The Winter 2018 Off-Broadway Preview

Special Features   The Winter 2018 Off-Broadway Preview
 
Plan your Off-Broadway theatre calendar with this guide to the 40+ shows on offer January through March.
Off-Broadway_Winter_Preview_2017_HR

In 2016 and 2017, hit Off-Broadway shows like Indecent, Sweat, The Band’s Visit, and Oslo all transferred to Broadway winning the acclaim of critics and audiences—and a Pulitzer Prize. Off-Broadway is the space to watch.

Beginning in January 2018, keep your eye out for the next big hit (or, simply to see great theatre) with our complete overview of the upcoming winter season. Below is a list of the 40+ shows on offer January through March of the coming year.

(Note: Dates are in chronological order by the production’s first performance.)

CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT ELSE IS ABOUT TO CLOSE ON AND OFF BROADWAY

JANUARY

Robert O’Hara
Robert O’Hara

January 8: Writer-director Robert O’Hara (Bootycandy, Barbecue) returns Off-Broadway with Mankind, a new play which imagines a future in which men can give birth and women have gone extinct from centuries of mistreatment. The Playwrights Horizons production opens January 8 following previews that began December 15. The run is scheduled through January 28 in the company’s Mainstage Theater. Click here for tickets and information.

January 9: Second Stage Theater presents the world-premiere of Greg Pierce’s Cardinal, a new drama about big ideas and a changing America. Sweat director Kate Whoriskey directs a cast that includes Emmy nominees Becky Ann Baker and Anna Chlumsky as well as Happy Endings star Adam Pally. Performances will begin January 9 ahead of a January 30 opening night. Click here for tickets and information.

Read More: HOW SECOND STAGE WORLD PREMIER OF CARDINAL EXPLORES A CHANGING AMERICA

January 10: Actor, playwright, and director Ngozi Anyanwu makes her Off-Broadway playwriting debut with The Homecoming Queen at Atlantic Theater Company. Mfoniso Udofia stars as a novelist returning to Nigeria to care for her father, a trip that forces her to confront a painful past, her culture, and a deep, unexpected love. Performances begin January 10 for a run scheduled through February 11 with a January 22 opening night. Awoye Timpo directs. Click here for tickets and information.

January 16: From the best-selling author and performer of The Vagina Monologues, Eve Ensler, comes a new stage adaptation of her acclaimed memoir: In the Body of the World. The American Repertory Theater production, directed by Diane Paulus, is co-presented Off-Broadway with Manhattan Theatre Club. The new solo show will play MTC’s New York City Center stage beginning January 16 ahead of a February 6 opening night. Click here for tickets and information.

January 17: In his newest play, Fire and Air, four-time Tony-winning playwright and musical book writer Terrence McNally explores the rich history behind Sergei Diaghilev’s preeminent company Ballet Russes. Tony winner Douglas Hodge stars as Diaghilev alongside James Cusati-Moyer as celebrated dancer Vaslav Nijinsky in the John Doyle-helmed world premiere at Classic Stage Company. The production also stars Broadway favorites John Glover, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Marin Mazzie, and Marsha Mason. Performances begin January 17 ahead of a February 1 opening night. Click here for tickets and information.

January 18: Theatre For a New Audience presents the world-premiere of Evan Yionoulis’ first play in nine years: He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box, a story of segregation, yearning, and doomed love. Told through monologues and images, the drama weaves tales of Jim Crow, Nazism, and sexual hypocrisy. Adrienne Kennedy directs the debut production at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn. TFANA Talks take place after the February 3 and 10 performances. Performances will run January 17–February 11. Click here for tickets and information.

Mfoniso Udofia
Mfoniso Udofia Marc J. Franklin

January 18: The Olivier Award-winning Royal Court Theatre production of Martin McDonagh’s Hangmen, directed by Matthew Dunster, makes its U.S. debut at the Atlantic Theater Company. Game of Thrones star Mark Addy plays Harry, the second-best hangman in England on the day that hanging is abolished. Performances begin January 18 ahead of a February 5 opening. The run is scheduled through March 4 in the Linda Gross Theater. Click here for tickets and more information.

