Playwrights Horizons Announces Full Lineup and Dates for 2021-22 Season

The world premiere of Will Arbery’s Corsicana, Directed by Sam Gold, completes the lineup.

By: Jul. 14, 2021
Playwrights Horizons Announces Full Lineup and Dates for 2021-22 Season

Playwrights Horizons today announced its 2021-22 season. The influential Off-Broadway institution returns to in-person performance after 18 months in which, under new artistic leadership, it has marked its 50th anniversary and reflected deeply on the role the theater should play in the life of its city, its country, and the world. The announcement includes dates for the remarkably resonant plays by Aleshea Harris, Sylvia Khoury, Dave Harris, and Sanaz Toossi that Playwrights put forward last July for this season; the addition of Corsicana, from Will Arbery, whose Pulitzer Prize finalist Heroes of the Fourth Turning premiered at Playwrights in 2019; and the continuation of several programs that have expanded the organization's platform and reach since it closed its doors in March 2020.

Playwrights Horizons Artistic Director Adam Greenfield said, "This past year, my first as Artistic Director, has been filled with uncertainty and loss and an acute call to interrogate how and why we work. It has also been filled with ingenuity and drive from our staff, board, and theater school faculty as we discovered new approaches to stay in community with our city. Our Almanac literary magazine, our fiction podcast Soundstage, our Lighthouse series of digital and public art installations, and our Perspectives on Playwriting lineup of Master Classes all furthered our mission to bring artists and audiences together. Throughout, the vision of reopening our theater with these five new plays has offered a beacon. We've anxiously awaited the moment we can safely welcome audiences back into our building to share new works live and in person. The plays in our upcoming season pull us through a wild range of styles and stories that speak to our current moment. Each reveals a fresh perspective and is written with a singular, indelible voice."

Playwrights Horizons begins the new season with Aleshea Harris's What to Send Up When It Goes Down, co-produced with the Broooklyn Academy of Music, in association with The Movement Theatre Company, following a sold-out presentation this summer at the BAM Fisher. Directed by Whitney White, this groundbreaking work is a play, a ritual, and a homegoing celebration that bears witness to the physical and spiritual deaths of Black people as a result of racist violence. Its run on the Playwrights Horizons Mainstage, September 24 - October 17, 2021, is part of the institution's Redux Series, which expands audience reach for vital new plays that have premiered to limited runs elsewhere.

Sylvia Khoury's intimate thriller Selling Kabul, directed by Tyne Rafaeli, was in rehearsals in Playwrights' Peter Jay Sharp Theater when the pandemic arrived last spring. The relevance of the play, in which the devastation of America's longest war reverberates through a Kabul apartment in the aftermath of a U.S. withdrawal, has only grown in recent months, as the withdrawal has begun to actually take place. Produced in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival, performances take place November 17 - December 23, 2021.

Playwrights Horizons joins forces with Center Theatre Group to produce Tambo & Bones, a scathing satire on the intersections of racism, capitalism, and performance, written by Dave Harris (a Tow Playwright-in-Residence at Roundabout Theatre Company), and directed by Taylor Reynolds. This world premiere, running January 12 - February 20, 2022 in Playwrights' Mainstage Theater, introduces to New York audiences a heralded new playwriting voice.

Playwrights Horizons also plays an instrumental role in the breakthrough of writer Sanaz Toossi, presenting the world premiere of her Wish You Were Here, April 13 - May 22, 2022. Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, the play traces five women across 14 years of friendship amidst the relentless aftershocks of political upheaval in Iran.

Will Arbery astonished audiences and critics with Heroes of the Fourth Turning, his meticulous and disquieting depiction of contemporary conservatism. Arbery's latest work, Corsicana, is set in a small city in Texas, where a woman with Down syndrome and her younger half-brother grapple with their mother's death, and become entangled with a local outsider artist. Sam Gold directs the world premiere, June 2 - July 10, 2022, in Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater.

In the season ahead-and beyond-Playwrights Horizons will sustain several initiatives it launched during a 50th anniversary that coincided with a historic moment of disruption and transformation. The organization conceived these not as substitutes for on-stage productions postponed by the pandemic, but rather as ways of realizing Playwrights' vision for a second half-century distinguished by new mediums for writers and theater-makers to work in, use of its building and other resources by more artists, and greater access to the the theater's work for local, national, and international audiences.

