Stew Stew

Stew  | 

July 12 — August 6

Mama and the girls are in the kitchen early preparing her famous stew for a big event in Zora Howard’s humorous, haunting, and sharp 90-minute drama. As these three generations of Black women work through the recipe, and their grief, they begin to feel their past and present closing in. A finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Stew has a lot more simmering under the surface.

Stew “feels familiar without being cliché, delivering a captivating story that’s intimate, funny, and heartbreaking in equal measure.” – The New Yorker

“With humor and warmth, Stew challenges us to consider the life recipes that offer stability and comfort, and the ones that only taste like heartbreak.”

-Theatermania (Matt Windman)

By Zora Howard

Directed by Tyler Thomas

TICKETS: $35+

Mama and the girls are in the kitchen early preparing her famous stew for a big event in Zora Howard’s humorous, haunting, and sharp 90-minute drama. As these three generations of Black women work through the recipe, and their grief, they begin to feel their past and present closing in. A finalist for the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Stew has a lot more simmering under the surface.

Stew “feels familiar without being cliché, delivering a captivating story that’s intimate, funny, and heartbreaking in equal measure.” – The New Yorker

“With humor and warmth, Stew challenges us to consider the life recipes that offer stability and comfort, and the ones that only taste like heartbreak.”

-Theatermania (Matt Windman)
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Cast

LisaGay Hamilton

LisaGay Hamilton

Mama

LisaGay Hamilton

LisaGay Hamilton was recently seen in Netflix’s Lincoln Lawyer, HBO’s Winning Time, Hulu’s The Dropout, and ABC’s Will Trent. Upcoming projects include National Geographic’s anthology series, Genius: MLK/X as Alberta King, and Days When The Rains Came starring opposite Beau Bridges.  

She is well-known for starring in the hit ABC television series The Practice, TNT’s Men of a Certain Age, Hulu’s The First and Netflix’s House of Cards. Her notable film credits include Vice, Beautiful Boy, The Boogeyman, John Sayles’ Go For Sisters and Honey Dripper, Sony’s Take Shelter opposite Michael Shannon, Joe Wright’s The Soloist, Clint Eastwood’s True Crime, as well as her critically acclaimed performance in Jonathan Demme’s Beloved based on Toni Morrison’s novel. Hamilton directed the Peabody Award winning documentary for HBO Beah: A Black Woman Speaks.

A Juilliard graduate, some of her New York theater credits include the Broadway production of To Kill A Mockingbird opposite Ed Harris. She won Obie Awards for both Valley Song with and written by Athol Fugard and Ohio State Murders by Adrienne Kennedy.

Roslyn Ruff

Roslyn Ruff

Lillian

Roslyn Ruff

Broadway: Skin of our Teeth (Joe A. Callaway Award), All The Way, Romeo & Juliet, Fences. Off-Broadway: The Piano Lesson (Lucille Lortel Award; Audelco Award; Drama League nomination), Seven Guitars (Obie Award), X or Betty Shabazz v. The Nation and Things of Dry Hours (Drama League nominations), Fairview, Death of the Last Blackman in the Whole Entire World, Macbeth, Familiar, Scenes from a Marriage, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, and The Cherry Orchard. Regional: McCarter Theatre Center, People’s Light and Theatre Company, Yale Repertory Theatre, American ConservatoryTheater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Two River Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Geva Theatre Center, Geffen Playhouse, Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Film: Marriage Story, The Help, Salt, Rachel Getting Married. TV: Evil, Blue Bloods,The Godfather of Harlem, Lincoln Rhyme, Pose, Divorce.

Jasmine Ashanti

Jasmine Ashanti

Nelly

Jasmine Ashanti

Jasmine, originally from Maryland, received a BA in Theatre from Temple University and an MFA in Acting from UC San Diego. Her notable theater credits include Little Children Dream of God and In the Red and Brown Water at UC San Diego; Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea at Skylight Theater; The Last Tiger in Haiti, which was a co-production with Berkeley Repertory and La Jolla Playhouse; and Ready Steady Yeti Go at Rogue Machine Theatre.

Jasmine was also part of the ABC Discovers Talent Showcase 2020 and has also made notable appearances on television with credits including Shameless, The Good Doctor, Lucifer, Black-Ish, On My Block, Grey’s Anatomy, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, and East New York.