January 18: Two new solo plays from acclaimed playwrights Dael Orlandersmith and Mashuq Mushtaq Deen take over Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. In Until The Flood (January 6–February 18), Pulitzer Prize finalist Orlandersmith draws on interviews with St. Louis residents following the tragic death of Michael Brown; while in Draw the Circle, Deen (January 24–February 18) shines a light on the experiences of family and friends when a person transitions from one gender to another. Click here for tickets and more information.

January 28: Kate Benson’s upside-down romantic comedy [Porto]—a collaboration from WP Theater, The Bushwick Starr, and New Georges—makes its official splash on the Off-Broadway stage following an acclaimed world-premiere at the Starr earlier this year. Obie winner Lee Sunday Evans directs. Performances will be at the WP Theater January 28–February 25. Opening night is February 6. Click here for tickets and more information.

January 30: House of Cards actor and Pulitzer-nominated playwright Eisa Davis and Community star Gillian Jacobs go head to head in Sarah Burgess’ Kings, a new comedy about money, politics, and the state of the American republic. Tony-winning Hamilton director Thomas Kail teams up again with playwright Burgess (Dry Powder) for the world premiere at The Public Theater. The production also stars Aya Cash (You’re the Worst) and Zach Grenier (The Good Wife) Performances begin January 30 ahead of a February 20 opening night. The limited engagement is scheduled through March 25. Click here for tickets and more information.

Read More: HOW TV MADE AYA CASH BETTER ONSTAGE

Gillian Jacobs and Eisa Davis
Gillian Jacobs and Eisa Davis Shutterstock

January 31: Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Radio Drama Network present the world premiere of Sylvia Khoury’s Against The Hillside, a new drama about a drone pilot and a young Pakistani woman that examines the human cost of drone warfare. Performances begin January 31 ahead of a February 8 opening night, running through February 25 at EST. William Carden directs. Click here for tickets and more information.

Also in January: Irish Rep presents Enda Walsh’s breakthrough play Disco Pigs (January 5–February 18) while St. Ann’s stages Walsh’s newest work Ballyturk (January 9–28); Milo Cramer’s satirical take on activism in the age of Instagram, Cute Activist, debuts at the Bushwick Starr in a production from New Saloon and Clubbed Thumb directed by Morgan Green (January 10–27); The Civillians’ The Undertaking returns Off-Broadway following a hit run at the 2016 BAM Next Wave Festival (January 11–February 4 at 59E59 Theaters); The New York premiere of Party Face, a new comedy by Isobel Mahon about a housewarming party that spirals out of control, plays City Center Stage II (January 11–April 8); The Associates Theater Ensemble brings Sheila, an intimate drama centered on two women, to A.R.T New York (January 12–27); Playwrights Horizons presents The Mad Ones’ Miles for Mary, directed by Lila Neugebauer (January 11–February 4); Kevin Armento and Bryony Lavery’s tennis drama Balls, a theatrical re-telling of the 1973 Battle of the Sexes tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, debuts at 59E59 Theaters (January 16–February 25); and Terrence Mann and Will Swenson star in The New Group’s musical Jerry Springer – The Opera at the Pershing Square Signature Center (January 23–March 11).

FEBRUARY

February 1: American Horror Story’s Jamie Brewer makes her Off-Broadway stage debut as Amy—a woman with Down syndrome who helps her family deal with their father’s death—in Lindsey Ferrentino’s Amy and the Orphans. The world-premiere production from Roundabout Theatre Company is helmed by seven-time Tony Award nominee Scott Ellis. Performances begin February 1 ahead of a March 1 opening at the Laura Pels Theatre. The run is scheduled through April 22. Click here for tickets and more information.

Jamie Brewer
Jamie Brewer Joe Seer / Shutterstock, Inc.

February 1: Tony winner Jayne Houdyshell stars as a veteran feminist warrior in JC Lee’s Relevance, a new play about the collision of ideals within the feminist movement. Tony nominee Liesl Tommy directs the world premiere at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, produced by MCC Theater. Performances begin February 1 ahead of a February 20 opening, for a run scheduled through March 11. Click here for tickets and more information.

