Playwrights Horizons has unveiled its 2019–20 season, which will feature five premieres by Jaclyn Backhaus (India Pale Ale), Will Arbery (Plano), Lucas Hnath (Hillary and Clinton), Sylvia Khoury (Against the Hillside), and Jeremy O. Harris (Slave Play).
Kicking off the season in August will be the world premiere of Backhaus' Wives, directed by Margot Bordelon. The new comedy tracks patriarchal narrative tropes through stories that traverse time and place—from the brawny castles of 16th-century France, to the rugged plains of 1960s Idaho, and fortresses of 1920s India.
Next up will be Arbery’s play Heroes of the Fourth Turning, set in Wyoming amidst a fraught reunion of four young conservatives, each fighting to be understood. Danya Taymor ("Daddy") will helm the world premiere in September.
In the fall, Playwrights will present the New York premiere of Hnath's The Thin Place, directed by Les Waters. Named after the fragile boundary between our world and "the other one," the play transforms the theatre into an intimate séance.
Kicking off the new year will be Unknown Soldier, Friedman and Goldstein's elegiac musical about a woman’s journey to unearth the secrets buried in her family’s past. Directed by Cullman, the production will begin in February 2020.
In March, Playwrights will team up with Williamstown Theatre Festival to present the New York premiere of Khoury's thriller Selling Kabul. Tyne Rafaeli (Usual Girls) directs the new play about the human cost of America’s longest—and ongoing—war.
Rounding out the season will be the world premiere of Harris' A Boy’s Company Presents: “Tell Me If I’m Hurting You.” When Vinny meets Baby Boy, it sets off an erotic dream-journey that begins with a rush of passion and ends, inevitably, soaked in blood. The new work from the Slave Play playwright is billed as a gilded, hyperqueer revenge fantasy, a tragic ballet in technicolor. A director will be announced.
“The playwrights featured this season are pursuing remarkably fresh and wildly varied artistic styles," says artistic director Tim Sanford. "Even as the plays are in dialogue with pressing conversations happening all around us, what feels so exciting about these works is how many of them do so with a super-aesthetic approach that pushes the theatrical form to new heights while perpetuating our curiosity rather than offering easy answers. Playwrights Horizons is known for fostering idiosyncratic voices, and the range of styles at play this season—in shaping language into works that will linger in people’s minds—feels wholly representative of our mission.”