Works by Ari Stess, Alex Borinsky and Heidi Schreck Headed to Clubbed Thumb's 2017 SUMMERWORKS Series

Five-time Obie Award-winning theater company Clubbed Thumb has announced the line-up for SUMMERWORKS, its annual series of new plays.

Now in its 22nd season, SUMMERWORKS will run May 20 through July 1 at The Wild Project (195 E 3rd Street) in Manhattan, and will feature productions of three new plays: THE WORLD MY MAMA RAISED by Ari Stess and directed by Kip Fagan; OF GOVERNMENT by Alex Borinsky and directed by Jeremy Bloom; and, in a co-production with True Love Productions, WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME by Heidi Schreck and directed by Oliver Butler. WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME was commissioned by True Love Productions.

With its track record for discovering and supporting new playwriting talent - in many cases providing writers with their very first production in New York or anywhere - SUMMERWORKS is one of the most eagerly anticipated theatrical offerings of the year.

Highlights from the previous 21 festivals include the NYC premieres of Gina Gionfriddo, JorDan Harrison, Lisa D'Amour, Jason Grote and Sarah Ruhl; professional debuts of Rinne Groff, Sylvan Oswald, Clare Barron, Susan Stanton and Ariel Stess; and new work by Anne Washburn, Adam Bock, Gregory Moss, Jenny Schwartz, Ethan Lipton, Erin Courtney, Sheila Callaghan, and Jaclyn Backhaus, whose production of MEN ON BOATS returned to the New York stage last summer in a co-production by Playwrights Horizons and Clubbed Thumb. All of these artists continue to make Clubbed Thumb an artistic home.

Past SUMMERWORKS directors include Pam Mackinnon, who also serves as Clubbed Thumb's Board Chair, Lear deBessonet, Anne Kaufman, Davis McCallum, Leigh Silverman, and Ken Rus Schmoll.

Festival passes are now on sale at

The full SUMMERWORKS 2017 line-up includes:


By Ari Stess

Directed By Kip Fagan

MAY 20 - MAY 30

Violet has a new frenemy with benefits. Henry is being released from prison with only his church clothes and some bus fare. Violet's dad is learning how to read. And... the school day is nearly over, but it's only 10 AM.

Ari Stess is a playwright and director originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her work has been developed or produced by Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, The Bushwick Starr, Playwrights Horizons, Little Theatre, Dixon Place, Catch, and Mabou Mines. Recent productions include I'm Pretty Fucked Up, produced by Clubbed Thumb, directed by Kip Fagan (Five Stars Time Out NY) and Heartbreak (Time Out NY Critic's Pick) co-produced by The Bushwick Starr and New Georges and directed by Ariel Stess. She was a 2016 resident of Yaddo and Ryder Farm, a 2014 Mabou Mines Artist Resident, a 2013-14 New Georges Audrey Resident, and a member of Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writer's Group. She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist. She holds a BA from Bard College and an MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College. She is currently at work on a commission from Playwrights Horizons.

Kip Fagan. NYC: Zayd Dohrn's The Profane, Heidi Schreck's Grand Concourse (Playwrights Horizons); Jenny Rachel Weiner's Kingdom Come (Roundabout Underground); Ike Holter's Exit Strategy (Primary Stages); Jesse Eisenberg's The Revisionist and Asuncion, Halley Feiffer's How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them, Heidi Schreck's There Are No More Big Secrets, Sheila Callaghan's That Pretty Pretty; or, The Rape Play (Rattlestick); Ariel Stess's The World My Mama Raised and I'm Pretty Fucked Up, Sheila Callaghan's Roadkill Confidential, Rachel Hoeffel's Quail (Clubbed Thumb); Carlos Murillo's A Thick Description of Harry Smith, Sam Hunter's Jack's Precious Moment (P73); Reggie Watts and Tommy Smith's Radio Play (PS 122). Regional: Alliance, Long Wharf, Woolly Mammoth, Williamstown, Humana, George Street Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, Marin Theatre Company, City Theatre. Taught and/or directed at Juilliard, NYU, SUNY Purchase, National Theatre Institute, Strasberg Center. NEA/TCG directing fellow, Clubbed Thumb affiliated artist, co-founder of Printer's Devil in Seattle.


By Alex Borinsky

Directed by Jeremy Bloom

JUNE 5 - JUNE 15

The adventures of Barb the Teacher, Deb the Seeker, Heidi the Helper, Tawny the Addict and a host of others. With songs! Presented by Miss Marjorie Blain, her students, and members of the community. Light refreshments will be provided.

Alex Borinsky was born in Baltimore. He writes plays, prose, and dance. He has made work with the warm support of the LMCC Workspace program, the Working Farm at SPACE at Ryder Farm, Target Margin Theater, Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights Horizons, Page 73, Masrah Ensemble in Beirut, Upstream Theater in St. Louis, and Youngblood. He is working on commissions from Playwrights Horizons and Rady&Bloom, the latter of which is currently in development at HERE. He wrote text for choreographer Rebeca Medina's dance work, Paraíso, which premiered in 2015. Of Government won the 2015 Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission. This year Alex is an artist-in-residence at University Settlement, where he is exploring experimental dance and experimental classrooms. 3 Hole Press is publishing his play, Brief Chronicle, Books 6-8, this spring. MFA in Playwriting (almost), Brooklyn College.

