In this Tony Award®-winning Best Play, playwright Richard Greenberg celebrates the personal and professional intricacies of America’s favorite pastime. When Darren Lemming, the star center fielder for the Empires, comes out of the closet, the reception off the field reveals a barrage of long-held unspoken prejudices. Facing some hostile teammates and fraught friendships, Darren is forced to contend with the challenges of being a gay person of color within the confines of a classic American institution. As the Empires struggle to rally toward a championship season, the players and their fans begin to question tradition, their loyalties, and the price of victory.
Take Me Out is supported by grants from the Berlanti Family Foundation, the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Please note: Take Me Out includes adult situations
Author of The Babylon Line, The Assembled Parties (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), Take Me Out (Tony Award for Best Play; Drama Desk Award; NY Drama Critics Circle Award; Outer Critics Circle Award; Lucille Lortel Award), The House in Town, The Violet Hour, The Dazzle (Outer Critics Circle Award), Everett Beekin, Three Days of Rain (L.A. Drama Critics Award; Pulitzer finalist), The American Plan, and many other plays.
Broadway credits include: currently Tootsie (2019 Tony Award nomination), as well as Kiss Me Kate, She Loves Me (2016 Tony Award nomination), On the Twentieth Century, You Can’t Take It With You (Tony nomination), The Elephant Man, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Tony nomination), Harvey, Curtains (Tony nomination), The Little Dog Laughed (Drama League Award nomination), Twelve Angry Men (Tony nomination), The Man Who Had All the Luck, The Rainmaker, 1776 (Drama Desk Award and Tony nominations), Picnic (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination), Company, A Month in the Country and Steel Pier (Tony nomination). Off-Broadway credits include Dada Woof Papa Hot; The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin; Gruesome Playground Injuries; Streamers; Good Boys and True; Entertaining Mr. Sloane; Flora, the Red Menace (Drama Desk nomination); And the World Goes ’Round (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards), and The Waverly Gallery. His television credits include “Dr. Ken” (pilot), “Undateable” (pilot), “Two Broke Girls,” “The Good Wife,” “The Closer,” “Weeds” (executive producer), “30 Rock” (Emmy Award nomination for Best Director), “Modern Family,” Fox’s “A Christmas Story Live.” .
PATRICK J. ADAMS
Adams is perhaps best known for his seven seasons as Mike Ross on USA Network’s hit drama, “Suits,” a role which garnered him a SAG Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. Adams has also directed “Suits” a number of times, including the landmark 100th episode. Additional television credits include a recurring role on the third season of Amazon’s critically acclaimed drama series, “Sneaky Pete,” the 2014 television miniseries “Rosemary’s Baby” directed by Agnieska Holland, the acclaimed series “Luck” opposite Dustin Hoffman and Michael Gambon, and “Orphan Black” opposite Tatiana Maslany, as well as “Lost,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “N.C.I.S.,” “Lie To Me,” “Legends of Tomorrow,” and “Flash Forward.” On film, Adams starred in the 2019 sci-fi feature film and Toronto International Film Festival selection, Clara. Other film credits include the hit comedy, Old School, directed by Todd Phillips, and the 2009 Berlin Film Festival competitor, Rage, directed by internationally renowned filmmaker Sally Potter alongside Judi Dench, Jude Law, Dianne Wiest and Steve Buscemi. His indie feature work includes The Waterhole, 2009 Slamdance entry Weather Girl, 6 Month Rule directed by Blayne Weaver, Car Dogs opposite Octavia Spencer, and the indie feature comedy Room For Rent. On stage, Adams most recently starring alongside Troian Bellisario in the Old Globe Theatre’s world premiere production of Anna Ziegler’s The Last Match. He produced and starred in Bill Cain’s (“House of Cards”) acclaimed production of 9 Circles at the Bootleg Theatre in Los Angeles for which he received a Backstage Garland Award for Best Performance in a Play and a 2012 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award nomination. He is a member of the Ojai Playwrights Conference, starring in new works by established and developing playwrights. Cain's Equivocation was developed at Ojai and Adams subsequently starred in the celebrated Geffen Playhouse production, which received the 2010 Best Production at the LA Ovation Awards. He made his professional stage debut in the West Coast premiere of Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? at The Mark Taper Forum, which also took home Best Play at the Ovation Awards. Adams also produced and directed a hit revival of Marat/Sade, for which he accepted Best Production at the L.A. Weekly Theatre Awards. He will next be seen on TV in the upcoming National Geographic drama series, “The Right Stuff,” based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Tom Wolfe.
