Playwrights Horizons Extends SAD BOYS IN HARPY LAND and SCHOOL PICTURES

The shows now run through Sunday, December 10, when they must close.

By: Nov. 28, 2023
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Playwrights Horizons Extends SAD BOYS IN HARPY LAND and SCHOOL PICTURES
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Playwrights Horizons will present a second extension of Alexandra Tatarsky’s Sad Boys in Harpy Land, with sound composition by Shane Riley and direction by Iris McCloughan, and an extension of Milo Cramer’s School Pictures, directed by Morgan Green—both for an additional week of performances. The shows now run through Sunday, December 10, when they must close.

Naveen Kumar of The New York Times describes Alexandra Tatarsky’s Sad Boys in Harpy Land as “a thrilling and frenetic mental breakdown of a show.” The production tells the tale of a young Jewish woman who thinks she is a small German boy who thinks he is a tree. Equal parts sad clown act, absurd comedy, rabid bildungsroman, and extended crisis of meaning, Sad Boys invites the audience into a hellish theater of the mind. 

With School Pictures, Milo Cramer gathers observations from their time tutoring into a collection of witty, playful, and candid fictional song-poem portraits of ten students fighting to get into elite New York City public high schools. The narrative also becomes a character study of a tutor: someone with a unique glimpse into the intimate lives of privileged New Yorkers, coming to understand the insidious elements of a job that initially seemed innocuous. As Cramer became more familiar with the demands of New York elite public schooling and were fleetingly immersed in the domestic environments of strangers with ambitious paths laid out for their uncertain children, Cramer came into an understanding of being a cog in a system perpetuating educational segregation. School Pictures is a sweeping meditation on inequality, learning, parenting, and the cruelty of puberty. Sara Holdren of New York Magazine calls the show “completely wonderful,” and Ginia Bellafante of The New York Times deems it “a layered, compassionate view of the striving urban parents and pressured children so routinely distilled to cliché.”

In Amusements, the Emmy-nominated and Drama Desk Award-winning Ikechukwu Ufomadu plays on the theatricality of comedy and the comic oddities of theater, seeking to provide the audience with the finest Amusements he can muster. The work deepens Ufomadu’s long-lived fascination with mid-century American variety show entertainer personas, toying with the bizarre formality applied to acts of silliness by figures like Andy Williams and Johnny Carson. Ufomadu elicits the unknown in the everyday as he offers trivial observations with professorial authority. He pursues this goal with unflappable diligence, defying genre while operating within the bounds of international law. His signature use of the time-tested tools of words, music, and light multimedia usher audiences oh-so-gently into a haze of mirthful absurdity. Sara Holdren of New York Magazine writes, “Amusements isn’t just stand-up and it isn’t just send-up; it’s what everything strange and worthwhile is—both, and more, and something else entirely.”

These three writer-performed solo works all share the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Playwrights Horizons. The series represents a new variation on the organization’s programming templates, and its performances are offered at a lower price point.

Playwrights Horizons Artistic Director Adam Greenfield says, “The three productions running in repertory share the commonality of ‘solo performance’ but are otherwise so spectacularly different: in Alex’s Sad Boys, characters explode from the performer in ways as laugh-out-loud funny as they are disquieting; Milo Cramer’s work, like Tatarsky’s, explores questions of complicity and our role in the systems around us, with keen, trenchant observation rendered through the sweet simplicity of ditties we might learn in school; Ikechukwu Ufomadu unexpectedly collapses bone-dryness and whimsy into an evening of theatrical and hilarious anti-theatrics and anti-humor. With these works, we’re seeking to expand the range of artists and works that audiences expect to see at Playwrights Horizons. It's our mission to support and advance playwrights, and to do so means considering fully what the word ‘playwright’ means.  In these works, we see the vast range of possibility that exists between a single performer onstage, the audience, and all the unpredictable things they can do with the space between them.”

About Playwrights Horizons

Playwrights Horizons is a writer's theater dedicated to the development of contemporary American Playwrights, and to the production of innovative new work. In a city rich with cultural offerings, Playwrights Horizons' 52-year-old mission is unique among theaters of its size; the organization has distinguished itself by a steadfast commitment to centering and advancing the voice of the playwright. It’s a mission that is always timely, and one that’s necessary in the ongoing evolution of theater in this country.

Playwrights Horizons believes that playwrights are the great storytellers of our time, offering essential contributions to civic discourse and illuminating life’s greatest paradoxes. And they believe in the singularity of a writer’s voice, valuing the broad, eclectic spectrum and diversity of American writers. At Playwrights Horizons, writers are supported in every stage of their growth through commissions (engaging several of today’s most imaginative playwrights each year), New Works Lab, Soundstage audio program, and Almanac, the organization’s literary magazine.

Playwrights Horizons presents a season of productions annually on their two stages, each of which is a world, American, or New York premiere. Much like Playwrights Horizons’ work, their audience is risk-taking and adventurous; and the organization is committed to strengthening their engagement and feeding their curiosity through all of its programming, onsite and online.


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