Daphne Rubin-Vega and Wood Harris Added to A Streetcar Named Desire
Daphne Rubin-Vega and Wood Harris Added to A Streetcar Named Desire
by Wilson Morales
August 23, 2011
Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones are proud to announce that the role of “Stella” will be played by two-time Tony Nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega and the role of “Mitch” will be played by Wood Harris, in the upcoming Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire directed by Emily Mann. They will join Blair Underwood as “Stanley” and Nicole Ari Parker as “Blanche”. This production is slated to hit the boards, Spring, 2012. Theatre TBA.
Tennessee Williams’ sultry drama, A Streetcar Named Desire is set against the sexy backdrop of New Orleans’ gritty French Quarter A Streetcar Named Desire tells the tale of former school teacher and socialite Blanche DuBois (Nicole Ari Parker), as she’s forced to move in with her sister Stella (Rubin-Vega) and her animalistic husband Stanley (Blair Underwood). But the fragile, Blanche quickly gets a gritty life lesson in the seamy, steamy underbelly of 1940′s New Orleans. The legendary Terence Blanchard has signed on to provide an original soundscape for the production.
Streetcar was last seen on Broadway in 2005 starring Natasha Richardson, Amy Ryan and John C. Reilly. This multi-racial production of A Streetcar Named Desire, is a follow-up to their highly successful Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, which starred Terrence Howard, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose and James Earl Jones, and was directed by Debbie Allen. The production subsequently moved to London’s West End (with Jones and Rashad joined by Sanaa Lathan as Maggie and Adrian Lester as Brick) where it was honored with the “What’s Onstage” and the prestigious “Olivier” awards for Best Revival
DAPHNE RUBIN-VEGA (Stella) is a two-time Tony and Drama Desk nominee and recipient of the Theater World, Obie, Blockbuster awards and was recently nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her role in Jack Goes Boating. She has been a member of the Labyrinth Theater Company since 1992. Ms. Rubin-Vega is perhaps best known for the roles she originated, including Mimi (RENT) and Conchita (Anna in the Tropics), both Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway shows for which she was nominated for the Tony award. She also originated the role of Rahmi (Gum), Sofia (Nilo Cruz’ Two Sisters and a Piano), Canary Mary (Suzan-Lori Parks’ Fucking A, Lucille Lortel nomination) and Lucy (Jack Goes Boating) at the Public Theater, as well as starred in the Broadway revivals of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Magenta) and Les Mis, (“Fantine”) and most recently, The New Group’s Blood From a Stone (“Yvette”) opposite Ethan Hawke.” Film credits include detective Gloria Perez in Wild Things, starring Kevin Bacon and Matt Dillon (Blockbuster Award for Best Supporting Actress), Tia (Flawless, opposite Robert De Niro), and most recently, reprising the role of Lucy in the film version of Jack Goes Boating, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s film directorial debut. Other films include, Justice, Skeleton Woman (New York Independent Film award), Virgin, Sex and the City, and I Like It Like That. Daphne Rubin-Vega is recognized for her singing as much as her acting. She was a member of the girl group Pajama Party, whose single “Yo No Se” was number one on the Billboard dance charts. They made two albums on Atlantic Records before Daphne began writing and recording solo singles for the indie dance label Maxi. In 1997, Rubin-Vega cut her first album of original music, “Souvenirs” on the subsequently defunct Mercury label and in 2006; she produced, performed, and primarily wrote “Redemption Songs” (Sh-K- Boom). Daphne has contributed to various musical projects, including her notorious version of “Feliz Navidad” for Broadway Cares and her club smash cover of “Rocketman”. In 2005, she received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Kean University. “Dr.” Rubin-Vega was born in Panama and raised in New York City where she lives with her husband and son.
WOOD HARRIS (Mitch), a native of Chicago, holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Northern Illinois University. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree from New York University, Graduate Acting Program, Tisch School of the Arts. A polished actor adept at a broad array of parts and types, Wood landed his first role in Jeff Pollack’s urban-themed sports drama Above the Rim, starring opposite the late Tupac Shakur, Marlon Wayans, and Duane Martin. Wood’s work continued, and 2000 marked his breakthrough year: the year that not only brought with it a highly visible role as a footballer in the inspirational sports drama Remember the Titans, but also a lead in the Showtime telemovie Hendrix, a biopic of rock demigod Jimi Hendrix. The drama paved the way for more prominent billings, and Harris continued to realize his potential with a regular role on HBO’s The Wire (as Avon Barksdale) and a key supporting part as Dion Warner (aka Dion Element) in Richard Kelly’s Southland Tales. A talented actor in many films and television shows, Woods more recent work includes roles in House, Not Easily Broken, Next Day Air and Hawaii Five-0. Wood most recently filmed Judge Dredd in South Africa and Jay Chandrasekhar’s The Baby Makers.