Cihi was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. He has been seen on Broadway in Doctor Zhivago and Off-Broadway in Romeo and Juliet (CSC). His regional credits include A Month in the Country (Williamstown Theater Festival), Wild Goose Dreams (La Jolla Playhouse), and The Great Wave (Berkeley Rep). Julian has also performed in Japan, including RENT and a musical adaptation of As You Like It, all in Japanese. He has been seen on TV in “Mr. Robot” (USA), “Gypsy” (Netflix), “Crashing” (HBO), “The Outpost” (CW), “The Tick” (Amazon Prime). Education: Brown University (BA); NYU Grad Acting (MFA).
Hiram will make his Broadway debut in this production. He has appeared Off-Broadway in Agnes (59E59) and regionally at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Hiram’s film and TV credits include “The Code,” “Madame Secretary,” and The Vessel. Education: BA, University of Puerto Rico: MFA, NYU Graduate Acting.
BRANDON J. DIRDEN
Starred on Broadway as Martin Luther King, Jr. in the Tony Award-winning production of All the Way, with Bryan Cranston, and as Booster in the Tony Award-winning revival of August Wilson's Jitney. Additional Broadway credits include Clybourne Park, Enron, and Prelude to a Kiss. Off-Broadway, he has appeared in The Piano Lesson, for which he won Obie, Theatre World, and AUDELCO awards; The First Breeze of Summer and Day of Absence at Signature Theatre; Detroit ’67 at the Public Theater and Classical Theatre of Harlem; Peter and the Starcatcher at New York Theatre Workshop and as ‘Brutus’ in TFANA’s production of Juilius Caesar. On screen, he has appeared in “The Good Wife,” “For Life,” “The Big C,” “Public Morals,” “Manifest,” “The Get Down,” “The Accidental Wolf,” “Blue Bloods,” “The Quad,” and four seasons of FX’s “The Americans” as Agent Dennis Aderholt. He is currently shooting the upcoming ABC series “For Life” and recently completed work on the FX miniseries, “Mrs. America.” He has directed numerous plays by Dominique Morriseau and August Wilson. Brandon is a frequent volunteer at the 52nd Street Project and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and Fair Wage On Stage.
JESSE TYLER FERGUSON
Jesse currently stars as “Mitchell Pritchett” on the Award-winning ABC comedy “Modern Family.” Recently renewed for its 11th and final season, the show has earned five Emmy Awards® for Outstanding Comedy Series, a Golden Globe Award® for Outstanding Comedy Series and four Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. Ferguson has also received five Emmy Award® nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and three People’s Choice Award nominations for "Favorite Comedic TV Actor" on behalf of “Modern Family.” A longstanding advocate for marriage equality, Ferguson co-founded Tie The Knot in 2012 with his husband, where they design limited edition bow ties with all the proceeds going to various organizations that fight for LGBTQ equality around the world. In 2017, he won the Drama Desk Award for "Best Solo Performance" for his 40-character turn in the Broadway production of Fully Committed. He made his Broadway debut at the age of 21 as "Chip" in George C. Wolfe's revival of On The Town. He later went on to originate the role of "Leaf Coneybear" in Second Stage’s Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Drama Desk Award, "Outstanding Ensemble Performance"). He has worked extensively with The New York Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the Park in such notable productions as The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, The Winter's Tale, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Comedy of Errors where he performed alongside Al Pacino, Sam Waterston, Jesse L. Martin, Martha Plimpton, Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe. Other theatre credits include world premieres of Christopher Shinn's Where Do We Live and Michael John LaChiusa's Little Fish (Second Stage) as well as "Sir Robin" in Spamalot, "Leo Bloom" in The Producers, both at The Hollywood Bowl, and most recently “Log Cabin” with the Playwrights Horizons company, directed by Tony Award® and Obie Award-winner Pam MacKinnon. Ferguson will appear in Bess Wohl’s Grand Horizons this summer as part of the Williamstown Theater Festival’s 65th season.
Carl will make his Broadway debut in this production. He has appeared on film in Joker (Warner Bros.). Carl’s TV credits include “Manifest” (NBC), “Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger” (Freeform), “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC), and “Conviction” (ABC). He appeared regionally in the World Premiere of Reverberation by Matthew Lopez (Hartford Stage, Connecticut Critics Circle Nomination for Best Supporting Actor, Connecticut Critics Circle Winner for Best Newcomer). Education: BFA, Carnegie Mellon University.
