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La Jolla Playhouse presents The Tallest Tree in the Forest; Written and Performed by Daniel Beaty, Directed by Moisés Kaufman

Daniel Beaty in The Tallest Tree in the Forest; photo by Don Ipock.

Daniel Beaty in The Tallest Tree in the Forest; photo by Don Ipock.

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World Premiere Play with Music

The Tallest Tree in the Forest

October 10 - November 3

Written and performed by Daniel Beaty
Directed by Moisés Kaufman

A co-production with Kansas City Repertory Theatre

The Tallest Tree in the Forest was originally commissioned and developed by Tectonic Theatre Project, Moisés Kaufman, Artistic Director.

As an internationally-renowned vocalist and star of stage and screen, Paul Robeson was one of the best-known African American artists in the world in the early 20th century. Through his singing and acting talent, he became enormously popular and wealthy, but his outspoken activism and criticism of the US Government caused him to be blacklisted during the McCarthy era. Featuring excerpts from some of Robeson's signature songs, including "Ol' Man River" and "Steal Away," The Tallest Tree in the Forest explores the bold choices that defined Robeson's remarkable life.

Contains adult content.







Production Sponsors

First Republic Private Wealth Management

Co-Sponsor



Meet the Creative Team

Daniel Beaty is an award-winning actor, singer, writer and composer who has worked throughout the U.S., Europe and Africa performing on programs with such artists as Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Jill Scott, Sonia Sanchez, MC Lyte, Mos Def, Tracy Chapman, Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant and Phylicia Rashad. Last season he had an extended off-Broadway run of his acclaimed solo play Through the Night, produced by Daryl Roth. For this production Beaty received 2011 Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. For Through the Night, he also received the 2010 AUDELCO Award for Outstanding Solo Performance and the 2010 Ovation Award for Best Male Lead Actor. His critically-acclaimed solo play, Emergence-See!, ran off-Broadway in a sold-out, extended run at The Public Theater in the fall of 2006. For this production, he received the 2007 Obie Award for Excellence in Off-Broadway Theater for Writing and Performing and the 2007 AUDELCO Award for Solo Performance. Beaty is the recipient of the 2007 Scotsman Fringe First Award for the best new writer at the Edinburgh Festival and was presented with a Lamplighter Award from the Black Leadership Forum in Washington D.C. In the spring of 2008, Emergence-See!, now re-titled Emergency, had a sold-out, seven-week engagement at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles and was awarded two 2009 NAACP Theater Awards, including Best Actor. He holds a B.A. with Honors in English and Music from Yale University and an M.F.A. in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre. Follow Beaty at DanielBeaty.com and on Twitter at Twitter.com/DanielBBeaty.

Moisés Kaufman's Broadway credits include The Heiress, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo by Rajiv Joseph, as well as the Playhouse-developed productions of 33 Variations (writer/director; Tony Award nomination for Best Play, Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award), Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (Obie Award, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Award nominations). In the West End: Gross Indecency (writer/director, Gielgud Theatre); I Am My Own Wife (Duke of York Theater); This Is How It Goes by Neil LaBute (Donmar Warehouse). Off-Broadway and regional credits include The Common Pursuit by Simon Gray (Roundabout Theatre); One Arm by Tennessee Williams (Tectonic Theater Project/The New Group); Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Kirk Douglas Theater, Mark Taper Forum); The Laramie Project (writer/director; Theater In The Square, Drama Desk nomination); The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later (writer/director; Alice Tully Hall); Gross Indecency: The Three Trials Of Oscar Wilde (writer/director; Lucille Lortel Award for Best Play, Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play and the Joe A. Callaway Award for Direction); Macbeth with Liev Schreiber (Delacorte Theater); One Arm by Tennessee Williams (Steppenwolf Theater Company); Master Class with Rita Moreno (Berkeley Repertory Theater); El Gato Con Botas Opera (New Victory Theater). For film and television, he directed The Laramie Project on HBO (2 Emmy Award nominations for writing and directing, Opening Night Selection at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, National Board of Review Award, Humanitas Prize, Special Mention the Berlin Film Festival) and The L Word. Mr. Kaufman is the Artistic Director of Tectonic Theater Project and a Guggenheim Fellow in Playwriting.

Design Credits

Scenic Design Derek McLane
Costume Design Clint Ramos
Lighting Design David Lander
Sound Design Lindsay Jones

Press and Reviews for The Tallest Tree in the Forest

Solo show at Playhouse Explores Singer-Actor Paul Robeson's Legacy with Insight, Candor
> Read more from the UT San Diego

The Tallest Tree in the Forest's Daniel Beaty Brilliant as Paul Robeson
> Read more from The Chocolate Voice

Daniel Beaty, playwright and star of La Jolla Playhouse’s world premiere of The Tallest Tree in the Forest, seamlessly takes up the challenge of a one-man show with an exhilarating performance.
> Read more from La Jolla Light

Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre

Potiker Theatre Map

The Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre is the third and newest of La Jolla Playhouse's theatres, the 6,500-square-foot Potiker theatre is the centerpiece of the first permanent year-round home for the Playhouse — the $17 million Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center.

“A box within a box, within a box,” the theatre is a glass-enclosed black cube that gives the Playhouse performance options; the seating and the stage can be placed wherever the director wishes, enhancing the performer-audience relationship. The performance area — complete with removable seats to allow for as few as two audience members and as many as 450 — has a mostly- removable performance floor with trap doors that lead down to a labyrinth of facilities and backstage areas for casts and crews, including a sound and recording studio which allows live music to be channeled into the theatre. Above the audience's heads sits a wire tension grid; there is also a balcony along the theatre's outer wall for extra seating or performance space.

The Potiker Theatre is a flexible space; therefore seating configurations change for each show.

> Learn more

The Tallest Tree in the Forest Special Events

Talkback Tuesdays

Talkback Tuesdays

Tuesday, October 15 after the 7:30 pm performance

Participate in a facilitated discussion with actors and artistic staff immediately following the performance. More info coming soon.

Foodie Friday

Foodie Friday

Friday, October 18 at 6:00 pm

Theatergoers with a love for beer and delicious eats are invited to attend Foodie Fridays, where a ticket to select Playhouse performances also includes access to some of San Diego’s finest food trucks, plus a complimentary microbrew tasting!

ACCESS Performance

ACCESS

Saturday, October 19 at 2:00 pm

During this performance, La Jolla Playhouse provides American Sign Language interpretation for audience members who are deaf or hard of hearing and audio description for patrons who are blind or have low vision.

Talkback Tuesdays

Talkback Tuesdays

Tuesday, October 22 after the 7:30 pm performance

Participate in a facilitated discussion with actors and artistic staff immediately following the performance. More info coming soon.

Insider Events

Insider Event

Saturday, October 26 at 1:00 pm

Insider events offer a special pre-performance presentation by members of the Playhouse staff that highlights the history and making of the production you are about to see.

Added ASL Interpreted Performance

Saturday, October 26 at 8:00 pm

This performance has added American Sign Language interpretation for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

 

Insider Events

Insider Event

Wednesday, October 30 at 6:30 pm

Insider events offer a special pre-performance presentation by members of the Playhouse staff that highlights the history and making of the production you are about to see.

Discovery Sunday

Discovery Sunday

Sunday, November 3 after the 2:00 pm performance

Special guest speakers engage audience members in a moderated discussion exploring the issues and themes in the play.

Open Captioning Performance

Saturday, November 2 at 2:00 pm

This performance has added open captioning for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

 

Video of Daniel Beaty performing in
The Tallest Tree in the Forest