In The News: Shakina Nayfack to perform at Musical Theater Factory as Mei Ann Teo attend Oregon Shakespeare Festival, more

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Read on for more theater info you might have missed in today’s headlines.

John Legere helps Patti Murin Reset list
John Legere has partnered with Frozenby Patti Murin for “wiping the list” of 20 educators across the country, concluding her month-long #JohnClearMyList tour that purchased over $ 45,000 in class supply lists for 40 teachers. Murin had enlisted other Broadway artists Sutton Foster, Colin Donnell, Rory O’Malley, Rachel Bloom, Justin Guarini, Josh Segarra, Krysta Rodriguez and Celia Keenan-Bolger for his #ClearTheList campaign, and Legere just helped eliminate 20 educators from Murin’s list, totaling nearly $ 30,000. “After the last year and a half that we’ve all been through, I couldn’t think of a more deserving group of people than our educators,” said Legere. “I’m excited to help these classroom-level teachers move into the next school year with the things they need most. Teaming up with some of Broadway’s brightest makes the show even better.

The cast announced for Neil LaBute’s latest film
Diane Kruger and Ray Nicholson to star in new thriller Out of the blue by writer Neil LaBute, Variety reports. Tony nominated playwright Reasons to be pretty will also direct the film, which will begin production in Rhode Island in September. The story centers on an ex-convict with a heart of gold and a story of violence in an adultery case with a woman with an abusive husband. Jeff Sackman and Larry Greenberg will produce the film for Quiver Distribution.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival welcomes Mei Ann Teo and Scarlett Kim to its executive team
OSF, under the leadership of Artistic Director Nataki Garrett, has created a team of three Associate Artistic Directors who will work with Garrett on his vision to transform American theater. Mei Ann Teo joins OSF as Associate Artistic Director of New Work and Scarlett Kim of Innovation and Strategy. The duo join Evren Odcikin, associate artistic director of artistic programming, in the new triumvirate. “We need to break down and rebuild the structures within predominantly white institutions that prioritize artists while crushing them,” Garrett said. “This new artistic structure will allow us to place the artist at the center and as a vector of how we engage, develop and access new works, and how we question the classics in live and digital spaces.” The two new positions were made possible through a grant from the BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle, an initiative created to address career gaps for women in American theater.

Nationwide search for a new artistic director of the musical theater factory
Founding artistic director Shakina Nayfack will take over the leadership role as Musical Theater Factory launches a nationwide search for a new artistic director. Mei Ann Teo is leaving the association after three years in this position to join the artistic direction of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (see above). MTF was established in 2014 to provide support and development to emerging musical theater writers through a collaborative process. MTF’s signature programs have helped in the development of hundreds of new musical works, including the Michael R. Jackson Pulitzer Prize. A strange loop. The new Artistic Director will work under the direction of the Board of Directors, alongside President and CEO Aaron Salley, and in consultation with Nayfack to execute the plant’s mission and service programs. For more information, including a full job description, click here.

The neighborhood gambling house returns with Waiting for Lefty Reading
New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse to Celebrate Return to Class in Person with Red Door Reading of Clifford Odets’ play Waiting for Lefty, directed and performed by alumni of Playhouse. The September 20 event will also unveil the first phase of improvements made last year to the 54th Street building that has housed the Drama School since 1947. Neighborhood Playhouse was founded in 1915. Celebrity director Sanford Meisner joined the faculty in 1935 and developed his Meisner Technique in school. He remained associated with the program until his death in 1997. Waiting for Lefty premiered in 1935 by The Group Theater, directed by Meisner. Neighborhood Playhouse’s cast for Red Door Reading includes Ali Ahmed, Audrey Arnold, Tyler Clinton, Ian Duff, Steven He, Allison Mackie, Matt McCoy, Nicola Rossi, Aria Shahghasemi, Todd Susman and Christina Toth, edited by Shannon McMahon Lichte. For more information visit NeighborhoodPlayhouse.org.

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