Ken has appeared on Broadway in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (Uncle Ben), Airline Highway, Spring Awakening, Rock N’Roll, Hairspray (Wilbur Turnblad), After the Fall, Mamma Mia (OBC), Present Laughter and Dancing at Lughnasa. Off-Broadway, Ken has appeared as The Colonel in Father Comes Home from the Wars (Public Theater), Bethany (Women’s Project), Editor Webb in Our Town (Barrow Street), Stage Kiss (Playwrights Horizons), Orson’s Shadow (Barrow Street) and Stuff Happens (Public Theater). His TV credits include recurring roles on “Elementary,” “The Exorcist,” “Life on Mars,” and “The Tick,” and guest stars on “Billions,” “Blue Bloods,” “The Good Wife,” “Madam Secretary” and various “Law & Order” episodes. Ken’s film credits include The Confession, The Wackness, Step-Up 3D, Kelly & Cal, Henry’s Crime and Blood Stripe.
Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include Hand to God, The Babylon Line (Lincoln Center Theater) and The Talls (Second Stage). He has appeared on film and television in “Sneaky Pete” (Amazon), “Good Girls Revolt” (Amazon), “The Americans” (FX), “Forever” (ABC), “NYC 22” (CBS), “Law & Order” (NBC), Delivery Man, HairBrained, Hits, Cut Shoot Kill, Trouble, Staring at the Sun, Aardvark and South Mountain.
Eduardo will be making his Broadway debut with this production. His TV credits include “Alternatino with Arturo Castro” (Comedy Central), “The Deuce” (HBO), “Kevin Can Wait” (CBS), and “Inside Amy Schumer” (Comedy Central). His theatre credits include, “Vanya, Sonya, Masha, and Spike” (Hampton Theatre Company), and “Bodas de Sangre” (E3Outlaws/United Productions, Premios ACE “Best New Actor” winner for the role of Leonardo). Education: BA, Ursinus College
TYLER LANSING WEAKS
New York credits include: The New Yorkers (Encores!), Macbeth (Lincoln Center). Select Regional: Spike in Vanya and Sonia and... (Old Globe, Huntington), Comedy of Errors (Hartford Stage), The Glass Menagerie (Barrington Stage), Sparrowgrass (Trinity Rep.); TV Credits: The Good Wife (CBS), Elementary (CBS); Select Film: The Chaperone, A Rainy Day in New York and Nighthawks. MFA: Brown/Trinity Rep. As always, thanks Paige.
Jesse is an activist/actor/entrepreneur and former high school teacher. He plays Dr. Jackson Avery in ABC’s hit series “Grey’s Anatomy” and has appeared in films including Lee Daniels’ The Butler, The Cabin in the Woods, Band Aid, and the upcoming Jacob’s Ladder and Selah and the Spades. Jesse served as senior producer and correspondent alongside Norman Lear for their EPIX docuseries “America Divided.” He executive produced the documentary “Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement,” which premiered summer 2016 and is currently touring internationally. Williams is a partner and board member of Scholly, a mobile app that has connected students directly to over 100 million dollars in unclaimed scholarships. He is the co-founder of BLeBRiTY, a very successful black culturally centered mobile game and the Ebroji Mobile App, a popular cultural language keyboard. Williams is founder of the production company, farWord Inc. and the executive producer of “Question Bridge: Black Males,” a series of transmedia art installations on display as part of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture's permanent collection. Williams gained international attention for his 2016 BET Humanitarian Award acceptance speech. He is also the youngest member to sit on the Board of Directors for both Advancement Project, a leading national civil rights advocacy organization, and Harry Belafonte’s arts and social justice organization, Sankofa.org.
DAVID ROCKWELL (SCENIC DESIGN)
Bio coming soon
LINDA CHO (COSTUME DESIGN)
Broadway: Grand Horizons; Anastasia (Tony nomination); Great Society; A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony Award, Henry Hewes Award, Outer Critics Nomination); The Lifespan of a Fact; Velocity of Autumn. Her extensive body of work includes productions at acclaimed theaters and opera companies across the country and around the world. Currently residing in New York City, this Korean-born Designer is the proud recipient of the Theatre Development Fund’s Irene Sharaff Young Master Award; served as the American costume design curator for the International Prague Quadrennial; has been honored with the Ruth Morely Design Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women and is on the Advisory Committee of the American Theatre Wing. Education: MFA, Yale School of Drama.
