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Playwrights Horizons exciting 2013-2014 season

MRBURNSplayRemember Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons”? So will earthlings in a post-apocalyptic civilization. That is all they’ll remember.

That is the premise of Ann Washburn’s “Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play,” the first of the plays in the new season Playwrights Horizons, in what promises to be another exciting line-up,.

Here are the six productions, as described by the theater:

MR. BURNS, A POST-ELECTRIC PLAY – the New York premiere of a new play by Anne Washburn (The Internationalist), with music by Obie Award winner Michael Friedman (SavedThe Drunken City at PH; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, the current Love’s Labours Lost), directed by Obie Award winner Steve Cosson (Gone MissingThis Beautiful City, founding Artistic Director of The Civilians), presented at Playwrights Horizons’ Mainstage Theater.  Now in rehearsal, MR. BURNS will be the first production of the season, beginning previews on Friday, August 23, 2013.  Writing on the World Premiere at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC, Peter Marks of The Washington Post called it, “Inexhaustibly original.  The sort of once in a blue moon show that stays stuck in your brain long after it has chilled you to the bone.”

What will endure when the cataclysm arrives – when the grid fails, society crumbles, and we’re faced with the task of rebuilding? Anne Washburn’s imaginative dark comedy propels us forward nearly a century, following a new civilization stumbling into its future.  A paean to live theater, and to the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, MR. BURNS is an animated exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another

THE PATRON SAINT OF SEA MONSTERS – the World Premiere of a new play by Marlane Meyer (The Chemistry of Change for PH; Etta JenksMoe’s Lucky Seven), directed by two-time Obie Award winner Lisa Peterson (The Chemistry of Change for PH; An IliadSlavs!) presented at Playwrights Horizons’ Peter Jay Sharp Theater, beginning previews on Friday, October 18, 2013.
Aubrey, a very determined romantic, believes she’s met her soul-mate in Calvin, a boozing womanizer.    But in this tilted, thoughtful comedy, true love is an even more tangled predicament.  Peopled by an assortment of eccentrics, mystics and front porch philosophers, this new play from Marlane Meyer is a sweet polemic, an unexpected love story, and a deliciously cockeyed view of the sustaining – and destructive – power of belief.

THE (curious case of the) WATSON INTELLGENCE – the World Premiere of a new play by Madeleine George (The Zero Hour), directed by two-time Obie Award winner Leigh Silverman (Go Back to Where You AreBlue Door and the current The Call at PH; ChinglishGolden ChildWell), presented at Playwrights Horizons’ Mainstage Theater, beginning previews Sunday, November 17, 2013.

Watson: trusty sidekick to Sherlock Holmes; loyal engineer who built Bell’s first telephone; unstoppable super-computer that became reigning Jeopardy! champ; amiable techno-dweeb who, in the present day, is just looking for love. These four constant companions become one in this brilliantly witty, time-jumping, loving tribute (and cautionary tale) dedicated to the people – and machines – upon which we all depend.

STAGE KISS– the New York premiere of a play by two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Sarah Ruhl (Dead Man’s Cell Phone at PH; The Clean HouseIn the Next Room…), directed by Rebecca Taichman (Milk Like Sugar at PH; OrlandoThe Scene, the recent Luck of the Irish), presented at Playwrights Horizons’ Mainstage Theater, beginning previews Friday, February 7, 2014.  Writing on the World Premiere at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago, IL, Steven Oxman of Variety called it, “Wickedly clever, with breezily elegant dialogue and Ruhl’s pleasingly loopy logic.”

Art imitates Life.  Life imitates Art.  When two actors with a history are thrown together as romantic leads in a forgotten 1930s melodrama, they quickly lose touch with reality as the story onstage follows them offstage.

YOUR MOTHER’S COPY OF THE KAMA SUTRA – the World Premiere of a new play by Kirk Lynn (Founder, Rude Mechanicals, Austin), directed by Anne Kauffman (DetroitMaple and Vine at PH; Belleville), presented at Playwrights Horizons’ Peter Jay Sharp Theater, beginning previews Friday, March 28, 2014.

Carla agrees to marry Reggie on one condition: to break down any walls between them, they’ll reenact their individual sexual histories with one another, good and bad, for better or worse.  Years later, these stories bring unexpected hope to their household, now forced to confront those barriers a second time.

FLY BY NIGHT: A NEW MUSICAL – the New York premiere of a new musical conceived by Kim Rosenstock (Tigers Be Still), written by Will Connolly (performer, Once), Michael Mitnick (Sex Lives of Our Parents) and Ms. Rosenstock, directed by Carolyn Cantor (The Great God Pan and After the Revolution at PH, PumpgirlOrange Flower Water) presented at Playwrights Horizons’ Mainstage Theater, beginning previews Friday, May 16, 2014.   Writing on the Dallas Theatre Center production earlier this year, Elaine Liner of Dallas Observer asked, “When’s the last time you saw a musical that left its audience happily crying and hugging each other during the curtain calls? That’s what happened on opening night of FLY BY NIGHT, about as magical an evening as you’d ever want to experience in live theater.”

In this darkly comic rock-fable, a melancholy sandwich maker’s hum-drum life is intersected by two entrancing sisters. A sweeping ode to young love set against the backdrop of the northeast blackout of 1965,

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About New York Theater
Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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