Preview by David Roberts
Theatre Reviews Limited
Primary Stages (Casey Childs, Founder & Executive Producer; Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director) announced their upcoming 32nd Season on March 14 at a champagne reception celebrating the Centennial of the birth of late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Primary Stages collaborator, Horton Foote. The 2016/17 season, to be performed at New York’s historic Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street, www.cherrylanetheatre.org), will feature the four productions:
“THE ROADS TO HOME
by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright HORTON FOOTE
Directed by MICHAEL WILSON
Featuring DEVON ABNER, HALLIE FOOTE, additional casting to be announced
September – November, 2016
Over our 32-year history, Primary Stages has produced some of the finest works of legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Horton Foote. From “The Day Emily Married to Harrison, TX” and the Tony-nominated “Dividing the Estate,” Foote’s legacy has flourished on our stage and we’re proud to celebrate the Centennial of his birth with a tender, yet compelling new production of his quintessential comic drama, “The Roads to Home.” In this beautiful masterpiece, three women living in Houston, Texas in the 1920s grapple with the eternal question, “Where is home?” “The Roads to Home” offers a rare chance to experience a Foote gem not seen on the New York stage in over 25 years, in one of New York’s most intimate and historic venues, the Cherry Lane Theatre. This timeless production will feature direction by Michael Wilson (Foote’s longtime collaborator who won Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for “The Orphans’ Home Cycle”) and performances from Drama Desk winner Devon Abner and Tony-nominated Hallie Foote, the foremost contemporary interpreter of Horton’s work.
“CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC”
New York Premiere by CLAUDIA RANKINE
Adapted for the stage by CLAUDIA RANKINE & STEPHEN SACHS
January – March, 2017
An intensely provocative and unapologetic rumination on racial aggression in America, Claudia Rankine‘s “Citizen: An American Lyric” has been heralded as one of the best books of the past decade. In this new stage adaptation by Rankine and Stephen Sachs of this masterful “New York Times” bestseller, seemingly every day acts of racism are scrutinized as part of an uncompromising testimony of “living while Black” in America. A winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, Rankine’s work echoes the voices heard around dinner tables and in demonstrations across the country. From the shooting of Trayvon Martin, to the tennis career of Serena Williams, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Citizen powerfully explores life in the face of unrelenting and pervasive acts of injustice, whether they are political affronts on the global stage or passing slurs at the local supermarket.
New York Premiere by MICHAEL McKEEVER
Directed by JOE BRANCATO
Presented by Primary Stages and Ted Snowdon
March – April, 2017
In Michael McKeever‘s compelling new play, “Daniel’s Husband,” we see Daniel and Mitchell enjoying life as the Perfect Couple. Perfect house, perfect friends, even a mother who wants them to wed. What isn’t perfect is that Daniel longs to be married and Mitchell does not. A turn of events forces both men to face the consequences of their opposing views, and they learn that they are living in a world where fundamental rights aren’t always so fundamental. Proclaimed by the Miami Herald as “beautifully crafted, powerfully realized and emotionally devastating,” “Daniel’s Husband” takes an unflinching look at how we choose to Tie the Knot. Or not.
The 2016/17 Season will also include the first production in the new Primary Stages Studio Series, PS TWO. This new program will feature productions in a smaller setting and enable Primary Stages and its audiences to explore new writers and their work on a more intimate level.
New York Premiere by TANYA SARACHO
November – December, 2016
Acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Tanya Saracho (Mala Hierba at Second Stage; writer and co-producer of the hit ABC series, “How to Get Away with Murder”) comes to Primary Stages with the New York Premiere of “Fade,” a behind-the-scenes comedy about the burgeoning friendship between Lucia and Abel, two Latinos of Mexican descent working at a ruthless Hollywood studio. Lucia is an tenacious novelist, newly hired to write for a TV detective series and struggling to find her place among a team of domineering white male co-workers. Abel is one of the studio’s janitors, compassionate to Lucia’s difficulties and generous with his opinions and personal anecdotes which keeps them in an absorbing tête-à-tête throughout their workdays. As their bond grows, Abel’s stories quickly blur with those Lucia is writing for the show and they both find themselves in the center of their own not-quite-made-for-TV drama.
“Our 2016/17 Season offers an array of writing talent intermingling in all the ways audiences expect from Primary Stages,” says Primary Stages Founder & Executive Producer, Casey Childs, “The season is immensely literary, with productions by masters of the written word, like Horton Foote and poet Claudia Rankine. We’re also delving into more topical realms with headline-confronting pieces dealing with touchstones from the American racial divide to gay marriage, to Mexican-American immigration and citizenship.”