Broadway Podcast Network and Vineyard Theatre Announce Russian Troll Farm: The Podcast
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 10:20 am EST 02/24/24

BROADWAY PODCAST NETWORK
AND VINEYARD THEATRE
ANNOUNCE

RUSSIAN TROLL FARM:
THE PODCAST

(New York, NY - February 23, 2024) - Broadway Podcast Network and Vineyard Theatre are thrilled to announce Russian Troll Farm - The Podcast, an audio companion to the play Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy, written by Sarah Gancher (Hundred Days, Richard Rodgers Award) and currently playing at Vineyard Theatre (108 E. 15th Street). Hosted by cast member John Lavelle (Selma, The Graduate), the podcast is inspired by Gancher's audaciously funny, deeply relevant, subversive play providing additional commentary and discussion around the important and relevant themes of the show.

Available now, the first episode, titled 'Are We Being 'Played' by Russian Trolls?' features an in-depth conversation with Gancher and Tony Award® winner director Darko Tresnjak (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder). Next week's episode, featuring the rest of the stellar cast - Renata Friedman, Haskell King, Christine Lahti and Hadi Tabbal - can also be found at BPN.fm/russiantrollfarm. New episodes will be released weekly with upcoming guests including a renowned hacker and multiple cyber warfare experts.



"I'm grateful to be a part of the podcast because it is keeping engagement and awareness alive beyond the lip of the stage. Sarah's play is heartbreakingly relevant and to explore the impact of misinformation with both creatives from the show and guests experiencing the play is such a gift," says host John Lavelle.

Set in the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, office comedy meets political satire in Gancher's shape-shifting examination of the power, seduction, and danger of a good story. In Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy, at the Internet Research Agency in Moscow, Russian Trolls show up to work to wreak havoc on the U.S. Presidential election. Their job - to get Trump elected. In addition to chatting with the amazing cast and creators of the play, we'll go beyond the stage to speak with cyber war experts regarding Russia's ongoing and very effective efforts to create chaos and division in the U.S. The play, Russian Troll Farm, is about the 2016 election. The impact of Russia's Trolls today is massively greater.

A New York Times Critic's Pick in its acclaimed online version, the NYC stage premiere is directed by Tony Award® winner Darko Tresnjak (A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder).

Tickets to Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy can be purchased at www.vineyardtheatre.org or by calling the box office at 212-353-0303. The show will play its final performance on March 1, 2024 at Vineyard Theatre.

Broadway Podcast Network is the premier digital storytelling destination for everyone, everywhere, who loves theater.

With over 170 theater and theater-adjacent podcasts, audio dramas, parodies, radio plays, live events and more, the Broadway Podcast Network deeply engages with avid theater lovers from all over the world. BPN podcasters represent a wide variety of voices and perspectives. With 11,000 episodes available everywhere you find podcasts and a new website serving as both a listening platform and content destination, BPN offers insider storytelling, exclusive behind-the-curtain access, secrets on how to break into Broadway, theater lore and deep dives with Broadway's top stars and creators. Theatre always, everywhere, only from the Broadway Podcast Network.

About Vineyard Theatre
Under the artistic leadership of Sarah Stern and Douglas Aibel, Vineyard Theatre develops and produces new plays and musicals that push the boundaries of what theatre can be and do. For over 40 years, The Vineyard has nurtured a community of fearless theatre makers whose work has expanded the form, the field, and the larger culture. Vineyard Theatre has transferred eleven shows to Broadway, seven directly after their acclaimed Vineyard premieres: Lucas Hnath's Dana H. and Tina Satter's Is This A Room (both New York Times Best Theatre of 2021); Paula Vogel's Indecent; Nicky Silver's The Lyons; Kander, Ebb and Thompson's The Scottsboro Boys; Bell and Bowen's [title of show]; and Avenue Q by Marx, Lopez and Whitty (Tony Award, Best Musical). In recent years, four additional shows launched at The Vineyard have been revived in their first Broadway productions: Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive; Lanie Robertson's Lady Day at Emerson's Bar And Grill; Becky Mode's Fully Committed; and Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize-winning Three Tall Women.

