The 2019 Off-Broadway Winter Preview

Special Features   The 2019 Off-Broadway Winter Preview
 
A look at the stars, world premieres, revivals, and more to catch in NYC from January through March, 2019.
2019_Winter_Preview

This winter, Off-Broadway kicks it into high gear with hundreds of offerings in intimate spaces. Here, we highlight a selection of the cornucopia of theatre to be seen. Whether at the Public Theater, the Signature Center, downtown’s Cherry Lane, New York Theatre Workshop, uptown’s WP, Ars Nova, MCC, MTC, Roundabout, Lincoln Center Theater, Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse and everything in between, there is something for everyone. From works by Pulitzer Prize winners Lynn Nottage and Suzan-Lori Parks, to world premieres by acclaimed writers like Jeremy O. Harris, Halley Feiffer, and The Mad Ones; from new musicals like Alice By Heart from Duncan Sheik, Steven Sater, and Jessie Nelson to Tom Kitt and John Logan’s Superhero, here are some works to look out for January through March of 2019—not to mention Ben Whishaw and Renée Fleming in Norma Jeane Baker of Troy, an early offering from new cultural hub The Shed that has not yet officially announced performance dates.

Productions are listed in chronological order based on the date of the first preview performance.

Check out what’s coming to Broadway this winter.
Check out what’s coming to London this winter.

JANUARY

January 3: The Public Theater kicks off its annual showcase of cutting-edge, outside-the-box theatre with the 15th Under the Radar festival. The 11-day event features artists and shows from around the U.S. and the world. Check out the lineup here.

Amir Nizar Zuabi
Amir Nizar Zuabi Ute Langkafel

January 3: Oh My Sweet Land playwright and director Amir Nizar Zuabi returns Off-Broadway with the world premiere of Grey Rock, the story of a young Palestinian so enamored with the 1969 American moon landing that he sets out to build a shuttle that will launch Palestinians into space. Performed in English by a company of Palestinian actors, the limited run continues through January 7 at La MaMa.

January 4: The Kitchen presents Tina Satter's Is This A Room, a staging of the verbatim transcript of the June 2017 FBI interrogation that led to the arrest of former Air Force linguist Reality Winner, charged with leaking evidence of Russian interference in the U.S. voting system. Reality, now 26, is in prison serving the longest sentence ever for a person accused of an unauthorized disclosure. Performances continue through January 12.

January 7: Abby Rosebrock’s Blue Ridge, directed by Taibi Magar and starring Tony nominee Marin Ireland, Kyle Beltran (In The Heights) and Kristolyn Lloyd (Dear Evan Hansen) opens at Atlantic Theater January 7. Performances continue through January 26.

January 9: Ensemble Studio Theatre launches the new year with Charly Evon Simpson's Behind the Sheet, a new play inspired by the story of Dr. J. Marion Sims, a doctor who repeatedly performed experimental surgery on his female slaves. Colette Robert directs and Naomi Lorrain stars; performances continue through February 3 with an offiical January 17 opening.

January 10: Playwright Amy Staats stars in the world premiere of her play Eddie and Dave at Atlantic Theater Company’s Stage 2. The play is a gender-bending retelling of the rise and fall of Pasadena’s most groundbreaking ’80s rockers told through the foggy lens of a lonely, out-of-work MTV-VJ. Margot Bordelon directs; opening is January 22. Performances through February 10.

Charly Evon Simpson
Charly Evon Simpson Crystal Arnette

January 11: Performing artist, singer-songwriter, and theatre-maker Diana Oh ({my lingerie play}) and co-creative director Kevin Hourigan take over The Bushwick Starr with The Infinite Love Party, a celebration featuring a pot luck, dancing, aphrodisiac tea, and barefoot finger painting. A limited number of sleepover tickets will be available each night (BYOB: Bring Your Own Blanket); performances continue through February 2.

January 12: Roundabout Off-Broadway welcomes resident company Fiasco Theater with their production of George Furth and Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, directed by Noah Brody with choreography by Lorin Latarro and music direction by Alexander Gemignani. Performances are in the Laura Pels Theatre with a February 19 opening night. The production runs through April 7.

January 15: Classic Stage Company presents two August Strindberg plays in repertory. Yaël Farber’s adaptation of Mies Julie resets the classic play in a farmhouse in the Karoo of South Africa on the evening of the annual Freedom Day celebrations (directed by Shariffa Ali); and Tony winner Victoria Clark directs The Dance of Death, Strindberg’s unsparing examination of marriage and the social institutions governing it. Both works continue through March 10.

