Anna is a 34-year-old broke, clumsy, wine sippin’ southern hairdresser living in Seattle, WA. She is a trying desperately to raise her 2-and-half-year-old son… and her would be rock star husband Kevin. In addition to a complicated marriage, Anna is searching to make sense of her recent title of “breast cancer survivor.” She has just returned from a weekend of fun with her survivor support group to find the house a wreck, the bills unpaid, and a mysterious stranger parked just outside of her home. Inspired by the life of 2009 Puget Sound Survivor of the Year Anna Warren Schumacher, The New Normal is a frank and, often times, witty play that tells the unique story of how a young woman finds humor and grace in the unexpected challenges of survival.
Pictured: Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Valerie Curtis-Newton, Bria Henderson, Emily Chisholm, Erika Vetter, and Conner Neddersen.
Donnetta Lavinia Grays
Donnetta Lavinia Grays is a Brooklyn based playwright-actor from Columbia, SC. Her plays include Where We Stand, Warriors Don’t Cry, Last Night and the Night Before, Laid to Rest, and The Review or How to Eat Your Opposition, among others. Donnetta is a Lucille Lortel, Drama League, and AUDELCO Award Nominee. She has received the Whiting Award for Drama, the Helen Merrill Playwright Award, NTC’s Barrie and Bernice Stavis Playwright Award, Lilly Award, Todd McNerney National Playwriting Award, and is the inaugural recipient of the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award. She holds commissions with Steppenwolf, Denver Center, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, WP Theater, and True Love Productions. For television she has been staffed on Spectrum Original/Lionsgate’s "Manhunt," "Y: The Last Man" for FX Network/Color Force, and is currently the Executive Story Editor on "Joe Exotic" starring Kate McKinnon for NBC Universal. Acting credits include Broadway: In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play and Well. Off-Broadway: Where We Stand (WP Theater/Baltimore Centerstage), Men on Boats (Playwrights Horizons/Clubbed Thumb), O Earth (The Foundry Theatre), Of Government, Tin Cat Shoes, and 16 Words or Less (all with Clubbed Thumb), Be the Death of Me and In the Footprint (The Civilians), and Shipwrecked! An Entertainment (Primary Stages). Regional Theater: American Conservatory Theater, Barrington Stage, Westport Country Playhouse, Arena Stage, Hartford Theaterworks, Portland Stage Company, Baltimore Centerstage, Huntington Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is a 2-time Connecticut Critic's Circle Award Winner and a Helen Hayes Award Nominee. Film: The Book of Henry, Wild Canaries, The English Teacher, and The Wrestler. TV: "New Amsterdam," "Happy!," "Rubicon," "Mercy," "Law and Order: SVU," "High Maintenance," "The Night Of," "Blue Bloods," "The Blacklist," "A Gifted Man," "Law and Order," "Law and Order: CI," and "The Sopranos."
Photo by Beowulf Sheehan
Currently the Head of Directing and Playwriting at the University of Washington School of Drama, Valerie Curtis-Newton also serves as the Founding Artistic Director for The Hansberry Project, a professional African American theater lab. She has worked with theaters across the country including: Guthrie Theater, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Intiman Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, The Mark Taper Forum, New York Theatre Workshop, Tacoma Actors Guild, Southern Repertory Theatre, Capitol Repertory Theatre, among others. Awards: 2016: Seattle Times Footlight Award (Best in Show); 2014: Stranger Genius Award in Performance and the Crosscut Courage Award for Culture; 2012: Gypsy Rose Lee Award for Excellence in Direction; 2001: Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation’s (SDCF) Gielgud Directing Fellowship; 1997-1999: NEA/TCG Career Development Fellowship for Directors.