Bash Doran, Larissa FastHorse, Robert O'Hara, and Alan Poul Join Playwrights Horizons Board

They come to their new roles as the institution begins its 50th anniversary year (2020-21).

By: Jan. 14, 2021

Bash Doran, Larissa FastHorse, Robert O'Hara, and Alan Poul Join Playwrights Horizons Board

Playwrights Horizons today announced that four wide-ranging and award-winning artists have joined its Board of Directors: Helen Merrill Playwriting Award-winning playwright, TV scriptwriter, and producer Bash Doran (Kin at Playwrights Horizons, The Mystery of Love & Sex); 2020 MacArthur Fellowship-winning playwright Larissa Fasthorse (The Thanksgiving Play at Playwrights Horizons); writer-director Robert O'Hara (Bootycandy, Mankind, Bella: An American Tall Tale and Gather at Playwrights Horizons, Slave Play); and Emmy-winning American television and film producer and director Alan Poul ("Six Feet Under," "The Newsroom"). This cohort is the first artistic representation on the company's Board. They come to their new roles as the institution begins its 50th anniversary year (2020-21) and seeks to serve playwrights and other theater-makers navigating a drastically altered landscape-one with both unprecedented challenges and opportunities for urgent reimagining.

Playwrights Horizons Board Chair Judith O. Rubin said, "We are thrilled to welcome Bash, Larissa, Robert, and Alan to the Playwrights Horizons board. In a year when the theater has been forced to pause and reflect on the ways it must move forward, expanding Playwrights Horizons' leadership to include writers and artists is energizing. We have always been known as a platform for the country's most imaginative, socially incisive theatrical voices. I am so excited that we are further involving them in the organization, and that they will play a central role in our work to build the future of our community and this art form."

Bash Doran, whose "exquisitely wrought comedy-drama" (The New York Times in a Critic's Pick review) Kin premiered at Playwrights Horizons in 2011, and who recently created the Channel 4/Netflix series "Traitors," said, "I'm very grateful for the opportunity to support Adam Greenfield and Playwrights Horizons. They have supported me for much of my career. I am also very glad to find myself in a position from which to help the theater community recover from their seismic shift in circumstance as a result of COVID, and come back stronger than ever."

Larissa Fasthorse's The Thanksgiving Play made its world premiere in 2018 at Playwrights Horizons, where she developed her play Fancy Dancer in 2010 in the New Works Lab. She returned to Playwrights to give a virtual, public Master Class in June of this year and won a MacArthur Fellowship this October. She said, "Playwrights is truly a home to writers. Many organizations say they are that, but the kind of long-term investment that Playwrights puts into their artists is real and deeper than I have found at any other institution. I'm thrilled to be part of helping this organization imagine new innovations for their next chapter."

Robert O'Hara also has a deep history of collaborations with Playwrights Horizons, as the writer and director of Bootycandy (New York premiere, 2014); Mankind (world premiere, 2017-18); and Gather (2020), part of the inaugural season of the theater's acclaimed anthological fiction podcast Soundstage. He directed the co-world premiere of Kirsten Childs' Bella: An American Tall Tale at Playwrights Horizons in 2017. He was just nominated for a Tony Award for Best Direction of a New Play for his work on Jeremy O. Harris' Slave Play. He said, "Playwrights Horizons made a commitment to me and my work a while ago, and I am thrilled to join its board and commit myself to doing my part in making sure the board and the institution live up to the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion that can bring about real change in our culture and country."

Emmy, Golden Globe, and Peabody Award winner Alan Poul served as executive producer and director on HBO's beloved TV series "Six Feet Under" and "The Newsroom," and is currently an executive producer and director on HBO Max's upcoming "Tokyo VIce." He recently executive produced and directed Netflix's "The Eddy." Poul produced the groundbreaking 1994 adaptation of Armistead Maupin's "Tales of the City" and executive produced the sequels, "More Tales of the City" (1998) and "Further Tales of the City" (2001), as well as Netflix's 2019 update of the series. He said, "My own roots are in the theater, and I've had tremendous experiences developing for television with playwrights. Playwrights Horizons plays a unique role in supporting theater artists, and has provided me with inspiration and creative nourishment for decades. I was honored to be asked by Adam, Leslie and Judith to join the board of directors."

Playwrights Horizons Artistic Director Adam Greenfield said, "Among the many things illuminated for arts institutions in 2020 is the need for us to reimagine our support systems for artists in a country that affords them so few securities. The ongoing project of Playwrights Horizons, over five decades, is to follow the visions, inquiries, and reckonings set down for us by writers of new plays. We can only fulfill this promise, whether in times of crisis or stability, if we include artists in the process of envisioning and strategizing our future course and make writers truly integral to every facet of our work. Each of the four artists joining our board brings a unique perspective on the practices of theater-making, on the role of theater in our culture, and on writing itself; and each has demonstrated a strong commitment to enriching civic life. I'm honored by this chance to work alongside them."

