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World Premieres by Kathy Ng and Bailey Williams & More Announced for The Hearth 2022 Season

The Hearth’s production of Happy Life will be playwright Kathy Ng’s first full production in New York City. 

World Premieres by Kathy Ng and Bailey Williams & More Announced for The Hearth 2022 Season

The Hearth has announced their 2022 season, which will feature two new plays commissioned and developed by The Hearth. In July 2022 they will present the World Premiere of Happy Life by Kathy Ng at Walkerspace (46 Walker St, New York, NY 10013). Events by Bailey Williams will premiere at The Brick (579 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211) in December 2022.

When the pandemic hit The Hearth asked for submissions of ten pages and a pitch for a new play, with the goal of inspiring people to get out of their heads and shake off the intense anxiety and depression of early pandemic times. They offered up the Maria Irene Fornes documentary, a music playlist, and monologues from plays by Carol Churchill and Adrienne Kennedy as inspiration. From over 100 submissions they chose nine of the writers to award commissions to, helping support their work both financially and dramaturgically. In the Spring of 2020, The Hearth began developing their plays and in 2022 two of those nine writers will receive World Premiere productions.

"Big institutions are still more hesitant to hire women or program their stories, perceiving it as taking a risk," said Co-Artistic Director Julia Greer. "The gender gap in theater is still far too wide. Oftentimes, we find that women, trans, nonbinary people and people of marginalized genders can get stuck in a cycle: no one wants to be the first to take a chance on an artist, but an artist cannot get opportunities until someone is willing to make that leap. We want to give writers their first experience, whether that means a first full production or the first time a company is putting their full weight behind their work."

"Happy Life and Events inspired and moved us, and felt so right for our first season back," said Co-Artistic Director Emma Miller. "Both plays were born out of the pain, loss, claustrophobia and need for humor felt in those early pandemic days. We want to tell stories that go beyond our own lived experiences, and we're excited that both of these plays do just that."

The Hearth's production of Happy Life will be playwright Kathy Ng's first full production in New York City. Happy Life was a finalist at the 2021 National Playwright's Conference at The O'Neill. Playwright Kathy Ng is a writer with a gift for crafting unique worlds that bring deeply-felt stories to life in an entirely new way. She is headed to the highly competitive and prestigious Brown MFA program this fall after completing her MFA at NYU Musical Theater a few years ago. The play tackles violence against Asian women, an all-too-relevant issue, and is brought to life by a cast and team of incredible Asian artists.

Events by Bailey Williams, is wildly funny, perspective-shifting, and in the end, devastating. It asks the audience to look at the world and the women around them through a different, more complicated, holistic, and empathetic lens. Bailey is a rising star, currently a member of Ars Nova Play Group and the Clubbed Thumb Writers' Group. Events is a dark comedy that takes place inside the office of a high-end events design and production company. As the play progresses, we come to understand that their work has come at the expense of their own humanity. Their lives, their loves, and their grief has been put on hold so that the event can go on. The office is both an emotional and physical barrier against the fullness of living and the necessity of connection.

The Hearth is also thrilled to be one of sixteen projects to have received a grant from the NYC Women's Fund for Media, Music and Theatre, a groundbreaking series of initiatives from The City of New York Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment administered by the New York Foundation for the Arts that address the underrepresentation of women in the entertainment industries. This grant will go towards funding The Hearth's production of Kathy Ng's play, Happy Life.

The Hearth nurtures and celebrates artists who are women, trans, nonbinary and people of underrepresented genders (playwrights, directors, actors, and designers) and develop plays that represent the complex and vast spectrum of womanhood. The Hearth produces plays that explore characters who pulse with emotional, intellectual, and psychological complexity. We seek to challenge stereotypes, advance and complicate the conversation about feminism, and expand perceptions of what it means to be a woman. We are committed to making room for the next generation of women artists in the landscape of the American theater. We've previously produced twice extended and once remounted Athena by Gracie Gardner at JACK, The Commons by Lily Akerman at 59E59 Theaters, For Annie by Beth Hyland at Lucid Body House, She Buried the Pistol by Lydia Blaisdell at WOW Festival at La Jolla Playhouse. Among many workshops and internal development we've also hosted public readings of plays by Nissy Aya, Leila Teitelman, Lizzie Stern, and Rae Binstock.

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