February 4: Schaubühne Berlin’s production of Returning to Reims—an adaptation of French author Didier Eribon’s memoir of the same name, directed by Thomas Ostermeier—receives its American premiere at St. Ann’s. Homeland’s Nina Hoss stars in the documentary adaptation of Eribon’s personal account of coming out. Performances run February 4–25. Click here for tickets and more information.

February 7: Purva Bedi (Idiot) and Sanjit De Silva (Troilus and Cressida) star a young couple struggling to bridge the gap between their Pakistani heritage and British upbringings in Hammaad Chaudry’s An Ordinary Muslim. Jo Bonney directs the world premiere at New York Theatre Workshop. Performances begin February 7 ahead of a February 26 opening running through March 11. Click here for tickets and more information.

February 8: Pulitzer Prize finalist Jordan Harrison (Marjorie Prime) is back Off-Broadway with The Amateurs, a new comedy about a troupe of pageant players attempting to outrun the Black Death in 14th-century Europe. Oliver Butler directs the world premiere at The Vineyard Theatre. Performances begin February 8 ahead of a February 27 opening night running through March 18. Click here for tickets and more information.

February 10: Playwright-to-watch Martyna Majok (Cost of Living, Ironbound) returns Off-Broadway with her newest work queens, about the intertwining lives of immigrant women set in a basement apartment. Danya Taymor directs the LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater production, set to run February 10–March 25 in the Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center. Opening night is February 26. Click here for tickets and more information.

Read More: WHY YOU SHOULDN’T CALL THE ACTORS IN MARTYNA MAJOK’S COST OF LIVING ‘DIFFERENTLY ABLED’

February 8: Wendell Pierce (The Wire, Suits) and Tony winner Roger Robinson star as a Harlem college professor and his aging father from Mississippi in James Anthony Tyler’s clashing-of-wills play Some Old Black Man. Joe Cacaci directs the limited engagement from Berkshire Playwrights Lab at 59E59 Theaters. Performances will run February 8–March 4. Click here for tickets and more information.

Nina Hoss in <i data-rte2-sanitize="italic">Returning to Reims</i>
Nina Hoss in Returning to Reims

February 13: From Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Bruce Norris comes The Low Road, a new work examining the beginning of capitalism in America. Sixteen actors will play 50 roles in the epic new play at the Public Theater, directed by Dear Evan Hansen’s Michael Greif. Performances are scheduled through April 1. Click here for tickets and more information.

February 15: Significant Other playwright Joshua Harmon returns Off-Broadway with Admissions, a new play about the ideals and contradictions of liberal white America. Jessica Hecht, Andrew Garman, Dana Ivey, and more star in the Lincoln Center Theater production in the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. Daniel Aukin directs a run scheduled to begin February 15 ahead of a March 12 opening. Click here for tickets and more information.

Also in February: Signature Theatre stages an evening of Edward Albee directed by Lila Neugebauer: At Home at the Zoo: Homelife & The Zoo Story (January 30–March 11); Primary Stages presents the world premiere of James Inverne’s A Walk With Mr. Heifetz about famed Russian violinist Jascha Heifetz (January 31–March 4 at the Cherry Lane Theatre); and Abrons Arts Center kicks off its spring programming with Pollock, written by Fabrice Melquiot and directed by Paul Desveaux, about the beautifully tragic relationship of infamous artists Jackson Pollock, played by Jim Fletcher and Lee Krasner, played by Birgit Huppuch (February 15–25).

MARCH

March 12: Following a successful run of Peter Pan, Bedlam theatre company hits Off-Broadway with their adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion. Bedlam’s artistic director Eric Tucker directs the production at the Sheen Center. The six-week run is scheduled through April 22.

