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Melissa James Gibson's THIS Extends Through January 3, 2010

Melissa James Gibson's THIS Extends Through January 3, 2010

Following critical acclaim and popular demand, Playwrights Horizons (Tim Sanford, Artistic Director; Leslie Marcus, Managing Director) has announced a three-week extension for the World Premiere of THIS, the new play by Obie Award winner Melissa James Gibson (Suitcase, [sic]). Directed by Obie Award winner Daniel Aukin ([sic], eight seasons as Artistic Director of Soho Rep), the production opened Wednesday, December 2. Originally set to run through Sunday, December 13, the limited engagement will now play through Sunday, January 3, 2010 at the theater company's Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street). This date represents the latest extension possible for the show.

On the day reviews came out, Playwrights Horizons experienced one of the highest-grossing box office days in its 39-year history. Charles Isherwood in The New York Times led the reviews, hailing THIS as "The best new play to open Off-Broadway this fall. Melissa James Gibson graduates into the theatrical big leagues with this beautifully-conceived, confidently executed and wholly accessible work. Ms. Gibson's writing is full of inventive humor and wise insight. As directed by Daniel Aukin, Ms. Gibson's longtime collaborator, and performed by a flawless cast, the play's delicate pace, richly-patterned wordplay and undercurrent of rue combine to cast a moving spell that lingers in the memory."

Critics are also calling THIS "A terrific new play! Startling, intellectually quirky and emotionally satisfying. Surprisingly tough-minded and funny" (Mike Kuchwara, Associated Press), "Beautifully written, intelligent and funny" (Tanner Stransky, Entertainment Weekly), "A smart comedy for smart people in a top-notch production by Playwrights Horizons" (Michael Sommers, New Jersey Newsroom) and "A razor-sharp observational comedy" (David Sheward, Backstage). And Elisabeth Vincentelli of The New York Post writes, "THIS is all that. It weaves a compelling spell."

The critical and box office reception to THIS marks back-to-back hits for Playwrights Horizons this season, following the acclaimed new play CIRCLE MIRROR TRANSFORMATION by Annie Baker, directed by Sam Gold. After extending twice at the theater company's Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, it was recently announced that the production would return for a limited engagement starting Tuesday, December 15 with tickets on sale through Sunday, January 17.

The "flawless cast" (The New York Times) of THIS features JuliAnne Nicholson ("Brilliant" - Entertainment Weekly; "A full-bodied performance" - Variety), Obie Award winner Eisa Davis ("A stand out. Fiery acting and gorgeous singing" - Daily News), Glenn Fitzgerald ("Superb" - The New York Post), Darren Pettie ("Vivid" - New Jersey Newsroom) and Louis Cancelmi ("Charming" - Associated Press).

The production features scenic design by Louisa Thompson, costume design by Maiko Matsushima, lighting design by Matt Frey, sound design by Matt Tierney and original music by Peter Eldridge. (Songs with music by Peter Eldridge and lyrics by Melissa James Gibson are performed by Eisa Davis.) Production Stage Manager is Kasey Ostopchuck.

Playwrights Horizons' season productions are generously supported by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. THIS is the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award.

Playwrights Horizons is supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate. In addition, Playwrights Horizons receives major support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, Charina Endowment Fund, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Shubert Foundation and Time Warner Inc.

The performance schedule for THIS is Tuesdays through Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2:30 & 8PM and Sundays at 2:30 & 7:30 PM. Tickets, $65, may be purchased online via, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily), or in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).

Reflecting Playwrights Horizons' ongoing commitment to making its productions more affordable to younger audiences, the theater company will offer HOTtix, $20 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before showtime to patrons aged 30 and under. Proof of age required. One ticket per person, per purchase. STUDENT RUSH, $15 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before curtain to full-time graduate and undergraduate students. One ticket per person, per purchase. Valid student ID required.

HOTtix and STUDENT RUSH are two of Playwrights Horizons' popular Arts Access initiatives, which allow the institution to reach out to those who may not be able to afford the cost of a full-price theater ticket. This program is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, The McGraw-Hill Companies and the Elroy and Terry Krumholz Foundation.

