Intimate Apparel Opens Artits Rep's 2014-15 Season - Theatre News - Theatre In Portland
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Intimate Apparel Opens Artits Rep's 2014-15 Season
Sep 9, 2014

Intimate ApparelArtists Rep will kick off its 2014/15 season with the Portland premiere of Intimate Apparel by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage. Artists Rep Artistic Associate and Resident Artist Michael Mendelson will direct this award-winning, Off-Broadway and regional theatre sensation.

Intimate Apparel was first commissioned and produced by South Coast Repertory and Center Stage in Costa Mesa, California in 2003. It is the winner of five national awards for Best Play and has been produced by such prominent theatres as Roundabout Theatre in New York, Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, Southern Repertory Theatre in New Orleans, Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, City Theatre in Pittsburgh, and Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Set in 1905 NYC, this riveting tale is about the empowerment of Esther, an African American seamstress who creates exquisite lingerie for Fifth Avenue boudoirs and red-light brothels. As she yearns for a different life, she finds unconventional friendships with clients that defy race, religion and class.

"With Intimate Apparel, I'm moved by the fragile vulnerability and enduring strength of Esther, a woman who discovers her voice, place and contribution in a world set up thwart her dreams" said Michael Mendelson. "Ms. Nottage says of her own work, 'Intimate Apparel is a meditation on loneliness,' but for me it is ultimately a love story. Courageously, Ms. Nottage crosses lines of race and religion in pursuit of that love. I believe this is a story of dreams, expectations and endurance, forging an untrodden path that is often about loneliness and more importantly the strength it takes to stay true to oneself."

Lynn Nottage is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. They include By The Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lily Award, Drama Desk Nomination); Ruined (Pulitzer Prize, OBIE, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics' Circle, Audelco, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award); Intimate Apparel (American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for Best Play); Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (OBIE Award); Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Las Meninas, Mud, River, Stone, Por'knockers and POOF!. She is currently developing a new play and multimedia performance installation based on two years of research and interviews conducted in Reading, PA (with Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Arena Stage & Labyrinth Theatre Company). In addition, she is working with composer Ricky Ian Gordon on adapting her play Intimate Apparel into an opera (commissioned by The Met/LCT). She is the co-founder of the production company, Market Road Films, whose most recent projects include The Notorious Mr. Bout directed by Tony Gerber and Maxim Pozdorovkin (Premiere/Sundance 2014); First to Fall directed by Rachel Beth Anderson (Premiere/ IDFA, 2013) and Remote Control (Premiere/Busan 2013- New Currents Award). Over the years, she has developed original projects for HBO, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Showtime, This is That and Harpo. Nottage is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, Steinberg "Mimi" Distinguished Playwright Award, the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote Prize, Helen Hayes Award, the Lee Reynolds Award and the Jewish World Watch iWitness Award. Her other honors include the National Black Theatre Fest's August Wilson Playwriting Award, a Guggenheim Grant, PEN/Laura Pels Award, Lucille Lortel Fellowship and Visiting Research Fellowship at Princeton University. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, where she has been a faculty member since 2001. She is also teaching graduate playwriting at Columbia School of the Arts.