Claudia Rankine's CITIZEN and More Slated for Primary Stages' 2016-17 Season

Primary Stages announced their upcoming 32nd Season on March 14 at a champagne reception celebrating the Centennial of the birth of late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Primary Stages collaborator, Horton Foote.

"Our 2016/17 Season offers an array of writing talent intermingling in all the ways audiences expect from Primary Stages," says Primary Stages Founder & Executive Producer, Casey Childs, "The season is immensely literary, with productions by masters of the written word, like Horton Foote and poet Claudia Rankine. We're also delving into more topical realms with headline-confronting pieces dealing with touchstones from the American racial divide to gay marriage, to Mexican-American immigration and citizenship."

The 2016/17 season, to be performed at New York's historic Cherry Lane Theatre, will feature the four productions:


by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright HORTON FOOTE


Featuring DEVON ABNER, HALLIE FOOTE, additional casting to be announced

September - November, 2016

Over our 32-year history, Primary Stages has produced some of the finest works of legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Horton Foote. From The Day Emily Married to Harrison, TX and the Tony-nominated Dividing the Estate, Foote's legacy has flourished on our stage and we're proud to celebrate the Centennial of his birth with a tender, yet compelling new production of his quintessential comic drama,The Roads to Home. In this beautiful masterpiece, three women living in Houston, Texas in the 1920s grapple with the eternal question, "Where is home?" The Roads to Home offers a rare chance to experience a Foote gem not seen on the New York stage in over 25 years, in one of New York's most intimate and historic venues, the Cherry Lane Theatre. This timeless production will feature direction by Michael Wilson (Foote's longtime collaborator who won Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards forThe Orphans' Home Cycle) and performances from Drama Desk winner Devon Abner and Tony-nominated Hallie Foote, the foremost contemporary interpreter of Horton's work.


New York Premiere by CLAUDIA RANKINE

Adapted for the stage by CLAUDIA RANKINE & STEPHEN SACHS

January - March, 2017

An intensely provocative and unapologetic rumination on racial aggression in America, Claudia Rankine'sCitizen: An American Lyric has been heralded as one of the best books of the past decade. In this new stage adaptation by Rankine and Stephen Sachs of this masterful New York Times bestseller, seemingly everyday acts of racism are scrutinized as part of an uncompromising testimony of "living while Black" in America. A winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry, Rankine's work echoes the voices heard around dinner tables and in demonstrations across the country. From the shooting of Trayvon Martin, to the tennis career of Serena Williams, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Citizen powerfully explores life in the face of unrelenting and pervasive acts of injustice, whether they are political affronts on the global stage or passing slurs at the local supermarket.


New York Premiere by MICHAEL McKEEVER

Directed by JOE BRANCATO

Presented by Primary Stages and Ted Snowdon

March - April, 2017

In Michael McKeever's compelling new play, Daniel's Husband, we see Daniel and Mitchell enjoying life as the Perfect Couple. Perfect house, perfect friends, even a mother who wants them to wed. What isn't perfect is that Daniel longs to be married and Mitchell does not. A turn of events forces both men to face the consequences of their opposing views, and they learn that they are living in a world where fundamental rights aren't always so fundamental. Proclaimed by the Miami Herald as "beautifully crafted, powerfully realized and emotionally devastating," Daniel's Husband takes an unflinching look at how we choose to Tie the Knot. Or not.

The 2016/17 Season will also include the first production in the new Primary Stages Studio Series, PS TWO. This new program will feature productions in a smaller setting and enable Primary Stages and its audiences to explore new writers and their work on a more intimate level.


New York Premiere by TANYA SARACHO

November - December, 2016

Acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Tanya Saracho (Mala Hierba at Second Stage; writer and co-producer of the hit ABC series, "How to Get Away with Murder") comes to Primary Stages with the New York Premiere of Fade,a behind-the-scenes comedy about the burgeoning friendship between Lucia and Abel, two Latinos of Mexican descent working at a ruthless Hollywood studio. Lucia is an tenacious novelist, newly hired to write for a TV detective series and struggling to find her place among a team of domineering white male co-workers. Abel is one of the studio's janitors, compassionate to Lucia's difficulties and generous with his opinions and personal anecdotes which keeps them in an absorbing tête-à-tête throughout their workdays. As their bond grows, Abel's stories quickly blur with those Lucia is writing for the show and they both find themselves in the center of their own not-quite-made-for-TV drama.

