Theater Close-Up: Old Hats

Air date: 06/15/2017

Bill Irwin and David Shiner Combine Magic, Slapstick, and Hilarity in Old Hats, From Signature Theatre on Theater Close-Up Tuesday, June 13 at 8 p.m. on THIRTEEN

 Theater Close-Up — the unique collaboration between THIRTEEN and the large community of New York City area Off-Broadway and regional theaters – presents Tony Award winners Bill Irwin and David Shiner in their award-winning, critically acclaimed production of Old Hats from Signature Theatre, Tuesday, June 13 at 8 p.m. on THIRTEEN, with an encore presentation on early Thursday morning, June 15 at 1:30 a.m. The play will also air Sunday, June 25 at 9 p.m. on WLIW21. The play will be available for streaming in the tri-state area.

Old Hats is created and performed by Irwin and Shiner, with music and lyrics by and featuring Shaina Taub.

Signature enjoyed an extended, sold out run of the show in 2013, and brought it back in early 2016. This production reunites the clowns with original director Tina Landau and introduces their songstress and comic foil Taub, hailed as “a young Judy Garland meets grown-up Lisa Simpson” by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Bill Irwin reunites with fellow clown David Shiner for a new work combining their inimitable magic, slapstick, and hilarity. Using music, technology, and movement, plus other tricks up their respective sleeves, Irwin and Shiner create another wild and remarkable outing of theatre after this dynamic duo’s first collaboration, the Broadway hit Fool Moon.

Bill Irwin was an original member of Kraken and of San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus.  His original works include Fool Moon, The Regard of Flight, and Old Hats. He received a Drama Desk Nomination in 2009 for Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Waiting for Godot and a Tony Award and Helen Hayes Award in 2005 for the Broadway/West End revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Choreographer’s Fellowship, a Guggenheim, a Fulbright, and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Clown/Playwright David Shiner made his American debut starring in the renowned Canadian Cirque du Soleil and toured North America in Cirque’s Nouvelle Experience from 1990 through the spring of 1991. Mr. Shiner starred with Bill Irwin and the Red Clay Ramblers in Fool Moon (Tony Award for Unique Theatrical Experience), touring the show throughout the U.S. and Europe. He also starred on Broadway as The Cat in the Hat in Seussical: The Musical. Recent credits include Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza which Mr. Shiner wrote and directed.

The design team includes G.W. Mercier (Scenic and Costume Design), Scott Zielinski (Lighting Design), John Gromada (Sound Design), Wendall K. Harrington (Projection Design), Mike Dobson (Foley Design). David H. Lurie is the Production Stage Manager. Casting by Telsey + Company, Will Cantler, CSA.

Theater Close-Up on THIRTEEN has most recently featured The Woodsman recorded at New World Stages,  Buried Child from The New Group,  Buyer & Cellar from Westport Country Playhouse, and The Originalist captured live onstage at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

THIRTEEN is using its unrivaled expertise in producing national PBS arts programming – which began with such classic series as Theater in America, part of the award-winning series Great Performances and special limited series such as Stage on Screen — to provide New Yorkers with unparalleled access to one of the City’s greatest underexposed cultural assets.

The production was directed for television by David Horn.

Directed for television by David Horn, Old Hats is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET and Signature Theatre in association with Broadway HD. Mitch Owgang is producer; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; and David Horn is executive producer. Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley are executive producers for Broadway HD.  Executive-in-charge for WNET is Neal Shapiro.

Major support for Theater Close-Up, Season Two is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, the President’s Innovation Fund, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Leo Shull and Family and The Wilson Family.

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About WNET

WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (KidsThirteen, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere: www.thirteen.org/passport.

About Signature Theatre

Signature Theatre exists to honor and celebrate the playwright. Founded in 1991 by James Houghton, Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work, and during this journey, the writer is engaged in every aspect of the creative process. By championing in-depth explorations of a playwright’s body of work, Signature delivers an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision. In 2014 Signature became the first New York City theatre to receive the Regional Theatre Tony Award®.

Signature serves its mission through its permanent home at The Pershing Square Signature Center, a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature’s three distinct playwrights’ residencies and foster a cultural community. At the Center, opened in January 2012, Signature continues its founding Playwright-in-Residence model as Residency One, a first-of-its-kind, intensive exploration of a single writer’s body of work. Residency Five, the only program of its kind, was launched at the Center to support multiple playwrights as they build bodies of work by guaranteeing each writer three productions over a five-year period. The Legacy Program, launched during Signature’s 10th Anniversary, invites writers from both residencies back for productions of premiere or earlier plays.

The Pershing Square Signature Center is a major contribution to New York City’s cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, and a public café, bar and bookstore. Through the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access, Signature has also made an unprecedented commitment to making its productions accessible by underwriting the cost of initial run tickets, currently priced at $25, through 2031.

Signature has presented entire seasons of the work of Edward Albee, Lee Blessing, Horton Foote, María Irene Fornés, Athol Fugard, John Guare, A.R. Gurney, David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard, Paula Vogel, Naomi Wallace, August Wilson, Lanford Wilson, and a season celebrating the historic Negro Ensemble Company. Its current Residency Five playwrights are Annie Baker, Martha Clarke, Will Eno, Katori Hall, Quiara Alegria Hudes, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Lisa Kron, Kenneth Lonergan and Regina Taylor.  In addition to the Regional Theatre Tony Award®, Signature’s productions and its resident writers have been recognized with the Pulitzer Prize, Lucille Lortel Awards, Obie Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and AUDELCO Awards, among many other distinctions.

For more information, please visit www.signaturetheatre.org

About BroadwayHD

Since its launch in 2015, BroadwayHD aims to extend the reach of Broadway to fans old and new, anytime and anywhere. BroadwayHD is the only online streaming service of its kind, offering viewers an unprecedented Broadway experience and access to exclusive live streams. In June of 2016, BroadwayHD made history with the live stream of ‘She Loves Me,’ marking the first-ever Broadway live stream.  In addition to exclusive live streamed content, BroadwayHD offers subscribers unlimited access to an on-demand library of over 180 theater productions from the comfort and convenience of their own home – or wherever streaming is possible.  It’s the Broadway you know and love, curated from the stage to your screen.

Photos
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Bill Irwin in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

David Shiner in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

David Shiner in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

(from l to r) David Shiner and Bill Irwin in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

Old Hats The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

(from l to r) Bill Irwin and David Shiner in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan MarcusOld Hats The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

(from l to r) Bill Irwin and David Shiner in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

(from l to r) David Shiner and Bill Irwin in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

(from l to r) David Shiner and Bill Irwin in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

(from l to r) David Shiner and Bill Irwin in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

(from l to r) David Shiner and Bill Irwin in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

(from l to r) David Shiner and Bill Irwin in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

(from l to r) Bill Irwin and David Shiner in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan MarcusOld Hats The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

Bill Irwin in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

Bill Irwin in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

(from l to r) Bill Irwin and David Shiner in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan MarcusOld Hats The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

(from l to r) Bill Irwin and David Shiner in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan MarcusOld Hats The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus

(from l to r) Bill Irwin and David Shiner in "Old Hats" The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan MarcusOld Hats The Pershing Square Signature Center/Irene Diamond Stage. Credit: 2013, Joan Marcus