From our home in NYC's Union Square, The Vineyard develops and premieres new plays and musicals which go on to be seen around the country and the world. Recently, Jeremy O. Harris' play "Daddy" (2019) received its London premiere at the Almeida; Ngozi Anyanwu's Good Grief (2018) and David Cale's Harry Clarke (2017) were recorded by Audible; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Gloria (2014), a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, transferred to Chicago's Goodman Theatre; Paula Vogel's Tony Award-winning Indecent (2016) aired on PBS's "Great Performances" and was one of the most-produced plays nationwide in 2019; and Colman Domingo's Dot (2016) is being adapted into an AMC series. The Vineyard's first major digital work, Lessons in Survival, was named one of the top theatrical experiences of 2020 by the New York Times and has been viewed by audiences in more than 40 countries.

The Vineyard's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, Susan Stroman Directing Award, and Colman Domingo Award provide residencies to early-career artists and our education programs serve over 700 New York City public high school students annually, culminating in Developing Artists' REBEL VERSES Youth Arts Festival. The Roth-Vogel New Play Commission is awarded annually to a mid- to late-career playwright to create and develop a new play with The Vineyard. Our work and artists have been honored with numerous awards including Pulitzer Prizes and Tony Awards, and the company is proud to be the recipient of special Drama Desk, Obie, and Lucille Lortel Awards for artistic excellence and support of artists.

Vineyard Theatre's leadership includes Artistic Directors Sarah Stern and Douglas Aibel (on sabbatical 23-24) and Managing Director Suzanne Appel.

BIOGRAPHIES:

Sarah Gancher (Playwright) is an Obie Award-winning playwright whose work has been seen on stages worldwide including London's National Theatre, Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre, The Public Theatre, New York Theater Workshop, Steppenwolf, Berkeley Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Hartford Stage, RoundHouse (DC), Seattle Rep, and Ars Nova. (Upcoming: Playwrights Horizons Soundstage.) Recent work includes Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy (Geva Theater, dir. Darko Tresnjak; the online production for Theaterworks Hartford/Theatre Squared/The Civilians, directed by Jared Mezzocchi & Elizabeth Williamson, was selected for the NY Times "Top 10 Theater of 2020.") Past collaborations have included Hundred Days and The Lucky Ones with The Bengsons, Anne Kauffman, and Sonya Tayeh; and Mission Drift with Heather Christian, Rachel Chavkin, and The TEAM. Honors include the Richard Rodgers Award, the New York Stage and Film Founders' Award, the James Stevenson Prize for Comedy, The Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, the Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Award, a Toulmin Foundation commission, several Lortel, Drama Desk, and Drama League nominations, and the AR Gurney Prize. An alumna of Ars Nova Play Group, WP Lab, P73, The Orchard Project and The Playwrights' Realm, she is a current resident at New Dramatists. She also plays jazz and bluegrass violin. MFA: NYU.

Darko Tresnjak (Director) won the Tony, the Drama Desk, and the Outer Critics Circle Awards for his direction of A Gentleman's Guide To Love And Murder. He won an Obie Award for his direction of The Killer, starring Michael Shannon. From 2004 to 2009, Darko was the Artistic Director of The Old Globe Shakespeare Festival. From 2011 to 2019, he was the Artistic Director of Hartford Stage Company. As a director of plays, musicals and operas, Darko has worked at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, Theater for a New Audience, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Royal Shakespeare Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Vineyard Theatre Company, Atlantic Theater Company, Alley Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Huntington Theatre Company, Long Wharf Theatre, Goodspeed Musicals, Westport Country Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Santa Fe Opera. Favorite productions include Der Zwerg with Rodrick Dixon, Rear Window with Kevin Bacon, The Merchant Of Venice with F. Murray Abraham and Kate Forbes, The Winter's Tale with Kandis Chappell, and The Ghosts Of Versailles with Patti LuPone. After a two-year run on Broadway, Darko's production of Anastasia has been seen in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Japan. He is writing a musical comedy, Ask For The Moon, with composer Oran Eldor.