In addition to the 2016/17 Season announcement, Primary Stages announced their new Executive Director, Shane D. Hudson, at Monday's event. Originally from Chapel Hill, NC, Hudson was most recently the Director of Development at Elevator Repair Service Theater, located in Manhattan. He graduated with honors from the Yale School of Drama Theater Management Program, where he served as Managing Director of the Yale Cabaret and as the Assistant Managing Director of Yale Repertory Theatre. Before attending Yale, Shane was the Associate Director of Development at PlayMakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill, NC. He served on the Board of Directors for Arts North Carolina and Triangle ArtWorks and was a social media consultant for arts organizations throughout the state. Shane received his BFA in Theater Management from Emerson College in Boston. While in Boston, Shane produced numerous productions at the Emerson Majestic Theater, served as General Manager and Marketing Director for Blue Man Group, managed the historic Charles Playhouse, and was the Executive Director of StageSource, the Alliance of Theater Artists and Producers. He also served on the StageSource Board of Directors for eight years. Shane founded GhostLight Media, Inc., a consultant group providing New England arts organizations with general management, marketing, and event planning services.

Fran Kumin conducted the search for the Executive Director.

"We're extremely proud to bring aboard Shane D. Hudson as the newest member of our family," says Primary Stages Artistic Director, Andrew Leynse. "With his breadth of experience, Shane will offer a new energy and outlook that will help us prosper and grow. We look forward to having Shane on the team as Primary Stages takes the next step towards the future."

Subscriptions for the Primary Stages 2016/17 Season are $99 through May 10. Subscriptions include tickets to the three mainstage productions. Fade will be available as an add-on for all subscribers with a priority advance booking period. All subscription packages can be purchased by visiting or by calling OvationTix at 212.352.3101. Single tickets for all productions will go on sale at a later date.


HORTON FOOTE (Playwright) had his first play, Texas Town, produced Off-Broadway in 1941. Since then he has had plays produced on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, at many regional theatres and internationally. His plays, Dividing the Estate andThe Day Emily Married had their New York Premieres at Primary Stages. Other plays include, The Last of the Thorntons, The Young Man From Atlanta, The Chase, The Traveling Lady, The Trip to Bountiful, Night Seasons, Tomorrow, The Habitation of Dragons, The Orphans' Home Cycle, Roots in a Parched Ground, Convicts, Lily Dale, The Widow Claire, Courtship, Laura Dennis, Vernon Early, The Roads to Home, and The Carpetbagger's Children. He received Academy Awards for his screenplay adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird and his original screenplay, Tender Mercies. His screenplay of The Trip to Bountiful was nominated for an Academy Award. He received the Pulitzer Prize for his play, The Young Man From Atlanta, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway and the Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award for the Signature Series of his plays. In 1996 he was elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame. In 1998 he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and at the same time received from the Academy the Gold Medal of Drama for the entire body of his work. In 2000 he received the PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for Drama, New York State Governor's Arts Award and in December of that year he was given the National Medal of Arts Award by President Clinton. In 2006 his play, The Trip to Bountiful, won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival and he was given the Drama Desk Lifetime Achievement Award for his body of work. In 2009 - 2010, his epic masterwork, The Orphans' Home Cycle was co-produced by Hartford Stage Company and Signature Theatre Company and received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, The Outer Critics Circle Award and the Lucille Lortel Award. His memoirs, Farewell and Beginnings, are published by Scribners.

MICHAEL WILSON (Director) returns to Primary Stages where he directed Horton Foote'sThe Day Emily Married and Dividing the Estate, which subsequently transferred to Broadway under the auspices of Lincoln Center Theater. In 2013, he directed the acclaimed Broadway revival of The Trip to Bountiful starring Cicely Tyson, which garnered her a Best Actress Tony Award. He received Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his direction of Foote's masterwork The Orphans' Home Cycle at Signature Theatre, where he also directed Foote's The Old Friends. He made his screen directorial debut with Ostar Pr/Lifetime's The Trip to Bountiful, for which he was nominated for DGA and NAACP/Image Awards.

