Playwrights Horizons, the Off-Broadway company devoted to writers, has announced five of six works for its 2007-08 season — including three world premieres.
Dead Man's Cell Phone by Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl (The Clean House), which will have its world premiere in Washington, DC, this coming June, will make its New York City premiere in a separate PH staging in 2007-08.
The Drunken City by Adam Bock (Five Flights, Swimming in the Shallows) will also make its New York City premiere. Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, NY, commissioned and produced the play in 2005. At the time, the developmental production was touted as its world premiere by the upstate New York Equity-affiliated troupe (they work with a Special Appearance Contract) committed to new voices in an intimate setting.
The Playwrights Horizons world premieres will be 100 Saints You Should Know by Kate Fodor (Hannah and Martin), directed by Ethan McSweeny; A Feminine Ending by Sarah Treem, directed by Tony Award-winning actress Blair Brown; and Doris to Darlene: A Cautionary Valentine by Jordan Harrison (Act a Lady, Finn in the Underworld), directed by Obie Award winner Les Waters.
A sixth production, as well as casting information and exact dates, will be announced in the coming months.
Playwrights Horizons' 2007-08 season at a glance:
Kate Fodor's 100 Saints You Should Know - world premiere August/September 2007, PH's Mainstage. "Theresa cleans the rectory of the local parish to support her unruly teenage daughter. When its priest is forced to leave the church under uncertain circumstances and return home to his protective mother, Theresa finds herself compelled to pursue him. One eventful night joins them all, forcing a reckoning with the broken memories and shaken faith that divides them – and the discovery of a shared, tenuous common ground."
Sarah Treem's A Feminine Ending - world premiere September 2007, PH's Peter Jay Sharp Theater. "Having recently graduated from a major conservatory, and with a rocker boyfriend on the brink of stardom, aspiring composer Amanda Blue's 'extraordinary life' seems to be all mapped out. But when she's called home to answer her mother's distress call about a marital crisis, Amanda's grand plan starts to unravel. A Feminine Ending is a bittersweet new play about dreams deferred, loves lost, and learning to trust a woman's voice in a man's world." Sarah Treem's plays include Empty Sky (South Coast Rep's Pacific Playwrights Festival, winner of the Reva Shiner New Play Festival), Against the Wall (workshop at The Source Theatre in DC and the new play lab at Berlin's Friends of the Italian Opera), Mirror, Mirror (developed at Playwrights Horizons) and Human Voices (Manhattan Theatre Club's upcoming Springboard New Play Series).
Jordan Harrison's Doris to Darlene - world premiere November 2007, PH's Mainstage. "In the candy-colored 1960s, a biracial schoolgirl named Doris is molded into pop star Darlene by a whiz-kid record producer who culls a top-ten hit out of Wagner's Liebestod. Rewind to the candy-colored 1860s, where Richard Wagner is writing the melody that will become Darlene's hit song. Fast-forward to the not-so-candy-colored present, where a teenager obsesses over Darlene's music — and his music teacher. Three dissonant decades merge into an unlikely harmony in this time-jumping pop fairy tale about the dreams and disasters behind one transcendent song."
Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone — New York City premiere winter/spring 2008, PH's Mainstage. Director to be announced. This is a Playwrights Horizons-commissioned play. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Co. in Washington, DC, will present the play's world premiere in June 2007. "Gordon is dead, but his cell phone lives on. When Jean, an empathetic museum worker, answers his ringing phone beside her in a café, she is soon playing unwitting comforter and confessor to the man's grieving friends and family. Before she knows it, Jean's ensnarled in the underbelly of the dead man's bizarre life. A wildly imaginative new comedy, Dead Man's Cell Phone is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her assumptions about morality, redemption and the need to connect in a technology-obsessed world."
Adam Bock's The Drunken City - New York City premiere spring 2008, PH's Peter Jay Sharp Theater. "Off on the bar crawl to end all crawls, three twenty-something brides-to-be find their lives going topsy-turvy when one of them suddenly begins to question her future after a chance encounter with a recently jilted handsome stranger. A unique theatrical take on the mystique of marriage and the ever-shifting nature of love and identity in a city that never sleeps." Playwrights Horizons is under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus.
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