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Primary Stages to Present PEERLESS Events and Creative Access Grant Readings

peerless, by 2019/20 Tow Playwright-in-Residence Jiehae Park, will open on October 11 for a limited run through November 6, 2022. 


PRIMARY STAGES will present additional programming for their Fall 2022 season, including readings, panels and talkbacks for their fall production peerless and the Creative Access Grant Recipients Reading Series.

As part of a grant from the Tow Foundation, playwright Jiehae Park has worked with Cultural Consultant Vickie Ramirez and Primary Stages to program free readings, panel discussions, and talkbacks for peerless to explore questions of identity, competition and community. All engagement events are free and open to the public and will be held in Theater A at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park & Madison). Reservations for the panels and readings can be made at


Bad Medicine
By P.C. Verrone
Tuesday October 18 at 7:00pm

Aislin and her husband Cesar are excited to settle into their new home in Proctor, Massachusetts. Even their nosy white neighbors seem nice enough. But as Aislin becomes aware of strange occurrences surrounding her job at the Natural History Museum, she starts to wonder if there might be something insidious beneath the sleepy town.

By Tara Moses
Tuesday October 25 at 7:00pm

Ivy Johnson was adopted in the fall of 1998 to a Mexican American mother and an African American father. Although it's obvious that she's of color, she has never known where she comes from or her racial background - that is until she sorts through her mail at Thanksgiving. The following weeks come with major discoveries, but they only leave her with more questions. What makes someone Native?


Identity Commodifications and Scarcity Mindset

Sunday October 23 at 3:30pm (following the 2pm matinee of peerless; show attendance not required)

An intersectional conversation with scholars of Asian, Indigenous, and Black American studies exploring racial and cultural identities, their commodification and performance, and the effects of scarcity frameworks.

Elite Colleges: Rankings, Relevancy, Reevaluation

Sunday October 30 at 3:30pm (following the 2pm matinee of Peerless; show attendance not required)

Competition for admission to this country's elite universities is at an all-time high. But what exactly is it students are competing for access to? What is the perceived versus tangible value of an elite education? What are the alternatives?


Get a little more out of your Primary Stages experience by attending a talkback after select performances of each production. Led by a member of the Primary Stages artistic staff, these post-show discussions offer an opportunity for the audience to engage in a dialogue with the artists in our productions. Talkbacks will be held following the Sunday October 9 and Thursday October 27 performances of peerless.

peerless, by 2019/20 Tow Playwright-in-Residence Jiehae Park (Hannah and the Dread Gazebo) and directed by Margot Bordelon (... what the end will be) began previews at 59E59's Theater A (59 E 59th Street) on September 24, 2022, with opening night set for October 11 for a limited run through November 6, 2022. peerless is presented in association with 59E59 Theaters (Val Day, Artistic Director; Brian Beirne, Managing Director) and Jamie deRoy.

A darkly comedic twist on Shakespeare's Macbeth set in the cutthroat world of elite college admissions, Jiehae Park's clever and incisive adaptation, peerless, is a comedy...until it's not. 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 claims what they feel is rightfully "their spot," the twins decide they have only one option: murder.

Tickets to peerless begin at $25 and are available now at

peerless is made possible, in part, through the generous support of The Tow Foundation, public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Primary Stages also announced the Creative Access Grant Recipients Reading Series, which will be held October 17-November 4 at 59E59 Theaters. The reading series will feature work from the 2021/22 Creative Access Grant recipients: Tyler Dobies, Roger Q. Mason, Derek Lee McPhatter and Justin Santory. The first reading of this series, Justin Santory's On a Higher Vibration, was held this past August.

All readings are free and open to the public. Reservations can be made here:


By Derek Lee McPhatter

Monday October 17 at 3:00pm

Nominated by National Black Theatre

As climate catastrophe reshapes Chicago, a queer black intellectual confronts a lover, a computer, and a mysterious visitor on his quest for truth in virtual worlds. Underdrown is part of Derek Lee McPhatter's NightQueen Performance Suite, following an eclectic ensemble seeking hope in one another as their world is reshaped by a global water crisis, unbridled network technologies, and resurgent fascism.


By Tyler Dobies

Wednesday November 2 at 3:00pm

Nominated by Pan Asian Repertory Theatre

Two siblings struggling to connect with their Filipinx immigrant heritage mysteriously receive a call that their grandmother has been kidnapped. The problem: she's dead. But can they bring her back?


By Roger Q. Mason

Friday November 4 at 3:00pm

Nominated by National Queer Theater

THE PINK, An Intimacy Ritual, imagines how a hot and heavy hookup between Mel and Herman unravels from planned evening passion to an unexpected grasp for human tenderness. Their conversations, silences, and stolen glances blur the lines between intimacy, sex, and euphoria until something radically, joyfully new appears.

The Creative Access Grants program is made possible, in part, through the generous support of The Ellen M. Violett and Mary P.R. Thomas Foundation.

