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Playwrights Horizons Extends Pulitzer Prize Finalist MARJORIE PRIME


Due to critical acclaim and popular demand, Playwrights Horizons has announced an extension of their New York premiere production of 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist MARJORIE PRIME, a new play by Jordan Harrison (Maple and Vine, Doris to Darlene at PH; staff writer for "Orange is the New Black"). Commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, the play is directed by Obie Award winner Anne Kauffman (Detroit, Maple and Vine, Your Mother's Copy of the Kama Sutra at PH; Belleville; This Wide Night; The Thugs).

Originally announced to play a limited engagement through Sunday, January 3, the production will take a brief hiatus the week of January 4 and then resume performances on Saturday evening, January 9 at 8PM. The two-week extension will play through Sunday matinee, January 24 at 2:30 PM at Playwrights Horizons' Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street). The production began previews November 20 and had its official opening on December 14.

Ben Brantley of The New York Times named MARJORIE PRIME a Critics' Pick, praising it as an "Elegant, thoughtful and quietly unsettling drama written and performed with exquisite carefulness. Impeccably directed by Anne Kauffman, with acting to match, this production operates by stealth, landing skillfully targeted punch after punch, right where it hurts. This production keeps developing in your head, like a photographic negative, long after you've seen it. The performance Lois Smith gives here is as meticulously conceived and layered as any in her long career." Jesse Green in New York Magazine urged readers to "SEE MARJORIE PRIME NOW," praising it as, "A startling and profound new drama. A realistic work - and a brilliant one at that - is devastatingly rendered by the superior ensemble under Anne Kauffman's beautifully balanced direction." David Cote of Time Out New York also named it a Critics' Pick and gave it FOUR STARS, calling it, "Intriguing and smart. An elegant study of memory as both escape and prison. In Anne Kauffman's perfectly chilled yet cozy staging, the human parts of Harrison's smart, lovely play are built to last." Jennifer Farrar for Associated Press proclaimed Lois Smith "Magnificent" and praised the play as both "A wry examination of how technology is replacing some human interaction, and a tender, layered look at the caprices of memory and the devastating impact of loss." Marilyn Stasio in Variety cheered playwright Jordan Harrison as "An original thinker who [writes with] sensitivity and intelligence" and the play, "An engaging, sensitive study of family dynamics." Jacob Gallagher-Ross in The Village Voice hailed it as, "A captivating new play with an excellent ensemble." Frank Scheck in The Hollywood Reporter called it, "Chilling, poignant and provocative. The play resonates with deep feeling, philosophical intelligence and empathy, wonderfully acted by the ensemble. As memorably played by Lois Smith, Marjorie is an indelible character." And Steven Suskin in Huffington Post hailed, "Another prime lesson in acting from Lois Smith, who has the ability to light up any stage and any play."

Following The Christians by Lucas Hnath and the current Hir by Taylor Mac - both celebrated in Best of 2015 lists including The New York Times and New York Magazine - MARJORIE PRIME is the third production of the theater company's 2015/2016 Season. All three have been met by rave reviews and received multiple week extensions. (The Christians is currently playing in Los Angeles at The Mark Taper Forum. Hir is in its third and final extension at Playwrights Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theatre through January 3.)

The celebrated cast of MARJORIE PRIME features Noah Bean (One Arm, The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall, "12 Monkeys," "Nikita," "Damages"), two-time Obie Award winner Lisa Emery (Marvin's Room at PH, Casa Valentina, The Women, Iron, Curtains, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin), Stephen Root (All My Sons, Office Space, "NewsRadio," "King of the Hill," "True Blood," "24," "Boardwalk Empire") and two-time Tony Award nominee Lois Smith (After the Revolution, 100 Saints You Should Know at PH; Buried Child; The Grapes of Wrath; Annie Baker's recent John; "True Blood").

Ms. Smith created the title role in the world premiere production of MARJORIE PRIME at The Mark Taper Forum in 2014. She will recreate her role in the upcoming film adaptation, directed by Michael Almereyda.

It's the age of artificial intelligence, and 85-year-old Marjorie (Ms. Smith) - a jumble of disparate, fading memories - has a handsome new companion (Mr. Bean) who's programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember, and what would we forget, if given the chance? In this richly spare, wondrous new play, Jordan Harrison explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits - if any - of what technology can replace.

The production features scenic design by Laura Jellinek, costume design by Jessica Pabst, lighting design by Tony Award nominee Ben Stanton and sound design by Daniel Kluger. Production Stage Manager is Vanessa Coakley.

The performance schedule for MARJORIE PRIME is Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7PM, Thursdays and Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2:30 PM & 8PM and Sundays at 2:30 PM & 7:30 PM. There are added Monday night performances at 7PM on December 21 and December 28. Single tickets, $75-95, may be purchased online via, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily) and in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).

MARJORIE PRIME was commissioned by Playwrights Horizons in association with Theater Masters and its Visionary Playwright Award, and with additional funds provided by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Commissioning Program. Its world premiere was produced by Center Theatre Group at The Mark Taper Forum (Los Angeles, CA) in September 2014.

Reflecting Playwrights Horizons' ongoing commitment to making its productions more affordable to younger audiences, the theater company offers HOTtix, $30 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. Cash only. Purchase must be made in person at 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).

HOTtix is one of Playwrights Horizons' popular Arts Access initiatives, which allows 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, McGraw Hill Financial and an Anonymous Individual Donor.

Currently on stage at the Playwrights Horizons Peter Jay Sharp Theater is HIR, the New York premiere of a new play by Taylor Mac, directed by Niegel Smith (through January 3). Following HIR and MARJORIE PRIME, the 2015/2016 Season will continue with FAMILIAR, the New York premiere of a new play by Danai Gurira, directed by Rebecca Taichman (previews begin February 12); ANTLIA PNEUMATICA, the world premiere of a Playwrights Horizons commission by Anne Washburn, directed by two-time Obie Award winner Ken Rus Schmoll (previews begin March 11); and conclude with INDIAN SUMMER, the world premiere of a Playwrights Horizons commission by Gregory S. Moss, directed by Carolyn Cantor (previews begin May 13).

Subscription packages to Playwrights Horizons' 2015/2016 Season are now available: 5-show Subscription package ($225, three Mainstage and two Peter Jay Sharp Theater productions); FlexPass (4+ tickets, $50 per ticket); and Membership ($60 membership fee + one ticket at $45 or less for each show, as desired). The company will continue to offer 30&Under Membership (no upfront membership fee + one $25 ticket for each show, as desired); and Student Membership (no upfront membership fee + one $15 ticket for each show, as desired). In addition to discounts on all season productions, subscribers receive priority booking and seating, ticket exchange privileges, parking and dining discounts, and exclusive mailings of Playwrights Horizons bulletins. Packages are available at now.

Patron Program Memberships begin at $1,500 (all but $550 is tax-deductible) and include two reserved house seats and personalized concierge service to all six Playwrights Horizons productions, and as well as a variety of exclusive benefits including invitations to attend special events with artists, staff and board members. Complete benefit list at

Playwrights Horizons' season productions are generously supported in part by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Playwrights Horizons is supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In addition, Playwrights Horizons receives major support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation and the Time Warner Foundation.

Photo by Jeremy Daniel

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