Samantha Miller

Samantha Miller

Lil’ Mama

Samantha Miller

Samantha is ecstatic to be making her Pasadena Playhouse debut! Samantha is an actor and writer based in Los Angeles. Recent credits include Margaret Dashwood and Lucy Steele in Sense & Sensibility (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Zoey in stand. Up. HIT! for the Young Playwrights Festival (The Blank Theatre), Candance in MEISNER (Playhouse West), and Glo in the regional and national tour of The Password (Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre). As an awarded playwright, Samantha’s latest work DragonSoul Offline is being published for licensing release in late 2023. Samantha holds a BFA in Acting from Southern Oregon University. www.samanthawmiller.com

Creative Team

Zora Howard (Playwright)

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Zora is a Harlem-bred writer. Her plays include HANG TIME (The Flea Theater), STEW (2021 Pulitzer Prize Finalist; Page 73 Productions), THE MASTER’S TOOLS (Williamstown Theatre Festival); BUST (Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist; L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award Finalist); and GOOD FAITH. In 2020, her film Premature (2020 Film Independent John Cassavetes Award nominee), which she co-wrote with director Rashaad Ernesto Green, opened in theaters following its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Zora is the inaugural Judith Champion Fellow at Manhattan Theatre Club, a 2022 Lilly Award and Helen Merrill Award recipient and is currently under commission from Seattle Rep, MTC, and Wessex Grove. zoramakes.com

Tyler Thomas (Director)

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Tyler is a New York-based theater director and Susan Stroman Directing Award recipient. Most recently, she has developed and directed new work at the Vineyard Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Rattlestick Playwrights, Geva Theatre, Northern Stage, The Flea, and the New Ohio Theatre. She is also the Associate Artistic Director of One Nation/One Project, a national arts and wellness initiative in partnership with the National League of Cities. Tyler is a former 2050 Fellow with New York Theater Workshop, Foeller Fellow at Williamstown Theatre Festival, member of the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab, Visiting Artist at the Athens Conservatoire in Greece, and Guest Artist at UCLA and UC Santa Cruz. She holds a BFA in Drama and MA in Arts Politics from the Tisch School of Drama.

Tanya Orellana (Scenic Design)

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Tanya designs spaces for live performance including theater, opera and immersive experiences. Design collaborations include Fefu and Her Friends directed by Pam MacKinnon (ACT’s The Strand Theater), The Industry’s Sweet Land, a world premiere immersive opera directed by Yuval Sharon and Cannupa Hanska Luger (Los Angeles State Historic Park), Oedipus directed by Jenny Koons (Getty Villa), LA Opera’s On Gold Mountain directed by Jennifer Chang (The Huntington Library) Lear by Marcus Gardley directed by Eric Ting and Dawn Monique WIlliams (California Shakespeare Theater), and We The Peoples Before directed by Roberta Uno (The Kennedy Center). Tanya is a recipient of the Princess Grace Fabergé Theatre Award. A member of Wingspace Theatrical Design and an organizing member of La Gente: The Latine Production Network. MFA – California Institute of the Arts.

Samantha C. Jones (Costume Design)

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Samantha (she/her) is an LA-based Costume Designer/educator with previous design credits at Center Theatre Group, Geffen Playhouse, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Huntington Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Court Theatre, Paramount Theatre (Aurora), Steppenwolf Theatre, The Muny, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, First Stage Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Peninsula Players Theater, and others. Upcoming productions: Every Brilliant Thing (Geffen Playhouse). Her work can be viewed at samanthacjones.com.

Yajayra Franco (Lighting Design)

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Yajayra is a second-generation Mexican lighting designer from the San Fernando Valley. She attended USC’s School of Dramatic Arts, where she received a BFA in Lighting Design. Her first exposure to theatrical design was in high school, picking out gobos for the school’s production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Since then, she has developed a passion for lighting and theater, collaborating on over 20 productions. During her free time, she enjoys reading, practicing the guitar, and fulfilling her travel bucket list. (Fun fact about her, her name means “to light, to shine”!) @yajayra.illumination

Elizabeth Harper (Lighting Design)

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Between Two Knees (Yale Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The McCarter Center for the Performing Arts and Seattle Rep); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Blues for an Alabama Sky directed by Phylicia Rashad (Mark Taper Forum); Indecent and Rattlesnake Kate (Denver Center for the Performing Arts) Office Hour starring Sandra Oh (South Coast Repertory Theatre); The Cake (La Jolla Playhouse); Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf starring Calista Flockhart and Zachary Quinto, Sell/Buy/Date, and Play Dead directed by Teller (The Geffen Playhouse); Rock of Ages (5th Avenue Theatre). Elizabeth is the assistant professor of lighting design at the University of Southern California.