KENNETH POSNER (LIGHTING DESIGN)
Second Stage: Parallelogram, Mr. and Mrs. Fitch, Good Boys and True, That Championship Season, Time On Fire, and Spiked Heels. Selected Broadway credits: Beetlejuice, Mean Girls, War Paint, Tuck Everlasting, On Your Feet, If/Then, Kinky Boots, Pippin, Cinderella, Hairspray, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Legally Blonde, The Coast of Utopia - Shipwrecked, Other Desert Cities, The Merchant Of Venice, Side Man, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Wicked. He is the recipient of the TONY, Drama Desk, Outer Critics’ Circle, Lucille Lortel and OBIE Awards.
MIKAAL SUILIMAN (SOUND DESIGN)
Bio coming soon
A CONVERSATION WITH RICHARD GREENBERG
Take Me Out originally premiered in 2002 but feels contemporary as ever. Its themes of sexual and racial prejudice, identity politics, and pursuit of community speak just as powerfully to today’s world as they did initially. How does it feel for you to return to the play at this moment, almost twenty years later?
People have been saying that and when we first started talking about a revival— maybe five years ago— this contemporary quality wasn’t what anyone expected and, frankly, it’s a deeply unpleasant fact. I’d looked forward to seeing in the play how different everything had become, and in a relatively short time. I’m much more interested in the pastness of the past than in its similarity to the present. The idea that everything is just a version of ourselves doesn’t strike me as especially useful. And of course things are different, but not in the ways or direction that I’d anticipated. Marshall McLuhan’s famous insight, that technology is an extension of the nervous system, has asserted itself in an aggravated way. This story today would exist in the roman forum of immediate public opinion with all its rage and sleazy moral superiority. When the play was first produced, it was understood to take place in the present or very recent past, the early 21st century. Now we’re backdating it to the mid-nineties, which is where it always belonged anyway.
At the heart of the play is one of the most authentic and enchanting love stories that will turn even the most sports-aversive theater goer into a baseball convert and believer. How did that romance begin for you personally and what was the process of bringing it to life in this play?
I’d always had trouble getting through August. The oppressiveness of the weather made it hard for me to concentrate or feel hope. One night in1999, I was looking for something to watch on TV and found a Yankees game. I’d paid attention to the World Series in ’96 and ’99 and enjoyed it so I thought why not? I decided to keep at it. It was passive and easy and focused my time in a way that staved off despair. Also, baseball contained a lot of information, which made it like research and I always find research involving. After about a week, I was completely dominated. I have a tendency to be serially mono-topical but this was different. There was some unexpected emotional well being tapped. Growing up, I never paid attention to baseball even though it was everywhere in my house. Somehow it must have seeped in. The thing is, I was pretty well satisfied at the time— I wasn’t searching for something to fill some perceived emptiness— but baseball ended up permeating everything for me. I didn’t write the play because I wanted to write a play about baseball but because writing plays is what I do and baseball was all I could think about. Using it for a play made me feel that I was still a functioning worker and gave me all the excuse I needed to read and watch everything on the subject I could lay my hands on, this total immersion. Even twenty years later, I find this peculiar.
The action of the play ignites around the coming-out story of a fictional major league baseball player, Darren Lemming. What inspired the narrative and how did you craft Darren’s teammates and shape the characters of the play?
I was pretty besotted but I didn’t want to write a valentine because I don’t think those turn out well.
Then two things happened. John Rocker, a star relief pitcher for the Braves, gave this incendiary interview in which he slagged just about everybody who didn’t share his ethnicity, sexual bent, and regional affiliation. And Billy Bean, a retired major league utility player, came out, saying he felt he wouldn’t have been able to stay an active player unless he’d remained closeted. He also suggested that only a superstar on a Jeter-like scale could have managed it. I thought those two ideas working in opposition would hold in check any tendencies I’d have to gush. Kippy was based on what John Olerud, the Mets first baseman, looked like before I heard John Olerud speak. The other characters just started talking and there they were.
How has your writing process changed in the years since you wrote Take Me Out? How has it remained the same?
I don’t know that I have anything as disciplined as a process and if I do, I doubt it’s changed much. I actually like writing. This makes people suspicious of you but it’s the case. I like the first part where it’s free and wasteful and associative and sometimes gleefully bad. Then I like when you read back what you’ve written and something that is a thing starts to emerge from it. Then I like the slightly distanced, cerebral part where you’re your own editor and you find ways to make what you’ve spawned communicative. People are sometimes distrustful of craft, but I enjoy the way it makes me feel that I possess a body of knowledge and some technique— that I’m doing a genuine job, like an actuary or a taxidermist.
What about the play are you most excited to explore in this new production?
Not any one thing. The first production was wonderful. I have an uncharacteristically sunny confidence that this one will be wonderful, too, but very different. It’s that, I guess— to see a minimally-altered script beautifully realized yet unnervingly different