Month: April 2014

The 2014 Award Season continues…

In addition to our 2014 Lucille Lortel Award nominations, we are proud to announce that Primary Stages has received three 2014 Drama Desk Award nominations!

Our recent production of The Model Apartment (written by Donald Margulies, directed by Evan Cabnet) is nominated for Outstanding Revival of a Play, while Diane Davis is nominated for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for her portrayal of Debby/Deborah.

Diane Davis and Kathryn Grody in The Model Apartment. Photo by James Leynse.

Diane Davis and Kathryn Grody in The Model Apartment. Photo by James Leynse.

Our most recent production, The Tribute Artist, (written by Charles Busch, directed by Carl Andress) is nominated for Outstanding Music in a Play, for the new score composed by Lewis Flinn.

The Tribute Artist

Julie Halston, Cynthia Harris and Charles Busch in Primary Stages 2014 world premiere of The Tribute Artist, now playing at 59E59 Theaters


A Conversation with Winter Miller

Playwright Winter Miller, who is teaching an intensive called “The Cure for Writer’s Block” at Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA), discusses her writing process, the community of writers at ESPA and what she has learned from her students. 

Winter Miller

Winter Miller [Photo by Shontina Vernon]

Primary Stages: What technique or techniques do you use to get your creative juices flowing when you’re suffering from writer’s block? Where do you get your inspiration?

Winter Miller: This is a tricky one, and I’ll confess I’m far more skilled at getting other people’s creative juices flowing than my own. What I’ve learned to recognize is that sometimes, I need to step back because the well feels dry–it’s not–or it is–but in any case, it needs to be filled. When that happens I go look at visual art, I spend time in and looking at nature, and I try to nurture myself by being in community with other people and not isolating. Another thing I do is I make visual art. Sometimes I paint, sometimes I collage. One of the challenges of writing plays is going the distance from impulse to first draft to the sometimes long waiting period before you get to see the play on its feet. So sometimes I need something more immediate to reflect that I’m creating. I may switch forms and write song lyrics, or bad poetry, or short stories about my childhood.

PS: How long have you been teaching at ESPA?

WM: Three years? More? I can’t recall. But I have to say, I really, really like the students who come through this program. I’ve watched them go onto graduate school or onto making their own work on their own terms and it’s exciting to see writers grow from tentative to curious to bold. And then there are some writers who are already experienced and it’s great to see them getting out of their habits and trying new things. It sounds almost corny, but it’s a nice energy to be around the students here. Everyone wants to be in class, wants to grow and I think having a community of writers is really important. (more…)

New Plays from the Fordham/Primary Stages MFA Playwrights

Behind all that Primary Stages does is a commitment to inspiring, supporting and sharing the art of playwriting, and the belief that the future of American theater relies on nurturing playwrights.

One of our many programs that embody that mission is our Fordham/Primary Stages MFA program in playwriting, co-directed by Primary Stages Managing Director Elliot Fox, in collaboration with Fordham’s Matthew Maguire.

Fox states, “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented writers and faculty in this new MFA program that we launched in 2012. Fordham is an incredible university and the environment that we are creating together is very exciting for both our institutions and the artists who join us.”

Fordham/Primary Stages MFA shows spring 2014

This semester, Fordham/Primary Stages MFA in Playwriting presents four new plays.

The Fordham/Primary Stages MFA in Playwriting offers writers the opportunity to develop and produce their work in a rigorous university setting while fostering relationships with a preeminent Off Broadway theatre company. This two-year program provides students with two productions with professional directors, networking in the New York industry, plus guidance from a broad range of professionals in theatre, television, and film.

The Nominations Are In!

Congratulations are in order! Earlier this week, Primary Stages shows and artists received three 2014 Lucille Lortel Award nominations for our productions of The Model Apartment (written by Donald Margulies, directed by Evan Cabnet) and The Call (written by Tanya Barfield, directed by Leigh Silverman).

Diane Davis and Kathryn Grody in The Model Apartment. Photo by James Leynse.

Diane Davis and Kathryn Grody in The Model Apartment. Photo by James Leynse.

The Model Apartment received two nominations: Outstanding Revival, and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play, for Diane Davis.

Kerry Butler, Kelly AuCoin, Russel G. Jones, Crystal A Dickinson and Eisa Davis in The Call. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Kerry Butler, Kelly AuCoin, Russell G. Jones, Crystal A Dickinson and Eisa Davis in The Call. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

The Call, a co-production with Playwrights Horizons, received one nomination: Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play, for Russell G. Jones. (more…)

We Love Charles a Busch-el and a Peck

The Tribute Artist, Charles Busch’s newest comedy, closed this past weekend. The piece was commissioned by Primary Stages and after a season of development, it played 69 performances and closed to standing ovations.

The Tribute Artist cast

Top Row, L to R: Keira Keeley, Jonathan Walker. Bottom Row: Mary Bacon, Julie Halston, Charles Busch, Cynthia Harris. Photo by James Leynse.


The Tribute Artist was one of Ben Brantley’s New York Times Critic’s Picks and also received wonderful reviews from everyone from The Huffington Post to Broadway World. It has been a joy to work with this company on such a hilarious and heartwarming show.