Many years ago (1987 to be exact), Scott Ellis and I were lamenting how much we would love to do what we came to New York to do — create theatre. Inspired, but with no project in which to invest our inspiration, we went out on a very long limb and asked John Kander and Fred Ebb if we could revive their 1965 musical FLORA THE RED MENACE. A young theatre company called The Vineyard got excited about the project, and a vibrant collaboration began. With this production, I received my first professional choreography credit and embarked on a life-long friendship with Kander, Ebb and Vineyard Theatre.
The Vineyard continues to be a home for projects that are deeply meaningful to me. When Kander, Ebb and I were collaborating on THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS, I knew The Vineyard was the perfect theatre to nurture this daring show, and I was welcomed back with enthusiasm by my Vineyard family. Once again, The Vineyard gave me the opportunity to explore artistic possibilities of this provocative new work in a safe and loving space, and launched a journey for the show that led the production from the Vineyard to theatres around the country, to Broadway, and to London.
During this time, I was lucky enough to work with the inimitable Colman Domingo, one of the stars of the show and a major playwright in his own right. He, too, launched his New York playwriting career at The Vineyard with A BOY AND HIS SOUL, and now he and I are about to begin another collaboration there with his beautiful new play DOT, which I will be directing later this season.
The Vineyard is such a special theatre company to me, and I ask you to join me in supporting this vital New York institution.
Through the years, The Vineyard has proved its commitment to investing in emerging talent and fostering longstanding artistic partnerships. But in order to continue to take real risks on exciting new artists and work, they need your help.
I hope that during this giving time of year, you will join me with a generous gift to support The Vineyard so they can continue to light up our spirits and enrich our world with bold and spectacular theatre.