Read More: WHY BEDLAM’S PETER PAN IS UNLIKE ANY YOU’VE SEEN

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Daphne Rubin-Vega Simon Luethi

March 14: Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Radio Drama Network present Abby Rosebrock’s comedy Dido of Idaho, about a hard-drinking musicologist, who, after heartache and hitting rock bottom, attempts to reconnect with her estranged, evangelical mother. The Radio Drama Network co-production will be directed by Mikhaela Mahony for a run scheduled March 14–April 8. Opening night is March 22.

Read More: ENSEMBLE STUDIO THEATRE TO STAGE THREE WORLD PREMIERES IN 2018

March 16: Playwright Ferrentino pulls double duty this spring—while Amy and the Orphans continues its run at Roundabout, Playwrights Horizons will present the world premiere of her play This Flat Earth, directed by Tony winner Rebecca Taichman (Indecent). The story follows two teenagers grappling with having witnessed the unthinkable. Performances are scheduled March 16–April 29 in the Mainstage Theater. Click here for tickets and more information.

March 19: Indie-music duo The Bengsons team up once more with director Anne Kauffman and choreographer Sonya Tayeh (the team behind NYTW’s acclaimed Hundred Days) for The Lucky Ones at Ars Nova. The semi-autobiographical story, infused with electro-folk songs, will play the Connelly Theater March 19–April 21. Click here for tickets and more information.

Read More: SONYA TAYEH BREAKS DOWN SOME OF HER MOST ICONIC NUMBERS

March 20: Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes (Water by the Spoonful, In The Heights) and Erin McKeown’s new musical Miss You Like Hell debuts in New York following a world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse last fall. Daphne Rubin-Vega reprises her role as a mother and undocumented immigrant who takes her adolescent daughter on the trip of a lifetime. The production—a late addition to the Public Theater’s season—will be directed by Lear deBessonet with choreography by Fun Home’s Danny Mefford. Performances will run March 20–May 6. Opening night is April 10. Click here for tickets and more information.

March 23: Manhattan’s Park Avenue Armory kicks off its 2018 season programming with the North American premiere of Simon Stone’s acclaimed adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s play Yerma, starring Billie Piper. Lorca’s 1934 tragedy is about a woman desperate to bear children. Set in the present day and staged inside a glass encasement, Stone’s contemporary staging examines the perils of a life lived online. The show arrives in the U.S. following an acclaimed debut at London’s Young Vic; performances will be in the Armory’s Wade Thomspon Drill Hall March 23–April 21. Click here for tickets and more information.

Billie Piper in <i>Yerma</i>
Billie Piper in Yerma

March 27: Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage takes to the Public Theater with the world premiere of her play about an elephant: Mlima’s Tale, directed by Jo Bonney. In her newest work, the Sweat playwright takes us on a journey around the world starting at a game park in Kenya. The run is scheduled March 27–May 20. Click here for tickets and more information.

Also in March: Roundabout’s Underground programming continues with Alex Lubischer’s Bobbie Clearly, directed by Will Davis (March 8–May 20); Broadway veteran John Glover (The Cherry Orchard, Waiting for Godot) stars in Max Baker’s Hal & Bee, directed by Sarah Norris, at 59E59 Theaters (March 10–31); WP Theater celebrates its bi-annual Lab graduates with another Pipeline Festival; St. Ann’s presents The Fall, a play which details a South African campus revolt to topple a statue, as told by the students leading the movements (March 8–25); Arin Arbus directs Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale at TFNA (March 11–April 15); Meredith Monk returns to BAM’s Harvey Theater with movement and instrumentation piece Cellular Songs (March 14–March 18); writer and actor Modesto Flako Jimenez conjures his beloved borough in ¡Oye! For My Dear Brooklyn, a bilingual elegy, told through poems, projections, and music at Abrons Arts Center (March 15–31); and Sharon Washington brings her autobiographical solo play Feeding the Dragon to the Cherry Lane Theatre in a production from Primary Stages (March 21–April 27).

(Author's Note: All dates are subject to change. Due to the expansive nature of the Off-Broadway season, this list is in no way intended to be completely comprehensive.)

Read More: CHECK OUT WHAT’S COMING TO BROADWAY THIS WINTER 2018 WITH OUR SEASON PREVIEW!

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