Playwrights will soon kick off season 2 of its acclaimed anthological scripted fiction podcast series, Soundstage, with works commissioned from Eboni Booth, Agnes Borinsky, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, The Debate Society, Sarah Gancher, David Greenspan, Miranda Rose Hall, Dave Harris, Julia Izumi, Kit Yan and Melissa Li. This year, the theater inaugurated its new Lighthouse Project, an eclectic series that through installations, performances, and events aims to stretch the definition of playwriting and theater-making. Having kicked off with installations on Playwrights' 42nd Street facade by visual artists Jilly Ballistic, Ken Gonzales-Day, Dread Scott, and Jess X. Snow, and with Raja Feather Kelly|the feath3r theory's streaming, episodic game-play The KILL ONE Race in recent months, the series continues this season with a collaboration with adventurous podcast play company The Parsnip Ship. Playwrights will also keep publishing Almanac, its new digital magazine consisting of commissioned works-essays, drawings, interviews, manifestos, short plays, and more-by artists across all disciplines and staff members, and will continue to offer its free financial literacy program, providing artists with advice by a professional financial planner.

Playwrights Horizons' Commitment to Health and Safety

In order to ensure the health and safety of its artists, audiences, and staff, Playwrights Horizons (as of July 14, 2021):

Has installed MERV-13 HVAC filters that meet the CDC's guidance

May require proof of vaccination and/or recent negative PCR test for entry

May also require masks, contact tracing surveys, assigned entry times, temperature checks, and more

Will make e-tickets available for a touchless experience

Playwrights will follow CDC and local guidance and will update these protocols as needed. The organization will announce any changes for each production prior to tickets going on sale.

Ticketing Information

Flex Passes (customizable bundle, starting at $200 for 4 tickets) and Memberships ($50 to join, $25 preview tickets with discounts thereafter) are on sale today. Tickets for What to Send Up When It Goes Down must be purchased separately, and package holders receive discounted rates.

Patron packages start at $1,800.

All packages and tickets can be purchased at

Tickets for individual performances in the season will be available for purchase approximately one month prior to the start of each production.


Playwrights Horizons and BAM

In Association with The Movement Theatre Company present:

What to Send Up When It Goes Down

Written by Aleshea Harris

Directed by Whitney White

Mainstage Theater

September 24 - October 17, 2021

What to Send Up When It Goes Down is a play, a ritual, and a home-going celebration that bears witness to the physical and spiritual deaths of Black people as a result of racist violence. Setting out to disrupt the pervasiveness of anti-Blackness and acknowledge the resilience of Black people throughout history, Aleshea Harris's acclaimed, groundbreaking play blurs the boundaries between actors and audiences, offering a space for catharsis, discussion, reflection, and healing.

What to Send Up When It Goes Down is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. This production is part of the Playwrights Horizons' Redux Series, which expands audience reach for vital new plays that premiered to limited runs elsewhere.

Aleshea Harris' play Is God Is (Soho Rep) won the 2016 Relentless Award, an OBIE Award for playwriting, the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award, was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and made The Kilroys' List of "the most recommended un- and underproduced plays by trans and female authors of color" for 2017. It will be produced at the Royal Court in London in the summer of 2020 and has been published by 3Hole Press and Samuel French. What to Send Up When It Goes Down, a play-pageant-ritual response to anti-blackness, had its critically-acclaimed NYC premiere in 2018, was produced at A.R.T., Woolly Mammoth, and The Public's Under the Radar, was featured in the April 2019 issue of American Theatre Magazine and was nominated for a Drama Desk award. Harris is under commission with Center Theatre Group and Playwrights Horizons.

Whitney White is a director and musician based in New York. Recent: Our Dear Dead Drug Lord by Alexis Scheer, WP Theater/Second Stage; for all the women who thought they were Mad by Zawe Ashton, Soho Rep; A Human Being, of a Sort by Jonathan Payne (starring Andre Braugher and Frank Wood), Williamstown Theatre Festival; What to Send Up When It Goes Down (New York Times Critics' Pick), The Movement, A.R.T., Woolly Mammoth, The Public's Under the Radar; Jump, PlayMakers Rep, NNPN Rolling World Premiere; Canyon (LA Times Critics' Choice), IAMA; An Iliad, Long Wharf; Rita También Rita, Juilliard; Othello, Trinity Rep; Br'er Cotton, Endstation. Her original musical Definition was part of the 2019 Sundance Theatre Lab, and her musical look at Macbeth, Macbeth In Stridewas part of the 2019 Under the Radar Festival (The Public Theater). Associate Directing: Marvin's Room, Broadway; If I Forget, Roundabout; The Secret Life of Bees, Atlantic Theater. Whitney is an Associate Artist at Roundabout, and current recipient of the Susan Stroman Directing Award. Past fellowships: 2050 NYTW Fellow, Ars Nova, Drama League, the Inaugural Roundabout Directing Fellowship, and Colt Coeur. Education/Training: BA, Northwestern; MFA Brown University/Trinity Rep.

