More writers will be added to the lineup, but the first three works of the season are Lapine's Fran's Bed (directed by the author) starting Sept. 2; Durang's Miss Witherspoon (in a co-production with McCarter Theatre) starting Nov. 11; and the world premiere of Bunin's The Busy World Is Hushed. (dates to be announced).
All three plays will appear in PH's Mainstage Theatre at 416 West 42nd Street. Three additional productions, as well as casting information, will be announced in the coming weeks.
Playwrights Horizons is under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus.
In the New York premiere of Fran's Bed, which starred Mia Farrow in its New England world premiere, "Fran's fighting for her life. Incapacitated, her fate in the hands of caretakers both calculating and sympathetic, Fran guides us into the past, casting a bemused eye over the events that brought her to this place, this bed. Surrounded by family members torn between keeping her alive and letting her slip peacefully away, Fran's journey is that of a vital, deeply conflicted soul, stranded in an unearthly limbo."
Lapine is the Pulitzer Prize winning librettist, director and playwright known for Dirty Blonde, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods, Falsettos, Twelve Dreams, Passion and his direction of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Emily Mann of the McCarter Theatre will direct the New York premiere of Miss Witherspoon. "In life, Veronica was a lapsed Catholic — so why is she spending eternity in Purgatory with a Hindu spirit guide who calls her Miss Witherspoon? And why is she continually being sent back to earth to live lives she doesn't particularly want to lead? Will she open herself up to enlightenment and learn her place in the world? God only knows — or someone like God, anyway," according to PH notes. "Miss Witherspoon is a quirky black comedy about reincarnation, altering the course of world events…and Rex Harrison."
Durang's plays at Playwrights Horizons include Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, The Actor's Nightmare, Baby with th+e Bathwater, Laughing Wild and Betty's Summer Vacation . His other plays on and Off-Broadway include A History of the American Film (Tony nomination), Beyond Therapy, Baby with the Bathwater, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Durang/Durang and Sex and Longing.
Dates and director for Bunin's The Busy World Is Hushed have yet to be announced. The playwright penned The World Over and The Credeaux Canvas, seen at PH. "For Hannah, a minister and bible scholar, faith comes from embracing the pain of past tragedy," according to the announcement. "For her estranged, wayward son Thomas, tragedy has destroyed all hope of faith. But when a brilliant, grieving young writer arrives to assist Hannah with her latest publication, she sees an opportunity for redemption and reconciliation."
For subscription and ticket information to all Playwrights Horizons productions, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200, Noon to 8 PM daily, or visit www.playwrightshorizons.org.