NEW YORK CITY: Playwrights Horizons has announced four productions for its 2020-21 season, the first under new artistic director Adam Greenfield. Production dates will be announced at a later date, based on guidance from authorities about when it will be possible to gather safely in a theatre.
“The long days since March 12—when Playwrights Horizons, like theatres across the nation, shut our doors—have been consumed by a cycle of making plans, scrapping plans and revising them, as our grasp of society and theatre’s place within it continuously shifts,” said Greenfield in a statement. “It’s a moment of tectonic change for the nation, our city, and our theatre; a moment that’s both daunting and exhilarating. As I take on the role of artistic director on the occasion of our 50th anniversary, envisioning the next 50 years, the pandemic is a mandate to rethink our models and practices, and to imagine a new theatre that’s just, equitable, sustainable, and liberating. I’m strengthened and inspired when I look at the wildly varied roster of artists and works and forms that have aligned for our reopening. Looking forward, I continue to return to our name, which promises a commitment to following playwrights toward the future, the ‘horizon.’ In tough times, I look to artists—particularly writers, as expansive and inclusive a designation as can be imagined—to illuminate the path: a future I’m hungry to share with our city as soon as that becomes possible.”
First up will be the world premiere of Tambo & Bones by Dave Harris, produced in association with Center Theatre Group. The satire on the intersection of race, capitalism, and performance will be directed by Taylor Reynolds.
Next will be Sylvia Khoury’s Selling Kabul, which will be presented in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival. The play is about how America’s longest war reverberates through an apartment in Kabul, and Tyne Rafaeli will direct.
Following will be the Movement Theatre Company’s production of What to Send Up When It Goes Down by Aleshea Harris. The play bears witness to the physical and spiritual deaths of Black people. Whitney White will direct.
The season will include the world premiere of Sanaz Toossi’s Wish You Were Here, about five women and their friendship amidst the relentless aftershocks of political upheaval in Iran. The play will be presented with Williamstown Theatre Festival and directed by GT Upchurch.
Also in the lineup will be A Boy’s Company Presents: “Tell Me If I’m Hurting You” by Jeremy O. Harris, which was previously scheduled for the 2019-20 season. Jack Ferver will choreograph and Dustin Willis will direct.
In addition to the mainstage season, Playwrights Horizons has launched the Lighthouse Series. This performance series will feature collaborations with performance groups, workshops, concerts, and more. The initial offerings will include a collaboration with the company raja feather kelly | the feath3r theory, the podcast play company the Parsnip Ship, as well as a reading-and-lecture series curated by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.
Playwrights Horizons will also launch a digital magazine called Almanac, which will feature critical conversations within the larger artistic community about the theatre field. The magazine will feature essays, drawings, interviews, short plays, and more. The company’s dramaturg, Ashley Chang, will serve as editor-in-chief, and the first edition of Almanac will be released this fall.
The company’s newly commissioned playwrights for the season include César Alvarez, Bleu Beckford-Burrell, John J. Caswell, Jr., Mia Chung, and Anne Washburn.
Founded in 1976, Playwrights Horizons produces contemporary plays and works by American writers.