The Primary Stages and Einhorn School of Performing Arts Creative Access Grants are a new initiative providing financial, educational, artistic and community support to playwrights nominated by four culturally specific NYC-based theater companies, providing support to historically underrepresented communities and amplifying the artists and work of these vital arts organizations. The four 2021/22 Creative Access Grantees will each receive a stipend and two free classes at Primary Stages ESPA during the Fall and Spring semesters, giving these playwrights resources for their creative and professional development, and expanding their network of connections through support from the Primary Stages ESPA community of fellow artists. As a member of the Primary Stages family, playwrights will have access to free tickets for all Primary Stages productions, talkbacks and artistic events. Playwrights will also be invited to participate in roundtable discussions about their creative process and their experience in the theater industry. The Creative Access Grant program will culminate in public presentations of the artists' works in collaboration with the nominating theater company, celebrating this artistry through our joined communities. Primary Stages hopes for this Grant program to further expand their community of artists and collaborating theaters, developing long-lasting partnerships to ensure that playwrights' voices are supported and amplified.

Primary Stages is collaborating with Latinx Playwrights Circle, National Black Theatre, National Queer Theater, and Pan Asian Repertory Theatre on the Creative Access Grants. The 2022 grant recipients are Tyler Dobies, Roger Q. Mason, Derek Lee McPhatter and Justin Santory.


Primary Stages is an Off-Broadway not-for-profit theater company dedicated to inspiring, supporting, producing and sharing the art of playwriting. We operate on the strongly held belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights and giving them the artistic support needed to create new work. Since our founding in 1984, we have produced more than 135 new plays, including Theresa Rebeck's Poor Behavior and Downstairs, Kate Hamill's Pride and Prejudice and Little Women, Billy Porter's While I Yet Live; Charles Busch's The Tribute Artist and Olive and the Bitter Herbs; Sharon Washington's Feeding the Dragon, Leah Nanako Winkler's God Said This, In Transit by James-Allen-Ford, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Russ Kaplan, and Sara Wordsworth (on Broadway in 2017); Horton Foote's The Roads to Home, The Day Emily Married, Harrison, TX, and Dividing the Estate (two Tony nominations); Donald Margulies' The Model Apartment (1995 premiere and 2013 revival); David Ives' Lives of the Saints and All in the Timing (original 1993 production and 2013 revival); Deborah Zoe Laufer's Informed Consent; Ike Holter's Exit Strategy; Tanya Saracho's Fade; Michael McKeever's Daniel's Husband, A.R. Gurney's Black Tie; Terrence McNally's Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams and The Stendhal Syndrome; Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter's In the Continuum (which went on to tour the U.S., Africa, and Scotland); and Conor McPherson's St. Nicholas (which marked the playwright's U.S. debut). Our productions and artists have received critical acclaim, including Tony, Obie, Lortel, AUDELCO, Outer Critics' Circle, Drama League, and Drama Desk awards and nominations. Primary Stages supports playwrights and develops new works through commissions, workshops, readings, and our education and training programs: The Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, the Marvin and Anne Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA), Creative Access Grants, the Echoes Writers Group, the Free Student Matinee Program, and the Primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral History Project. Through these programs, Primary Stages advocates for our artists, helping them make important-and often transformative- connections within the theater community.



Pan Asian Repertory Theatre

celebrating its 46th Milestone Season, is the most veteran Asian American theatre company on the East Coast. Tisa Chang founded Pan Asian Rep in 1977 at Ellen Stewart's La Mama ETC with the vision to promote equity and access that Asian Americans artists can equally follow, focusing on stories of probing social justice issues with distinctive Off-Broadway Productions, Tours, National Outreach, and Community Service. Mel Gussow of The New York Times described it as "A Stage for All the World of Asian -Americans" and wrote that "Before Pan Asian Rep, Asian Americans had severely limited opportunities in the theater...." The company has nurtured thousands of artists and is a "who-is-who" of Asian American theatre history, with notable alumni/ae: Ako, Ernest Abuba, Tina Chen, Philip Gotanda, Wai Ching Ho, David Henry Hwang, Daniel Dae Kim, Lucy Liu, Ron Nakahara, R.A. Shiomi, Lauren Yee, and Henry Yuk.

The Latinx Playwrights Circle

(LPC) started as a "pop up" Playwright Circle in October 2017. Since 2018, the group has been spearheaded and organized by playwrights Guadalís Del Carmen and Oscar A. L. Cabrera with Janio Marrero serving as the Executive Director. Programming began with a monthly meeting of playwrights committed to community development of their plays. In 2020, the LPC became a 501c3 non-profit and launched its first season of digital programming and community events. Their mission is to build a network of LatinX Playwrights nationwide in order to promote, develop and elevate their work while making their plays accessible to theater makers looking to find the next generation of American Storytellers. With New York as their headquarters, they are a national network of committed playwrights of Latinx heritage of all racial and class backgrounds. They are currently in residence at Kabayitos Theater in the Clemente Soto-Velez Cultural and Education Center. The organization operates with a volunteer staff of seven playwrights serving one hundred and two-hundred members and supporters. For more information on NYC Latinx Playwright Circle, visit

National Black Theatre

(NBT), the nation's first revenue-generating Black arts complex, was founded in 1968 by the late visionary artist Dr. Barbara Ann Teer. NBT is the longest-running Black theatre in New York City and one of the oldest theaters founded and consistently operated by a woman of color.

NBT uses a multidisciplinary approach to center, humanize and heal Black communities through the power of unapologetic Black storytelling. NBT's unique approach to Black liberation, art and placemaking act as a change agent to combat systemic oppression, creating the space for human transformation.

National Queer Theater

is an innovative theater collective dedicated to celebrating the brilliance of generations of LGBTQ artists and providing a home for unheard storytellers and activists. By serving our elders, youth, and working professionals, NQT creates a more just future through radical and evocative theater experiences and free community classes.

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