Playwrights Horizons, the Manhattan not-for-profit devoted to American playwrights, composers and lyricists, continues its pay-what-you-can initiative in 2002-2003 with the Sept. 6 performance of Keith Bunin's The World Over.
The outreach program is sponsored by Ford Motor Company and allows those on a budget to have access to the celebrated theatre that gave us Driving Miss Daisy, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All for You, The Heidi Chronicles, Sunday in the Park With George and James Joyce's The Dead.
The troupe's "Pay What You Can Night" will be carried through the season to include every production (usually the first preview).
Performances of The World Over are at The Duke on 42nd Street, a borrowed space while Playwrights Horizons constructs its new home on 42nd Street.
"On Pay What You Can Night, a limited number of tickets will be offered on a walk-up, cash-only basis, starting one hour before showtime," the theatre announced. "Audience members are asked to 'pay what they can' at the time of admission. Seating is subject to availability. Tickets may not be purchased in advance. There is a limit of two tickets per person." The program debuted last season with the first preview of Playwrights Horizons' production of Franny's Way, written and directed by Tony Award winner Richard Nelson (The Dead). Patrons lined up "well before 7 PM and surpassed sales expectations by 50 percent."
A second night, for Boys and Girls by Tom Donaghy, was also "extremely well-received," continuing the success of the program.
"Pay What You Can Night has been an incredibly important initiative for Playwrights Horizons," said artistic director Tim Sanford, in a statement, "not only in providing affordable tickets to students, senior citizens and artists, but also to some of our neighbors in the 42nd Street area who have embraced us so warmly for 31 years."
Tickets for PWYC Night for The World Over will go on sale at 7 PM Sept. 6 for an 8 PM curtain at The Duke on 42nd Street (229 W. 42nd St. between 7th and 8th Aves.). Ticket-buyers are encouraged to arrive early.
For the budget-conscious looking ahead, other PWYV nights in the Playwrights Horizon season are:
June 3, 2003: The new musical, Wilder, by Erin Cressida Wilson, Mike Craver & Jack Herrick, at Playwrights Horizons' Peter Jay Sharp Theater, 416 W. 42nd St. Visit playwrightshorizons.org.
— By Kenneth Jones