Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons's 2022-2023 season will include Mia Chung's Catch as Catch Can; Bruce Norris' Downstate; Agnes Borinsky's The Trees; Julia Izumi's Regretfully, So the Birds Are; and John J. Caswell, Jr.'s Wet Brain.
Beginning in October, Catch as Catch Can by Chung will play in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater under the direction of Daniel Aukin. Set in a blue-collar town in New England, the family drama follows the Phelans and the Lavecchias as the prodigal son returns home. In the production, three double-cast Asian actors will play Irish-American and Italian-American characters of various ages and genders in an examination of identity.
Also in October, Steppenwolf Theatre Company and National Theatre will present the New York premiere of Downstate by Pulitzer winner Norris (Clybourne Park). Pam MacKinnon will direct the work about four men convicted of sex crimes post-incarceration and the boundaries of justice, retribution, compassion, and forgiveness. The Roy Cockrum Foundation has supported the production with a generous grant.
Co-produced with Page 73 Productions, Borinsky's The Trees will be begin performances February, 2023, with Tina Satter directing the world premiere in the Mainstage Theater. Commissioned by Playwrights Horizons with funding by the Jody Galco and Jeffrey Steinman Commissions for Emerging Playwrights, the play follows two siblings who fall asleep in a park and become a literal part of the landscape. This contemporary parable looks into structure, community, and the risks of staying put.
Following in March, 2023, Regretfully, So the Birds Are by Julia Izumi will make its world premiere under the direction of Jenny Koons. The co-production with WP Theater features three adopted siblings trying to find a sense of home and identity despite completely unreliable parents in a farcical tragedy that takes a look at the idea of self-discovery.
Finally, Wet Brain by John J. Caswell, Jr. will make its world premiere in the Mainstage Theater, beginning May, 2023. The play is a family drama the blends with science fiction as an Arizonan family deals with their father's end-stage alcoholism by taking a trip to outer space where they can sort through their emotional baggage. The premiere will be a co-production with MCC Theater.
The season's investigation into the idea of normalcy in the wake of the pandemic is a conscious choice of Playwrights Artistic Director Adam Greenfield. "Above all, theatre is a live and agile art form. This is its potency," says Greenfield in a statement. "How can we really mine the live-ness and plasticity of theatre to transport us farther, to other worlds and ways of seeing? As you walk out into the night, I hope these plays make you feel like you know yourself a little bit less, and like you know the world a little bit less."
For tickets and more information, visit PlaywrightsHorizons.org.