Drama Desk and Obie Award-Winning
Continues Its 21st Season:
A Season of Audio Theater
All We Need Is Us
by James Anthony Tyler, Directed by Jamil Jude
Starring Drama Desk Award winner MaameYaa Boafo (School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play), Ronald Emile, and Tony Award Winner Ari’el Stachel (The Band’s Visit)
Beginning Friday March 26th at 7pm EDT
Available FREE on Your Favorite Podcast Apps
Keen Company Artistic Director Jonathan Silverstein today announced the World Premiere of a newly commissioned audio play All We Need Is Us by acclaimed playwright James Anthony Tyler, beginning Friday March 26th at 7pm EDT for FREE on your favorite podcasting apps like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, and more: search “Keen Company Hear/Now” wherever you listen!
Directed by Jamil Jude, All We Need Is Us will feature Drama Desk Award winner MaameYaa Boafo (School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play), Ronald Emile, and Tony Award winner Ari’el Stachel (The Band’s Visit). All We Need Is Us will have sound design by Justin Ellington, be stage managed by Norman Anthony Small and sound engineered by Garrett Schultz.
“I am thrilled to be releasing another engrossing tale as part of Keen’s Hear/Now Season of Audio Theatre. Playwright James Anthony Tyler has been a close member of the Keen community since we commissioned Around 2 for our Keen Teens program in 2018. As in that play, James has beautifully interwoven an intimate and personal tale while at the same time adroitly addressing the present moment. It has been a pleasure to work with our new friend Jamil Jude and his powerhouse team of creatives as they breathed life into this necessary work. I hope our audience will take time out of their day to spend time in the world of All We Need Is Us. They’ll be very glad they did!” said Silverstein.
It’s Summer 2020, and the pandemic is raging through New York City. Eviction is looming for Lymere and Halen and their first baby is on its way. All We Need Is Us is an intimate look at unprecedented times, and a hopeful reminder that at the end of the day we can at least rely on each other.
James Anthony Tyler is the recipient of the 3rd Annual Horton Foote Playwriting Award and an inaugural playwright to receive a commission from Audible. His plays include Some Old Black Man (Berkshire Playwrights Lab at St. James Place and 59E59 Theaters, and a University Musical Society filmed production), hop thA A (Upcoming World Premiere on Audible Feb 18th), Artney Jackson (World Premiere at Williamstown Theatre Festival, 2018 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award), Dolphins and Sharks (LAByrinth Theater Company and Finborough Theatre in London). He has a MFA in Film from Howard University and a MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University. He is also a graduate of Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program, and was staff writer for the new OWN Network show “Cherish the Day,” created by Ava DuVernay. Tyler’s one-act play Around 2 was commissioned and premiered in 2018 during Keen Teens Festival of New Work, which culminates Keen Company’s unique education program.
Jamil Jude is a highly accomplished director-producer-playwright- dramaturg focusing on bringing socially relevant art to the community. Jamil is the Artistic Director at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA. He is the Co-Founder of The New Griots Festival, which is dedicated to celebrating, advocating, and advancing the careers of emerging Black artists in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.
MaameYaa Boafo, born in Pakistan/raised everywhere, hails from Ghana. Originated the role of Paulina Sarpong in School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play at MCC Theater then Kirk Douglas Theatre (winner Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Lead Performance and Drama Desk Ensemble Award as well as nominations for Lucille Lortel Award, Outer Critics’ Circle, and Drama League’s Distinguished Performance). Other theater credits include Lift (Crossroads, 59e59), Hamlet (American Globe Theatre), Comedy of Errors (The Shakespeare Project), Untamed (National Black Theatre). TV/film: RAMY, Bluff City Law, An African City (2015 nominee Golden Movie Award, 2016 best actress nominee for Ghana Movie Awards), “Blacklist,” “Mysteries of Laura,” “Madam Secretary,” “American Odyssey,” “Iron Fist,” “The Family Fang,” “Where is Kyra?,” “Olive,” “New York, I Love You,” “When It All Falls Down.” Up next: “The Mysterious Benedict Society.” Training: M.F.A. in Acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts-Rutgers.
Ronald Emile is a Haitian-American actor born and raised in New York. His credits include Actually by Anna Zeigler (Theaterworks Hartford) and Feeding Beatrice by Kirsten Greenidge (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). He received his MFA from NYU-Tisch Graduate Acting.
Ari’el Stachel’s Broadway credits include The Band’s Visit (winner 2018 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical). Off-Broadway: The Visitor (The Public Theatre – paused due to Covid), The Band’s Visit (Atlantic Theatre Company). Film: Don’t Worry Darling (dir. by Olivia Wilde), A24’s ZOLA. TV: CBS’s “Blue Bloods,” Netflix’s “Jessica Jones,” Showtime’s “Billions” and is currently recurring on “Law & Order: SVU.” PODCAST: “The Two Princes” (produced by Gimlet Media).
All We Need is Us is part of Keen Company’s innovative 21st Season. Hear/Now: A Season of Audio Theater is reimagining the classic radio drama with a season of five world premiere audio plays from a multifaceted group of Off-Broadway playwrights. Hear/Nowdebuted 1993 by finkle in the fall and continues through June 2021, featuring the world premiere of new audio plays by Pearl Cleage, Kate Cortesi, James Anthony Tyler, and musical team Melissa Li and Kit Yan. Patrons can expect a season of unique pieces of audio theater – each will be intimate, engrossing, fully-produced shows that will feel just as satisfying as a great night at the theater!
All audio plays are released completely FREE for patrons on Keen Company’s website as well as through popular podcast platforms. Those who chose to support Keen Company can purchase a season membership and receive early access to all episodes as well as exclusive perks. Membership options start at just $1 a month and bonus content, including talkbacks with playwrights and artists, panels with experts, behind the scenes interviews, digital programs, opening night premiere parties, and more.
Look for Hear/Now on popular podcast apps like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and TuneIn. Full transcripts will also be available for deaf and hard of hearing patrons. More information on membership packages as well as an audio season teaser are available at www.keencompany.org.
Up next will be the world premiere of Radio Nowhere by Kate Cortesi, an audio play launching on Friday April 23rd at 7pm EDT. More details to be announced soon! You can also join the company every Monday night at 6:30pm for Keen After Hours, a free interview show chatting with stars of stage and screen. Episodes stream live on the Keen Company website, as well as our Facebook and Youtube pages.
Keen Company is an award-winning Off-Broadway theater creating story-driven work that provokes identification, reflection, and emotional connection. In intimate productions of plays and musicals, the company tells stories about the decisive moments that change us. Keen also runs a developmental new work initiative for mid-career playwrights and a unique educational outreach program for teens in all five boroughs of NYC.
For more information on All We Need is Us or any of Keen’s programs, visitKeenCompany.org.