RENAISSANCE THEATERWORKS EXTENDS “NEAT” BY AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT CHARLAYNE WOODARD TO APRIL 18

Increasing demand has prompted Renaissance Theaterworks to extend the streaming of Charlayne Woodard’s NEAT, with virtuoso actor Marti Gobel playing 24 different characters, through April 18, 2021 at midnight, CST.

“I just watched ‘Neat’ and thought it was one of the best virtual performances I have seen during this pandemic. We go to a lot of theatre here in Philadelphia and do a binge trip to NY at least once a year. (…) Zoom productions can be very well done or pretty awful. This one was magnificent.” ~Elsa E.

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NEAT is a magical, often humorous, coming-of-age story. Based in the oral traditions of the African Diaspora, award-winning playwright, Charlayne Woodard is a modern-day griot. NEAT is based on the playwright’s lived experience. As an infant, Woodard’s beloved Aunt Beneatha (Neat), is denied treatment at the local “white” hospital, leaving her with permanent brain damage. But Neat possesses an enormous heart. With love and simplicity, Neat teaches young Charlayne to embrace black pride and cherish life through the turbulent 1960s and 1970s.

“In NEAT, Woodard is a magnificent storyteller who spins her own exquisite real-life remembrances of love and resilience. I’m so excited to bring NEAT back to Milwaukee. A sell-out hit for Renaissance Theaterworks in 2012 followed by a successful South African tour in 2013, NEAT is an inspiring story that reminds us all of what really matters, especially at times when we need it most,” shares Artistic Director Suzan Fete.

BIOGRAPHIES

Charlayne Woodard (Playwright) is a two-time Obie Award winner and Tony Award nominee. Ms. Woodard has written THE GARDEN; PRETTY FIRE (LA Drama Critics and NAACP awards for best play and best playwright); NEAT (Irving and Blanche Laurie Theatre Vision Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination and Backstage West Garland Award); IN REAL LIFE (Backstage West Garland Award and NAACP Awards for best playwright & actor, Audelco, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for best solo performance nomination); THE NIGHT WATCHER (LA Drama Critics and NAACP Awards for best solo performance, as well as nominations for best play); and FLIGHT. As an Actress, Ms. Woodard has performed in theatre, film and TV, winning many awards. Ms. Woodard serves on the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America. She has served on the Boards of Directors of both the Manhattan Theater Club and LaJolla Playhouse; as well as an artistic trustee and fellow at the Sundance Institute. She completed a TCG/PEW Charitable Trust National Theatre Artist Residency Program Fellowship at Center Theatre Group and has taught at California Institute Of the Arts and University of Southern California. She trained at the Goodman School of Drama and received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from The Theater School at DePaul University (formerly the Goodman School of Drama). She is a lifetime member of The Actor’s Studio. Read more about Charlayne Woodard.

Suzan Fete (Director) is a graduate of University of Illinois. Suzan Fete co-founded Renaissance Theaterworks in 1993. Favorite Renaissance Theaterworks projects include: directing TOP GIRLS, THE SHAPE OF THINGS, BLACKBIRD and THE ROAD TO MECCA, touring NEAT to Port Elizabeth South Africa in 2013 and finishing as a finalist twice with LUCKY NUMBERS and ALL OF THE EVERYTHING in the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, 2015 and 2019. She is especially proud that Renaissance Theaterworks won the prestigious 50/50 in 2020 International Applause Award for the 2015-16 season. The Applause Award is given to theaters in recognition of their commitment to women playwrights.

Marti Gobel (Actor) is an actor, director and teaching artist. Her career on the stage, in television and film and in the director’s seat has led to many opportunities around the globe. No matter where her career has taken her, she is always thrilled to return to Renaissance Theaterworks where she directed THE BALLAD OF EMMET TILL and NATIVE GARDENS. As an actor, Ms. Gobel has performed on the Renaissance Theaterworks stage in many productions. In addition to the staged readings of EL NAGULAR and THE GRIOT, she performed in the full productions of THE PERSIANS, CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY, THE VIOLET HOUR, STILL, SEX WITH STRANGERS and THE ROOMMATE. And, of course, NEAT. To date, NEAT is Ms. Gobel’s most cherished production experience as a performer. She is humbled to have the opportunity to revisit this beautiful coming-of-age tale. Ms. Marti Gobel is represented by Paonessa Talent in Chicago.

The Artistic Team for NEAT includes Suzan Fete (Director); Marti Gobel*; Bailey Wegner* (Stage Manager); Tony Lyons (Technical Director); Noele Stollmack~ (Lighting Designer); Lisa Schlenker~ (Scenic Designer); Chris Guse (Sound Designer); and Amy Horst (Costume Designer). * Member of Actors’ Equity Association. ~Member of United Scenic Artists

PERFORMANCES AND TICKET INFORMATION

PERFORMANCES

Streaming extended through April 18, 2021 at midnight, CST.

Run time: 90 minutes.

TICKETS

Adult: $40

Senior (65+): $35

Under 40: $20

Artists/Students/Educators: $10

WHERE TO PURCHASE

Virtual tickets may be purchased through the Renaissance Theaterworks website: https://www.r-t-w.com/shows/neat/#tickets or by phone at 414-273-0800.

ABOUT RENAISSANCE THEATERWORKS

Renaissance Theaterworks, “Theater by Women for Everyone”, is Milwaukee’s only women-founded, women-run professional theater company. Dedicated to promoting the work of women onstage and off, Renaissance Theaterworks creates theater that connects with all people – and what it means to be human – through vibrant, visceral storytelling. Founded in 1993 by Suzan Fete, Marie Kohler, Raeleen McMillion, Jennifer Rupp and Michele Traband, Renaissance Theaterworks is the nation’s second oldest theater company with a mission to promote gender equity in theater. Renaissance Theaterworks produces outstanding, artistically unsurpassed theater that makes audiences feel more, think harder, and laugh louder.

NEW ARTISTIC HOME FOR 2020-2021 SEASON

Renaissance Theaterworks permanently moved its artistic home to 255 S. Water Street, sharing the space with Next Act Theatre. The company will welcome people in the theater in June for their final show of the season, “The Best of Br!NK Br!efs”, following strict COVID-19-safety guidelines. Administrative offices remain on the 5th floor of the Broadway Theatre Center.

Renaissance Theaterworks is a member of the National New Play Network, Theater Wisconsin, Milwaukee Theater Alliance, Samuel French’s Playwrights Welcome, Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, Visit Milwaukee, and the Historic Third Ward Association. They receive support from the United Performing Arts Fund, Brico Fund, CAMPAC, the Evinrude Foundation, The Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the Richard & Ethel Herzfeld Foundation, Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation, Milwaukee Arts Board, Sempercor Foundation, the Shubert Foundation, the Bert L. and Patricia S. Steigleder Charitable Trust, Wisconsin Arts Board, and private donors and foundations.