Primary Stages Season to Feature Gurney, Blessing, Margulies and Howe Premieres

News   Primary Stages Season to Feature Gurney, Blessing, Margulies and Howe Premieres
Primary Stages' 2008-2009 season will boast three New York premieres and one world premiere.
Donald Margulies
Donald Margulies Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The 24th season of the theatre company that performs at 59E59 Theaters was announced Jan. 19 by Casey Childs, executive producer; Andrew Leynse, artistic director; and Elliot Fox, managing director.

The season will kick off July 22 with the New York premiere of A.R. Gurney's Buffalo Gal. Mark Lamos will direct the production from the author of Love Letters and The Dining Room. Buffalo Gal, which will play through Aug. 30, concerns "Amanda, a once successful television personality whose star is now fading. Life imitates art as she returns to her hometown of Buffalo to star in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. Just as she is connecting with her roots – both on stage and off – she is called back to Hollywood for a role that could recharge her career. Will the love of theatre be enough to keep her in Buffalo?"

Another New York premiere, Lee Blessing's A Body of Water, will follow. Maria Mileaf will direct the production, which runs Sept. 16-Oct. 25. Blessing's play, according to press notes, tells the story of "Avis and Moss who awake one morning in a house set in the forested hills above a picturesque body of water. The weather's great, the view's magnificent. However, neither of them seems to know whose house this is or who they are. Will a stranger at their doorstep be able to help?" Blessing is the author of A Walk in the Woods and Going to St. Ives.

Shipwrecked! An Entertainment — The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told By Himself) is the lengthy title of Donald Margulies' play, which will make its New York premiere at Primary Stages Jan. 27, 2009-March 7, 2009. In Shipwrecked Margulies — whose works include the Pulitzer Prize-winning Dinner with Friends and the Obie-winning The Model Apartment — has written about "a tale of adventure that left England spellbound in the 19th century. . . Louis de Rougemont invites you to hear his amazing story of bravery, survival and celebrity. Shipwrecked! examines how far we're willing to blur the line between fact and fiction in order to leave our mark on the world."

The 2008-2009 season will conclude with the world premiere of Tina Howe's Chasing Manet. Jane Alexander will head the cast of Manet, which runs March 25-May 2, 2009. The new play, according to Primary Stages, is described as such: "A rebellious painter from a distinguished family in Boston and an ebullient Jewish woman with a huge adoring family form an unlikely bond. Inside the confining walls of Mount Airy Nursing Home, the two plot an escape to Paris aboard the QE2. But can they possibly pull it off amidst the chaos of their surroundings? The tension and comedy grow as they struggle to take wing for the last time." Howe is the author of Coastal Disturbances and Painting Churches. In a statement Primary Stages executive producer Childs said, "We are so happy and pleased to announce a season that includes works by such great award-winning playwrights. And I am thrilled for Tina Howe [to] join our growing roster of illustrious playwrights."

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