NYC's Signature Will Premiere New Works By David Henry Hwang, Sam Shepard, Regina Taylor

News   NYC's Signature Will Premiere New Works By David Henry Hwang, Sam Shepard, Regina Taylor Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre announced an eight-title 2012-13 season, including the world premiere of David Henry Hwang's Kung Fu. Expect a mix of plays by Signature alumni writers, newly embraced writers and the season's playwright-in-residence, Hwang.

David Henry Hwang
David Henry Hwang Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The Residency One: David Henry Hwang Series will feature Golden Child, directed by Leigh Silverman; The Dance and the Railroad, directed by May Adrales; and the world premiere of Kung Fu, directed by Silverman. Hwang won the Best Play Tony Award and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for M. Butterfly in 1988. His Chinglish appeared on Broadway in 2011-12.

The new season, beginning in the fall, marks Signature's second season in its new three-venue home at the The Pershing Square Signature Center on West 42nd Street.

Signature's Legacy Program, addressing new and old work of past Signature playwrights-in-residence, will feature the world premiere of Sam Shepard's new play Heartless, directed by Daniel Aukin; a new work from clowns Bill Irwin and David Shiner (Broadway's Fool Moon); a new production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Piano Lesson by August Wilson, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson; and a new production of the Obie Award-winning The Mound Builders by Lanford Wilson, directed by Jo Bonney.

Signature devoted its 1996-97 season to Sam Shepard, its 2003-04 season to Bill Irwin, its 2005-06 season to the late August Wilson, and its 2002-03 season to Lanford Wilson.

The new play in the Residency Five program — Signature's newest initiative, which gives a group of playwrights a period of five years to create and produce a minimum of three world premieres — will be Regina Taylor's ---- and Potatoes(As previously announced, the Residency Five writers are Annie Baker, Will Eno, Katori Hall, Kenneth Lonergan and Taylor.) Here are the new works at a glance:

Hwang's Kung Fu will play in fall 2013 on The Irene Diamond Stage. It's billed as "a play which incorporates dance and music into an exciting new form." In it, "a young martial artist comes to America from Hong Kong in the 1960's, with a dream as audacious as his talent: to become the biggest movie star in the world. To do so, he must struggle to overcome the West's view of China as weak and backwards, and of Asian men as less than truly masculine."

Shepard's Heartless will play Aug. 7-Sept. 16 on The Irene Diamond Stage. "Sally lives with her mysterious family in a cavernous home overlooking Los Angeles," according to Signature notes. "When a visitor arrives, Sally's dark secrets — and the secrets of those around her — threaten to come into the light." Shepard won the Pulitzer Prize for his play Buried Child (1979).

The Bill Irwin and David Shiner Project, a world premiere, will play Oct. 30-Dec. 9 on The Irene Diamond Stage. "2003-04 Playwright-in-Residence Bill Irwin reunites with fellow clown David Shiner for a new work combining their inimitable magic, slapstick, and hilarity," according to Signature. "Using music, technology, and movement, plus other tricks up their sleeves, Irwin and Shiner create another wild and remarkable outing of theatre for a new generation of audiences."

---- and Potatoes, by Taylor, will play April 30-June 9, 2013, at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre. "Chicago book publisher William Ames loves the challenge and stability of his daily crossword puzzle, but now he must face the real-life challenge of how to adapt his business in the rapidly changing digital age," according to Signature. "Struggling to find his purpose in the world, William begins to look for clues of his own identity as a husband, businessman, and an African-American."

Subscriptions to the 2012-13 season are on sale now by calling the Box Office at (212) 244-7529 or visiting www.signaturetheatre.org.

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