A LIFE, Starring David Hyde Pierce, Extends Again at Playwrights Horizons
Due to critical and popular demand, Playwrights Horizons has announced a second extension of their hit world premiere production of A Life, a new play by Obie Award winner Adam Bock (A Small Fire and The Drunken City at Playwrights, The Receptionist, The Thugs, Swimming in the Shallows). Directed by two-time Obie Award winner Anne Kauffman (Marjorie Prime, Detroit, Maple and Vine at Playwrights; You Got Older; Belleville; This Wide Night; Smokefall), the play is the second production of the theater company's 2016/2017 Season.
Originally scheduled to play a limited engagement through Sunday, November 13, the production was extended before performances even began, for two additional weeks through Sunday, November 27. A Life will now play one additional week through Sunday, December 4 at the company's Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 West 42nd Street). The production began previews on Friday, September 30 and had an Opening Night on Monday, October 24.
The celebrated cast of A Life features Marinda Anderson (Far From Heaven at Playwrights, Sex of the Baby, Every Good Girl, Macbeth), Brad Heberlee (Small Mouth Sounds, These Paper Bullets!, The Thugs), two-time Audelco nominee Nedra McClyde (Mr. Burns at Playwrights, Lost Lake, Headstrong, Miss Evers' Boys), Lynne McCollough (Angels in America, The Thugs, Dot, Cavedweller) and beloved stage and television star, Tony Award winner and Emmy Award winner David Hyde Pierce (The Heidi Chronicles, The Maderati at Playwrights; "Frasier"; Broadway's Curtains, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Monty Python's Spamalot, the upcoming Hello, Dolly!).
Nate Martin (Mr. Pierce) is hopelessly single. When his most recent breakup, another in A Lifelong string of ill-fated matches, casts him into a funk, he turns to the only source of wisdom he trusts: the stars. Poring over astrological charts, he obsessively questions his past and his place in the cosmos. But in Adam Bock's disarming new play, the answer he receives, when it comes, is shockingly obvious - and totally unpredictable.
The production features scenic design by Laura Jellinek, costume design by Jessica Pabst, lighting design by Matt Frey and sound design by Mikhail Fiksel. Production Stage Manager is Erin Gioia Albrecht.
Following A Life, the Playwrights Horizons 2016/2017 Season will continue with RANCHO VIEJO, the world premiere of a new play by Dan LeFranc, directed by three-time Obie Award winner Daniel Aukin and commissioned by Playwrights Horizons with the support of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust (previews begin November 11); THE LIGHT YEARS, the world premiere of a new play written by Drama Desk Award winner Hannah Bos and Obie Award winner Paul Thureen, directed and developed by Obie Award winner Oliver Butler, made by The Debate Society (previews begin February 17); THE PROFANE, the world premiere of a new play by Zayd Dohrn, directed by Kip Fagan (previews begin March 17) and BELLA: AN AMERICAN TALL TALE, the co-world premiere of a new musical with book, music and lyrics by Obie Award winner Kirsten Childs, directed by two-time Obie Award winner Robert O'Hara and commissioned by Playwrights Horizons through the Musicals in Partnership Initiative with funds provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (previews begin May 19).
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Adam Bock (Playwright). At Playwrights Horizons: A Small Fire, The Drunken City. His other plays include The Receptionist, The Thugs and Swimming in the Shallows. He writes both comedy and drama, blending whimsical surrealism with dark and painful exploration of character. Charles Isherwood in The New York Times described A Small Fire as "a theatrical combo plate that proves unusually satisfying ... raucous, funny and unexpectedly touching." Adam has had more than ten plays produced at prestigious theaters including Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep., Second Stage Uptown, Rattlestick and Yale Rep. He has received the Obie Award, BATCC Award, Clauder Prize, Glickman Award and Guernsey Award, and been nominated for the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards. Adam has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists and an artistic associate at Shotgun Players and Encore Theater.
Anne Kauffman (Director). At Playwrights Horizons: Marjorie Prime (Lortel nomination), Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra, Detroit, Maple and Vine. Also with Mr. Bock: the musical We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Yale Rep). Recent credits include Smokefall (MCC, Goodman Theater, South Coast Rep), Buzzer (Public Theater), The Nether (MCC), You Got Older (P73 Productions, Obie Award), the musical 100 Days (Z Space in San Francisco) and The Muscles in Our Toes (Labyrinth). Other credits include Somewhere Fun (Vineyard Theater); Belleville (Yale Rep, New York Theatre Workshop, Steppenwolf; Lortel nomination for Best Director); This Wide Night (Naked Angels; Lortel nomination for Best Director); Stunning, Slowgirl (both LCT3); Your Better Sit Down: Tales from My Parents' Divorce (Williamstown, ArtsEmerson, The Flea); and God's Ear (New Georges, the Vineyard). She is a Sundance Program Associate, a Usual Suspect at NYTW, an alumna of the Soho Rep. Writer/Director Lab, a current member of Soho Rep.'s Artistic Council, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, The Drama League of New York, a founding member of The Civilians, an Associate Artist with Clubbed Thumb and member of New Georges Kitchen Cabinet. Her awards include two Obies, the Joan and Joseph Cullman Award for Exceptional Creativity from Lincoln Center, the Alan Schneider Director Award, the Barrymore Award for Best Director and a Lilly Award.
Marinda Anderson (Jocelyn). Playwrights Horizons: Far From Heaven. Off-Broadway: Sex of the Baby (Access Theatre), Every Good Girl (Walkerspace), Macbeth (Lincoln Center Interactive Theatre). Regional: Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Intimate Apparel, Three Sisters, Fairfield, A Carol for Cleveland, Love's Labour's Lost. TV: "Gotham." Web: "Horace and Pete." BFA in musical theatre, Howard University; MFA, NYU Graduate Acting Program.
