In the News: Shakina Nayfack Will Step In at Musical Theatre Factory as Mei Ann Teo Heads to Oregon Shakespeare Festival, More | Playbill

Regional News In the News: Shakina Nayfack Will Step In at Musical Theatre Factory as Mei Ann Teo Heads to Oregon Shakespeare Festival, More Plus, businessman John Legere helps Patti Murin's "clear the list" campaign benefiting classroom educators.
Shakina Nayfack Courtesy of The Drama League

Read on for more theatre news you may have missed in today's headlines.

John Legere Helps Patti Murin Clear the List
John Legere has joined forces with Frozen’s Patti Murin to “clear the list” of 20 educators across the country, concluding his month-long #JohnClearMyList giving spree that purchased over $45,000 worth of classroom supply lists for 40 teachers. Murin had enlisted fellow Broadway artists Sutton Foster, Colin Donnell, Rory O’Malley, Rachel Bloom, Justin Guarini, Josh Segarra, Krysta Rodriguez, and Celia Keenan-Bolger for her #ClearTheList campaign, and Legere has just helped clear 20 educators from Murin’s list, totaling nearly $30,000. “After the last year and a half we’ve all experienced, I couldn't think of a more deserving group of people than our educators,” said Legere. “I’m thrilled to help these teachers at the classroom level go into the next school year with the things they need most. To team up with some of Broadway’s brightest makes it even more of showstopper.”

Casting Announced for Neil LaBute's Latest Film
Diane Kruger and Ray Nicholson will star in the new thriller Out of the Blue from writer Neil LaBute, Variety reports. The Tony-nominated playwright of Reasons To Be Pretty will also direct the film, set to begin production in Rhode Island in September. The story centers on an ex-con with a heart of gold and a history of violence in an adulterous affair with a woman with an abusive husband. Jeff Sackman and Larry Greenberg will executive produce the film for Quiver Distribution.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival Welcomes Mei Ann Teo and Scarlett Kim to Leadership Team
OSF, under the helm of artistic director Nataki Garrett, has created a three-person team of associate artistic directors who will work with Garrett on her vision to transform American theatre. Mei Ann Teo comes to OSF as associate artistic director of new work and Scarlett Kim of innovation and strategy. The pair joins 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 hierarchize the artists while grinding them down," said Garrett. "This new artistic structure will enable us to place the artist at the center, and as the conduit for how we engage, develop, and access new work, and how we interrogate the classics in both live and digital spaces." The two new positions were made possible with a grant from the BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle, an initiative created to bridge the career gaps for women in the American theater.

Nationwide Search for New Musical Theatre Factory Artistic Director
Founding Artistic Director Shakina Nayfack will step back into the leadership role as Musical Theatre Factory launches a nationwide search for a new artistic director. Mei Ann Teo leaves the nonprofit after three years in the position to join the artistic leadership of Oregon Shakespeare Festival (see above). MTF was created in 2014 to provide support and development to emerging musical theatre writers in a collaborative process. MTF’s signature programs have assisted in the development of hundreds of new musical works, including Michael R. Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize Winning A Strange Loop. The new artistic director will work under the guidance of the board of directors, alongside President and Managing Director Aaron Salley, and in consultation with Nayfack to execute the Factory’s mission and service programs. For more information, including a full job description, click here.

Neighborhood Playhouse Returns With Waiting for Lefty Reading
New York's Neighborhood Playhouse will celebrate the return to in-person classes with a Red Door Reading of Clifford Odets’ play Waiting for Lefty, directed and performed by Playhouse alumni. The September 20 event will also unveil the first phase of capital improvements made in the past year to the 54th street building that has housed the acting school since 1947. Neighborhood Playhouse was founded in 1915. Famed director Sanford Meisner joined the faculty in 1935 and developed his Meisner Technique at the school. He remained associated with the program until his death in 1997. Waiting for Lefty premiered in 1935 by The Group Theatre, directed by Meisner. The Neighborhood Playhouse cast for the 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, under the helm of Shannon McMahon Lichte. For more information, visit

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