For subscription and ticket information to all Playwrights Horizons productions,
call TICKET CENTRAL at (212) 279-4200, Noon to 8 pm daily, or purchase online at the Playwrights Horizons website at

Melissa James Gibson's (Playwright) plays include [sic] (Obie Award for playwriting, Kesselring Prize, The Best Plays of 2001-2002); Suitcase or, those that resemble flies from a distance (NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, Rockefeller Foundation's Multi-Arts Production Fund); Brooklyn Bridge, with a song by Barbara Brousal (AT&T Onstage award); All Is Not (New York State Council on the Arts Theatre Artist Commission); and Current Nobody, a loose adaptation of Homer's Odyssey (2005 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalist; 2006 Sundance Theatre Lab). Gibson's work has been produced at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Soho Rep, La Jolla Playhouse and The Children's Theatre Company, as well as many other theaters, regionally and internationally. Currently, Gibson is working on commissions for Center Theatre Group, the Atlantic Theater Company and the Manhattan Theater Company. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Gibson has been a Jerome and MacDowell Colony Fellow, a recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and commissions from Playwrights Horizons, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, La Jolla and The Children's Theatre Company/ New Dramatists Playground program. [sic] and Suitcase are available through Dramatists Play Service. The complete text of Brooklyn Bridge appeared in the July/August 2005 issue of American Theatre. Gibson is a graduate of New Dramatists and the recipient of a 2006 Lucille Lortel Foundation Playwrights' Fellowship and a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Daniel Aukin (Director) most recently directed the New York premiere of Back Back Back by Itamar Moses at Manhattan Theatre Club. Other recent credits include A View from the Bridge at Arena Stage, Melissa James Gibson's Current Nobody at Woolly Mammoth and Elmer Rice's The Adding Machine at La Jolla Playhouse, as well as a workshop of Rachel Axler's new play Smudge at the Eugene O'Neill Conference. As Artistic Director of Soho Rep, Daniel directed Mark Schultz's critically acclaimed Everything Will Be Done (World Premiere), Melissa James Gibson's [sic] (World Premiere, Obie Award for Direction), Quincy Long's The Year of the Baby (World Premiere), Mac Wellman's Cat's-Paw (World Premiere), Marie Irene Fornes' Molly's Dream (World Premiere), and Melissa James Gibson's Suitcase (also at La Jolla Playhouse). He is also developing a musical adaptation of the Jonathan Lethem novel The Fortress of Solitude with Michael Friedman and Itamar Moses. During his tenure at Soho Rep, he strengthened the company's commitment to developing iconoclastic new plays. He commissioned over fifty new plays though the Writer/Director Lab and produced sixteen-full-length productions (including new plays by Adam Bock, The Flying Machine, Young Jean Lee and Richard Maxwell). Accolades for this body of work include eight Obie awards, four Drama Desk nominations, two Kesselring Prizes and one Oppenheimer Award.

JuliAnne Nicholson (Jane) is well-known to Television audiences as Detective Megan Wheeler on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." She made her New York stage debut in Craig Lucas' Stranger (dir. Mark Brokaw) at The Vineyard in 2000 and also appeared in Jez Butterworth's Parlour Song (dir. Neil Pepe) at The Atlantic. Recent films include Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, written and directed by John Krasinski, and the upcoming Staten Island opposite Ethan Hawke, In Praise of Shadows opposite James Franco and WilLiam Vincent. Her many other films include Curtain Call opposite Michael Caine and James Spader, The Love Letter with Tom Selleck and Kate Capshaw, Long Time Since with Julian Sands and Paulina Porizkova, Carl Franklin's One True Thing starring Meryl Streep and Renee Zellweger, Nick Hurran's Little Black Book and Kinsey with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney. Her independent film work includes Seeing Other People (Best Actress, 2004 U.S. Comedy Arts Festival), Tully (Independent Spirit Award nomination, Best Supporting Actress), Flannel Pajamas with Justin Kirk, Puccini For Beginners with Elizabeth Reaser and Justin Kirk and Two Weeks with Sally Field and Ben Chaplin. Her other television credits include "Conviction," "Ally McBeal," "Presidio Med," "The Others," "Storm of the Century" and guest-starring roles on both "ER" and "Law & Order."

