New York Theatre Workshop has unveiled the lineup for its upcoming season of Next Door, an Off-Broadway initiative that provides performance space and resources for independent productions. The 2019–2020 slate is made up of 10 new shows, which will be seen at NYTW's Fourth Street Theatre July 2019 through June 2020.
Kicking off the season this summer is Miranda Haymon's In the Penal Colony, adapted from Franz Kafka's short story of the same name. Written and directed by Haymon, In the Penal Colony stars Jamar Brathwaite, David Glover, and Dhari Noel as three Black men in an unnamed penal colony, asking what it means for them to exist in the media, when observed, when consumed, when punished. The Hodgepodge Group and Lucy Powis present the July 11–28 run.
Next up, Milly Thomas performs her solo play Dust, directed by Sara Joyce. Seen at London's Soho Theatre, the play looks at the aftermath of a suicide. The August 29–September 28 engagement is produced by Ceri Lothian and Ramin Sabi for DEM Productions.
In October The Play Company teams up with Andy Bragen Theatre Projects to present Andy Bragen's autobiographical two-hander Notes on My Mother's Decline, directed by Knud Adams. Set in the writer’s native East Village, the new play is the story of a mother and son, exploring the ways we care for those we love, and what it takes to live with—and without—them. Performances will run October 6–27.
Rounding out the fall programming, Boundless Theatre Company will present Migdalia Cruz's Fur, directed by Elena Araoz. An intense and primal exploration of unconventional desire, the play details the love story between Citrona, a young woman whose body is covered in fur, the man who purchases and cages her, and the woman hired to hunt for Citrona's food. Performances will run November 1–24.
The new year will launch with Reflections on Native Voices, January 6–19, 2020. Performances will be curated by the Safe Harbors Indigenous Collective, founded by Murielle Borst-Tarrant and established with La MaMa Artistic Director Mia Yoo. The collective provides a platform for Indigenous arts and culture through the programming of workshops, markets, and theatrical productions.
Also in January will be Sarah Einspanier's play House Plant, in which the cosmic and commonplace collide for three people and their house plant. Jaki Bradley directs the run, January 28–February 23. Madeleine Foster Bersin produces.
In February, Parity Productions will present Azure D. Osborne-Lee's Mirrors, directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser. Set in the sleepy Mississippi town of Etheridge in the summer of 1960, Mirrors depicts the lives of three African-American women bound by love and loss and family, and the secrets of their shared past. Performances will run February 24–March 22.
In March will be the New Georges-supported Islander. Playwright Liza Birkenmeier and director Katie Brook repurpose commentary from the NHL season to explore the crisis of the New York Islanders as the crisis of white male American identity. Performances will run March 24–April 12.
Also in April will be Raquel Almazán's La Paloma Prisoner, a multi-disciplinary play about the reclamation of identity by women in the Colombian prison system. The new piece is based on the true story of a group of incarcerated women selected as beauty queen contestants at the Buen Pastor prison in Bogotá. Estefanía Fadul directs the run, April 18–May 9, produced by Almazán’s La Lucha Arts, Victor Cervantes Jr. and Fadul, with support from New Georges.
Closing out the season will be Hypokrit Theater Company's production of Raisins Not Virgins by Sharbari Zohra Ahmed. A romantic comedy about a Muslim American woman choosing to practice her religion on her terms, Ahmed penned the play in response to September 11 combined with the angst of dating in New York City. Arpita Mukherjee directs the run, June 4–21.
Tickets for Next Door at NYTW will be available for each production on a first-come, first-served basis, online at NYTW.org, by phone at (212) 460-5475, or in-person at the NYTW Box Office.