January 16: The Amish Project playwright Jessica Dickey debuts her newest play, The Convent, about a group of women who go on a retreat and are baptized with ’80s pop, female mysticism, hallucinogens, and sex. Daniel Talbott directs the all-female cast in this world-premiere production at A.R.T/New York Theatres. Limited engagement through February 17; January 24 opening.

Broadway_Sweat_Johanna_Day_Dressing_Room_HR
Johanna Day Marc J. Franklin

January 16: Primary Stages kicks off the new year with the world premiere of Leah Nanako Winkler’s God Said This, the 2018 winner of the prestigious Yale Drama Series Prize. Directed by Morgan Gould, the play paints a portrait of five Godless and God-loving Kentuckians finding that their struggles bring them together in unexpected ways. Performances continue through February 15.

January 16: The Transport Group revives Daniel Berrigan's 1971 Broadway play The Trial of the Catonsville Nine. Based on court transcripts, the play tells the story of nine Vietnam War peace activists who broke into a Maryland draft office with homemade napalm. Brothers Philip Berrigan and Daniel Berrigan—both Catholic priests—led the movement. Jack Cummings III directs; performances continue through February 23.

January 17: In Intelligence, playwright Helen Banner pulls her audience into a Washington, D.C., basement conference room as three American women diplomats role play a high-stakes peace negotiation. The play, directed by Jess Chayes, is part of Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop. Performances continue through February 3.

January 18: Between the Threads (Jewish Women Project) plays at HERE Arts. Directed by Coral Cohen with original music by klezmer artist Zoë Aqua, the project uses performance as a way to interrogate Jewish identity. A group of six female-identified artists explore their personal history to present a collage of varied perspectives on what it means to be perennially in-between: in the intersection of tradition and modernity, power and oppression. Performances continue through February 10.

January 19: Tony Award nominee Johanna Day leads the world premiere of Joan at HERE Arts Center. The new play by Emmy-nominated writer Stephen Belber is directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt. Performances continue through February 16.

January 23: MCC Theater celebrates their move uptown with the New York premiere of The Light by Loy A. Webb. Unfolding in real time, a couple's joy unravels when ground-shifting accusations from the past resurface. The production, directed by Logan Vaughn, marks MCC’s first show in its new 52nd Street home. Opening is February 10; performances through March 17.

Ray Yamanouchi
Ray Yamanouchi

January 23: The Brooklyn Academy of Music welcomes France’s Théâtre de la Ville with their production of Ionesco Suite, a mash-up of plays by Eugène Ionesco performed by seven actors and directed by Emmanuel Demarcy-Mota. Performances run through January 26 in BAM Fisher.

January 25: New Light Theater Project presents the world premiere of Ray Yamanouchi's The American Tradition. Set in Antebellum America with an absurd and Brechtian twist, the play follows Eleanor—cross-dressing as a white planter—and her husband, Bill—pretending to be her loyal servant— as they attempt to escape to the free state of Pennsylvania. Axel Avin, Jr. directs; performances continue through February 19 at 13th Street Repertory Company.

January 29: Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage continues her residency at Signature Theatre with a revival of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, directed by Kamilah Forbes. Performances continue through March 3.

January 30: Irish Repertory Theatre celebrates its 30th anniversary season—and their roots—with three Sean O’Casey works. First up is a revival of his 1923 play The Shadow of a Gunman, helmed by co-artistic director Ciarán O’Reilly. Performances continue through May 25, and will run in repertory with O’Reilly’s Juno and the Paycock, directed by Neil Pepe (March 9–May 25); and The Plough and the Stars, directed by co-artistic director Charlotte Moore (April 20–May 25).

January 30: Freestyle Love Supreme, the improvisational hip-hop and theatre night conceived by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Anthony Veneziale, returns Off-Broadway for a limited run at Ars Nova’s Greenwich House Theater. Performances continue through March 3.

Alice_By_Heart_MCC_Theatre_Press_Day_2018_HR
Molly Gordon Marc J. Franklin

January 30: MCC Theater culminates several years of development on Jessie Nelson, Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s Alice By Heart with a world-premiere production starring Molly Gordon as Alice. Inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the musical is directed by Nelson with choreography by Rick and Jeff Kuperman. Performances continue through March 10.

