Paula Vogel’s Bard at the Gate, spotlighting existing plays that have yet to receive widespread attention, will return for 2021–2022 and 2022–2023 seasons in a new partnership with McCarter Theatre Center. Works by Zakiyyah Alexander (How to Raise a Freeman), Jose Rivera (Sonnets for an Old Century) and Christina Anderson (Good Goods) are among those set to be featured in the initial slate of programming, with a total of eight plays spread across the two seasons.
The newly formed collaboration will be celebrated with an encore stream of Eisa Davis's Bulrusher June 3 at 8 PM ET followed by a talkback with Davis, Vogel, and Valerie Curtis-Newton, artistic director for The Hansberry Project. The André Holland and Kara Young–led reading originally premiered in September 2020.
Dates for future readings will be announced shortly.
Bard at the Gate programming will now be co-curated by Vogel and Nicole A. Watson, associate artistic director for McCarter. An advisory council made up of playwrights, directors, producers, and academics (like Isabella Starr LaBlanc, Jill Dolan, Joy Meads, KJ Sanchez, May Adrales, Pirronne Yousefzadeh, Quiara Hudes, Regina Victor, Valerie Curtis-Newton, Brian Herrera, Chay Yew, and Gregg Mozgala) will also guide the pair. The series’ board members are Vogel, Davis, Herrera, Yew, Grant Rice, Sam Rudy, and Rosey Strub. Rosey Strub is producer with Ryan Pointer and BJ Evans as associate producers.
Previously funded solely by the Pulitzer Prize winner, Bard at the Gate now receives dedicated financial support under McCarter’s “Vogel Vanguards,” which currently includes Roz and Jerry Meyer, the Sallie B. Goodman Fund, Daryl Roth, Elizabeth Armstrong, and Larry Hirschhorn and Melissa Posen.
“Bard at the Gate began as a very personal effort to give marginalized playwrights a voice, especially during the historic times we are living through,” Vogel said. “Partnering with McCarter will give Bard a national impact with brilliant plays that belong in the curriculum and in the seasons of theatres worldwide.”
Vogel’s series kicked off in July 2020 with Kermit Frazier's 1979 Kernel of Sanity, followed by The Droll by Meg Miroshnik and LeFranc's Origin Story. The series was a response to the theatre shutdown and Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 to promote works—in particular by BIPOC, women, LGBTQIA+, and disabled writers—that the playwright had become familiar with in her role as a teacher.
For more information and to make reservations for the free programming, visit BardAtTheGate.org.