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ABOUT THE SHOW

Good morning, America! Welcome to Hanover Middle School, where a pair of teachers are getting down and dirty with today’s lesson. The nimble duo goes round after round on the mat of our nation’s history, tackling race, sex and power in this R-rated, kaleidoscopic and fearless comedy. 

CREATIVE TEAM

Created by | JENNIFER KIDWELL and SCOTT R. SHEPPARD 
with LIGHTNING ROD SPECIAL
Director | TAIBI MAGAR
Featuring | JENNIFER KIDWELL and SCOTT R. SHEPPARD
Production Design | TILLY GRIMES
Scenic Design | STEVEN DUFALA 
Lighting Design | OONA CURLEY 
Sound Design | MIKAAL SULAIMAN 

Fight Choreography |RYAN BOURQUE
Movement Consultant |DAVID NEUMANN
Production Stage Manager |LISAMcGINN
Associate Scenic Design |YOU-SHIN CHEN
Associate Costume Design |CAITY MULKEARNS
Associate Lighting Design |SARAH STOLNACK
Assistant Sound Design | LEE KINNEY
Props Master | EMILIE GROSSMAN
Assistant Stage Manager |NATALIE HRATKO

PRESS AND AWARDS

NAMED ONE OF THE “25 BEST AMERICAN PLAYS SINCE ANGELS IN AMERICA” BY THE NEW YORK TIMES

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The New York Times Critics’ Pick & Best of 2016
“In-all-ways sensational.”

– Ben Brantley, The New York Times
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Time Out New York Critics’ Pick & Best of 2016
“Outrageously funny! Strikingly Rendered by bold, smart performances.”
– Adam Feldman, Time Out New York
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“Explosive! Fearlessly, ferociously uninhibited… the show’s most subversive quality is also quintessentially American: it’s wildly entertaining.”
– Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New Yorker
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 “FEARLESS, FEROCIOUS, EXPOSING AND EXPLOSIVE…THRILLING” – STAGE

THEATRE YOU ARE NEVER LIKELY TO FORGET.” – WHATSONSTAGE

 TIME OUT

EVENING STANDARD

INDEPENDENT

SUNDAY TIMES

GUARDIAN

 

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

FRINGE FIRST AWARD

THE 2017 OBIE AWARD WINNER FOR BEST NEW AMERICAN THEATRE WORK LUCILLE LORTEL NOMINATIONS:

  • OUTSTANDING PLAY

  • OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A PLAY – JENNIFER KIDWELL

  • OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN – TILLY GRIMES

BIOS

JENNIFER KIDWELL (Creator/Performer) is a performing artist. Recent projects: Demolishing Everything with Amazing Speed (Dan Hurlin), I Understand Everything Better (David Neumann/advanced beginner group), Sans Everything (AS 220), Antigone (The Wilma Theater), I Promised Myself to Live Faster and 99 Break-Ups (Pig Iron Theatre Company), Dick’s Last Stand (Whitney Biennial 2014, as Donelle Woolford), Zinnias: the Life of Clementine Hunter (Robert Wilson/Toshi Reagon/Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon). She’s currently working with Geoff Sobelle and Nichole Canuso and is a PITC company member, a Wilma Theater Associated Artist, a co-director of the theater company Lightning Rod Special and a co-founder of JACK. Her writing has been published in movement research Performance Journal #45 and hyperallergic.com. In 2013 she was awarded the TCG/Fox Resident Actor Fellowship (with PITC), naming Underground Railroad Game as her primary project. She is a 2016 Pew Fellow.

SCOTT SHEPPARD (Creator/Performer) is a performer, creator, director, and teacher living in Philadelphia. As Co-Director of the Philadelphia-based theater company Lightning Rod Special, he has been a creator/performer for all of their productions. Scott is a member of the inaugural class at Pig Iron’s School for Advanced Performance Training (2011-2013) and was a creator/performer for Pig Iron Theatre Company’s 99 Breakups and a performer in PITC’s Gentlemen Volunteers (2015-16 remount). In 2014 he was a guest faculty member at Colgate University where he directed and co-created the student production, Seeing the Beast. Recent credits: co-creator/performer in Holden (Ice Factory, NYC and FringeArts, Philadelphia) and Sans Everything (AS220, Providence and Charlestown Working Theater, Boston) and performer in The Stinky Cheeseman and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (Arden Theatre Co., Philadelphia). Scott is also a 2016 recipient of the Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Performing Arts. He would like to thank Ars Nova for their mentorship and insistence on dreaming big.

LIGHTNING ROD SPECIAL is a Philadelphia-based devised theatre company, co-directed by Katie Gould, Mason Rosenthal, Scott Sheppard, and Alice Yorke. Exploding complex questions with precision and play, Lightning Rod Special makes live performance from the ground up. lightningrodspecial.com

TAIBI MAGAR (Director) is an Egyptian-American director based in New York, and a graduate of the Brown/Trinity MFA program. In New York, Taibi has directed and developed work with TFANA, the Women’s Project Theatre, Rising Phoenix Rep and INTAR Theatre. Regionally, she has directed and developed work with Trinity Repertory Company, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare & Company and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is the recipient of a Stephen Sondheim Fellowship, an Oregon Shakespeare Festival Fellowship, a Public Theater Shakespeare Fellowship, the TFANA Actors and Directors Project Fellowship and is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Taibi is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers union and is represented by Ross Weiner at ICM Partners. Upcoming 16/17 Season: Juilliard, Alley Theatre and Guthrie Theater.

 ARS NOVA (Originating Producer) Ars Nova exists to discover, develop and launch singular theater, music and comedy artists in the early stages of their professional careers. Our dynamic slate of programs supports outside-the-box thinking and encourages innovative, genre-bending work. Dubbed by The New York Times as a “fertile incubator of offbeat theater,” Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. With our feverish bounty of programming, we are the stomping ground and launching pad for visionary, adventurous artists of all stripes. By providing a protective environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of diverse artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work. 

Original Graphic Design by Studio Usher. Illustration by Martha Rich