NDT (New Directions
Theater) began life as a collective of actors, directors, and writers under the aegis of Interborough Repertory Theatre and
was one of the longest-running companies of its kind in New York theater, producing such memorable productions as the New
York premiere of Michael Weller's Ghost on Fire, the first New York revival of Don Rifkin's acclaimed The Delusion
of Angels, and the world premieres of John Attanas's Hermione:Tales of Sexual Frustration and Richard Willett's
The Godsend, which won New Directions an OOBR as one of the outstanding productions of its season. The team
of director Eliza Beckwith and playwright Richard Willett burst on the scene with the critically acclaimed Triptych
(1999), which sold out its first run and came back for another (2000). The company followed Triptych with highly
praised productions of Olga Humphrey's F-Stop (2000) and Richard Willett's Random Harvest (2001).
In 2003, NDT premiered Richard Willett's The Flid Show starring able-bodied television star Laurence Lau in the role
of a nightclub singer born without arms as a result of the drug thalidomide. In 2005, fortuitous circumstances
allowed NDT to stage a slightly rewritten version of the play starring Mat Fraser, an actual thalidomide survivor from England.
Frustrated by the lack of press coverage for the superb Laurence Lau production, the company more than made up for it
when the new Flid Show and Mat Fraser became the talk of the town. (See two special pages on this production.)
NDT has also recently produced two student workshops on college campuses -- The Flid Show was developed at Alfred
University in New York, and 9/10 was workshopped at Prince George's Community College in Maryland -- and
Eliza and Richard both hope to continue this work with students.
Eliza Beckwith has
directed in Ensemble Studio Theatre's Marathons 99, 00, 01, 02 (The Once Attractive Woman by Christine Farrell, Little
Airplanes of the Heart by Steve Feffer, Ukimwi by Tom Coash, The Moon Bath Girl by Graeme Gillis).
Most recently, Eliza directed the world premiere of Anchors by Tony Zertuche, produced by Living Image Arts at the Kirk
Theatre, and Evangelina Kingsley and Chip Prince's cabaret Places to Live: Traveling Music for the Restless. For
New Directions Theater, she's directed The Delusion of Angels by Don Rifkin; Cute Lonely Guys Looking for You
by John Attanas; Anapest by Lee Wochner; F-Stop by Olga Humphrey; and Hot Air, Triptych,
Random Harvest, and The Flid Show by Richard Willett. Other credits include Danny and the Deep Blue
Sea by John Patrick Shanley at the Kraine Theatre. In addition to being the co-artistic director of NDT (with
Mr. Willett), Eliza is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre.
Richard Willett is
the author of the plays Triptych, Random Harvest, The Flid Show, Weekend at the Willard, and 9/10, among
others, which have been presented off-off-Broadway and at theaters across the country. Honors include an Edward F. Albee
Foundation Fellowship; a Tennessee Williams Scholarship; an OOBR Award; grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Arch
and Bruce Brown Foundation, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust, and the New York State Council
on the Arts; and designation as a finalist for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, the Chesterfield Writers Film Project at Paramount
Pictures, and the Zoetrope Screenwriting Awards (judged by Gus Van Sant). In January of 2008, his play Tiny
Bubbles was chosen Best New American Play at the Firehouse Theatre Festival of New American Plays in Richmond, Virginia;
earlier it was twice short-listed for the Public Theater's New Work Now! festival. In 2010, his screenplay
of 9/10 was a semifinalist in two categories at the prestigious Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition,
and in 2011 it was designated a semifinalist in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Nicholl Fellowships
competition (in the top 30 out of 6,730 scripts). In 2013, his screenplay of The Flid Show was also a Nicholl
semifinalist (top 50 out of 7,251 scripts). His plays Triptych, 2B, and The Flid Show have all been published
by United Stages.