Christine Lahti (Ljuba) has been working in the film industry for nearly four decades after her initial breakthrough role in ...And Justice For All. Just five years later, she would receive her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the film Swing Shift. She would also garner an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for her movie, Lieberman in Love, in which she starred and directed. She has also won a Golden Globe for her work on "Chicago Hope" and has been seen in the hit NBC show, "The Blacklist." While maintaining an incredibly successful film and television career, she also has developed a noteworthy Broadway career, starting with her 1980 Broadway debut in Loose Ends. She played 'Gloria Steinem' in the hit off-Broadway play, Gloria: A Life, and was recently in the Robbie Bait play I'll Be Seeing Ya. Christine is currently starring in the CBS show, "Evil" created by Michelle and Robert King–which recently earned her a Critics' Choice Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Haskell King (Egor) Off-Broadway includes: Kingfishers Catch Fire (Irish Rep), Please Continue, Isaac's Eye, Photograph 51, Turnabout (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Mother (Wild Project); Elvis and Juliet (Abingdon Theatre). Regional Theater: Russian Troll Farm (Geva Theatre). Television: "Dear Edward," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." Film: The Heart That Stays, The Fly Room, Shadows & Lies.

John Lavelle (Steve) Broadway: The Graduate. Off-Broadway: The Royale (LCT, Drama Desk Award), Catch 22 (The Lucille Lortel), Spatter Pattern (Playwrights), Rope (Drama Dept), The Jew of Malta (TFANA). Regional: The Merchant of Venice (RSC), Midsummer (Hartford Stages), Much Ado (La Jolla), As You Like It (Shakespeare Center LA), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (The Old Globe), On the Razzle (WTF), Cult of Love (IAMA), Bell, Book, and Candle (The Old Globe). Film: Selma, Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Zootopia, The Taking of Pelham 123, Heirloom. TV: "Black Monday", "She-Ra", "Instinct", "Kipo", "When They See Us", "Hawaii Five-O", "Grace and Frankie", "Forever", "The Black Donnellys", "Law & Order: Trial by Jury", "Numb3rs", "NCIS", "All My Children", and "Guiding Light". John is a graduate of NYU Tisch.

Hadi Tabbal (Nikolai). Off-Broadway: The Public Theater: The Vagrant Trilogy; Roundabout Theatre Company/Atlantic Theater Company co-production: English (Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Nomination); Astoria Performing Arts Center: Buggy Baby. Regional: The Folger Theatre: The Winter's Tale; Berkeley Repertory Theatre: English; Mosaic Theatre: The Vagrant Trilogy; Humana Festival: The Hour of Feeling. Film: Rosa (HBO); Circumstance (Sundance Audience Winner). Television (select): "The Brave" (NBC), "Law & Order SVU" (NBC), "Bull" (CBS), "FBI" (CBS). M.F.A in Acting from The New School for Drama. Fulbright Grant recipient.

Renata Friedman (Masha) Off-Broadway: Zürich (Colt Coeur), Medea (Brooklyn Academy of Music u/s), Sleeping Rough (Page 73), No One is Forgotten (Rattlestick), The Underlying Chris (Second Stage u/s), If I Forget (Roundabout u/s), Then They Forgot About the Rest (INTAR), A Midsummer Night's Dream (New Victory Theater). Regional: Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep, Barrington Stage Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival, Portland Center Stage, Roundhouse, ACT, Geva, among many others. TV: "The Patient", "The Terminal List", "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel", "FBI: Most Wanted", "New Amsterdam", "Alternatino". Training: NYU Tisch. Renata has narrated over 200 audiobooks. www.renatafriedman.com.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION

Russian Troll Farm: A Workplace Comedy
By Sarah Gancher
Directed by Darko Tresnjak
In Association with Dori Berinstein
In Association with Geva Theatre Center
Dates: January 25 - March 1, 2024
First Preview: Thursday, January 25, 2024
Opening Night: Thursday, February 8, 2024
Ticket Information: https://vineyardtheatre.org/shows/russian-troll-farm/
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