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Jan. 29 – Feb 23, 2014  (Magic Theatre, San Francisco)

**Extended through March 2, 2014**

By Taylor Mac
Directed by Niegel Smith

Newly enlightened Paige is determined to forge a deliriously liberated world for her two wayward children: Isaac, recently discharged from the Marines under dubious circumstances; and Max, tender, jaded, and sculpting a third-sex gender identity for hirself. Hailed as “one of this country’s most heroic and disarmingly funny playwrights” (American Theatre Magazine), Magic welcomes back renowned theatre artist Taylor Mac (The Lily’s Revenge) with this hilarious drama.

“the best Bay Area play I’ve seen this season. In several seasons, in fact… Niegel Smith is the perfect director for what Mac calls ‘absurd realism.’ Though every gag line draws a laugh, each stammer, brief pause or elongated silence also hits a dramatic bulls-eye. And Smith’s pacing is spot on.”  - Woody Weingarten, The Marin Scope

Click here to purchase your tickets for Jan 29 – Mar 2, 2014

Macbeth

September – October, 2012  (NYU Tisch Grad, NYC)

Directed by Niegel Smith

Shakespeare’s great tragedy weaving ambition, seduction, and ruthlessness appears as a Year Three Graduate Acting production for the first time in decades. The path to the throne twists and turns into the way of dusty death, as a supernatural goad to the dark aspirations of Lord and Lady Macbeth transforms into a nightmare in the harsh light of day.

Lady Rizo: Ordained

November, 2011 & January 2012 (Joe’s Pub, NYC)

Directed by Niegel Smith

It’s Lady Rizo’s final performance before being ordained into the temple of glitter. Aggressively feminine and possessing a distinct absence of inhibition, she will attempt to lead you in a night praising the power of song, giggles, madness and glamorous glances. Will we survive? Yes – if her spectacular new gown has anything to say about it.

Click here for more photos!

For a Barbarian Woman

October 2011 (Fordham University & Ensemble Studio Theatre, NYC)

Directed by Niegel Smith, Written by Savianna Stenescu

On the edge of the Black Sea, the greatest poet of the Roman Empire, Ovid, and an American/NATO colonel are forever transformed by a barbarian woman. Two millennia apart, boundaries of politics, time and desire continue to be shattered.  Who will survive?

SEED

September – October, 2011

(Classical Theatre of Harlem & Hip Hop Theatre Festival, NYC)

Directed by Niegel Smith, Written by Radha Blank

Burnt-out social worker Anne Colleen Simpson decides to leave the field on a high note, with a book detailing her career, but when Chee-Chee, a gifted twelve-year-old from the ‘projects’ collides into her life, she’s forced to confront his young mother and the shadows of her past. Anne and Chee-Chee develop an unlikely friendship that leads to an explosive encounter threatening both their futures.

Infused with the vibrant rhythm and verse of Hip-Hop culture, Seed weaves through the fault lines of a gentrified Harlem, begging the question: How far are you willing to go to protect the future of a community and its children?

“This masterpiece of theater explores, challenges, and provokes us to take some action” -NYTHEATER.COM

NEIGHBORS

February – March, 2010 (The Public Theater; New York, NY)

Directed by Niegel Smith, Written by Branden Jacobs Jenkins

Have you seen the new neighbors? Richard Patterson is not happy. The family of black actors that has moved in next door is loud, tacky, shameless, and uncouth. And they are not just infiltrating his neighborhood—they threaten his reputation, his family, and his comfortably progressive lifestyle. This wildly theatrical, explosive play on race marks the major debut of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, a member of the Public’s Emerging Writers Group.

FELA!

August 2008 – March 2012 (37 Arts – NYC; Broadway – NYC; National Theatre – London; Ecko – Lagos; & US/World Tour)

Associate Director: Niegel Smith
Directed by Bill T. Jones, Written by Bill T. Jones and Jim Lewis

His story inspired a nation. His music inspired the world. FELA!, is the true story of the legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, whose soulful Afrobeat rhythms ignited a generation. Inspired by his mother, a civil rights champion, he defied a corrupt and oppressive military government and devoted his life and music to the struggle for freedom and human dignity. FELA! is a triumphant tale of courage, passion and love, featuring Fela Kuti’s captivating music and the visionary direction and choreography of Tony-Award winner Bill T. Jones.

ETHER STEEDS

August, 2009 (Fringe NYC; New York)

Directed by Niegel Smith, Written by Jason Williamson

Ether Steeds is a ritualistic examination of the chasms between a mother, a daughter and the sea. Set against the back drop of rural North Carolina – cheap beer, anonymous gentlemen and the ashes of the dearly departed spur Mamma and her venus-fly-trap obsessed daughter, Skeeta, toward the inevitable. WINNER – Best Ensemble, FringeNYC

WE DECLARE YOU A TERRORIST

July, 2009 (SPF; New York, NY)

Directed by Niegel Smith, Written by Tim Lord

Eight hundred civilians are taken hostage during the performance of a hit Moscow musical. In the aftermath, the playwright is plagued by the story of his captor – a young woman willing to die for her cause – in an intense drama where one person’s patriotism is another’s act of terrorism.

METRO PSALM

May, 2009 (Samuel French Festival; New York, NY)

Directed by Niegel Smith, Written by J. Julian Christopher

A haunting incident onboard a NYC subway train explodes into an indictment of faith, class and personal responsibility.

