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Playwrights Horizons Closes MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY Today


Playwrights Horizons presents its New York premiere production of Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, a new play by Anne Washburn, with music by Obie Award winner Michael Friedman. Directed by Steve Cosson, the Obie Award-winning Artistic Director of The Civilians, Mr. Burns is being presented as the first production of Playwrights Horizons' 2013/2014 Season.

Originally set to play a limited engagement through Sunday, October 6, Mr. Burns was extended two weeks to today, October 20 at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street). The production began previews Friday, August 23 and had its official opening on Sunday, September 15.

The cast features Obie Award winner Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Gibson Frazier, Susannah Flood, two-time Obie Award winner Matthew Maher, two-time Audelco nominee Nedra McClyde, Jennifer R. Morris, Colleen Werthmann and Sam Breslin Wright.

What will endure when the cataclysm arrives - when the grid fails, society crumbles, and we're faced with the task of rebuilding? Anne Washburn's imaginative dark comedy propels us forward nearly a century, following a new civilization stumbling into its future. A paean to live theater, and to the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, Mr. Burns is an animated exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another.

The production features scenic design by two-time Obie Award winner Neil Patel, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Justin Townsend and sound design by Ken Travis. Choreography is by Sam Pinkleton and Music Director is Mike Brun. Mask and wig design is by Sam Hill, special effects are by Jeremy Chernick and fight director is J. David Brimmer. Production Stage Manager is Kyle Gates.

Mr. Burns had its World Premiere at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Washington, DC) in May 2013.

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Anne Washburn's (Playwright) plays include The Internationalist, A Devil at Noon, Apparition, The Communist Dracula Pageant, I Have Loved Strangers, The Ladies,The Small and a trans-adaptation of Euripides' Orestes. Her work has been produced by 13P, Actors Theater of Louisville, American Repertory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, Dixon Place, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Folger, London's Gate Theatre, Soho Rep, Studio Theater, Two River Theater Company, Vineyard Theatre and Woolly Mammoth. Awards include a Guggenheim, a NYFA Fellowship, a Time Warner Fellowship, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo, and an Artslink travel grant to Hungary to work with the playwright Peter Karpati. She is an associated artist with The Civilians, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges and is an alumna of New Dramatists and 13P. Currently commissioned by MTC, Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep and Yale Rep.

Michael Friedman (Composer). At Playwrights Horizons: Saved, The Drunken City, Spatter Pattern. Michael wrote music and lyrics to Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which played at The Public Theater and on Broadway (OCC and Lortel awards) As an Associate Artist with the acclaimed theater company The Civilians, he has written music and lyrics for Canard Canard Goose?, Gone Missing, Nobody's Lunch, This Beautiful City, In the Footprint, and The Great Immensity, and co-created the groups 2012 TED Talk. With Steve Cosson, he is the co-author of Paris Commune (BAM Next Wave Festival 2012). Recent: Love's Labours Lost with Alex Timbers for Shakespeare in the Park. Upcoming: an adaptation of Jonathan Lethem's Fortress of Solitude with Itamar Moses and Daniel Aukin, which will premiere at Dallas Theatre Center in 2014. He was the dramaturg for the recent Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun, and has been a MacDowell Fellow, a Princeton Hodder Fellow, a Meet The Composer Fellow, a Barrob Visiting Professor at the Princeton Environmental Institute, and an artist-in-residence at Spring Workshop Hong Kong. His recent Tedx talk, "The Song Makes a Space," is available on YouTube. An evening of his songs was featured in Lincoln Center's American Songbook series, and he received an Obie Award for sustained achievement.

Steve Cosson (Director) is a writer and director. Directing highlights include Spring Awakening (Olney Theatre); Anne Washburn's A Devil at Noon (Humana Festival, O'Neill); Bus Stop (Kansas City Rep); U.S. premiere of Martin Crimp's Attempts on Her Life (Soho Rep). He is the founding Artistic Director of The Civilians. The company creates original works of investigative theater that have been performed Off-Broadway and in over 40 cities nationally and internationally. Highlights of work with The Civilians include Anne Washburn's Mr. Burns (Woolly Mammoth Theatre, The Washington Post's #1 play for 2012); Bess Wohl/Michael Friedman's Pretty Filthy; Paris Commune (2012 BAM Next Wave); The Great Immensity, The Next Forever created for the 2012 TED Conference; In The Footprint (Top 10 of 2010 inNew York Times, Time Out, New Yorker); This Beautiful City; (I Am) Nobody's Lunch and Gone Missing (New York Times Top 10 of 2007). These works and others have been produced at The Public Theater, La Jolla Playhouse Vineyard Theatre, Barrow Street, Woolly Mammoth, Kansas City Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Repertory Theater, Center Theater Group, HBO's Comedy Festival, MoMA, The Gate Theatre and Soho Theatre in London and many others. His plays are published by Oberon Books, Dramatists Play Service and an anthology from Playscripts.

Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Quincy). Playwrights Horizons: the recent Far From Heaven. Broadway: In the Next Room, or the vibrator play. Off-Broadway: Ruined(Obie Award); Neva (Lortel nomination); We Are Proud to Present a Presentation; Born Bad; Love, Loss and What I Wore; Dreams of Flying, Dreams of Falling;Family Week; The Misanthrope. Regional: Far From Heaven (Williamstown), Intimate Apparel (Alliance). Film: Rachel Getting Married.

Susannah Flood (Susannah). Playwrights Horizons debut. Off-Broadway: Tribes, As You Like It, Okay. Regional: World Premiere of A Civil War Christmas (Long Wharf); Travesties (McCarter); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hartford Stage); Hamlet, To Kill a Mockingbird (Oregon Shakespeare); Our Town (2007 IRNE nomination, Best Actress), Memory House (Trinity Rep). Workshops: A Free Man of Color (Lincoln Center), The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (NYTW).

Gibson Frazier (Gibson). Playwrights Horizons debut. Off-Broadway: There Are No More Big Secrets, Telephone, God's Ear, Ms. Washburn's The Internationalist, Eat the Taste. Other New York: Luther (Clubbed Thumb), Heddatron (Les Freres Corbusier), Don't Quit Your Night Job (Joe's Pub/Zipper). Film/TV: Shadows & Lies, "Elementary," "The Good Wife," "Mercy."

Matthew Maher (Matt) is the recipient of a 2013 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Performance. He previously appeared at Playwrights Horizons in The Flickand The World Over. Other New York: The Race for the Ark Tattoo (Obie Award), Golden Child, Red Handed Otter, Uncle Vanya, School for Lies, You Better Sit Down: tales from my parents' divorce, Orange, Hat & Grace, The Small, Richard III, Coriolanus. He is an Associate Artist of The Civilians.

Nedra McClyde (Edna Krabapple). Playwrights Horizons debut. Off-Broadway: Headstrong (Audelco nomination), Miss Evers' Boys (Audelco nomination). Other New York Theater: Macbeth (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Sons (New Dramatists), Screen Play (The Flea). Regional: Good People (Old Globe), Nile Rodgers' Doubletime(Alabama Shakespeare). TV: "30 Rock, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent."

Jennifer R. Morris (Jenny). Playwrights Horizons debut. She is a founding member of The Civilians, where her work has included Gone Missing, The Ladies, Canard Canard Goose?, (I Am) Nobody's Lunch and You Better Sit Down: tales from my parents' divorce (which she conceived). TV: "ER," "Profiler," "Law & Order," hosting for TV Food Network and WE. As producer: the short film Tiffany 9 (PBS), the feature length documentary, Mentor.

Colleen Werthmann (Colleen). Playwrights Horizons: Miss Witherspoon, Recent Tragic Events. With Anne Washburn: The Communist Dracula Pageant, The Ladies. With Steve Cosson/The Civilians: Canard Canard Goose?, Gone Missing, In the Footprint. Other Off-Broadway: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Light Raise the Roof, Blue Surge, Suitcase. Film/TV: Salt, "The Sopranos," "Sex and the City," 2-time Emmy nominee for writing (Academy Awards).

Sam Breslin Wright (Sam). Playwrights Horizons debut. Broadway: Macbeth. Off-Broadway: The Tempermentals, Paris Commune, 365 Plays/Days, Vendetta Chrome,Orange Alert. Regional: Three Sisters (Berkley Rep/Yale Rep); Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Love's Labors Lost (Old Globe); Dead End,Royal Family, Hard Times (Williamstown). TV: "Law & Order, "Rescue Me," "Third Watch."

Playwrights Horizons 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. Under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus, the theater company continues to encourage the new work of veteran writers while nurturing an emerging generation of theater artists. In its 43 years, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of more than 375 writers and has received numerous awards and honors, including a special 2008 Drama Desk Award for "ongoing support to generations of theater artists and undiminished commitment to producing new work." Notable productions include five Pulitzer Prize winners - 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'sDriving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George - as well as Lisa D'Amour's Detroit (2013 Obie Award, Best New American Play); Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale (2013 Lortel Award, Best Play); Annie Baker's The Flick (2013 Obie Award, 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize) andCircle Mirror Transformation (three 2010 Obie Awards including Best New American Play); Kirsten Greenidge's Milk Like Sugar (2012 Obie Award); Gina Gionfriddo's Rapture, Blister, Burn; Dan LeFranc's The Big Meal; Amy Herzog's After the Revolution and The Great God Pan; 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'sGrey 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; Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone; 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; 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

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