Playwrights Horizons has launched Soundstage, a new scripted fiction podcast from the Off-Broadway theatre that was originally scheduled to be released later this year. Due to the pandemic, and the number of people now at home, Playwrights has released the first episode, penned by Obie winner Heather Christian, April 9.
Soundstage features new works by playwrights and composers penned specifically for the audio medium. The launch episode, Christian's PRIME: A Practical Breviary, is a 10-song cycle inspired by cloistered monks' breviary masses. Weaving modern prose and composition, the 6 AM prayer explores the brutal daily task of waking up and facing the morning.
Episode 2, to be released April 16, is by writer and director Robert O’Hara. Subsequent episodes will be released biweekly thereafter, with Jordan Harrison’s on April 30 and Qui Nguyen’s on May 14.
Commissioned playwrights creating work for future seasons include Kirsten Childs, Milo Cramer, Jeremy O. Harris, Lucas Hnath, Carlos Murillo, Jenny Schwartz, and Kate Tarker.
“We’ve been working on this series for some time, but in this moment where storytelling can help us get through weeks or months of life in isolation, we felt called to share these with the world prior to our intended distribution date," says Playwrights' associate artistic director Adam Greenfield, who will step into the role of artistic director in July. "With Soundstage, audiences will continue to have access to innovative new work. This series doesn’t propose a substitution for in-person performance—nothing can replace the experience and electricity of live theatre—but rather seeks to employ the theatrical imagination of playwrights to navigate the dimensions and boundaries of audio."
Soundstage will continue once the theatre is able to physically open its doors after COVID-19. For more information, visit soundstagepodcast.org.