HALLIE FOOTE (Actor) returns to Primary Stages where she appeared in Daisy Foote'sWhen They Speak Of Rita and Him, and her father's The Day Emily Married; Harrison, Texas; and Dividing The Estate, for which she received the Richard Seff Award and a Tony Award nomination. Her close collaboration with her father began in 1986 when she performed the title role inThe Widow Claire. Other celebrated productions include The Roads To Home (Obie Award); Signature's 94-95 Horton Foote season: Talking Pictures,Night Seasons, and Laura Dennis (Drama Desk Award); The Last Of The Thorntons (Drama League Award); The Carpetbagger's Children (Drama League Award); The Trip To Bountiful (Lucille Lortel Award); and The Orphans' Home Cycle (Drama Desk Award).

DEVON ABNER (Actor). Semi-recent NY plays include: Dividing the Estate at Primary Stages and on Broadway as Son (the sane one); The Orphans' Home Cycle at Signature Theatre as Pete (the bully step-father), Little Bobby (the un-Keely curable boozehound and gambler), Roger (who preferred the dark meat) and John (the mensch who died before he could help Horace); and The Trip to Bountiful at Signature as Ludie. TV credits include 2 episodes of "The Office" and Horton Foote's "Alone".


TANYA SARACHO (Fade, playwright), born in Sinaloa, México, is a playwright, actor and TV writer ("How To Get Away With Murder," HBO's "Looking" & "Girls," "Devious Maids.") Plays produced at: Denver Theatre Center 2nd Stage (NYC), Steppenwolf Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman Theater, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, Fountain Theater, Clubbed Thumb, NEXT Theater and 16th Street Theater. PLAYS INCLUDE: Fade; Hushabye; The Tenth Muse; Song for the Disappeared; Enfrascada; El Nogalar (inspired by The Cherry Orchard); an adaptation of The House on Mango Street for Steppenwolf SYA; Our Lady of the Underpass; Kita y Fernanda and Quita Mitos. IN DEVELOPMENT WITH: Starz, Two Rivers Theatre, South Coast Rep. Tanya's a proud Union member of SAG/AFTRA & WGA.


CLAUDIA RANKINE (Citizen: An American Lyric, playwright) is the author of five collections of poetry including Citizen: An American Lyric ; two plays includingProvenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; and is the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. She also co-produces a video series, "The Situation," alongside John Lucas, and is the founder of the Open Letter Project: Race and the Creative Imagination. Among her numerous awards and honors, Rankine is the recipient of awards and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, The American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Lannan Foundation, The Los Angeles Time, NAACP, PEN, Poets and Writers and the National Endowments for the Arts. She teaches at USC.

STEPHEN SACHS (Citizen: An American Lyric, playwright) is an award-winning playwright, director and the co-Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre, which he co-founded with Deborah Lawlor in 1990. He is the author of thirteen plays, includingDream Catcher, Citizen: An American Lyric (stage adaptation of the book by Claudia Rankine), Heart Song (Fountain Theatre and Florida Rep), Cyrano (LA Drama Critics Circle Award, Best New Play) and Bakersfield Mist (2012 Elliot Norton Award, Best New Play) which enjoyed a 3-month run on London's West End starring Kathleen Turner and Ian McDiarmid and is now being produced in regional theatres across the country and translated into other languages and performed worldwide. His other plays are Miss Julie: Freedom Summer (Fountain, Vancouver Playhouse), Gilgamesh (Theatre@Boston Court), Open Window(Pasadena Playhouse, Media Access Award), Central Avenue (PEN USA Literary Award Finalist), Sweet Nothing in my Ear (PEN USA Literary Award Finalist, Media Access Award, Fountain, Victory Gardens, Mixed Blood), Mother's Day, The Golden Gate (Best Play Award, Dramalogue), and The Baron in the Trees. He wrote the teleplay for Sweet Nothing in my Ear for Hallmark Hall of Fame which aired on CBS starring Marlee Matlin and Jeff Daniels. Sachs has won every major theatre award in Los Angeles. He was recently honored by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti with a Certificate of Commendation from the Los Angeles City Council for "his visionary contributions to the cultural life of Los Angeles."


