Urban Stages Presents – THE HEROES AND VILLAINS MONOLOGUES – February 5 through February 12

Playwrights include:

JENNY LYN BADER, SANDRA SHARIF-DALEY, JOHN MINIGAN, ERIC PERCIVAL, 

SCOTT C. SICKLES, FRANK TANGREDI CATHERINE WEINGARTEN, 

and RUTH ZAMOYTA

Cast includes

JASON ASHER, DANIELLE BOURGEOIS, KAILAH S. KING, STEFANIE LEKKAS, 

ZACH MCCOY, SARAH OKADA, and SASCHA VANDERSLIK

Directors Include:

NJ AGWUNA, CHRISTINE CIRKER, CHRISTIAN HAINES, LYNN PETERSEN

ILANNA SALTZMAN, PEDRO SANTOS, VINCENT SCOTT, and KIM T. SHARP 

New York: Urban Stages’ Artistic, Producing Director, Frances Hill, announces a February virtual production, THE HEROES AND VILLAINS MONOLOGUES, streaming February 5- 12, 2021 at urbanstages.org. Creative Consultant Bara Swain serves as the project’s producer with Kim T. Sharp as the production manager. 

The springboard for this online event challenged eight playwrights to select a hero or a villain, and write a monologue incorporating a quote from their selected figures. Historical, fictional, and comic book figures were chosen, from the Man of Steel to the Fuhrer; from Kamala Harris to Hannibal Lecter. An additional challenge was to reference another hero or villain in the script … or have one of these figures appear in the monologue! Playwrights worked with actors from Urban Stages’ diverse artistic community to capture performances of their new works. These monologues have been carefully selected and assembled to create a 70-minute theatrical event streaming at urbanstages.org for a limited time.

“This short monologue series gives playwrights an opportunity to flex their creative muscles by writing a new piece for an actor under a specific theme.  Urban Stages welcomes this talented group of artists.” Frances Hill, Urban Stages, Artistic Director.

Playwright participants include seven-time Emmy Award-nominated Scott C. Sickles, Massachusetts Artist Fellow in Playwriting John Minigan, OBIE Award-winning producer Sandra Sharif-Daley, United Solo Festival’s Best Documentary One-Woman Show recipient Jenny Lyn Bader, and award-winning playwrights Catherine Weingarten, Ruth Zamoyta, Frank Tangredi, and Eric Percival.

The cast include Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress nominated Danielle Bourgeois (Regional:  One on the Chamber), actress Stefanie Lekkas (Metamorphosis), actor/producer/VO artist Sascha Vanderslik (Film:  Heart Shaped Pizza), Jason Asher (Off-Broadway: I The Wonder of You), Kailah S. King (Regional: Urinetown), Zach McCoy (Off-Broadway’s Love and Human Remains), Sarah Okada (Off-Broadway: Yearning for Peace), and Misti Tindiglia (New York:  Marked).

The monologues are helmed by Drama League alum NJ Agwuna, Producing Director of F.A.B. Women at The Barrow Group Christine Cirker, international directors Pedro Santos (Portugal) and Lynn Petersen (Australia), Founding Artistic Director of Amios NYC and ShotzSF in San Francisco Christian Haines, and Urban Stages’ staff, Ilanna Saltzman, Vincent Scott, and Kim T. Sharp

Due to the virtues of ZOOM, Urban Stages has been able to bring to the project international artists along with New York, California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts writers, actors, and directors.  Actress Stefanie Lekkas, and Director, Lynn Petersen will be working from Australia, with Petro Santos directing from Portugal. Sascha Vanderslik will be performing in California under the direction of Bay Area director Christian Haines, while John Minigan is in Massachusetts.     

THE HEROES AND VILLAINS MONOLOGUES

Will begin streaming on urbanstages.org

Friday, February 5 at 7:30 pm EST through February 12, 2021

Urban Stages will host a talk-back with the creative team following the opening night performance on Friday, February 5 (8:45 pm est) The 8 Monologues last 70 minutes.

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For further information, visit or call the office at 212 421-1380.

Donations to Urban Stages are appreciated on our website. 

URBAN STAGES is an award-winning, not-for-profit, Off-Broadway Theatre Company founded in 1984 by current Artistic Director Frances Hill. For over 36 years, Urban Stages has produced dozens of world, American, and N.Y. premieres, including Pulitzer Prize Finalist Bulrusher (2007) by Eisa Davis. Urban Stages has been honored with awards, nominations, and recognition from the Drama Desk, Obie Awards, Audelco, Outer Critics Circle, and more. Plays produced at Urban Stages also often move on to larger venues and/or publications. Bars and Measures (2019) was critically acclaimed by The New York Times and nominated for four Audelco awards. Death of a Driver (2019) by Will Snider went on to a regional production at The Salt Lake Acting Company. In our 2017/18 season, A Deal by Zhu Yi (world premiered at Urban Stages) toured China, and Dogs of Rwanda by Sean Christopher Lewis (New York premiered at Urban Stages) toured regionally. Other notable productions include the world premiere of the musical Langston In Harlem by Walter Marks (music and book). Kent Gash (book and direction) garnered a Drama Desk Nomination, a Joe A. Calloway award, and 4 Audelco awards, including Best Musical Production of 2010. Critically acclaimed hits Mabel Madness by Tony-winner Trezana Beverley (2016), Communion by Daniel MacIvor (2016), and Angry Young Man by Ben Woolf (2017), which transferred to the John Drew Theatre at Guild Hall in East Hampton have premiered at Urban Stages. Also, Unseamly, by Oren Safdie (2015), was an N.Y. Times Critics’ Pick. Jim Brochu’s Character Man (2014) was nominated for a Drama Desk, and an Outer Critics Circle award for Best Solo Performance and Honky (2013) by Greg Kalleres saw a regional run at San Diego Rep. It was televised nationally on PBS in late 2015. 1996’s Men on The Verge Of A Hispanic Breakdown by Guillermo Reyes and Minor Demons by Bruce Graham moved to commercial theatres. Chili Queen, a play by newscaster Jim Lehrer, transferred to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. (1989). My Occasion of Sin (2012) by Monica Bauer won critical acclaim when it moved to Detroit Rep. Bill Bowers has toured regionally and internationally with his two Urban Stages’ premieres blending mime and theatre – Beyond Words (2012) and Under A Montana Moon (2002)! Some Urban Stages premieres have even been developed into film and television projects such as Scar by Murray Mednick, Conversations with The Goddesses by Agapi Stassinopoulos, and Cotton Mary by Alexandra Viets. In addition to plays and musicals, annually, we hold a music festival – Winter Rhythms – that features famous and up-and-coming Cabaret, musicians, lyricists and other music artists. In 2016, Winter Rhythms was honored with the Bistro Award for Outstanding Series, and in 2015, it received the Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Series M.A.C. Award from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs. In light of the pandemic, much of Urban Stages’ programming has moved online, including free family-friendly and educational programming through Outreach at Home, short play opportunities for playwrights, virtual concerts, special interviews, virtual play performances, and more.

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