NDT New Directions Theater

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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. 

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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. 

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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.