Louis Cancelmi (Jean-Pierre) appeared this past season in Craig Lucas's The Singing Forest at The Public. Broadway and West End: Vincent in Brixton. Other New York credits: the New York premieres of both Blasted and Philoktetes (Soho Rep); The Wooden Breeks (MCC); Night Sings Its Songs (Culture Project); The Vortex (Innocent Theatre); Sincerity Forever (The Flea). Regional: A View from the Bridge (directed by Daniel Aukin), Death of a Salesman (Arena Stage); Lulu (Yale Rep); Love-Lies-Bleeding, UntilWeFindEachOther (Steppenwolf); The Drawer Boy (Paper Mill). Film: Gabi on the Roof in July, First Person Singular, Kaleidoscope, Si'Laraby. Television: "Law & Order," "Criminal Intent," "Third Watch."

Eisa Davis (Marell). Broadway: Passing Strange, The Violet Hour. Off-Broadway: Angela's Mix Tape (her own play based in part on the life of her aunt, activist Angela Davis, presented last season at The Ohio Theatre by New Georges and Hip-Hop Theater Festival), Passing Strange (Obie Award), Belize, June and Jean in Concert. Regional: Passing Strange, Intimate Apparel, Blues for an Alabama Sky, Valley Song, Sundance Theatre Lab, O'Neill. Film: Spike Lee's adaptation of Passing Strange, Welcome to the Riley's, Pretty Bird, Happenstance, The Architect, Robot Stories. TV: "Damages," "The Wire," "Law & Order," "Soul Food." Eisa was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her play Bulrusher. Other plays include The History of Light, Hip Hop Anansi and Warriors Don't Cry. Her album of original music, Something Else, is available on iTunes and CDBaby.

Glenn Fitzgerald (Alan) returns to Playwrights Horizons, where he starred in Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero (2001), which had a successful commercial transfer to The Houseman Theatre, and for which he was nominated for a Lortel Award. His other theater credits include Jon Robin Baitz's Mizlansky/Zilinsky or Schmucks opposite Nathan Lane (MTC), The Grey Zone (MCC), Blue/Orange (Atlantic Theater Company), Tatjana in Color (Culture Project) and Hedda Gabler (NYTW). Glenn recently starred as Brian Darling in the ABC TV series "Dirty Sexy Money" during the show's two-season run. He got his first acting break in the cult classic film Flirting with Disaster by director David O. Russell. He would go on to appear in Lisa Krueger's Manny and Lo, Ang Lee's The Ice Storm, Boaz Yakin's A Price Above Rubies, M. Night Shamalyian's The Sixth Sense and Gus Van Sant's Finding Forester. Other Film credits include Series 7, The Believer, Tully, 40 Days and 40 Nights, Igby Goes Down, Buffalo Soldiers, Trust the Man and the recent Brief Interviews with Hideous Men starring JuliAnne Nicholson. Other Television includes "Six Feet Under," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Homicide," "New York Undercover" and "Wonderfalls."

Darren Pettie (Tom) previously appeared at Playwrights Horizons in Neal Bell's Spatter Pattern. His other theater credits include Butley on Broadway, Hillary, a Greek Tragedy with a Somewhat Happy Ending (New Georges), Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams (Primary Stages), Hobson's Choice (Atlantic Theater Company), Unwrap Your Candy (The Vineyard) and Measure for Measure (The Public). Regional work includes productions at Huntington Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Westport County Playhouse and a production of Don't Dress for Dinner at The Royal George. Films include the recent Taking Woodstock as well as Ghost Town, The International, Approaching Union Square and Four Single Fathers. On TV he's been seen on episodes of "Mad Men," "Gossip Girl," "Without a Trace," "Charmed," "CSI," "Crossing Jordan," "New Amsterdam," "Law & Order: SVU," "Numbers," "Cashmere Mafia" and "One Life to Live."

Playwrights Horizons, under the leadership of Artistic Director Tim Sanford and Managing Director Leslie Marcus, is a writer's theater dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American Playwrights, composers and lyricists, and to the production of their new work. In its 39 years, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of more than 375 writers and has received numerous awards and honors, most recently being honored with a special 2008 Drama Desk Award for "ongoing support to generations of theater artists and undiminished commitment to producing new work." Notable productions include four Pulitzer Prize winners: 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 Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie's Grey Gardens (three 2007 Tony Awards), Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation, Craig Lucas's Prayer For My Enemy and Small Tragedy (2004 Obie Award, Best American Play), Adam Rapp's Kindness, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins, Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone, Bruce Norris's The Pain and the Itch, 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, 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 and Franny's Way, 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.

For more information, visit the Playwrights Horizons website at

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