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Matthew Maher, Colleen Werthmann, and Susannah Flood in Anne Washburn's "Mr. Burns, a post-electric play" at Playwrights Horizons in 2013. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Playwright Horizons to Produce Final Michael Friedman Musical

Next season also includes world premieres by Jaclyn Backhaus and Jeremy O. Harris.

NEW YORK CITY: Playwrights Horizons has announced its 2019-20 season, featuring five new plays and a new musical, the last by late composer Michael Friedman.

“The playwrights featured this season are pursuing remarkably fresh and wildly varied artistic styles,” said Tim Sanford, Playwrights’ artistic director, in a statement. “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.”

The season begins in August with Wives by Jaclyn Backhaus, directed by Margot Bordelon. A world premiere commission by Playwrights Horizons, the play spans the castles of 16th-century France to the plains of 1960s Idaho to the strapping fortresses of 1920s India, honing in on the untold stories of the women behind the world’s patriarchal Great Men narratives.

In September Will Arbery’s Heroes of the Fourth Turning will open, directed by Danya Taymor. The play depicts four young conservatives gathered for a backyard after-party, as their reunion spirals into chaos and inter-generational recrimination.

Next, in November, is The Thin Place by Lucas Hnath, directed by Les Waters. The play follows the recollections of a young woman in the thrall of a psychic as she is haunted by mysterious family secret.

In February 2020, Unknown Soldier, a musical with music and lyrics by the late Michael Friedman, with book and lyrics by Daniel Goldstein, will open, with direction by Trip Cullman. The show spans three generations as it follows the discovery by a woman of the photograph of an anonymous soldier, tucked away in a box of her grandmother’s keepsakes.

Selling Kabul by Sylvia Khoury opens in March 2020, directed by Tyne Rafaeli. It tells the story of an Afghan interpreter employed, then abandoned by U.S. forces.

Next, in May 2020, is Jeremy O. Harris’s A Boy’s Company Presents: “Tell Me If I’m Hurting You.” This world premiere commissioned by Playwrights Horizons is described as a “gilded, hyperqueer revenge fantasy” between characters called Vinny and Baby Boy.

Playwrights Horizons, now in its 48th year, is dedicated to cultivating American playwrights, composers, and lyricists, as well as developing and producing their new plays and musicals.

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