When does real life collide with make believe? For the four Conlee kids, ages 5 to 10, playing house is no longer a game when their parents inexplicably disappear. Thirty-two years later, their search for answers continues. Bess Wohl returns to Second Stage after her funny and poignant play, American Hero, with a look inside the minds of children, their parents and the mysteries of childhood that haunt us forever.
BESS WOHL’s (Playwright) plays include Small Mouth Sounds (John Gassner Outer Critics Circle Award, top ten lists in The New York Times, The New York Post, The Guardian and others), American Hero, Barcelona, Touched, In, Cast Talk and the musical Pretty Filthy with composer/lyricist Michael Friedman and The Civilians (Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Musical). Her play, Continuity, will have its world premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in the spring of 2019. Her plays have been produced or developed at theaters in New York and around the country, including Second Stage, Ars Nova, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, Goodman Theater, The Geffen Playhouse, People’s Light and Theatre Company, The Contemporary American Theater Festival, Vineyard Arts Project, The Pioneer Theatre, The Pittsburgh Public Theater, The Northlight Theater, TheaterWorks New Works Festival, Ojai Playwright's Conference, the Cape Cod Theatre Project, PlayPenn and the New York International Fringe Festival (Award for Best Overall Production). She currently holds new play commissions from Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theater Club, Second Stage, and The Williamstown Theatre Festival. In 2015, Bess won the Sam Norkin special Drama Desk Award for “establishing herself as an important voice in New York theater, and having a breakthrough year.” Other awards and honors include the Athena Award for her screenplay, Virginia, a MacDowell Fellowship, and inclusion on Hollywood’s Black List of Best Screenplays. She is an associate artist with The Civilians, an alumna of Ars Nova’s Play Group, and the recipient of new play commissions from Second Stage Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Hartford Stage and Lincoln Center. She also writes screenplays and has developed multiple original television projects for HBO, ABC, USA, FOX, Disney, Paramount and others. In her previous life as an actress, she appeared onstage in New York and regionally, and in numerous films and TV shows. She is a graduate of Harvard and the Yale School of Drama.
MICHAEL GREIF (Director) returns to Second Stage Theater where he staged Bruce Norris’ A Parallelogram; Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul’s Dear Evan Hansen; Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s Next to Normal; and Howard Korder’s Boys’ Life. Broadway credits include Dear Evan Hansen; War Paint, starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole; If/Then, starring Idina Menzel, Anthony Rapp and LaChanze; Next to Normal; Grey Gardens; Rent (Tony Award nominations); and Never Gonna Dance. At the Delacorte, The Tempest, Winter's Tale and Romeo and Juliet. Off-Broadway credits include new plays, musicals and revivals at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Class Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, NY Shakespeare Festival/Public, NYTW, Roundabout, and Signature, including Katori Hall’s Our Lady of Kibeho, the 2010 revival of Angels in America (Lortel Award), Kushner's The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide … (Public), Guare's Landscape of the Body (Signature) and musical adaptations of Giant (Public) and Far from Heaven (Playwrights Horizons). He received Obie Awards for Machinal and Dogeaters (Public) and for Rent (NYTW). Regional credits include Williamstown (nine seasons), La Jolla Playhouse (Artistic Director 1995-99), Center Stage, Goodman, Guthrie, CTG/Taper, DTC and Trinity Rep. Greif is currently directing Fox’s “RENT: LIVE.” Education: Northwestern (BS), UCSD (MFA).