Cobain, Courtney and Their Legacy Conjured in NYC Premiere of Shinn's On the Mountain Feb. 4-March 13

News   Cobain, Courtney and Their Legacy Conjured in NYC Premiere of Shinn's On the Mountain Feb. 4-March 13
Seemingly torn from the pages of Rolling Stone magazine, the New York premiere of Christopher Shinn's new play, On the Mountain, is about a former rock 'n' roll wild child haunted by the suicide of a famous Seattle rocker.
Christopher Shinn
Christopher Shinn

Previews for the Jo Bonney-directed production on Playwrights Horizons' mainstage begin with a pay-what-you-can show Feb. 4. Opening is Feb. 24.

The one-time "wild child" — the lover of a late Kurt Cobain-like rocker — is now a mom, played by Tony Award nominee Amy Ryan. Alison Pill plays her rebellious iPod-obsessed daughter.

"When rumors of the rock star's final, lost song bring a charming young man (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) with questionable motives into the picture, an intriguing mystery begins to unfold," according to Playwrights Horizons.

The title refers to a pivotal moment in the play, but bears the same name of an obscure song written by Kurt Cobain just months before the lead singer of the Seattle rock group Nirvana committed suicide in 1994. The then-unreleased song became the center of a legal battle between the remaining members of the band and the late star's widow (and mother of his only child), Courtney Love. It was at last included on the 2002 self-titled greatest hits album as "You Know You're Right."

Shinn has said Cobain inspired the play, but On the Mountain is not biographical or based on the Cobain-Courtney Love story. Shinn's plays include What Didn't Happen, Other People and Four. Shinn was born in Hartford in 1975 and lives in New York. He made his directorial debut with the Vineyard Theatre production of Where Do We Live. He has received grants from NEA/TCG Residency Grant (Hartford Stage) and the Peter S. Reed Foundation. He's a member of New Dramatists, Usual Suspects and Vineyard Theatre Community of Artists.

The cast also includes James Lloyd Reynolds.

Amy Ryan is a veteran of Roundabout Theatre Company's Uncle Vanya and will play Stella in Roundabout's upcoming A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway.

The production features scenic design by Neil Patel, costume design by Mimi O'Donnell, lighting design by David Weiner and sound design by John Gromada. Production stage manager is Judith Schoenfeld.

The play had its world premiere in January at South Coast Repertory, which commissioned it.

Performances continue to March 13.

Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater is at 416 W. 42nd Street.

Tickets are $55. For information, call (212) 279-4200 or visit

Promotional art for <i>On the Mountain</i>
Promotional art for On the Mountain
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