About the New Board Members

Larissa Fasthorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation) is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow, award-winning writer/choreographer, and co-founder of Indigenous Direction, the nation's leading consulting company for Indigenous arts and audiences. Her satirical comedy The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons/Geffen Playhouse) is one of the top ten most produced plays in America this season. She is the first Native American playwright in the history of theater on that list. Additional plays include What Would Crazy Horse Do? (Kansas City Rep), Landless and Cow Pie Bingo (AlterTheater), Average Family (Children's Theater Company of Minneapolis), Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation (Native Voices at the Autry), Vanishing Point (Eagle Project), and Cherokee Family Reunion (Mountainside Theater). She is in development on theater, film, and TV projects around the country. FastHorse also created the nationally recognized trilogy of community engaged plays with Cornerstone Theater Company Urban Rez, Native Nation, and her current project, The L/D/Nakota Project, is set in FastHorse's homelands of South Dakota. Her company, Indigenous Direction, recently produced the first land acknowledgement on national television for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC. Along with partner Ty Defoe, their clients include Roundabout Theater Company, American Association of Arts Presenters (APAP), Western Arts Alliance, Guthrie, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Brown University, and many more. Their groundbreaking work is redefining Indigenous art representation and education in America.

Bash Doran has created and executive produced "Traitors" for Channel 4 and Netflix. She is currently developing Kate Atkinson's Life After Life for the BBC and Kate Spicer's Lost Dog for Netflix. She was recently a Co-Executive Producer on Hulu's "The Looming Tower," which received a WGA nomination. Other TV writing and producing includes "Masters of Sex" for Showtime and "Smash" for NBC. Her first television job was on "Boardwalk Empire," which earned her a WGA nomination. She co-wrote the film The Outlaw King with director David MacKenzie. Doran's play The Mystery of Love and Sex received its world premiere at Lincoln Center in 2015, under the direction of Sam Gold and starring Diane Lane and Tony Shalhoub. Her critically acclaimed play Kin received its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in 2011. Doran is a 2009 recipient of the Helen Merrill Playwriting Award. She holds a BA and an MA from Cambridge University, and an MA from Oxford University. She moved to the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship in 2000, received her MFA from Columbia University, and went on to become a playwriting fellow of The Juilliard School. She currently lives in New York City.

Robert O'Hara has received the NAACP Best Play and Best Director Award, the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, two Obie awards, and the Herb Alpert Award. He directed the world premieres of Jeremy O. Harris' Slave Play, Nikkole Salter and Danai Guriria's in the continuum, Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays (part 2), Colman Domingo's Wild with Happy, Kirsten Childs' Bella: an American Tall Tale, as well as his own plays Mankind, Bootycandy, and Insurrection: Holding History. His recent directing projects include Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire for Audible/Williamstown Theater Festival and Ross Baum/Angelica Cheri's Gun and Powder at Signature Theater.

Alan Poul is a veteran producer and director of both film and television. Over the course of his career he has received an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, two Producers Guild Awards, three Peabody Awards, and five GLAAD Awards. Among the series on which he has served as Executive Producer and director are "Six Feet Under," "The Newsroom," "Tales of the City," "Swingtown," and "The Eddy." Other television producing credits include "My So-Called Life," "MotherFatherSon," "The Pacific Century" (Emmy Award), and "Westworld" (Season 1). Additional television directing credits include "Rome," "Big Love," "Grace and Frankie," "The Big C," and the pilots for "GCB," and "Perception." In 2003 he was nominated for both the DGA Award and the Directing Emmy for the "Nobody Sleeps" episode of "Six Feet Under." This year he shared the Best Directing award from the French Association of Television Critics for "The Eddy." Poul produced all four miniseries based on Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City books; the most recent aired on Netflix in 2019, winning the GLAAD Award for Best Limited Series. Poul's feature producing credits include Paul Schrader's Mishima, Ridley Scott's Black Rain, Bernard Rose's Candyman, Scott Winant's Til There Was You, Jean-Marc Vallée's Los Locos, Skip Woods' Thursday, and Fina Torres' Woman on Top. He made his feature directing debut in 2010 with The Back-up Plan, starring Jennifer Lopez and Alex O'Loughlin. Poul graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a degree in Japanese Language and Literature, which led to his involvement in Mishima and Black Rain. He is currently revisiting his Japanese roots as Executive Producer of HBO Max's "Tokyo Vice." Poul serves on the Board of Directors of Film Independent and on the International Outreach Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Previous board service includes The Producers Guild of America (PGA), Outfest, and GLAAD.

About Playwrights Horizons

Playwrights Horizons is dedicated to cultivating the most important American Playwrights, composers, and lyricists, as well as developing and producing their bold new plays and musicals. Adam Greenfield became Artistic Director in 2020; Leslie Marcus has served as Managing Director since 1993. As it enters its 50th anniversary season, Playwrights builds upon its diverse and renowned body of work, counting 400 writers among its artistic roster. In addition to its onstage work each season, Playwrights' singular commitment to nurturing American theater artists guides all of the institution's multifaceted initiatives: our acclaimed New Works Lab, a robust commissioning program, an innovative curriculum at its Theater School, and more. Robert Moss founded Playwrights in 1971 and cemented the mission that continues to guide the institution today. André Bishop served as Artistic Director from 1981-1992. Don Scardino succeeded him and served until 1996. Tim Sanford, the organization's longest-serving Artistic Director, held the position from 1996-2020. Over its 50-year history, Playwrights has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including seven Pulitzer Prizes, 13 Tony Awards, and 47 Obie Awards.

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