appeared off-Broadway in Seven Guitars (Signature Theatre Co.); Killa Dilla (Working Theatre); Cherry Orchard (Classical Theatre of Harlem); Macbeth (CTH/’04 Bonn Biennale and Shakespeare Festival of Neuss); Pudd'nhead Wilson, Taming of the Shrew (The Acting Company). Her regional credits include Coming Home (Long Wharf); August Wilson’s 20th Century Cycle (Kennedy Center) Piano Lesson (IRT/GeVa Theatre) Two Trains Running (Old Globe); Gee’s Bend (ASF); Intimate Apparel, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Alliance); Gem of the Ocean (McCarter/ACT); King Lear (Yale Rep); The Oedipus Plays (Shakespeare DC at Athens Festival ’03). A panto: Sleeping Beauty, Once in a Lifetime and In the Blood (People's Light & Theatre Co.). On television she has appeared in “The Jury” and “The Sopranos” and her film work includes SALT, Untitled Todd Solondz Project, Rachel Getting Married, and In the Blood. She received a 2007 OBIE Award for performance for Seven Guitars and the 2003 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play for In The Blood. She received an M.F.A. at the IATT at Harvard University.
The set design for Things of Dry Hours is by Richard Hoover; the costume design is by Karen Perry; the lighting design is by Marcus Doshi; the sound design and original music are by David Van Tieghem; fight direction and effects design are by David Leong; composition is by Bill Sims.
A panel discussion on the historical backdrop of Things of Dry Hours will take place Saturday, May 30, at 5:30, following the 3:00 matinee. Panelists include Esther Cooper Jackson, Douglas Turner Ward, and Diane McWhorter. Mrs. Jackson founded and led the Southern Negro Youth Congress (1937-48), a communist-led popular front organization who with her husband James Jackson. She served as Executive Secretary of the Southern Negro Congress from 1942-1946 in Birmingham, Alabama, and co-founded and served as the managing editor from 1961-86 of Freedomways, the influential African American political and cultural quarterly. Mr. Ward, is an actor, director, and playwright who co-founded Negro Ensemble Company. A Louisiana native, he was involved in left-wing political activities during his undergraduate days at Wilberforce University in Ohio, which he continued to practice as a writer for the Daily Worker in New York from 1948-51. Ms. McWhorter is a native Alabamian and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for her book Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution, a comprehensive account covering more than half a century of both the segregationist and integrationist sides of Birmingham's struggle. This special event is free to all NYTW Members and the general public who attends the matinee performance. For tickets, please call TeleCharge at (212) 239-6200 or visit TeleCharge.com.
New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW), now celebrating its 26th season, is a leading voice in the world of Off-Broadway and within the theatre community in New York and around the world. NYTW has emerged as a premiere incubator of important new theatre, honoring its mission to explore perspectives on our collective history and respond to the events and institutions that shape our lives. In addition, NYTW is known for its innovative adaptations of classic repertory. Each season, from its home in New York's East Village neighborhood, NYTW presents three to five new productions, over 80 readings, and numerous workshop productions, for over 45,000 audience members. Over the past 26 years, NYTW has developed and produced over 100 new, fully staged works, including Jonathan Larson's Rent, Tony Kushner's Slavs! and Homebody/Kabul, Doug Wright's Quills, Claudia Shear's Blown Sideways Through Life and Dirty Blonde, Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and Valhalla, and Caryl Churchill's Mad Forest, Far Away, and A Number. The 2002 remounting of Martha Clarke's seminal work Vienna: Lusthaus and subsequent American tour was one of the longest-running productions in NYTW's history. NYTW supports artists in all stages of their careers by maintaining a series of workshop programs including work-in-progress readings, summer residencies, and minority artist fellowships. In 1991, NYTW received an OBIE Award for Sustained Achievement and in 2000 was designated to be part of the Leading National Theatres Program by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Things of Dry Hours was originally produced by Pittsburgh Public Theater, Producing Artistic Director, Ted Pappas. For more information about Pittsburgh Public Theater, please visit www.ppt.org.
Things of Dry Hours plays at New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, between Second Avenue and Bowery. The regular performance schedule is Tuesday at 7:00pm, Wednesday through Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 3:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. There will be a special student matinee on Wednesday, May 27 at 1pm. Things of Dry Hours runs through Sunday, June 28. Tickets are $65 and may be purchased online at www.telecharge.com, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or by phoning Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200. For exact dates and times of performance, visit www.nytw.org.
Maintaining its commitment to making theatre accessible to all theatergoers, NYTW continues its CheapTix Sundays program in which all tickets for all Sunday evening performances at 7:00pm will cost $20. Tickets may be purchased in advance, payable in cash only, and are available in person only at the NYTW Box Office. And for all performances, student tickets cost $20, based on availability, and can be purchased in advance from the NYTW Box Office with valid student identification. The NYTW Box Office is open 1:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday.