At The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, Emma Horwitz's Mary Gets Hers makes its world premiere September 11. The tragicomedy, directed by Josiah Davis (Mr. Saturday Night), runs through October 7. Playwrights Realm presents and produce the play, the company's first production since 2020.
Inspired by Hrosvitha of Ganderesheim's Abraham, or the Rise and Repentance of Mary, Mary Gets Hers is set in a slapstick take of 10th century Germany in the midst of a plague. It follows an orphan named Mary who is found by two isolated zealots who want to protect Mary's purity at all costs—but, Mary has other plans.
The production unites Davis and Horowitz who previously collaborated on a workshop for the Writing is Live Festival as graduate students. Both, as Davis said in a statement, “carry tensions with [their respective] religious backgrounds that inform how this play can be simultaneously irreverent and reverent.”
Horwitz developed the play at Playwrights Realm through a Writing Fellowship, and Mary Gets Hers ultimately received a reading as part of the INK'd Festival of New Plays with Davis as director. Horowitz will make her Off-Broadway debut with the work.
The Playwrights Realm Founding Artistic Director Katherine Kovnersays, “After three years of working within a different model, we were cautious about coming back to production. But Emma’s poignant, funny play was everything we love about theater, and emphasizes production as a continuation of our support for the careers of Realm Playwrights. That this play is set within a pandemic—following the story of a girl locked into isolation emerging into the world and towards agency—made it an even better fit for our return to the stage in this moment of continued reemergence.”
During the pandemic, Playwrights Realm became a full-time playwrights service organization. While returning to producing, it will continue its revamped Realm Playwrights program, Aspiring Playwrights programming, and Script Share. Mary Gets Hers will also be part of the organization's Radical Parent-Inclusion Project which reimburses anybody auditioning for the show as well as the whole creative and production team for babysitting, after-school care, and adult caregiving costs.