TALES OF THE LOST FORMICANS

November, 2008 (Fordham University; New York, NY)

Directed by Niegel Smith, Written By Constance Congdon

Formicans are a wealth of knowledge. They have become quite adept at the annals of wisdom, and luckily their species has severe long-term memory deficiencies, so recording was easy. Visiting aliens do their best to interpret the absurd actions of a complex family unit living in a strange land – the suburbs of the United States.

CONVERSATIONS IN TUSCULUM

February – March 2008 (The Public Theater; New York, NY)

Assistant Director: Niegel Smith, Written & Directed by Richard Nelson

Conversations in Tusculum reimagines the intense interaction among Brutus (Aidan Quinn), Cassius (David Strathairn), and Cicero (Brian Dennehy) leading up to the assassination of Julius Caesar, the leader they had once followed into battle but whom they have come to despise. Passionate in their beliefs but torn by their sense of loyalty, they struggle to continue believing in him despite their fear that his actions may pose great dangers to the nation.

 

TOPDOG/UNDERDOG

October, 2007 (Dartmouth College; Hanover, NH)

Directed by Niegel Smith, Written by Suzan-Lori Parks

In Suzan-Lori Park’s magnificently etched theatrical landscape, two African-American brothers, Lincoln and Booth, attempt to cheat fate as they navigate women, work, poverty, gambling, racism and their troubled upbringings.

MAUD – The Madness

May – June, 2007 (Phoenix Theatre Ensemble; New York, NY)

Directed by Niegel Smith, Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Consumed by grief due to his father’s untimely death, the protagonist of Tennyson’s “little Hamlet” rages at a world of injustice and hypocrisy.  When Maud, his beautiful childhood friend, resurfaces and gleams with the possibility for reconciliation and renewal, she becomes the one bright thing that may save him from the violent extremes of emotional triumph and despair. The New York premiere of the drama Tennyson’s contemporaries described as ” prose run mad.”

RAINY DAYS & MONDAYS

August – September, 2006 (Fringe NYC & Fringe Encores; New York, NY)

Directed by Niegel Smith, Written by Andrew Barrett

Music throbs. Drugs flow. Sex unites. It’s the 90′s. And the enticing world of the Circuit Party beckons. A comedic and unapologetic look into an exclusive world that inevitably comes crashing to an end by Monday morning.

A SOLDIER’S PLAY

Ocotober – November, 2005 (Second Stage Theatre; New York, NY)

Assistant Director: Niegel Smith
Directed by Jo Bonney, Written by Charles Fuller

It’s 1944 and the mysterious murder of a black Sergeant set’s off an exploration of the complicated anger and resentment that some African Americans have toward one another, and the ways in which many have absorbed white racist attitudes.

LIMBS: A PAGEANT

July 2005 (Here Arts Center; New York, NY)

Conceived and Directed By Niegel Smith
Written by Nathan Christiansen, HIllary Miller, Zachary Price, Alva Rogers & Jordan Seavey

Five amputated soldier’s from WWI to the Korean War to Shock and Awe arrive in the living room of American Family. Ushered through early morning news shows, fast food lines, a makeover by a queer-eyed-guy and ultimately landing in front of a television at the local Veteren’s Hospital – each of these forgotten heroes yells, whispers and sings to share their buried voice.

THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE

January – March, 2005 (Second Stage Theatre; New York, NY)

Assistant Directors: Niegel Smith & Darren Katz
Directed by James Lapine, Written by William Finn & Rachel Sheinkin

Six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves, learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. This hilarious tale of overachievers’ angst chronicles the experience of six adolescent outsiders vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime.

DISPOSABLE MEN

February – March, 2005 (Here Arts Center; New York, NY)

Assistant Director: Niegel Smith
Directed by Kristen Marting, Written & Performed by James Scruggs

King Kong, African American men, and Frankenstein collide in humor-laced tales about theme restaurants featuring mutilation with dessert, and party motivators with major minstrel twists. Disposable Men is a richly interactive live multimedia performance. It explores the uncanny relationship that African American men and classic Hollywood monsters share . . . the unfounded fear of, and the imaginative ways that they are killed.

 

CAROLINE, OR CHANGE

Sept 2003 – Aug 2004 (The Public Theater & Broadway; New York, NY)

Assistant Director: Niegel Smith
Directed by George C. Wolfe, Written by Tony Kushner

In 1963 Louisiana, against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, Kennedy’s assassination and the Vietnam war, the friendship between Caroline Thibodeaux, a divorced African American maid and Noah Gellman, the eight-year-old son of the Jewish family for whom she works, suffers from uncontrollable shifts. The acceptance of change – from taking money from a child to coping with memories of the past – does not come easily and threatens to crush Caroline’s relationships and spirit. It’s finally through her independent teenage daughter’s vision and strength that Caroline realizes that change can, in fact, set her free.

FUNNYHOUSE

April 2003 (Non-Stop-Flight; Providence, RI)

Produced & Directed by: Niegel Smith

A deconstructed romp, splicing and dicing the original text of Adriane Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro with a maddening Africani score mixed live by Providence’s DJ Mikey! An easily forgettable, but none-the-less captivating 20-minute performance in loop. Proof that I needed to crawl before I could walk.