Primary Stages' Season to Include Works by Billy Porter, Charles Busch, and More

Primary Stages' Season to Include Works by Billy Porter, Charles Busch, and More

Primary Stages announces its complete 2019/20 Season, celebrating its 35th anniversary. The season will kick off in Fall 2019 with Remember To Live, written by and starring Golden Globe nominee and Tony and Grammy Award winner Billy Porter ("Pose," Kinky Boots, While I Yet Live at Primary Stages) and directed bySheryl Kaller (Next Fall, While I Yet Live at Primary Stages). Winter 2020 will bring The Confession of Lily Dare, written by and starring Charles Busch (The Tribute Artist, You Should Be So Lucky) and directed by Carl Andress (Who's Holiday, The Divine Sister).

The 35th Anniversary season will conclude in Spring 2020 with Peerless by Jiehae Park (Hannah and the Dread Gazebo), directed by Margot Bordelon (Plot Points in Our Sexual Development). As part of the 35th Anniversary season, Primary Stages will offer an unprecedented expansion of their Free Student Matinee program and will present two weeks of Free Student Matinees for NYC Public school students during the production of Peerless. Performance schedules, additional casting, and full creative teams will be announced at a later date.

"We are thrilled to be celebrating our 35th season by proudly presenting works by three writers who each hold a distinctive place among the type of artists we support-emerging, mid-career, and established playwrights," says Artistic Director Andrew Leynse. "This type of collaboration celebrates our legacy as a company that is truly dedicated to putting the focus on the playwright."

Written by and Starring Billy Porter
Directed by Sheryl Kaller
October 29 - December 22, 2019

In 2014, Primary Stages was honored to present the world premiere of While I Yet Live, the powerhouse playwriting debut of Golden Globe nominee and Tony and Grammy award-winning icon Billy Porter. To kick off their 35th Anniversary season, Primary Stages proudly presents Porter's newest work, Remember To Live, directed by Tony nominee Sheryl Kaller, who also helmed While I Yet Live. Remember To Live offers a frank look at the lives of five gay men who, having lived through the AIDS crisis, now find themselves balancing a fraught relationship towards sex and intimacy as ever-evolving gay men within the intensely challenging amorality of our current administration. Seen through the eyes of an African-American gay filmmaker with a troubled sexual history, Porter's new play is about finding the courage to navigate a difficult past in search of forgiveness, redemption, and the ultimate human need - love.

Written by and Starring Charles Busch
Directed by Carl Andress
January 8 - March 4, 2020

The second production of the 35th anniversary season is the newest work from one of Primary Stages' most frequent collaborators, legendary master of theatrical parody Charles Busch (best known to Primary Stages audiences from their productions of The Tribute Artist, Olive and the Bitter Herbs, and You Should Be So Lucky). Busch's newest play, The Confession of Lily Dare, tells the story of one woman's tumultuous passage from convent girl to glittering cabaret chanteuse to infamous madam of a string of brothels-all while hiding her undying devotion to the child she was forced to abandon. Directed by Busch's long-time colleague Carl Andress (Who's Holiday, The Divine Sister), this comic melodrama celebrates the gauzy "confession film" tearjerkers of early 1930s pre-code cinema, such as The Sin of Madelon Claudet, Frisco Jenny, and Madame X.

By Jiehae Park
Directed by Margot Bordelon
May 12 - June 28, 2020

Peerless by Jiehae Park is a darkly comedic twist on Shakespeare's Macbeth, set in the cutthroat world of elite college admissions. This new version of the classic story centers on M and L, twin Asian-American siblings who have given up everything to get into The College. When another classmate (who happens to be one-sixteenth Native American) claims what they feel is rightfully "their spot," the twins find themselves with only one option: murder. Directed by Margot Bordelon, the Primary Stages production of Peerless will include an unprecedented two weeks of Free Student Matinee Performances for NYC Public school students. As the only major theater company in the city that offers student matinees completely free-of-charge, Primary Stages is thrilled to serve more students than ever before during our 35th Anniversary Season.

All productions are to be performed at the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street). New subscriptions for the 2019/20 Primary Stages season are $135 if purchased by April 1, 2019 and offer one ticket to each production. Subscriptions are available at or by calling OvationTix at 212.352.3101.

As part of Primary Stages' 2018/19 season, God Said This, by Leah Nanako Winkler and directed by Morgan Gould, will begin performances on January 16at the Cherry Lane Theatre, and will open on January 29, for a run through February 15, 2019. The season began with Final Follies by A.R. Gurney and directed by David Saint; followed by Downstairs by Theresa Rebeck, directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt and starring Tyne and Tim Daly. The 2018/19 season will conclude in May with Little Women, written by Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, and directed by Sarna Lapine.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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