January 31: Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and lyricist Tom Kitt (Next to Normal, If/Then) and Tony-winning writer John Logan (Red) unite to tell a story about a fractured family, a mysterious stranger, and an unexpected hero. The new musical, Superhero, receives a world-premiere production from Second Stage Theater directed by Jason Moore and starring Tony nominees Kate Baldwin and Bryce Pinkham. Performances are in the Tony Kiser Theater; opening is February 28 and runs through March 24.

Also in January: John Noble stars as legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini in the Off-Broadway premiere of Eve Wolf’s Maestro (January 3–February 9 at The Duke on 42nd Street); Pollock returns to Abrons Arts Center following a critically acclaimed run earlier this year (January 4–6); Calvin Trillin adapts his 2007 memoir About Alice—a love letter to his late wife, Alice—for the stage in a world-premiere production from Theatre For a New Audience (January 8–February 3 at Polonsky Shakespeare Center); Niall Buggy and David Ganly star in Sebastian Barry's On Blueberry Hill, directed by Jim Culleton (January 8–February 3 at 59E59 Theaters); TOSO (The Other Side of Silence), NYC’s oldest professional LGBTQ theatre tackles school bullying in Chris Weikel’s Secret Identity (January 9–February 2 at The Flea); and John Breen's tale of a historic rugby match, Alone It Stands, plays at 59E59 Theaters (January 10–27).

Nassim Soleimanpour
Nassim Soleimanpour Joan Marcus

Emmy winner Gordon Clapp stars in Jack Neary's dark comedy about a family in crisis on Halloween, Trick or Treat, directed by Carol Dunne (January 12–February 24 at 59E59 Theaters); Pocket Universe, the company behind the Julius Caesar set in an all-girls high school, returns Off-Broadway this winter with an imaginative new take on Romeo & Juliet titled Juliet + Romeo (January 16–February 2 at Access Theater); Obie winner Paul Calderon shines a light on mental health, violence, and PTSD in Master of the Crossroads (January 16–February 9 at The Bridge Theater at Shetler Studios); Broken Box Mime Theater returns Off-Broadway with their latest collection of original shorts, Skin (January 18–February 3 at A.R.T/New York Theaters); and The Phantom of the Opera star Ali Ewoldt stars in Chris Henry’s movement-driven adaptation of Anne of Green Gables: Part I (January 24–February 11 at Royal Family Performing Arts Space).

Still playing Off-Broadway in January: Gloria: A Life, a new play by Emily Mann detailing the life and legacy of Gloria Steinem, continues through March at the Daryl Roth Theatre; NASSIM, the newest work by White Rabbit, Red Rabbit playwright Nassim Soleimanpour, continues at New York City Center through April with a different actor performing each night; Lynn Nottage’s Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine continues at Signature Theatre through January 13; the world premiere of Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris continues an extended run at NYTW through January 13; the American premiere of The Jungle, an immersive re-creation of an infamous French refugee camp, continues at St. Ann’s through January 27; and Amy Heckerling’s stage adaptation of her film Clueless, in a debut production from The New Group, plays through January 12.

FEBRUARY

February 1: Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and Tony nominee Tom Sturridge make their Public Theater debuts in Nick Payne's A Life and Simon Stephens' Sea Wall, respectively. Both monologue plays, directed by Carrie Cracknell, are presented as a single evening of theatre. Performances run through March 31.

February 4: Writer and performer Eliza Bent debuts Bonnie’s Last Flight at Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop, directed by Annie Tippe. Performances continue through March 3.

Leigh Silverman and Madeleine George
Leigh Silverman and Madeleine George Jenny Anderson

February 6: Pulitzer Prize finalist Madeleine George takes on climate change—or rather, the blind eye we tend to turn to it—in her new play Hurricane Diane at NYTW. Diane, a permaculture gardener (whose true identity is the Greek god Dionysus) has returned to a suburban New Jersey cul-de-sac to gather mortal followers and restore Earth to its natural state. Directed by Leigh Silverman, the co-production with WP Theater continues through March 10.

February 7: Joanna Murray-Smith’s West End thriller Switzerland debuts Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters. The new play by the Australian playwright pits crime novelist Patricia Highsmith in a game of cat and mouse. Dan Foster directs; performances continue through March 3.

