Take Me Out (play)

Take Me Out is a 2002 play by American playwright Richard Greenberg originally staged by Donmar Warehouse, London, with The Public Theater. It premiered Off-Broadway on September 5, 2002, at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, and made its Broadway debut on February 27, 2003, at the Walter Kerr Theatre, where it ran 355 performances. It won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Play.

Take Me Out
Written byRichard Greenberg
CharactersDarren Lemming
Kippy Sunderstrom
Mason Marzac
Shane Mungitt
Davey Battle
Toddy Koovitz
Rodriguez
Martinez
Skipper
William R. Danziger
Jason Chenier
Takeshi Kawabata
Policemen
Date premiered2002
Place premieredDonmar Warehouse
London, England
Original languageEnglish
SubjectHomophobia, racism, and class in sport
GenreDrama
SettingA baseball locker room

Plot

Much of the play is set in the locker room of a professional baseball team, and as such has an all-male cast that explores themes of homophobia, racism, class, and masculinity in sports.

The play's main character, Darren Lemming, is a popular and successful mixed-race baseball player at the peak of his career when he decides to come out. Several of his teammates react strongly (some supportive and accepting, and some not), and the drama plays out over the course of a baseball season with tragic consequences.

Background

While Glenn Burke was out to teammates and team owners in the 1970s and Billy Bean came out in 1999 after retiring from playing in Major League Baseball for eight seasons, at the time of the writing of this play no Major League Baseball player had ever come out to the public during his career. This play is the dramatic exploration of what such an event might be like.

Playwright Greenberg has stated that one of the compulsions for creating a baseball play was his complete immersion into the sport in 1999 after following the New York Yankees' (then-)record 114-win season the previous year, beginning with David Wells' perfect game.[1] Many believe the inspiration for Lemming is former American Major League Baseball player Derek Jeter of the Yankees, and for racist pitcher Shane Mungitt, former National League pitcher John Rocker, then of the Atlanta Braves.[2][3][4]

Productions

Original London cast (2003)

Take Me Out ran at the Donmar Warehouse from 20 June to 3 August 2002.[5][6]

Original Broadway cast (2003–2004)

Following an Off-Broadway run at The Public Theater, the play ran at the Walter Kerr Theatre from February 27, 2003 to January 4, 2004.

  • Daniel Sunjata - Darren Lemming
  • Neal Huff - Kippy Sunderstrom
  • Denis O'Hare - Mason Marzac
  • Frederick Weller - Shane Mungitt
  • Kevin Carroll - Davey Battle
  • David Eigenberg - Toddy Koovitz
  • Gene Gabriel - Rodriguez/Policeman
  • Robert M. Jimenez - Martinez/Policeman
  • Joe Lisi - Skipper/William R. Danziger
  • Kohl Sudduth- Jason Chenier
  • James Yaegashi - Takeshi Kawabata

Original Singapore Cast (2014)

Take Me Out was produced in Singapore by Tim Garner Productions.[7] The play opened on January 8, 2014 and ran until January 16 at the DBS Arts Centre, then moved to the Alliance Française Theatre January 18-31.[8]

  • Juan Jackson - Darren Lemming
  • Hayden Tee - Mason Marzac
  • Tim Garner - Kippy Sunderstrom
  • Chris Bucko - Shane Mungitt
  • Paul Lucas - Skipper
  • Seth Adams - Toddy Koovitz/Policeman
  • Kynan Francis - Jason Chenier/Policeman
  • Johnny James - Davey Battle
  • Ren Robles - Rodriguez
  • Jejie Esguerra - Martinez
  • Hiro Mizuhara - Takeshi Kawabata
  • William Ledbetter - William R. Danziger (voice)

Broadway Revival Cast (2020)

A Broadway revival is scheduled to begin previews on April 2, 2020 with an official opening date of April 23 at the Hayes Theater.[9]

Awards and nominations

Original Broadway production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2003 Tony Award Best Play Won
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play Denis O'Hare Won
Daniel Sunjata Nominated
Best Direction of a Play Joe Mantello Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Play Won
Outstanding Actor in a Play Daniel Sunjata Won
Outstanding Director of a Play Joe Mantello Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Denis O'Hare Won
Frederick Weller Nominated
Outstanding Set Design Scott Pask Nominated
Outstanding Sound Design in a Play Janet Kalas Nominated
Outstanding Lighting Design Kevin Adams Nominated
Drama League Award Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Play Won
Lucille Lortel Award Outstanding Play Won
New York Drama Critics' Circle Award Best Play Won
Pulitzer Prize Pulitzer Prize for Drama Nominated

References

  1. Drukman, Steven (October 2002). "Greenberg's Got Game" Archived 2011-01-01 at the Wayback Machine. American Theatre.
  2. Dominguez, Robert (2002-09-06). "He Leads the League in Controversy". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  3. Brantley, Brad (2003-02-28). "Love Affair With Baseball And a Lot of Big Ideas". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  4. Stanislawski, Ethan (2009-04-09). "The Top 10 Quotes from English-language Drama This Decade: 5-3". Tynan's Anger. Retrieved 2010-12-25.
  5. "Past Productions" Donmar Warehouse. Accessed 2019-10-29.
  6. Jones, Kenneth. "Original Take Me Out' Cast, Minus One, Will Transfer to Bway Run" Archived 2014-01-12 at the Wayback Machine Playbill, 2002-12-23.
  7. "Take Me Out". Tim Garner Productions. 2013-11-04. Archived from the original on 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  8. Hetrick, Adam (2014-01-08). "Tony-Winning Gay Baseball Drama Take Me Out Premieres in Singapore". Playbill. Archived from the original on 2014-01-13. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
  9. Clement, Olivia (June 5, 2019). "Jesse Tyler Ferguson to Join Jesse Williams in Take Me Out on Broadway". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  10. Clement, Olivia (November 1, 2019). "Suits Star Patrick J. Adams Joins Broadway Revival of Take Me Out". Playbill. Retrieved 2019-11-01.
  11. "Take Me Out". broadway.com. Retrieved 25 November 2019.

Further reading

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