Christopher Shinn, the 25-year-old American playwright whose works have been staged in England, will see the U.S. premiere of his East Village-set play, Other People, opening Oct. 22 at Playwrights Horizons' Studio Theater.
Tim Farrell directs the play about three roommates in Manhattan's East Village who redefine their ideas of art, money and sex during the holidays. Other People and Shinn's Four were produced at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Previews for the Playwright Horizons staging began Oct. 12. Performances continue to Nov. 5.
The play is staged through Playwrights Horizons' New Theater Wing, a showcase for emerging talent at the nonprofit Off Broadway theatre.
The cast includes Kate Blumberg, Neal Huff, Austin Lysy, Victor Slezak, Pete Starrett and Philip Tabor. The play is set during Christmas time in the East Village — the same time and place as the popular musical, Rent — and focuses on playwright Stephen, his ex-lover, Mark, who has reappeared after a breakdown, and roommate Petra, a poet-stripper. Mark begins quoting scripture and invites a street hustler into their home, causing dramatic friction. Shinn is currently writing a version of Wedekind's Spring's Awakening, and a new play, The Future World, for South Coast Repertory Theatre. His works have been read or workshopped at Playwrights Horizons, Mark Taper Forum, the Cherry Lane Alternative and elsewhere.
The New Theater Wing, now in its 13th season, offers emerging playwrights, composers and lyricists the chance to develop their new or recent work in Playwrights Horizons' second floor Studio Theater. Works are presented in full productions in an intimate setting.
A second play for the Studio will be announced.
Designers for Other People are Kyle Chepulis (set), Mimi O'Donnell (costumes), Andrew Hill (lighting) and Ken Travis (sound).
Tickets are $25. Playwright Horizons Studio Theater is at 416 W. 42nd Street. For information, call (212) 279-4200, or visit the website at www.playwrightshorizons.org.
— By Kenneth Jones