At the Signature, a satire that charts a 70-year journey through the life of an actor whose career begins with a portrayal of a slave in an antebellum epic.
From the producers: It’s the Golden Age of Hollywood, and aspiring starlet Vera Stark works as a maid to Gloria Mitchell, an aging star grasping at her fading career. Worlds collide when Vera lands a trailblazing role in an antebellum epic starring…her boss. While Vera’s portrayal of a slave turns out to be groundbreaking, decades later scholars and film buffs still grapple with the actress’ legacy in Hollywood and the impact that race had on her controversial career. Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage’s fast-paced, sly satire, directed by Kamilah Forbes, will take you on a seventy-year journey through Vera’s life and the cultural climate that originally shaped her and continues today.
Audience Note: This production contains the use of herbal cigarettes.
Author Lynn Nottage is a professor of Playwriting at Columbia University. She was the first (and remains the only) woman to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice; the first in 2009 for "Ruined," and the second in 2017 for "Sweat." "By The Way, Meet Vera Stark" premiered Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre in 2011 followed by runs at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in 2012 and Chicago's Goodman Theatre in 2013.
Kamilah Forbes directs a cast led by Jessica Frances Dukes as Vera. Rounding out the company are Jenni Barber, Tony Award nominee Manoel Felciano ("Sweeney Todd"), Warner Miller, Heather Alicia Simmsas, and David Turner.
What's the Signature Theatre? Signature is a highly-regarded Off-Broadway company founded in 1991. Signature focused each of its first 20 seasons on the work of a single playwright - Sam Shepard, Romulus Linney, Horton Foote, Lanford Wilson, August Wilson, etc. With the opening of the spectacular new Signature Center just west of Times Square, the company has expanded its annual offerings. Tickets, highly subsidized since 2005 by the company's Signature Ticket Initiative, are only $35. More here.