Brad Heberlee (Curtis). Playwrights Horizons debut. Off-Broadway: Small Mouth Sounds, The Dingdong, These Paper Bullets!, Don Juan, Uncle Vanya, The Rivals, Dada Woof Papa Hot, This Beautiful City, The Thugs, The Bald Soprano, Figaro, (I Am) Nobody's Lunch, The Last Sunday in June. Regional: These Paper Bullets!, In the Next Room..., Frost/Nixon, I Am My Own Wife, Amadeus. Film/TV: A Woman, a Part; "Codes of Conduct;" "Person of Interest."
Nedra McClyde (Allison). Playwrights Horizons: Mr. Burns. Off-Broadway: Lost Lake, Headstrong (Audelco nomination), Miss Evers' Boys (Audelco nomination). Other New York Theater: Macbeth, Sons, Screen Play. Regional: Fairfield, Good People, Nile Rodgers' Doubletime (Alabama Shakespeare). Film/TV: Evolution of a Criminal, Cocoa Loco, "Bull," "Jessica Jones," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Blue Bloods," "30 Rock," "I Am Legend" (webisode).
Lynne McCollough (Lori Martin). Playwrights Horizons debut. Off-Broadway: Angels in America, The Thugs, Cavedweller, Strip Tease, Women Alone. Other New York Theater: Dot, Self Defense (or Death of Some Salesmen), Agamemnon, Henry V. Regional: The Clean House, A Permanent Image, Mensch Meier. Film/TV: The Missing Person, Live Free or Die, "Brotherhood," "Without a Trace," "SVU," "Starved, "One Life to Live."
David Hyde Pierce (Nate Martin). Emmy and Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce made his professional and Broadway debut in 1982 as the waiter in Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy and will return to the Great White Way in the spring of 2017 as Horace Vandergelder in the revival of Hello, Dolly! opposite Bette Midler. Pierce won a Tony Award for his starring role in the musical Curtains and was also nominated for his performance in Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Other recent New York stage credits include Broadway's Accent on Youth (Manhattan Theater Club), La Bête (also London) and the John Kander musical The Landing (The Vineyard). He made his Playwrights Horizons debut in 1987 in Richard Greenberg's The Maderati and also appeared in That's It, Folks! and their 1989 Broadway production of Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles. Other New York stage credits include Monty Python's Spamalot (Drama Desk nomination); Hamlet and Much Ado (New York Shakespeare Festival); and the Off-Broadway productions The Author's Voice; Zero Positive; Elliot Loves; and White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Regionally, Pierce has appeared in Holiday and Camille (Long Wharf Theatre); Candida (Goodman Theatre); and The Seagull, Tartuffe, Cyrano and Midsummer Night's Dream (Guthrie Theatre); as well as Peter Brook's The Cherry Orchard in New York, Moscow, Leningrad and Tokyo. In Los Angeles, he appeared in Terrence McNally's It's Only a Play (Doolittle Theatre) and Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks (Geffen Playhouse, opposite Uta Hagen). Pierce's film credits include Bright Lights, Big City; Crossing Delancey; Little Man Tate; Sleepless in Seattle; Wolf; Nixon; Isn't She Great; Wet Hot American Summer; Full Frontal; Down with Love; A Bug's Life; Osmosis Jones; Treasure Planet; and the Sundance Film Festival Selection The Perfect Host. His television credits include a short but happy stint on Norman Lear's political satire "The Powers That Be," and a long but happy stint on "Frasier," for which he earned four Emmy Awards and the American Comedy, Television Critics, Viewers for Quality Television and Screen Actors Guild Awards. Last year, he returned to series television with a guest arc on "The Good Wife" and also reprised his role on the Netflix reboot of "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp." Now making his mark as a director, Pierce's credits include David Lindsay-Abaire's Ripcord at MTC, Broadway's It Shoulda Been You (also George Street Playhouse), the Los Angeles premiere of Vanya and Sonia... and The Importance of Being Earnest (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Pierce has worked with The Alzheimer's Association for nearly twenty years as a board member and national spokesperson. In 2010, he was awarded the Tony Awards' Isabelle Stevenson Award for his work with the Association.
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. Under Artistic Director Tim Sanford and Managing Director Leslie Marcus, 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. Playwrights has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including six Pulitzer Prizes, 13 Tony Awards and 39 Obie Awards. Prior artistic directors include André Bishop, Don Scardino and Robert Moss, who founded Playwrights Horizons in 1971 and oversaw its first decade, cementing the mission that continues to guide the institution today.
Notable productions include six Pulitzer Prize winners - Annie Baker's The Flick (2013 Obie Award, 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize), 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 Ms. Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation (three 2010 Obie Awards including Best New American 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); Jordan Harrison's Marjorie Prime (2015 Pulitzer finalist); Lucas Hnath's The Christians (2016 Obie Award, 2016 Outer Critics Circle Award, 2015 Kesselring Prize); Robert O'Hara's Bootycandy (two 2015 Obie Awards); Taylor Mac's Hir; Danai Gurira's Familiar; Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns, a post-electric play; Sarah Ruhl's Stage Kiss and Dead Man's Cell Phone; Gina Gionfriddo's Rapture, Blister, Burn; Dan LeFranc's The Big Meal; Amy Herzog's The Great God Pan and After the Revolution; 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; 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 (2000 Tony Award, Best Book); Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins; 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; 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: Joan Marcus