New Playwrights Horizons Season Includes Will Arbery World Premiere


About a year ago, Playwrights Horizons’ new artistic director, Adam Greenfield announced a four-game season For 2021, with all titles directed by women and written by writers of color.

All four titles—Aleshea Harris’What to Send When It Drops?”Sylvia Khoury”sell Kabul“Tambo & Bones” by Dave Harris and “Wish You Were Here” by Sanaz Toossi – now have opening dates as part of Playwrights Horizons’ 2021-22 season, which starts in September. And the lineup has an exciting addition: Next summer, the nonprofit theater on West 42nd Street will present the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize finalist Will Arbery’s “Corsicana,” directed by Sam Gold.

“I wanted to be successful in the plays we planned and show my commitment to these writers,” Greenfield, who is in his second year as art director, said in a phone call Tuesday. “Each of these tracks demands to be heard.”

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her portrayal of contemporary conservatism, “Heroes of the Fourth Turning,” which premiered at Playwrights Horizons in 2019, Arbery will return to the nonprofit Off Broadway with “Corsicana” in June 2022. The play follows a woman with Down syndrome and her younger half-brother as they grapple with the death of their mother in a small town in Texas and become involved with a reclusive local artist. He will be directed by Gold, who won a Tony Award for directing “House of Entertainment” on Broadway, and will also direct the staging of Chekhov’s “The Three Sisters” scheduled for 2020 at the New York Theater Workshop in the 2022-23 season. and its star cast includes Greta Gerwig and Oscar Isaac.

The remainder of the 2021-22 season will kick off in September with Obie winner Aleshea Harris’ ritual, “What to Send When You Fall Down,” as a game honoring the lives of Blacks lost to racialized violence. Co-produced with the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the show recently completed a run at BAM Fisher, directed by Whitney White (our “Dear Dead Drug Lord”), which will continue when production moves to the Playwrights. New York Times critic Maya Phillips He praised “What To Send” as “a series of cathartic experiences” For the color audience at BAM.

Next up is Khoury’s November thriller “Selling Acceptance,” which examines the human cost of immigration policy and will be directed by Tyne Rafaeli. The game was originally scheduled for the 2019-20 season and was in rehearsals when the pandemic closed theaters in March 2020.

“It follows the experiences of Afghans who were left behind when they left Afghanistan,” Greenfield said. “This is a topic that has been in the news more and more over the past year.”

Then comes the world premiere of Dave Harris’s “Tambo & Bones,” billed as a “hip-hop triptych” about two characters trapped in a bard show, in January. It will be directed by Taylor Reynolds. In April, the theater will stage Toossi’s dramatic comedy “Wish You Were Here,” about best friends grappling with cultural turmoil amid the Iranian Revolution. It will be directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch.

Greenfield is where a new show from “Slave Play” writer Jeremy O. Harris – “A Child’s Company Presents: Tell Me If It Hurts You” is scheduled to open in May 2020 before being disrupted by the pandemic – won’t be part of the 2021-22 season, but work continues.

“There were a number of games that were discussed, and some of them made more sense to reopen,” Greenfield said. “But I think that will be a future talk. It’s still being discussed.”

The playwrights gave information about their other projects as well as their main productions. Eleven writers were commissioned to produce work for the second season of the theater’s scripted fiction podcast series, “sound stage” The company continues its new performance series, The Lighthouse Project, which aims to fill the time between planned productions with installations, performances and events by in-house artists rather than renting space to outside groups.


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