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Playwrights Horizons Announces 3 New Plays for Upcoming Season

Playwrights Horizons has announced additional details for its exciting 2005-2006 35th anniversary season. In addition to previously-announced plays by James Lapine (Fran's Bed), Christopher Durang (Miss Witherspoon) and Keith Bunin (The Busy World is Hushed), three other new works will be presented in their world premieres.

The dates for Grey Gardens, a new musical with a book by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife), music by Scott Frankel (musical director for Falsettos, Putting It Together), lyrics by Michael Korie (Harvey Milk) and directed by Tony Award winner Michael Greif (Rent), have yet to be announced. Based on the cult documentary, the musical will star Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole (42nd Street, the current Steel Magnolias) and Tony Award nominee Mary Louise Wilson (Cabaret, Full Gallop). It will be staged at the Horizons Mainstage Theatre (416 W. 42nd St.).

A press article describes the show thus; "Once among the brightest names in the pre-Camelot social register, the deliciously eccentric aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis are now East Hampton's most notorious recluses, living in a dilapidated 28-room mansion. Facing an uncertain future, Edith Bouvier Beale and her adult daughter, 'Little' Edie, are forced to revisit their storied past and come to terms with it – for better, and for worse."

Pen is a new play by David Marshall Grant (Snakebit, Current Events) that will be directed by Will Frears (Ominum Gatherum). The play will feature Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner J. Smith-Cameron (Our Country's Good, Fuddy Meers), and previews will begin on March 23rd, 2006, at the Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theatre (416 W. 42nd St.).

"Confined to a wheelchair, a controlling mother (Cameron) holds tightly to her son by influencing his enrollment in a nearby college, while her ex-husband tries to spring the boy loose. Backed into a corner, the young man makes a choice that unleashes a series of mysterious events, forcing a broken family to confront its unresolved wounds. Pen is a sly, perceptive new play about finding love, losing control, and making the ultimate sacrifice."

Manic Flight Reaction by Sarah Schulman (Correct Usage and Common Errors) is directed by Trip Cullman (The Last Sunday in June, The Vortex), and will begin previews on October 13th, 2005 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre.

"Struggling to settle – at the last minute – into normalcy, a middle-aged professor must confront the demons of her idealistic past when her daughter learns one of her mother's past liaisons is the wife of the leading presidential candidate. Manic Flight Reaction is a razor-edged comedy about abandonment, the intrusion of mass-market media, and the need for faith in goodness, despite the odds."

It has also be announced that Mia Farrow (off-Broadway's The Exonerated, many films) will star in Fran's Bed; she originated the role at the Long Wharf Theatre. Fran's Bed is directed by Lapine (Sunday in the Park with George, Falsettos), and will begin previews on September 2nd, 2005 at the Horizons Mainstage Theatre.

Durang's Miss Witherspoon will be directed by Tony Award nominee Emily Mann (Anna in the Tropics), and it will begin performances on November 11th, 2005 at the Horizons Mainstage Theatre as a co-production with the McCarter Theatre. Casting has not yet been announced.

Mark Brokaw (the upcoming The Constant Wife, Reckless) will stage Bunin's (The World Over and The Credeaux Canvas) play The Busy World is Hushed; neither casting nor dates for its premiere at the Horizons Mainstage Theatre have been announced.

Playwrights Horizon, under the leadership of Artistic Director Tim Sanford and Managing Director Leslie Marcus, 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. In its 34 years, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of more than 350 writers and has received numerous awards and honors. Notable productions include four Pulitzer Prize winners: Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles, Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George, as well as Lynn Nottage's Fabulation (2005 Obie Award for Playwriting), Craig Lucas's Small Tragedy 
(2004 Obie Award, Best American Play), Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero, Kirsten Childs's The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey's James Joyce's The Dead, William Finn's March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, Richard Nelson's Goodnight Children Everywhere and Franny's Way, 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.

Playwrights Horizons is supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York State Senate, the New York State Assembly, the New York City Council and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In addition, Playwrights Horizons receives major support from the Ford Motor Company Fund, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

Subscriptions to Playwrights Horizons' 2005-2006 season are currently available, in 6-show (four Mainstage productions and two productions in The Peter Jay Sharp Theater) or 4-show (four Mainstage productions) packages. Packages include "Anytime" (6-show $240, 4-show $180), "Matinees" (6-show $220, 4-show $160), "Previews and Sunday Nights" (6-show $205, 4-show $145), "FlexPass" (6 tickets $240, 4 tickets $180), "30&Under FlexPass" (6 tickets $120, 4 tickets $80) and "Student FlexPass" (6 tickets, $60, 4 tickets $40). In addition to discounts on all Mainstage season attractions, subscribers receive priority seating, ticket exchange privileges, parking and dining discounts, exclusive mailings of Playwrights Horizons Bulletins, and soon, members-only privileges on the Playwrights Horizons website.

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