Playwrights Horizons Presents:

Selling Kabul

Written by Sylvia Khoury

Directed by Tyne Rafaeli

Produced in Association with Williamstown Theatre Festival

Peter Jay Sharp Theater

November 17 - December 23, 2021

New York Premiere

Taroon once served as an interpreter for the US military in Afghanistan. Now the Americans - and their promises of safety - have withdrawn, and he spends his days in hiding, a target of the increasingly powerful Taliban. On the eve of his son's birth, Taroon must remain in his sister's apartment or risk his life to see his child. With shattering precision, Sylvia Khoury's thriller traces the human cost of immigration policy and the overlooked legacy of America's longest - and ongoing - war.

The production, produced in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival, reunites Khoury with director Tyne Rafaeli, who collaborated with the playwright on Power Strip at LCT3.

Sylvia Khoury is a New York-born writer of French and Lebanese descent. Her plays include Selling Kabul (Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theater Festival), Power Strip (LCT3), Against the Hillside (Ensemble Studio Theater) and The Place Women Go. She is currently under commission from Lincoln Center and Williamstown Theater Festival. Awards include the L. Arnold Weissberger Award and Jay Harris Commission and a Citation of Excellence from the Laurents/Hatcher Awards. She is a member of EST/ Youngblood and a previous member of the 2018-2019 Rita Goldberg Playwrights' Workshop at The Lark and the 2016-2018 WP Lab. Her plays have been developed at Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theater Festival, Eugene O'Neill Playwrights' Conference, Roundabout Theater Underground, Lark Playwrights' Week, EST/Youngblood, and WP Theater. She holds a BA from Columbia University and an MFA from the New School for Drama. She is a recent graduate from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Tyne Rafaeli. Playwrights Horizons: Craig Lucas' I Was Most Alive with You (NY Times Critics' Pick). Recent productions include Sylvia Khoury's Power Strip at LCT3 and Selling Kabul at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Ming Peiffer's Usual Girls at Roundabout Theater Company (NY Times Critics' Pick), Lauren Yee's In A Word at The Cherry Lane (NY Times Critics' Pick), Keith Bunin's The Coast Starlight at La Jolla Playhouse, Martyna Majok's Ironbound and the world premieres of Anna Ziegler's Actually and Amanda Peet's Our Very Own Carlin McCullough at The Geffen Playhouse and Michael Yates Crowley's The Rape of the Sabine Women at the Playwrights Realm. Her work has also been seen at Classic Stage Company, The Public Theatre, MTC, Atlantic Theater Company, Cal Shakes, Two River Theater, PlayMakers Rep, New York Stage & Film, Goodspeed and Juilliard. Tyne was a 2016-18 Time Warner Directing Fellow at the Women's Project Theater and received the 2014 SDC Sir John Gielgud Fellowship for Classic Direction.

Playwrights Horizons and Center Theatre Group Present:

Tambo & Bones

Written by Dave Harris

Directed by Taylor Reynolds

Mainstage Theater

January 12 - February 20, 2022

World Premiere

Tambo and Bones are two characters trapped in a minstrel show. It's mad hard to feel like a real person when you're trapped in a minstrel show. Their escape plan: get out, get bank, get even. A rags-to-riches hip-hop journey, Tambo & Bones roasts America's racist past, wrestles America's racist present, and explodes America's post-racial future - where what's at stake, for those deemed less-than-human, is the fate of humanity itself.

Dave Harris. Playwrights debut. Harris is a poet and playwright from West Philly and is the Tow Playwright-in-Residence at Roundabout Theatre Company. His play Exception to the Rule will have its world premiere at Roundabout Underground in spring 2020. Honors include the 2019 Ollie Award, The Lorraine Hansberry Award, Mark Twain Award from The Kennedy Center, the 2018 Venturous Fellowship from The Lark, and a Cave Canem poetry fellowship amongst others. His adapted film Summertime hadits premiere at Sundance in 2020. His first full-length collection of poetry, Patricide, was published in May 2019 from Button Poetry.

Taylor Reynolds. Playwrights debut. Reynolds is a New York-based director from Chicago and one of the Producing Artistic Leaders of Obie-winning The Movement Theatre Company. She has worked as a director, assistant, and collaborator with companies including Clubbed Thumb, Page 73, Signature Theatre Company, Ars Nova, and The 24 Hour Plays. Selected directing credits: Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally (Baltimore Center Stage/Playwrights Realm), Tough (AADA), Plano (Clubbed Thumb, Drama Desk nomination for Best Director), Songs About Trains (Radical Evolution), ALLOND(R)A (New Georges Audrey Residency), Think Before You Holla (creator/deviser). New Georges Affiliated Artist, 2017-2018 Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellow, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab alum, and member of SDC.