February 9: Acclaimed Fairview playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury returns Off-Broadway with her newest play, Marys Seacole at LCT3. Quincy Tyler Bernstine stars is Mary, an ambitious Jamaican woman whose adventures take her across oceans and eras. Lileana Blain-Cruz directs the world premiere in the Clare Tow Theater at Lincoln Center Theater; performances continue through March 24.

February 11: The Flea Theatre continues its Color Brave season with the Off-Broadway premiere of Kristiana Rae Colón’s good friday. The new play, directed by Sherri Eden Barber, tackles #MeToo feminism at the intersection of gun and sexual violence. Performances continue through March 18.

February 12: Playwright Jeremy O. Harris, whose Slave Play debuted to critical acclaim earlier this season, returns Off-Broadway with a second world premiere: Daddy. Ronald Peet stars as a young artist who forms an irresistible bond with an older art collector, played by Alan Cumming. The co-production from The New Group and The Vineyard plays at the Signature Center with direction by Danya Taymor. Performances continue through March 31.

Isabelle Huppert
Isabelle Huppert Shutterstock

February 12: Bekah Brunstetter’s The Cake premieres Off-Broadway in a production from Manhattan Theatre Club directed by artistic director Lynne Meadow. Debra Jo Rupp stars as a North Carolina baker who’s forced to re-examine her deeply held beliefs when asked to make a cake for a lesbian wedding. Performances are at New York City Center – Stage I; opening night is March 5.

February 15: Tori Sampson’s Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist, If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka receives a world-premiere production in Playwrights Horizons’ Mainstage Theatre. Directed by Leah C. Gardiner and choreographed by Raja Feather Kelly, the contemporary riff on a West African fable brims with live music and dance. Performances continue March 31.

February 20: Oscar nominee Isabelle Huppert stars as a woman grasping for stability in French playwright Florian Zeller’s The Mother. Trip Cullman directs the English translation from Christopher Hampton at Atlantic Theater Company. Performances continue through April 7.

February 21: PlayCo presents the New York premiere of Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas' Recent Alien Abductions. The new drama, a highlight of the 2017 Humana Festival, moves from an unsettling X-files conspiracy to a story of colonial isolation, exploring how families—and societies—are haunted by their pasts. Performances run through March 24 at Walkerspace; Cortiñas also directs.

February 21: In his attempts to recover a memory of an event that happened on that ‘far away island’ 35 years before, John Guare’s Nantucket Sleigh Ride plunges a New York playwright-turned-venture capitalist (John Larroquette) into a whirlpool of a giant lobster, Roman Polanski, a pornography ring, Walt Disney, a murder, stranded children, and Jorge Luis Borges. Jerry Zaks directs the Lincoln Center Theater production, continuing through May 5.

February 26: Keen Company brings Chisa Hutchinson’s Surely Goodness and Mercy to New York. Set in an under-funded public school in Newark, the play tells the story of a bible-toting boy with a photographic memory who befriends the curmudgeonly lunch lady. Jessi D. Hill directs; performances continue through April 13.

February 28: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Golden Globe-nominated for Killing Eve, brings her solo show Fleabag—about a woman who is struggling, albeit self-deprecatingly, in the aftermath of a tragedy—to Soho Playhouse after a long run in London that inspired the TV adaptation. Opening night is March 7.

Chisa Hutchinson
Chisa Hutchinson Joseph Moran

Also in February: Signature Theatre revives Athol Fugard’s Boesman and Lena, directed by Yaël Farber (February 5–March 17); and Charles Gershman's Edinburgh Fringe hit The Waiting Game debuts in the U.S. at 59E59 (February 6–23). Four millennials argue over how to save the planet in Matt Williams’ Actually, We’re F**ked (February 26–April 7 at Cherry Lane Theatre);

MARCH

March 1: Following a hit, but very short run downtown last season, The Wooster Group’s production of The B-Side: “Negro Folklore from Texas State Prisons,” A Record Album Interpretation returns for Off-Broadway for an engagement at St. Ann’s Warehouse. The show is an original performance based on a 1965 LP of work songs, blues, and spirituals recorded by inmates in Texas’ segregated agricultural prison farms. The LP is played live onstage and channeled by co-creator Eric Berryman. The B-Side, directed by Kate Valk with design by Elizabeth LeCompte, runs through March 24.

March 3: WP Theatre teams up with Colt Coeur, in association with Abingdon Theatre Company, for the world premiere of Hatefuck by Rehana Lew Mirza. The play follows the collision—and attraction—between Layla, a literature professor, and Imran, a novelist accused of trading in anti-Muslim stereotypes. Adrienne Campbell-Holt directs, for a run scheduled through March 31 at WP Theater on the Upper West Side.