Elton Bradman (Sound Design and Composition)

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Elton Bradman’s 2022-2023 composer/sound designer credits include world premieres (Lear at California Shakespeare Theater, Mindplay at the Geffen Playhouse, A Distinct Society at Pioneer Theatre Company and Theaterworks), West Coast premieres (Trayf at the Geffen Playhouse), a student production (UC Riverside’s Red Oleanders), Boys Go to Jupiter at Z Space, Nina: Four Women at South Coast Repertory, The Incrementalist, and Wives at Aurora Theatre, as well as six productions for Oakland Theater Project. Other recent adventures include teaching an online theatrical sound design course and co-writing a musical adaptation of beloved children’s book Giraffes Can’t Dance. Stop by and say hello at eltonsounds.com!

Nikki Hyde (Stage Manager)

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Nikki is thrilled to return to the Playhouse after working on The Pirates of Penzance. Nikki is a stage management faculty member at University of North Carolina School of the Arts and a Cornerstone Theater Company ensemble member. Favorite credits include The Valkyries (Hollywood Bowl), We The Peoples Before (Kennedy Center), Eurydice (LA Opera), Love on San Pedro (Cornerstone Theater Company), Carmen (San Diego Opera), Little Black Shadows (South Coast Repertory), Alice in Wonderland (LA Philharmonic), The Pride (The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts), Public Works’ Twelfth Night, and Lost Girls (MCC Theater). She has also worked for Houston Grand Opera, LA Theatre Works, Cincinnati Opera, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Tulsa Opera, Center Theatre Group, and Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. She is a proud board member of Notch Theatre Company and Stage Managers’ Association Foundation.

Alyssa Escalante (Stage Manager)

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Alyssa is thrilled to be returning to Pasadena Playhouse. Previous Pasadena Playhouse credits include: Hold These Truths. Other credits include: The Mountaintop, The First Deep Breath, A Wicked Soul in Cherry Hill (Geffen Playhouse); What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank (The Old Globe); Spamilton (Musical Theatre West); All’s Well That Ends Well (A Noise Within); Lizastrata (Troubadour Theatre Company); Hamilton (Eliza Tour at the Pantages); The Bacchae (SITI Company); Fireflies, M. Butterfly, Photograph 51, Culture Clash (Still) in America (South Coast Repertory); A Streetcar Named Desire, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, Happy Days (Boston Court Pasadena). Alyssa is based in Los Angeles and a proud alumnus of Occidental College. Thanks to Mom, Dad & Minerva!

Dylan Elhai (Assistant Stage Manager)

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Dylan is happy to be back for her fourth show at Pasadena Playhouse. Previous Pasadena Playhouse credits include A Little Night Music, Head Over Heels, and Little Shop Of Horrors. Dylan’s past credits as a stage manager include Deaf West Theatre’s Oedipus at The Getty Villa, McCoy Rigby Entertainment’s Sound of Music, Clue, international tour of Peter Pan, LA Museum of Tolerance’s Anne, and more. Dylan would like to thank Jenny, Bonnie, and Nikki for bringing her back to the Playhouse.

Ryan Bernard Tymensky, CSA (RBT Casting)

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Ryan has had the pleasure of casting over ten shows at the Playhouse in the last six years, showcasing a diverse range of productions such as Sunday In The Park With George, Little Shop of Horrors, Head Over Heels, Sanctuary City, Ragtime, and many more. In addition to theater, Ryan has also made significant casting contributions to the film and television industry. Their portfolio includes notable TV and film projects such as the Wicked movies, This Is Us, Atypical, Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration, And Just Like That.., and Dear Evan Hansen. Ryan puts inclusion and diversity at the heart of everything they do. Their mission is to celebrate and actively advocate for performers who reflect the full spectrum of human diversity to help expand a multiplicity of narratives; narratives that reflect the real world we live in and challenge conventional boundaries that currently exist in the entertainment industry. @ryantymensky

Special Performances

Open Captioning

Guests who enjoy open captioning may request to be seated in view of a video screen with text descriptions synchronized to the onstage action designed for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The Open Captioned performance of Stew will be on Sunday, July 30, 2023 at 2:00 PM.

Get Tickets

Wine Wednesday

Preview week Wednesday, ticket holders are invited to come early and enjoy complimentary wine prior to the show at Pasadena Playhouse.

The Wine Wednesday performance of Stew will be on Wednesday, July 12 at 8:00 PM.

Ticket Options

Tickets

Tickets start at $35. To be the first to know about on-sale dates, you can subscribe to our mailing list.

Group Sales

Bringing a group of 10 or more? Call Patron Services at 626-356-PLAY or email boxoffice@pasadenaplayhouse.org to learn about our group discounts.