A Mother, A Daughter, and a Past: Manic Flight Reaction Opens at Playwrights Horizons

News   A Mother, A Daughter, and a Past: Manic Flight Reaction Opens at Playwrights Horizons The world premiere of Sarah Schulman's Manic Flight Reaction — a comedy about a daughter who learns about her professor mother's past affair with a woman who is now married to a presidential candidate — opens Off-Broadway Oct. 30.
Jessica Collins and Michael Esper in Manic Flight Reaction.
Jessica Collins and Michael Esper in Manic Flight Reaction. Photo by Joan Marcus

A week was added to the run at Playwrights Horizons intimate Peter Jay Sharp Theater before previews began Oct. 20. Performances continue to Nov. 20.

Trip Cullman (The Last Sunday in June, Swimming in the Shallows) directs the production.

The cast features Deirdre O'Connell (2005 Obie for Sustained Excellence in Performing) as the mom, Molly Price (Officer Faith Yokas on TV's "Third Watch") as the candidate's wife, 2005 Juilliard graduate Jessica Collins as O'Connell's daughter, Angel Desai (The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin at Playwrights Horizons) as an inquiring reporter, Michael Esper (Moon Bath Girl, Gone Missing) as the daughter's boyfriend and Austin Lysy (Other People at Playwrights Horizons) and mom's current lover.

Manic Flight Reaction "concerns a middle-aged professor (Deirdre O'Connell) who must confront the demons of her idealistic past when her daughter (Jessica Collins) learns one of her mother's past liaisons (Molly Price) is the wife of the leading presidential candidate," according to Playwrights Horizons. It's billed as "a razor-edged comedy about abandonment, the intrusion of the mass-market media and the need for faith in goodness, despite the odds."

The production features scenic design by Louisa Thompson, costume design by Jenny Mannis, lighting design by Paul Whitaker and sound design by Fitz Patton. Production stage manager is Marion Friedman. Sarah Schulman's more recent plays include Correct Usage and Common Errors, Carson McCullers (Sundance Theater Lab, Playwrights Horizons, directed by Marion McClinton) and The Burning Deck (La Jolla Playhouse, starring Diane Venora). From 1979-1994, her plays and performance pieces were presented as part of the Downtown Arts Movement at such emblematic venues as PS 122, The Pyramid Club, HERE, La Mama and The Performing Garage. She is the author of eight novels including "Rat Bohemia" (1995) and "Shimmer" (1998).

Playwrights Horizons' two-venue home is at 416 W. 42nd Street. For tickets or information, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.playwrightshorizons.org.

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