MICHAEL McKEEVER (Daniel's Husband, playwright). With wit, insight and a healthy dose of his quirky sense of humor, Michael McKeever continues to entertain theater audiences throughout America, Europe and Russia. His plays include 37 Postcards, Suite Surrender, Charlie Cox Runs with Scissors, Stuff and Melt, and have been produced at Florida Stage (Manalapan), Marin Theatre Company (Marin County), Hudson Stage Company (New York), Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis) and Caldwell Theatre Company (Boca Raton) among many others. His comedies have played in some of the most prestigious theaters in Europe, including Komödie Dresden (Dresden), Och-Teatr (Warsaw) and Theater in der Josefstadt, Kammerspiele (Vienna). He has been honored with an NEA Residency Grant (New Theatre, Miami) and has been a 3-time finalist for Humana Fest's nationally renowned Heideman Award. He is the recipient of five Carbonell Awards; two Silver Palm Awards; and three Florida Individual Artist Fellowships. He is also an award-winning actor and designer. He is a founding member of the award-winning theatre Zoetic Stage in Miami. He resides in South Florida and is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Actors' Equity.

JOE BRANCATO (Daniel's Husband, director) NY credits include The Devil's Music: The Life & Blues of Bessie Smith (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Off Bway Alliance & Audelco Award nominee); Tom Dudzick's Miracle on South Division Street (St. Luke's Theatre); Fall to Earth and Freed (Audelco Award nominee) at 59e59; Tryst (Outer Critics nomination for Best Play); Cobb (Drama Desk winner) produced by Kevin Spacey; From Door To Door at the Westside Theatre; One Shot, One Kill at Primary Stages; Jeffrey Solomon's Santa Claus is Coming Out; Two and a Half Jews; My Italy Story; Ricky Ian Gordon's The Matter of Minutes; Escape from Happiness (starring Marsha Mason), The Big Swing (starring Madeline Kahn, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Marisa Tomei), Dr. Valentine's Waltz (starring John Turturro, Laura Linney, Gina Gershon, Jane Alexander) at Naked Angels; and Hold the Wedding, produced by Joseph Papp. Regional credits include: Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (Canada), Cleveland Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, Seattle Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Alley Theatre, Hartford Stage Company, Westport Country Playhouse, Montreal Jazz Festival, Capital Rep, TheaterWorks of Hartford, Cape Playhouse, Passage Theatre and Florida Repertory Theatre. As founding artistic director of Penguin Rep he has directed 150 productions including premieres by Arthur Laurents, Lanie Robertson, William Mastrosimone, JamesSherman, Steven Dietz, Richard Vetere, and Allan Knee.

PRIMARY STAGES is an Off-Broadway not-for-profit theater company dedicated to inspiring, supporting, and sharing the art of playwriting. We operate on the strongly held belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights and giving them the artistic support needed to create new work. Since our founding in 1984, we have produced more than 125 new plays, including Donald Margulies'The Model Apartment (1995 premiere and 2013 revival); David Ives' Lives of the Saints and All in the Timing (original 1993 production and 2013 revival); Billy Porter's While I Yet Live; Kate Fodor's Rx; Charles Busch's The Tribute Artist and Olive and the Bitter Herbs; A.R. Gurney's Black Tie; Horton Foote's Harrison, TX and Dividing the Estate (Two 2009 Tony Award®nominations); Theresa Rebeck'sPoor Behavior;Deborah Zoe Laufer's Informed Consent; Terrence McNally's Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams and The Stendhal Syndrome; Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter's In the Continuum (which went on to tour the U.S., Africa, and Scotland); and Conor McPherson's St. Nicholas (which marked the playwright's U.S. debut). Our productions and artists have received critical acclaim, including Tony, Obie, Lortel, AUDELCO, Outer Critics' Circle, Drama League, and Drama Desk awards and nominations. Primary Stages supports playwrights and develops new works through commissions, workshops, readings, and our education and training programs: The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, the Marvin and Anne Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA), the Fordham/Primary Stages MFA in Playwriting, and the newly launched Primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral History Project. Through these programs, Primary Stages advocates for our artists, helping them make important-and often transformative-connections within the theater community.

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