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Primary Stages Announces Virtual Fall Season

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The virtual season will feature works by Charlayne Woodard, Charles Busch and more.

Primary Stages Announces Virtual Fall Season

PRIMARY STAGES has announced its Fall 2020 Virtual Season. The Foundation Series will revisit the work of some of Primary Stages' family of artists, including The Tribute Artist by Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award winner Charles Busch (The Confession of Lily Dare) and The Night Watcher by Obie Award winner and Tony Award nominee Charlayne Woodard (In Real Life). The Living Room Commissions will give resources to artists who are reimagining the art form to create new work in this time of evolution. They include Inda Craig-Galván (Black SuperHero Magic Mama), Kate Hamill (Pride & Prejudice), Chesney Snow (In Transit) and Susan Soon He Stanton (Today Is My Birthday).

"This Virtual Season will break the fourth wall of how and why we create, renewing our commitment to developing new works and breaking down both financial and physical barriers to attending the theater for audiences worldwide," said Artistic Director Andrew Leynse. "Through building on our strong foundation of artists and fostering new growth by amplifying essential voices who will push the boundaries of what theater can be, we are building this virtual home-and the audience is the final brick in our wall."

FOUNDATION SERIES

The Foundation Series celebrates the artists that are the bedrock of the Primary Stages family, revisiting them through a series of Virtual Readings. These artists are foundational members of the organization, whose work is a reminder of why it's worth fighting for the theater.

The Tribute Artist

Written by & Starring Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk Award winner Charles Busch

Directed by Carl Andress

September 30 - October 4, 2020

Primary Stages kicks off their renewed partnership with 59E59 Theaters by virtually reviving the last show presented on their stage - The Tribute Artist by Charles Busch. This show, originally presented in the 2013/2014 Season, features Busch as an out-of-work female impersonator who, when his elderly landlady dies in her sleep, takes on her identity in order to hang on to her valuable Greenwich Village townhouse. This 'perfect' scheme goes awry and leads to a wild path of twists and reversals plotted by an eccentric rogues gallery of outrageous schemers. Expect Busch's signature blend of quick-witted banter and gender-bending hijinks in this play by the master of farce.

Readings will take place on Wednesday September 30 at 8pm; Thursday October 1 at 2pm and 8pm; Friday October 2 at 8pm; Saturday October 3 at 2pm and 8pm; and Sunday October 4 at 2pm. Tickets start at $35 and are available at 59E59.org.

The Night Watcher

Written and Performed by Obie Award winner and Tony Award nominee Charlayne Woodard

Fall 2020

Originally presented in the 2009/2010 Season at 59E59, The Night Watcher is an auto-biographical, one-woman play by actress-playwright Charlayne Woodard. Simultaneously a best friend, advisor, confidant and sage to the many young people who call her "Auntie," Charlayne Woodard is childless only by biological standards. Told with penetrating grace and candor, Woodard beautifully weaves together stories of the ordinary and extraordinary ways she has mentored the children in her life. Declared "thoughtful, vivid, entertaining and poignant" in its original run, The Night Watcher is an intimate look at the various definitions

of parenthood.

Reading dates and a ticket on-sale date will be announced shortly.

LIVING ROOM COMMISSIONS

Primary Stages is bringing theater into your living room with new and innovative works written for the virtual world. These one-acts will amplify essential voices while reinventing the form, ensuring we can still share stories while socially distant. The commissioned artists include Inda Craig-Galván, Kate Hamill, Chesney Snow and Susan Soon He Stanton. Living Room Commissions are made possible, in part, thanks to the generous support of the Primary Stages Board Commissioning Fund for BIPOC Artists.

Soil Beneath: An Empirical Decay

By Chesney Snow

November 11 -15, 2020

Chesney Snow joins Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award-winning composer Diedre Murray for his new choreopoem commissioned by Primary Stages. Soil Beneath: An Empirical Decay is a visceral, timely and nuanced exploration of race, class and American political culture told through the mediums of poetry, storytelling, dance and music.

