Playwrights Horizons Gives Barfield Off-Broadway Debut With Blue Door

News   Playwrights Horizons Gives Barfield Off-Broadway Debut With Blue Door
Tanya Barfield's two-actor play, Blue Door, about a prominent African-American mathematician in crisis, begins its New York premiere Sept. 28 at Playwrights Horizons.

The production marks the Off-Broadway playwriting debut of Barfield, whose works have been seen around the country.

Leigh Silverman (Well) directs Reg E. Cathey and Andre Holland at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, the intimate second-stage in the PH complex on West 42nd Street.

"When a prominent African-American mathematician begins to lose his grip on reality, the ghosts of his ancestors shatter the silence of an insomnia-filled night," according to Playwrights Horizons. "Blue Door is a tour-de-force for two actors, a vivid, exuberantly theatrical play about the black American male experience."

Opening is Oct. 8. Performances continue to Oct. 29.

Reg E. Cathey is known for Julie Taymor's The Green Bird on Broadway, "The Wire" and "Oz" on cable, and as Commander Morag on "Star Trek: The Next Generation." André Holland is a 2006 New York University MFA graduate who appeared in The Public Theater/NYSF's As You Like It and Much Ado About Nothing in Central Park. Blue Door will feature scenic design by Narelle Sissons, costume design by Toni-Leslie James, lighting design by Mary Louise Geiger, sound design by Ken Travis and original music by Daryl Waters. The production stage manager will be Amy McCraney.

Barfield's plays have been presented at South Coast Rep, Arena Stage, The Royal Court, New York Theatre Workshop, Seattle Rep, Hartford Stage, The Guthrie Lab and New York Stage & Film. Her works include Dent, The Quick, 121° West, Pecan Tan and The Houdini Act, as well as the book for a children's musical, Kofi's Civil War.

Prior to becoming a playwright, she was a solo performer, appearing in her one-woman show Without Skin, or Breathlessness. She is a graduate of Juilliard's Playwriting Program and a recipient of the Helen Merrill Emerging Playwrights Award.

The first preview 7:30 PM Sept. 28 is a Pay What You Can Performance, distributed through a lottery system. Names will be taken at the Ticket Central box office (416 West 42nd Street) in person on the day of the performance between 2 PM and 6:30 PM. A drawing will take place at 6:30 PM. Participants must be present with ID at the time names are drawn in order to be eligible for the lottery. Two tickets per person, cash-only, subject to availability.

Playwrights Horizons is at 416 W. 42nd Street.

The performance schedule for Blue Door is Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2 & 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2 & 7 PM. Tickets are $45.

For ticket information, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200, noon to 8 PM daily, or purchase online at the Playwrights Horizons website at


Playwrights Horizons, under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus, "is a writer's theatre dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American playwrights, composers and lyricists, and to the production of their new work."

The current Mainstage production is the New York premiere of the Jeff Award-winning dark comedy, The Pain and the Itch, by Bruce Norris.

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