March 5: Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and The Public Theater’s Master Writer Chair Suzan-Lori Parks returns to the Public following her critically acclaimed trilogy, Father Comes Home From The Wars, Parts 1, 2, & 3. Now, Parks' White Noise, directed by artistic director Oskar Eustis and starring Daveed Diggs, is a new play about race, friendship, and our rapidly unraveling social contract. Performances run through April 14.

March 11: Thomas Bradshaw revisits his 2008 play Southern Promises at The Flea Theater in a new production helmed by artistic director Niegel Smith. On his deathbed, a plantation owner vows to set his slaves free, but his wife rejects the request and chaos erupts on the plantation. Performances continue through April 14.

March 12: First seen in the Studio, The Public brings Jordan E. Cooper’s satirical odyssey Ain’t No Mo’ to the mainstage in a world premiere directed by Stevie Walker-Webb. The play depicts a kaleidoscope of scenes of the moments before, during, and after the great exodus of Black Americans. Performances continue through April 21.

Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley, and Ben Miles in <i>The Lehman Trilogy</i>
Simon Russell Beale, Adam Godley, and Ben Miles in The Lehman Trilogy Mark Douet

March 12: Actors, life-size puppets and video projection come together in Plexus Polaire’s Ashes at HERE. Inspired by the best-selling Norwegian novel, Before I Burn, the visual theatre work interweaves two stories a generation apart—a young man who sets houses on fire, and a writer who seizes them as literary material decades later. Performances continue through March 17.

March 22: Following a premiere at London’s National Theatre, the Sam Mendes-directed production of The Lehman Trilogy debuts in New York at the Park Avenue Armory. The Stefano Massini play, featuring an adapted, English-language script by Ben Power, follows the 163-year saga that begins with a young man in Bavaria dreaming of a new life and ends with one of the world’s largest financial crises. Performances continue through April 20.

March 28: Winner of Best Book at the 2016 NYMF, Aya Aziz’s Eh Dah? Questions for My Father is a musical detailing one family’s journey from Egypt to the U.S. and back again, across oceans, dreams, and generations. The musical weaves rap, Egyptian folk music, pop, and jazz, with direction by Arpita Mukherjee. Performances continue through April 14 at Next Door at NYTW.

March 29: Playwright Halley Feiffer stars in the world premiere of her play The Pain of My Belligerence. Told over an eight-year timeline—and through the story of journalist Cat and her relationship to Guy—Feiffer’s comedy sheds light on how we perpetuate a patriarchal culture while offering the promise of a new paradigm. Trip Cullman directs the world premiere in Playwright Horizons’ Peter Jay Sharp Theater; performances continue through May 12.

Catya McMullen
Catya McMullen

Also in March: Red Bull Theatre presents John Webster’s The White Devil, directed by Louisa Proske at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (Dates TBD); New Light Theater Project presents Imagining Madoff, Deb Margolin's play about incarcerated Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff, directed by Jerry Heymann (March 1–23 at 59E59 Theaters); playwright Catya McMullen returns Off-Broadway, following the acclaimed world premiere of Agnes, with her newest work, Georgia Mertching is Dead (March 6–31 at EST); Little Lord presents Skinnamarink—part ritual, part recess, part recruitment—at Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop (March 8–23); Andréa Burns stars as Judy Holliday in Willy Holtzman's Smart Blonde, charting her experiences from Greenwich Village to Broadway and beyond (directed by Peter Flynn March 16–April 13 at 59E59 Theaters); TFNA presents Julius Caesar, directed by Shana Cooper (March 17–April 28); CSC revives Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock, a folk opera that was famously shut down by federal authorities in 1937 fearing its pro-labor stance (March 19–May 19); Ars Nova presents a world premiere from resident company The Mad Ones (Miles for Mary) A New Play By The Mad Ones in its new downtown Greenwhich House (March 26–April); and Georgette Kelly's I Carry Your Heart, about two families who form an unlikely connection as they struggle to understand the politics and poetics of organ donation, debuts at 59E59 Theaters (March 30–April 14).

All dates are subject to change. Check out our Off-Broadway Listings to see what else is playing in theatres.

Check out what’s coming to Broadway this winter.
Check out what’s coming to London this winter.

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