Performances will take place on Wednesday November 11 at 8pm; Thursday November 12 at 2pm and 8pm; Friday November 13 at 8pm; Saturday November 14 at 2pm and 8pm; and Sunday November 15 at 2pm. Tickets start at $35 and are available at 59E59.org.

More information, dates and ticket on-sale dates for the other three commissions will be announced shortly.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Primary Stages will also host two special events this fall - their annual gala, now virtual, and a benefit reading of A Christmas Carol.

Primary Stages Virtual Gala

Honoring NYC Public School Teachers & Einhorn Mentorship Award Recipient Adam Gwon

Hosted by Judy Gold

October 21, 2020

On Wednesday October 21, Primary Stages will bring the party into your home with their Virtual Gala honoring the dedicated NYC public school teachers who are keeping theater alive at their schools. Primary Stages will also present the Einhorn Mentorship Award to long-time ESPA faculty member and Drama Desk-nominated composer/lyricist Adam Gwon (Scotland, PA; Ordinary Days). The event will be hosted by Emmy Award-winning comedian Judy Gold (The Judy Show, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother). Performers, presenters and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

A Benefit Reading of A CHRISTMAS CAROL

By Charles Dickens

Adapted and Directed by Theresa Rebeck

Primary Stages presents a benefit reading of the Charles Dickens classic novel A Christmas Carol, adapted and directed by Theresa Rebeck. Everyone knows and loves the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, the mean-spirited miser who is visited by three ghosts and transformed to help a family in need. See this time-tested classic anew featuring Primary Stages family members from past, present and future in this virtual holiday celebration. Casting, dates and ticket information will be announced at a later date.

PRIMARY PLUS

Primary Stages' free programming series Primary Plus: Virtual Community, will continue to create opportunities for connection while we remain socially distant this Fall with Master Classes and Lunch-and-Learn playwriting prompts with our Virtual Season artists, Read-Alongs of some of our favorite plays, events featuring our artists at ESPA and more! The Latinx Playwrights Circle, the Primary Stages Company-in-Residence, will present a Digital Reading Series as part of the Primary Plus programming. Primary Stages free Primary Plus programs are made possible thanks to the generous support of the Axe-Houghton Foundation and The Howard Gilman Foundation. More information will be announced in the coming weeks.

LATINX PLAYWRIGHTS CIRCLE

The Intensive Mentorship '19-'20 is a program created by Latinx Playwrights Circle's residency with Primary Stages, providing key support, collaboration and visibility for Latinx playwrights. The program focuses on four playwrights partnering with four mentors culminating in four new plays. Playwrights were selected by multidisciplinary artists and mentored by Migdalia Cruz, Carmen Rivera, J. Julian Christopher and Cándido Tirado. Each Digital Reading will be led by a panel underscoring unique themes of our Latinx playwrights' new work. We're proud to present Digital Readings of Noelle Viñas's Derecho, Nilsa Reyna's Legends of Texas, Andrew Rincón's The Lonely and Andres Osorio's Hostel Play.

Legends of Texas

By Nilsa Reyna

Monday September 21, 2020 at 7pm ET

Click here to RSVP for free.

Derecho

By Noelle Viñas

Thursday September 24, 2020 at 7pm ET

Click here to RSVP for free.

Reservations for the other two readings will open at a later date.

Primary Stages' previously announced their first season back at 59E59, which was set to include peerless by Jiehae Park (Hannah and the Dread Gazebo)and directed by Margot Bordelon (Do You Feel Anger?); Roz and Ray by Karen Hartman (The Book of Joseph); and On That Day in Amsterdam by Clarence Coo (Beautiful Province (Belle Province)). Primary Stages remains committed to these artists and looks forward to returning home to 59E59 and to live theatre as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. Future production details will be announced at a later date.


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