Playwrights Horizons presents:

Wish You Were Here

Written by Sanaz Toossi

Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch

Peter Jay Sharp Theater

April 13 - May 22, 2022

World Premiere

It's 1978 and protests are breaking out all across Iran, encroaching on this suburb where a tight-knit circle of friends plan weddings, trade dirty jokes, and struggle to uphold a sense of normalcy. But as the revolution escalates, each woman is forced either to join the wave of emigration or face an equally uncertain future at home. With breathtaking humanity and cutting wit, Wish You Were Here chronicles a decade of life during war, as best friends forever become friends long lost, scattered, and searching for home.

Sanaz Toossi. Playwrights debut. Toossi is an Iranian-American playwright from Orange County, California. Her play English (Kilroys' List 2019) will have a Roundabout Underground production in the 2021-22 season. She is currently under commission at the Atlantic (Launch commission; Toulmin grant), South Coast Repertory, IAMA Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival (American Revolutions Cycle). She is a member of Youngblood and the Middle Eastern American Writers Lab at the Lark, and an alum of Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writers' Group. She was the 2019 P73 Playwriting Fellow. MFA: NYU Tisch. Toossi is a proud child of immigrants.

Gaye Taylor Upchurch. Playwrights debut. Upchurch is a freelance director with a background in dance. Selected credits: world premieres of Lauren Gunderson's The Half-Life of Marie Curie (Audible Theater), Anna Ziegler's The Last Match (The Old Globe, Roundabout), Clare Lizzimore's Animal (Atlantic, Studio Theatre, Helen Hayes nomination), Laura Marks's Bethany (WP, Old Globe). Also: Carson McCullers's The Member of the Wedding (Williamstown), Simon Stephens's Harper Regan and Bluebird (with Simon Russell Beale, Atlantic), the musical Songbird (Two River), The Year of Magical Thinking (with Kathleen Turner, Arena Stage), An Iliad and As You Like It (Hudson Valley Shakespeare, Falstaff Award for Best Production and nomination for Best Director). Alum of UNC School of the Arts.

Playwrights Horizons presents:


Written by Will Arbery

Directed by Sam Gold

Mainstage Theater

June 2 - July 10, 2022

World Premiere

In Corsicana, a small city in Texas, a woman with Down syndrome named Ginny and her half-brother Christopher are unmoored in the wake of their mother's death. Their close family friend, Justice, introduces them to a local artist named Lot, a recluse and outsider, hoping that he and Ginny can make a song together. That that'll help somehow. In this restless quartet about care-taking and care-giving, in which the very fabric of reality is up for debate, Will Arbery charts the quiet, particular contracts of the heart that forge a new family.

Will Arbery is a playwright from Texas + Wyoming + seven sisters. Playwrights: Heroes of the Fourth Turning, which was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist and one of the best plays of 2019 by The New York Times, Vulture, Time Out, and more. Other plays include Plano (Clubbed Thumb), Evanston Salt Costs Climbing (New Neighborhood), Wheelchair (3 Hole Press). He's a member of New Dramatists, and an alum of The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm, P73's Interstate 73, Colt Coeur, Youngblood, and Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writers Group. He's currently the Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Playwrights Horizons. His plays have received additional support from NYTW, The Vineyard, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Cape Cod Theater Project, The New Group, The Bushwick Starr, Alliance/Kendeda, and Tofte Lake Center. Most recently, he served as a story consultant on "Succession" (HBO). MFA: Northwestern. BA: Kenyon College.

Sam Gold is a Tony Award-winning director based in Brooklyn, NY. His Broadway credits include King Lear; A Doll's House, Part 2 (Tony Award nomination); The Glass Menagerie; Fun Home (Tony Award); The Real Thing; The Realistic Joneses; Picnic; Seminar. Other productions include The Flick (Barrow Street Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, National Theatre; Lortel Award nomination); Kin (Playwrights Horizons); The Big Meal (Playwrights Horizons; Lortel Award); Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons; Obie, Drama Desk nomination); The Secret Life of Bees (Atlantic Theatre Company); Hamlet (The Public Theater); Othello (New York Theatre Workshop); The Glass Menagerie (Toneelgroep Amsterdam); John (Signature Theatre; Obie Award, Lortel and Drama Desk Award nominations); The Village Bike (MCC); Uncle Vanya (Soho Rep.; Drama Desk nomination); The Realistic Joneses (Yale Repertory Theatre); The Cradle Will Rock (Encores! Off-Center); Look Back in Anger (Roundabout Theatre Company; Lortel nomination); and The Aliens (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; Obie Award). Training: The Juilliard School. Gold will direct Oscar Isaac and Greta Gerwig in Clare Barron's new adaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters at New York Theater Workshop.


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