Jeremy Bloom's original collaborations with Brian Rady (as RADY&BLOOM) include the New York Times Critic's Pick The Upper Room (The New Ohio, Archive Residency Commission), and the upcoming Ding Dong It's The Ocean by Alex Borinsky (HERE Artist Residency Program). His work as adapter/director includes Peter/Wendy (published by Playscripts and produced internationally), Wilde Tales, La Boheme (Spoken), LIVE Mermaids LIVE, and Leaves of Grass (Nude). Opera world premieres include work with Center for Contemporary Opera, Guerrilla Opera and Avant Media. Assistant credits include The Met, Broadway, Berkeley Rep, The Goodman (for Mary Zimmerman, Liz Swados, Alex Timbers). Fellowships and residencies include The Drama League, EST, Soho Rep Lab, TS Eliot/Old Vic, the cell, HARP, and LMCC's Process SpacE. Northwestern, Performance Studies and Poetry.


By Heidi Schreck

Directed by Oliver Butler

JUNE 21 - JULY 1

It's 1989 and Heidi is trying to earn enough money to go to college by giving speeches about the Constitution in American Legion Halls across the country. When she loses the first round to Becky Dobbins because her speech isn't personal enough, she decides to go deep. Starting with her great great grandmother, a mail-order bride who died of "melancholia," she traces the effects of a single sentence of the Ninth Amendment on generations of women in her family - and on the violent men they married.

Heidi Schreck is a playwright, actor and screenwriter living in Brooklyn. Her latest play Grand Concourse premiered at Playwrights Horizons and Steppenwolf Theater, and was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her other plays have been produced by Long Wharf, Page73, New Georges and Rattlestick, and she holds commissions from The Atlantic, MTC, Stacey Mindich Productions and South Coast Repertory Theatre. Heidi's television writing includes Nurse Jackie, Billions and Jill Soloway's new show I Love Dick, as well a new miniseries on Mary Gaitskill's Bad Behavior. As an actor, Heidi has performed at The Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, Shakespeare in the Park, Clubbed Thumb, The Women's Project, Theatre of a Two Headed Calf, Playwrights Horizons and more. She has won two OBIE awards (Circle Mirror Transformation and Drum Waves), a Drama Desk, and the Theatre World Award (Circle Mirror). Heidi is a Clubbed Thumb affiliated artist.

Oliver Butler. Founder and co-Artistic Director of The Debate Society. The Debate Society: Jacuzzi (Ars Nova); Blood Play (Bushwick Starr, The Public, Williamstown); Buddy Cop 2 (The Ontological Theater); You're Welcome (The Brick); Cape Disappointment (PS122); The Eaten Heart (The Ontological Theater); The Snow Hen; A Thought Out Raya. Off-Broadway: The Light Years (Playwrights Horizons); The Open House (Signature Theater, Obie, Lortel); Hostage Song (Horse Trade Theater Group). Regional: Thom Pain (Geffen Playhouse); Legacy (Williamstown); An Opening in Time (Hartford Stage); Bad Jews (Long Wharf). International: Timeshare (Malthouse). Obie (Directing), Sundance Fellow, Bill Foeller Fellow, faculty member at The National Theater Institute.

SUMMERWORKS 2017 is running May 20 through July 1 at The Wild Project, located at 195 E. 3rd Street, New York 10009 - between Avenues A and B in Manhattan's East Village. Full casting will be announced soon. Festival passes are on sale now for $49 at

Clubbed Thumb commissions, develops and produces funny, strange and provocative new plays by living American writers. Since its founding in 1996, the company has earned five Obies including the Ross Wetzsteon Award for sustained artistic excellence. We have presented plays in every form of development, including almost 100 full productions.

True Love Productions: founded by Jeanne Donovan Fisher and Laurie Gilmore. Broadway: Sweat, The Front Page, Fish in the Dark, Bright Star, Skylight (2015 TONY Award Best Revival of a Play), A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder (2014 TONY Award Best Musical), Fela!, The Norman Conquests (2009 TONY Award Best Revival of a Play), 33 Variations, 13, A Catered Affair, Well, Medea starring Fiona Shaw and The Retreat from Moscow. Off-Broadway: True Love at the Zipper Theatre; Everything You Touch, bobrauschenbergamerica, The Tricky Part, Shockheaded Peter, Coraline, The 39 Steps, Sleep No More, Suitcase, Everything Will Be Different, and Paradise Park. Established in 2010 and headed by Tom Cole, the New Play Commissioning Program gives established playwrights the opportunity to create original, new work, free of commercial constraints. Recent commissions include work by Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, Sheila Callaghan, Heidi Schreck, Craig Lucas, Greg Kotis, and Mark Hollman.

Next on Stage

Related Articles View More Off-Broadway Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You