EMILY MANN (Director) Multi-award winning Director and Playwright Emily Mann is in her 21st season as Artistic Director of McCarter Theatre. Under Ms. Mann’s leadership, McCarter was honored with the 1994 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater. Directing credits include this season’s world premiere of Sarah Treem’s The How and the Why with Mercedes Ruehl and Bess Rous; Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics with Jimmy Smits (also on Broadway); the world premiere of Christopher Durang’s Miss Witherspoon with Kristine Nielsen (also at Playwrights Horizons off-Broadway); Uncle Vanya with Amanda Plummer (also adapted); All Over with Rosemary Harris and Michael Learned (also off-Broadway at The Roundabout; 2003 Obie Award for Directing); The Cherry Orchard with Jane Alexander, John Glover, and Avery Brooks (also adapted); Three Sisters with Frances McDormand, Linda Hunt, and Mary Stuart Masterson; A Doll House with Cynthia Nixon; and The Glass Menagerie with Shirley Knight. Her plays include Execution of Justice (supported by a Guggenheim Fellowship; winner of Helen Hayes and Joseph Jefferson awards; nominated for Drama Desk, Pulitzer and Outer Circle awards); Still Life (six Obie Awards); Greensboro (A Requiem); and Annulla, An Autobiography. Ms. Mann wrote and directed Having Our Say, adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominations; winner of NAACP and Joseph Jefferson awards ). For the Having Our Say screenplay Ms. Mann won Peabody and Christopher Awards) A winner of the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award and the Edward Albee Last Frontier Directing Award, she is a member of the Dramatists Guild and serves on its Council. A collection of her plays, Testimonies: Four Plays, has been published by Theatre Communications Group, Inc. Her latest play, Mrs. Packard, was the recipient of the 2007 Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award and was published by TCG in spring 2009. Most recently, Ms. Mann directed her latest adaptation, A Seagull in the Hamptons, a free adaptation of Chekhov’s The Seagull, with Brian Murray and Maria Tucci; Mrs. Warren’s Profession, with Suzanne Bertish; and the world premiere of Edward Albee’s Me, Myself & I (with Tyne Daly and Brian Murray at McCarter Theatre and with Elizabeth Ashley at Playwrights Horizons in New York). She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Princeton University.
STEPHEN BYRD (Front Row Productions, Producer) has pursued his interest in producing high quality entertainment vehicles for many years. As President/ CEO of the American Cinema Group, Inc., he has raised capital for, and invested in several TV & Film projects. Mr. Byrd formed Front Row Productions, Inc. which is dedicated solely to producing quality theatrical productions, and has a slate of major theatrical projects in the works. As the Producer of the first African American Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, which was the highest grossing play on Broadway in 2008, Mr. Byrd also won the Laurence Olivier Award, for Best Revival of A Play for his production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof on London’s West End. Mr. Byrd is realizing a 15 year vision and is currently the only African American Producer on Broadway today. Front Row’s next production scheduled for early 2012 is Tennessee Williams A Street Car Named Desire. The native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has over 27 years of experience as an Investment Banker. Mr. Byrd was an investment banker in M&A with Goldman, Sachs & Co., in the London office. He then became Managing Director of the Kuwait Investment Office and worked on various world-wide corporate finance activities, strategic and joint-venture alliances and new business development projects in the London and Paris offices. As a Principal, he was instrumental in the formation of a Private Equity LLC, Thurn & Taxis, for Prince Karl Von Taxis of Austria. Mr. Byrd is currently a Principal and Co-Founder of StoneHedge Capital, Inc., a Private Equity firm. Mr. Byrd has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Temple University and MBA in Finance at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. He has also attended the Alliance Francais in Paris. He supports several community and non-profit organizations including Safe Horizon and The National Urban Technology Center. Mr. Byrd was recently named as one of the most important African Americans in the theatre by The New York Daily News.
ALIA M. JONES (Front Row Productions, Producer) joined Front Row Productions in 2006 to pursue her passion for the arts and bring classic works featuring actors of color to the stage. Jones co-produced the first African-American revival of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway in 2008. She has over 15 years experience in developing strategy and leading marketing campaigns for consumer brands, financial products, web-based educational curriculum and arts organizations. Originally from the Washington DC area, Ms. Jones spent five years with Procter & Gamble in Finance/Accounting and Interactive Marketing prior to coming to New York. Her responsibilities included implementation of web-based marketing solutions for P&G brands. Jones joined StoneHedge Partners as Vice President of Marketing, Client Service and Operations to market hedge funds. She has consulted telecommunications and entertainment companies on early stage and mezzanine financing deals. Jones earned a Bachelor of Mathematics from Spelman College and Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech. She completed her MBA in Finance and Marketing at New York University Stern School of Business. With a commitment to education and the arts, Ms. Jones serves on the board of The National Urban Technology Center, a non-profit organization established to teach youth life skills, health education, and career development through edutainment software. She is a member of The League of American Theatre Owners and Producers (The Broadway League).