Burbank Play, Exploring Walt Disney's Fight Against Unionization, Sets Off-Broadway Return | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Burbank Play, Exploring Walt Disney's Fight Against Unionization, Sets Off-Broadway Return

The play's prequel, The Fairest, will also be available to stream.

Kelley Lord and Cameron Darwin Bossert in Burbank Valerie Terranova

Burbank, Thirdwing's critically acclaimed drama centering on Walt Disney's 1941 battle against unionization, will return Off-Broadway.

Running March 12–24 at the wild project, Cameron Darwin Bossert's play explores the conflict between the then 39-year-old Disney founder and the animator Art Babbitt, which led to the animators strike of 1941 and the recognition of the Screen Cartoonist's Guild, later The Animation Guild, I.A.T.S.E. Local 839.

Burbank will star Zachary Speigel, Kelley Lord, and Bossert. Directed by Thirdwing, the production will feature costumes by Yolanda Balaña, sound design by Deeba Montazeri, and scenic and lighting design by Clayton Mack.

Thirdwing is a new hybrid theatre company formed by Bossert, which seeks to blend live and streaming presentation models to expand audience accessibility for theatre. In exchange for subscribing to Thirdwing's streaming platform (which costs $4.99 per month), members will receive a ticket to the run of Burbank and access to the play's prequel, The Fairest.

The Fairest centers on the underpaid women who painted the animation cells for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. One of these women, Betty Ann Dunbar, also features in Burbank, where she is forced to decide if going on strike is worth endangering the closest thing she may ever get to being a paid artist.

“I was inspired by the 20th-century teleplays on American and British television, which were designed not for the stage but for the small screen,” says Bossert. “But I wanted to make live theatre as well, and then find a way to bring them together. What you watch at home is different than what you see on stage, but it’s connected. We’re trying to make something expansive and fun, like seeing TV come to life, or bringing the characters of a play home with you after the performance. On occasion Netflix will sponsor a live immersive theatrical experience attached to one of their properties, but I think we’re the only streaming service that actually tells you to get out of the house regularly and connect with other people."

Membership to Thirdwing includes tickets to all live performances and events, as well as hours of original streaming theatrical and film content. Thirdwing is currently streaming multiple episodes from its acclaimed United Nations play series, the Female Genius anthology, and master class sit-down chats with a variety of theatre greats, including John Turturro and Danny Burstein.

Visit Thirdwing.info.

Photos: Thirdwing Presents Burbank

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