Audible today announced Audible Theater’s slate of spring 2021 releases, which will feature performances from Tony Award winners Laura Benanti (Nashville), Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Santino Fontana (Frozen) and Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds), award-winning actress Diane Guerrero (Orange is the New Black), Primetime Emmy Award-winner Joe Morton (Scandal) and more.
The slate includes the February 11th world premiere of Tonderai Munyevu’s Mugabe, My Dad & Me starring the playwright himself; the February 18th world premiere of Audible Emerging Playwright James Anthony Tyler’s hop thA A starring Ronald Emile, Jayme Lawson, Kareem Lucas and Portia; the February 25th world premiere of Daniel Goldfarb’s Men’s Health starring Tony Award winners Tony Shalhoub, Santino Fontana and Laura Benanti, award-winning actress Diane Guerrero and Tom Hollander; the March 18th release of Adam Rapp’s six-time Tony Award nominated The Sound Inside with original cast members Mary-Louise Parker and Will Hochman; and the April 29th release of Cornelius Eady’s Brutal Imagination with original cast members Joe Morton and Sally Murphy. Audible will record and release all shows as Audible Original audio plays, extending their reach to millions of Audible listeners around the world.
“Our spring slate represents the very best of Audible Theater. We’re bringing listeners Broadway’s finest Tony-nominated shows, we’re introducing new voices through our Emerging Playwrights Fund, and we’re commissioning new work from award-winning playwrights with all-star casts,” said Kate Navin, Artistic Producer. “At this time when we can’t enjoy live theater, we’re grateful to be able to elevate new talent and make world-famous creatives more accessible to theater fans everywhere.”
Audible Original Mugabe, My Dad & Me, written by and starring Tonderai Munyevu, will premiere on February 11th. Directed by John R. Wilkinson, sound design and original music composed by Nigel R. Glasgow, and music on the mbira played and composed by Millicent Chapanda. Audible brings the audio-first world premiere of Mugabe, My Dad & Me to audiences after the show’s 2020 live stage production was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Synopsis: In the spring of 1980, the British colony of Rhodesia became the independent nation of Zimbabwe. Tonderai Munyevu, a born-free, was part of the hopeful next generation from a new country with a new leader, Robert Gabriel Mugabe. While exploring Tonderai’s personal story and his relationship with his father, Mugabe, My Dad and Me charts the rise and fall of one of the most controversial politicians of the 20th century. Interweaving monologue and original music on the mbira with commentary inspired by some of Mugabe’s more notorious speeches, this captivating one-man show is a blistering dance of memory exploring connection, familial love and what it means to return ‘home’. York Theatre Royal and English Touring Theatre co-production, in association with Alison Holder, will produce the live stage production later this year.
Audible Original hop thA A, written by James Anthony Tyler (Artney Jackson, World Premiere at Williamstown Theatre Festival) through Audible’s Emerging Playwright Fund, will premiere on February 18th. The cast will feature Ronald Emile, Jayme Lawson (Farewell Amor, The Batman), Kareem Lucas and Portia. Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb (Ain’t No Mo’, Public Theater; one in two, The New Group) and sound design by Justin Ellington.
Synopsis: New York, 2013. During his late-night commute on the A train, Harlem native Tyrone tries to impress Niesha, his coworker at a nightclub, who just wants to read her book and pass the ride in silence. But as they travel uptown, the two forge an unlikely connection that extends beyond the confines of the subway car. hop thA A is an Emerging Playwrights Commission about finding love in an unexpected place and humanity in a society designed to leave people behind.
Audible Original Men’s Health, written by Emmy-nominee Daniel Goldfarb and directed by Scott Ellis, will premiere on February 25th. The cast will feature Tony Award winners Tony Shalhoub, Santino Fontana and Laura Benanti, award-winning actress Diane Guerrero and Tom Hollander. Sound design by John Gromada.
Synopsis: A visit to the urologist has never been more hilarious – or revealing – than in Men’s Health, a new comedy written by Daniel Goldfarb and directed by Scott Ellis. Adam (Fontana) is a TV writer in search of a diagnosis for a very personal problem. He ends up half-naked and fully freaked out in the exam room of Dr. Szabo (Shalhoub), a physician with a unique bedside manner offering some truly unorthodox treatment options. After several months of appointments, both patient and doctor begin to open up, sharing some of the most private parts of their lives. But when Adam decides to write about their relationship, Dr. Szabo discovers how frightening and freeing it feels to be truly exposed.
The Audible Original production of The Sound Inside, which received six Tony Award nominations including Best Play following its stage run in 2019, is written by Adam Rapp and directed by David Cromer (nominated for a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play) and will premiere on March 18th. Original cast members Mary-Louise Parker (nominated for a Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play) and Will Hochman reprise their roles.
Synopsis: Tony, Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Mary-Louise Parker stars in what The New York Times calls “a gripping mystery” about Bella Baird, a novelist and Ivy League English professor who prizes her solitude. When faced with a challenge she cannot tackle alone, Bella must ally herself with a brilliant but mysterious student (William Hochman) and confront the question of what one person can truly do for another. Intensely intimate and deeply moving, Adam Rapp’s haunting play received resounding acclaim during its Broadway run at Studio 54 and was nominated for six Tony Awards. Coming exclusively to Audible, The Sound Inside is a “vital, compassionate and rivetingly theatrical drama about tragedy and redemption, sacrifice and loss, the bright blaze of artistic creation and the sadness of an unknowable stranger” (The Hollywood Reporter).
The Audible Original production of Brutal Imagination, written by Cornelius Eady (Co-Founder of Cave Canem; Brutal Imagination Finalist for The National Book Award) will premiere on April 29th. Original cast members Primetime Emmy Award-winner Joe Morton and Sally Murphy reprise their roles from the original live production of this play at the Vineyard Theater in 2001. Directed by Stevie Walker Webb (Ain’t No Mo’, Public Theater; one in two, The New Group) with sound design by Brian Hickey.
Synopsis: Brutal Imagination explores the trope of the Black man in white America through the lens of the 1995 Susan Smith case-in which a young white mother falsely accused a Black man of kidnapping and murdering her children.
The five productions in Audible Theater’s spring 2021 slate join additional Audible Theater projects currently in development, including the 2020 Williamstown Theatre Festival summer season on Audible.