Playwrights Horizons Opens Live For Five Lottery For I WAS MOST ALIVE WITH YOU
Playwrights Horizons will, from today, August 20, through August 22, accept entries for the Live for Five online lottery, giving out $5 tickets to the New York premiere production of Craig Lucas' I Was Most Alive with You. Directed by Tyne Rafaeli with Director of Artistic Sign Language Sabrina Dennison, the production begins performances September 1, and runs through October 14. Playwrights Horizons created Live for Five in 2007 as part of their Arts Access program to reach out to those who may not be able to afford the cost of a full-price theater ticket. Since its inception, over 2,000 theatergoers have been able to attend the theater thanks to the initiative.
Live for Five makes a limited number of $5 tickets available for the first preview performance of each Playwrights Horizons production through a lottery via the company's website (www.phnyc.org). The Live for Five lottery for I Was Most Alive with You will be for tickets to the first preview on Saturday evening, September 1 at 8pm in the Mainstage Theater at Playwrights Horizons (416 West 42nd Street). The production has an Opening Night set for Tuesday, September 25 at 7pm and will play through Sunday, October 14. Details for the Live for Five lottery are as follows: beginning today, Monday, August 20 at 12 Noon, theatergoers can enter the lottery by filling out an entry form at www.phnyc.org/L45. Entries will be accepted until Wednesday, August 22 at 12 Noon. Winners of the lottery will be notified via email no later than 3pm on Wednesday, August 22 with instructions on how to book their $5 tickets; they will have until Thursday, August 23 at 12 Noon to book tickets. Unclaimed tickets will be offered via email to a limited standby list starting Thursday, August 23 at 3pm on a first-come, first-served basis. One or two tickets may be purchased by winners for $5 each.
I Was Most Alive with You-the first production of the theater company's 2018-2019 season-features two casts simultaneously speaking and signing, with subtitles and intermittent spoken interpretation, making ita rare example of a work that is equally accessible to Deaf and hearing audiences. In Craig Lucas' play, a TV writer, Ash (Michael Gaston, Lucky Guy on Broadway, First Reformed, "The Man in the High Castle," "The Leftovers"), and his Deaf sign language teacher son, Knox (Russell Harvard, the world premiere of I Was Most Alive with You, Tribes, There Will Be Blood, "Fargo"), see their lives as blessed. Both in recovery, they have learned to consider parts of themselves that might present hardship or social struggle as gifts. At Thanksgiving dinner, Knox signs, "I'm grateful for my family, and for three things I used to think weren't gifts at all: Deafness, being gay, addiction. They are gifts. Each brought to me great clarity."
But amidst this personal clarity, there is also interpersonal miscommunication, as those around the dinner table coordinate and isolate with each passing statement across lines of deaf (physically), Deaf (physically and culturally), hearing, Muslim, Jewish, Jehovah's Witness, atheist, gay, straight, addict, sober, class, gender, racial, ethnic, and generational identities. The evening's miscommunications and deep-seated familial tensions lead indirectly to an event that threatens to throw the ways they have all come to know and shape their lives and selves into chaos. As misfortunes multiply, the idea of controlling fate, in writing or in life, begins to seem impossible, and the ability to see both the lightness and darkness of life as gifts-to proceed with grace-is tested.
The Playwrights Horizons staging of I Was Most Alive with You follows an acclaimed world premiere at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston in 2016. The New York premiere will feature Marianna Bassham (the world premiere of I Was Most Alive with You, Moonrise Kingdom) as Astrid; Tad Cooley (the world premiere of I Was Most Alive with You, "Secrets and Lies") as Farhad; two-time Obie Award winner Lisa Emery (For Peter Pan..., Marjorie Prime, Marvin's Room at Playwrights; Six Degrees of Separation) as Pleasant; Michael Gaston as Ash; Russell Harvard as Knox; two-time Tony Award nominee Lois Smith (Marjorie Prime, After the Revolution, 100 Saints You Should Know at Playwrights; Buried Child, Grapes of Wrath, Lady Bird, "True Blood") as Carla; and Gameela Wright (the world premiere of I Was Most Alive with You, "She's Gotta Have It") as Mariama. The shadow cast includes Beth Applebaum (The Dusk Cages), Kalen Feeney (Agency, Skin), Harold Foxx (Deaf West and Pasadena Playhouse's Our Town), Seth Gore (theatrical debut), Amelia Hensley (the world premiere of I Was Most Alive with You, Deaf West's Spring Awakening), Anthony Natale ("Switched at Birth"), and Alexandria Wailes (Deaf West's Spring Awakening and Big River).
The creative team includes Arnulfo Maldonado (scenic design), David C. Woolard (costume design), Annie Wiegand (lighting design), Jane Shaw (sound design), Alex Basco Koch (projection design), Daniel Kluger (original music), and Brett Anders (Production Stage Manager).
Playwrights Horizons 2018-2019 season continues after I Was Most Alive with You with The Thanksgiving Play, the world premiere of a new play by Larissa Fasthorse, directed by Tony Award nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel (October 12-November 25, 2018); Noura, the New York premiere of a new play written by and featuring Lucille Lortel Award winner Heather Raffo, directed by Joanna Settle, produced in association with Shakespeare Theatre Company (November 27-December 30, 2018); If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must Be a Muhfucka, the world premiere of a new play by Tori Sampson, directed by Obie Award winner Leah C. Gardiner (February 15-March 31, 2019); The Pain of My Belligerence, the world premiere of a Playwrights Horizons commissioned new play written by and featuring Halley Feiffer, directed by Obie Award winner Trip Cullman (March 29, 2019-May 12, 2019); and A Strange Loop, the world premiere of a new musical with book, music and lyrics by Michael R. Jackson and directed by Stephen Brackett, produced in association with Page 73 (May 24-July 27, 2019).
Performance Schedule and Ticketing
Performances of I Was Most Alive with You take place September 1 - October 14: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7pm, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 7:30pm. Matinee performances take place Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30pm.
Single tickets go on sale Tuesday, August 7 at noon. Tickets for preview performances start at $44 and tickets for after opening, September 25 onward, start at $59.
Critics are welcome September 19 at 7pm, September 20-22 at 8pm, September 22 at 2:30, and September 23 at 7:30pm for an official opening on September 24 at 7 PM.
A Six-Show Subscriptionpackage to Playwrights Horizons' 2018-19 season is now available ($310, four Mainstage and two Peter Jay Sharp Theater productions). 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. Flex Passes (customizable bundle, $220+) and Memberships ($45 to join, $25 preview tickets) are also now on sale. Patron packages start at $1,800. Packages are available at www.phnyc.org.