Jessica Hecht, Dominic Fumusa and More Star in STAGE KISS at Playwrights Horizons; Previews Begin Tonight
Playwrights Horizons presents the New York premiere production of STAGE KISS, a new play marking the eagerly-awaited return of two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl (Dead Man's Cell Phone at PH; The Clean House, In the Next Room...) to the theater company. Directed by Rebecca Taichman (Milk Like Sugar at PH; the current Marie Antoinette, Orlando, The Scene, Luck of the Irish), the production begins previews this evening, February 7 at 8PM with an Opening Night set for Sunday, March 2 at 7PM. The limited engagement will play through Sunday evening, March 23 at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street).
STAGE KISS not only marks the return of both Ms. Ruhl and Ms. Taichman to Playwrights Horizons, but also reunites the collaborators for the first time since their collaboration on the New York premiere of Orlando in 2010.
The cast will feature Clea Alsip (L(y)RE), Michael Cyril Creighton (The Vietnamization of NJ, Blood Play, Writers Guild winner for "Jack in the Box"), SAG Award nominee Dominic Fumusa (Ms. Ruhl's Passion Play, Tape, Take Me Out, [sic], Kevin Peyton on "Nurse Jackie"), Emma Galvin (Lidless, Our Town, Blood Play), Tony Award nominee Jessica Hecht (Lobster Alice and Plunge at PH,The Assembled Parties, A View from the Bridge, Harvey, The Last Night of Ballyhoo) and Patrick Kerr (The Ritz, Endgame, The Warrior Ant, Jeffrey, The Devils).
Art imitates Life. Life imitates Art. When two actors (Ms. Hecht and Mr. Fumusa) with a history are thrown together as romantic leads in a forgotten 1930s melodrama, they quickly lose touch with reality as the story onstage follows them offstage. Sarah Ruhl's singular voice returns to Playwrights Horizons with STAGE KISS, a charming tale about what happens when lovers share a Stage Kiss - or when actors share a real one.
The production features scenic design by two-time Obie Award winner Neil Patel, costume design by Tony Award winner Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Jane Cox and sound design by Matt Hubbs. Production Stage Manager is Cole P. Bonenberger.
STAGE KISS had its World Premiere at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago in May 2011. Writing on that premiere, Steven Oxman ofVariety called it, "Wickedly clever, with breezily elegant dialogue and Ruhl's pleasingly loopy logic."
The performance schedule for STAGE KISS will be Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7PM, Thursdays and Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at2:30 PM & 8PM and Sundays at 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM. Single tickets, $75-90, will go on sale to the general public starting Monday, January 6. As of that date, single tickets may be purchased online via www.TicketCentral.com, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily) and in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).
For more information, visit www.PlaywrightsHorizons.org, find the theater on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/PlaywrightsHorizons or follow on Twitter: @phnyc, Tumblr: playwrightshorizons.tumblr.com and Instagram: phnyc.
Sarah Ruhl's (Playwright) plays include Stage Kiss (Goodman Theatre), In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Broadway, Lincoln Center Theater, Pulitzer Play finalist, premiered at Berkeley Rep, subsequently at Victory Gardens), The Clean House (Lincoln Center Theater, Pulitzer Prize Finalist 2005, The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2004, premiered at Yale Repertory Theater, subsequently Goodman Theater); Passion Play, a cycle (Pen American Award, The Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center, Helen Hayes Awards nomination for Best New Play, premiered at Arena Stage, subsequently Goodman Theater, Yale Rep and Epic Theater in New York); Dead Man's Cell Phone (Playwrights Horizons, Steppenwolf Theater, premiered at Woolly Mammoth Theater); Melancholy Play (premiered at the Piven Theater Workshop); Eurydice (premiered at Madison Repertory Theater, subsequently Berkeley Rep, Yale Rep, Second Stage, Victory Gardens); Orlando (premiered at Piven Theater Workshop, subsequently Classic Stage Company and Court Theater),Dear Elizabeth (Yale Rep), and Late: a cowboy song (Piven Theater Workshop). Her plays have been produced across the country as well as internationally, and have been translated into Polish, Russian, Spanish, Norwegian, Korean, German, French, Swedish and Arabic. Originally from Chicago, Ms. Ruhl received her M.F.A. from Brown University where she studied with Paula Vogel. In 2003, she was the recipient of the Helen Merrill Emerging Playwrights Award and the Whiting Writers' Award. She is a member of 13P and New Dramatists and won the MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. She was a recent recipient of the PEN Center Award for a mid-career playwright in 2010. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.
Rebecca Taichman (Director). Playwrights Horizons: Milk Like Sugar. Other New York: the current Marie Antoinette (Soho Rep), Luck of the Irish (LCT3),Orlando (CSC), Dark Sisters (Music Theater Group/Gotham Chamber Opera), Orpheus (New York City Opera), The Scene (Second Stage, also Humana),Menopausal Gentleman (Ohio Theatre), Rappaccini's Daughter (Gotham Chamber Opera/Bryant Park, The Broad Stage). Regional: Marie Antoinette (ART);Evildoers (World Premiere), Iphigenia at Aulis (Yale Rep); Sleeping Beauty Wakes, Milk Like Sugar (La Jolla Playhouse); She Loves Me (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Winter's Tale (McCarter/Shakespeare Theatre Company); Cymbeline, Twelfth Night, Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare Theatre Company); Twelfth Night, Sleeping Beauty Wakes (McCarter); At Home at the Zoo (ACT); Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone (World Premiere) and The Clean House, The Velvet Sky (World Premiere) (Woolly Mammoth); The Huntington: Mauritius by Theresa Rebeck (World Premiere) (Huntington); The Diary of Anne Frank, A Body of Water (Round House Theatre); The Green Violin (2003 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Direction of a Musical, Prince Music Theatre); Swimming in March (The Market Theatre); The People vs. The God of Vengeance (The Theatre Offensive). Instructor: The O'Neill National Theater Institute, MIT, Yale University, the University of Maryland. Training and Affiliations: TCG New Generations Grant Recipient with Woolly Mammoth, Drama League Directing Fellowship, MFA Yale School of Drama.
