The Columbia University School of the Arts Theatre Arts Program alumni collaboration When Last We Flew won a GLAAD Media Award on Saturday, March 19. The play, written by Harrison David Rivers (’09SOA Playwriting), was produced by Anthony Francavilla (Theatre Management & Producing student) and Eric Louie (’10SOA Theatre Management & Producing), and Seena Hodges (Theatre Management & Producing student) served as marketing director.
The play received the award for Outstanding New York Theater: Broadway & Off-Broadway in a ceremony at the Marriott Marquis in New York. The award, given by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, recognizes uplifting and inclusive portrayals of the LGBT community. Presenters included two-time Emmy winner Patrick Wilson (Oklahoma!, Angels in America) and Wilson Cruz (Rent).
When Last We Flew tells the story of a closeted black teenage boy in rural Kansas who discovers a copy of Angels in America in his high school library. The play has also won Outstanding Play and Outstanding Performance awards at the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival, and Memorable NY 2010 Performance from Back Stage. The show played at the Lucille Lortel Theater, Sept. 9 through 16, and was workshopped at the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, the New York Theatre Workshop and the Sundance Theater Lab.
Playwright Harrison David Rivers was born in Kansans and lives in New York. His other full-length plays include Lydia, or (S)he who Looks Inside, Awakes; The Bandaged Place; And She Said, He Said, I Said Yes; We Are Misquoted Texts, Made Right When You Say Us; Fell; and Prophet’s Wife. He has been the recipient of a Van Lier fellowship, an Emerging Artist of Color fellowship and residencies with Freedom Train, NYTW/Dartmouth and Urban Arts Partnership.
Anthony Francavilla’s other productions include Oliver Parker; And She Said, He Said, I Said Yes; The Living Newspaper; Erotic Broadway at the Triad; The Importance of Marrying Wells; The Fartiste; Semi-Permanent; Platforms; and Fell. Works he has produced have won numerous awards, including Best Play from Theatre Web, Outstanding Musical from Fringe NYC 2006, Outstanding Solo-Show from Fringe NYC 2007, and Outstanding Choreography at the New York Musical Theatre Festival.
Producer Eric Louie has collaborated with Harrison David Rivers on five previous productions, including Step (producer); Fell (producer); And She Said, He Said, I Said Yes (co-conceiver and director); and We Are Misquoted Texts, Made Right When You Say Us (dramaturg). Eric is director of special projects for The Public Theater and in 2009 was the theatre’s Van Lier Producing Fellow. Other works he has produced or developed include Kingdom and The Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds, and works for which he has served as dramaturg include NYMF’s productions of Rainbow around the Sun, Punk Princess, and The 10th Floor.
Seena Hodges has worked in marketing and public relations for the Theatre Development Fund, the PR firm Boneau/Bryan-Brown, the Guthrie Theater, and NAMCO. She served as marketing director for Connect Five (The Common Tongue), associate producer of Mo Faya (NYMF), and producer of My Artichoke Heart and What the Sparrow Said (Theater for the New City).