Clea Alsip (Laurie). Playwrights Horizons debut. New York Stage: L(y)RE (Ars Nova). Regional: Clybourne Park (Dorset, Barrington Stage), The Show Off(Westport), The Killing of Sister George (Long Wharf), One Slight Hitch (George Street Playhouse), Brace Yourself (Berkshire Theatre Group), Motherf#cker with the Hat (TheaterWorks Hartford), Six Degrees of Separation, Map of Virtues (Williamstown). TV: "Boardwalk Empire." MFA: NYU/Tisch.
Michael Cyril Creighton (Kevin). Playwrights Horizons stage debut. Off-Broadway: The Vietnamization of NJ. Other NY Theater: Blood Play, Buddy Cop 2,Milkmilklemonade, 365 Days/365 Plays. TV: "Orange Is the New Black," "Nurse Jackie," "Person of Interest," "Louie," "30 Rock." He's the WGA Award-winning creator, writer and star of "Jack in the Box," the hit web series based on his experiences as box office treasurer at Playwrights Horizons! Other Internet: host of "VH1's Best Night Ever," "Very Mary-Kate."
Dominic Fumusa (He). Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway: Wait Until Dark. Other New York Theater: Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play (Epic Theatre Ensemble), The Power of Duff (NYS&F), Ninth and Joanne (LABrynth Theater), Fault Lines (Naked Angels), Tape (Naked Angels, also London, L.A.), Take Me Out (Public Theater, also London), [sic] (Soho Rep), A Flea in Her Ear (Roundabout). National Tour: starred as Mitch in Mitch Albom's Tuedays with Morrie. TV: Kevin Peyton on "Nurse Jackie" (2013 SAG Award nomination, Best Ensemble), "Elementary," "Damages," "Bones."
Emma Galvin (Angela). Playwrights Horizons debut. Off-Broadway: Lidless, Our Town, Blood Play (also at Williamstown). Other New York Theater: In Loving Memory of Julie Simmons, The Maids, Restoration Comedy, Hello Out There, These Seven Sickness, The Power of Birds. She is a 2011 Earphone Award voiceover artist and her credits include the audiobook version of Winters Bone.
Jessica Hecht (She). Playwrights Horizons: Lobster Alice, Plunge. Broadway: The Assembled Parties (Drama League nomination), Harvey (Drama League nomination), A View from the Bridge (Tony, Drama League nominations), Brighton Beach Memoirs/Broadway Bound, Julius Caeser, After The Fall, The Last Night of Ballyhoo. Other Off-Broadway: Three Sisters, Howard Katz, The House in Town, Flesh & Blood, Stop Kiss. Film/TV: J. Edgar, Whatever Works, Dan in Real Life, Sideways, "The Single Guy," "Breaking Bad," "Elementary," "Nurse Jackie, "The Good Wife."
Patrick Kerr (Director). Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway: The Ritz. Off-Broadway: Jeffrey, The Devils. BAM: Endgame, The Warrior Ant. Other New York Theater: Romeo and Juliet. Film/TV: Jeffrey, Michael ("the blind guy") on "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Noel Shemsky on "Frasier," "CSI," "Will & Grace," "Friends," "Seinfeld." Vegas: The Lion King. Regional: Mother Courage (La Jolla); The Underpants, Jeffrey (Geffen Playhouse); A Midsummer Night's Dream, Habeas Corpus, The Triumph of Love (South Coast Rep); Dealer's Choice (Mark Taper Forum).
Playwrights Horizons is a writer's theater dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American Playwrights, composers and lyricists and to the production of their new work. Under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus, the theater company continues to encourage the new work of veteran writers while nurturing an emerging generation of theater artists. In its 42 years, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of more than 400 writers and has received numerous awards and honors, including a special 2008 Drama Desk Award for "ongoing support to generations of theater artists and undiminished commitment to producing new work." Notable productions include five Pulitzer Prize winners - Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park (2012 Tony Award, Best Play), Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles (1989 Tony Award, Best Play), Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George - as well as Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns - A Post-Electric Play, Lisa D'Amour's Detroit (2013 Obie Award, Best New American Play); Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale (2013 Lortel Award, Best Play); Kirsten Greenidge's Milk Like Sugar (2012 Obie Award); Gina Gionfriddo's Rapture, Blister, Burn; Dan LeFranc's The Big Meal; Amy Herzog's After the Revolution and The Great God Pan; Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation (three 2010 Obie Awards including Best New American Play) and The Flick (2013 Obie Award); Bathsheba Doran's Kin; Adam Bock's A Small Fire; Edward Albee's Me, Myself & I; Melissa James Gibson's This (2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist); Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens (three 2007 Tony Awards); Craig Lucas's Prayer For My Enemy and Small Tragedy (2004 Obie Award, Best American Play); Adam Rapp's Kindness; Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone; Lynn Nottage's Fabulation (2005 Obie Award for Playwriting); Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero; David Greenspan's She Stoops to Comedy (2003 Obie Award); Kirsten Childs's The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (2000 Obie Award); Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey's James Joyce's The Dead; Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins; William Finn's March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland; Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacationand Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You; Richard Nelson's Goodnight Children Everywhere; Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's Once on This Island; Jon Robin Baitz's The Substance of Fire; Scott McPherson's Marvin's Room; A.R. Gurney's Later Life; Adam Guettel and Tina Landau's Floyd Collins; and Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride