2018/19 Season

Stepping Downstairs

As we’ve grown our family of artists over the past 34 years, it is always especially fulfilling to bring back a playwright we consider one of our most supportive and dedicated family members. In 2014, we were fortunate to produce Theresa Rebeck’s wonderfully fierce and hilarious Poor Behavior during our tenure at The Duke on 42nd Street. Two years later, Theresa contributed a fantastic short work to Morning in America, our special evening of one-act plays and sketches written in response to the 2016 election. Theresa has also been kind enough to lend her home in Vermont for writers’ retreats we’ve held over the years for our writers groups and Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA). She is a beloved member of this family and one of the reasons Primary Stages feels like ‘home’ to so many artists.

At its core, Theresa’s newest play, Downstairs, is about family and home. Fittingly, Theresa wrote the play specifically for real-life siblings Tim Daly and Tyne Daly, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome them, as well as co-star John Procaccino and director Adrienne Campbell-Holt, into the fold. They comprise a unique artistic family well-suited to tackle the intricate dynamics found within this suspenseful tale. While the play deals with the complexities of power and fear on a domestic level, it also echoes much of what is happening in the world today on a global scale. Secrets are held tight… the perfect life is not what we think it to be… aggression becomes manifested in a way that leads people to feel both out of control and under tight grips.

Ultimately, the play speaks to what it takes to be a good person standing out amongst the bad. Luckily at Primary Stages, we are surrounded by truly good people. Our artists, our staff, and patrons like you make up this wonderful, close-knit group of theater lovers dedicated to inspiring, supporting, and sharing the art of playwriting season after season.

Thank you for making Primary Stages your Off-Broadway home,

The Primary Stages Family

 

The Primary Stages production of Downstairs by Theresa Rebeck runs through December 22, 2018 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Click here for ticket information and more!

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Meet the Cast of DOWNSTAIRS

Tim Daly headshot TIM DALY (Teddy). Broadway and Off-Broadway: Coastal Disturbances (Theatre World Award); The Caine Mutiny Court Martial; Oliver, Oliver (MTC); Fables for Friends (Playwrights Horizons); Henry Flamethrowa (Studio Dante). Regional: Six Degrees of Separation, Cabaret & Main, A Study in Scarlet, A Knife in the Heart (Williamstown); Colorado Catechism (Dramalogue Award, Coast Playhouse); The Lion in Winter (Windham Rep.); Mass Appeal, Fifth of July, Bus Stop, Of Mice and Men, Buried Child (Trinity Square Repertory); Paris Bound (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Red, The Scene, Downstairs (Dorset). Film: Low Down, Against the Ropes, Bereft (also director and producer), The Object of My Affection, The Associate, Love or Money, Diner. TV: “Madam Secretary,” “Private Practice,” “The Sopranos” (Emmy Award nomination), “Edge of America” (Producer, Peabody and Humanitas Awards), “Execution of Justice” (Executive Producer, GLAAD Award), “Poliwood” (Executive Producer), “The Nine,” “Eyes,” “The Fugitive,” “Wings,” “Almost Grown.”

Tyne Daly HeadshotTYNE DALY (Irene) made her professional debut at the Cherry Lane Theatre in George S. Kaufman’s The Butter and Egg Man in 1966. She is delighted to have been invited to play here again.

 

 

 

 

 

John Procaccino headshot

JOHN PROCACCINO (Gerry). Broadway: Our Mother’s Brief Affair, A Time to Kill, An Enemy of the People, An American Daughter, A Thousand Clowns, Conversations with My Father, Art. Off-Broadway: Love and Information (NYTW); Blood and Gifts, Nikolai and the Others (Lincoln Center); The Qualms (Playwrights Horizons); Incident at Vichy (Signature Theatre). National tour: The Light in the Piazza. Regional: The Normal Heart (Arena); Art, Good Boys and True (Steppenwolf); Death of a Salesman (Old Globe); A Prayer for My Enemy, Curse of the Starving Class, A Moon for the Misbegotten (Long Wharf); All the Kings Men, Arms and the Man (Intiman); Tartuffe, Caucasian Chalk Circle, Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Seattle Repertory); Dinner with Friends, Side Man, The Crucible (ACT-Theater). Film and TV: A Most Violent Year, Little Men, The Runner Stumbles, Three Fugitives, Born to Be Wild, “Law & Order,” “NYPD Blue,” “Northern Exposure,” “Smash,” “The Good Wife,” “Elementary,” “Madam Secretary,” “The Americans.”

 

The Primary Stages production of Downstairs by Theresa Rebeck runs through December 22, 2018 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Click here for ticket information and more!

Wisdom & Inspiration from A.R. Gurney

Over his lifetime, A.R. Gurney shared many words of wisdom with audiences here at Primary Stages and at theaters across the country. Here are some of our favorite anecdotes of advice from one of the most prolific playwrights of the 20th century. (And follow us on Instagram for new wisdom each Wednesday!)

The Primary Stages production of Final Follies by A.R. Gurney runs through October 21, 2018 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Click here for ticket information and more!

All About A.R. Gurney – A History of the Prolific Playwright

A. R. Gurney wrote plays for nearly fifty years. Besides Love Letters, his more familiar ones are The Dining Room, The Cocktail Hour, and Sylvia, and is known to Primary Stages audiences for the plays Black Tie, Buffalo Gal, The Fourth Wall, and Indian Blood. He taught literature at M.I.T. for many years before turning to writing full time. Besides plays, Gurney also wrote three novels, two opera librettos, and several efforts for TV. Most of his plays have been produced Off-Broadway by such theater organizations as Primary Stages, Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center, and the Flea Theater. Gurney passed away June 14, 2017. He was a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as father of four children, grandfather of eight grandchildren, and husband of fifty-seven years to his wife, Molly.

Let’s take a look back at some of the highlights of his career.

Gurney headshot by Walter Kurtz

A.R. Gurney

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A.R. Gurney and Holland Taylor at the first reading of Love Letters

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David Pittu and Sandy Duncan in Primary Stages production of The Fourth Wall

"Indian Blood" a new at Primary Stages

Jack Gilpin, Rebecca Luker, Charles Socarides, John McMartin, Pamela Payton-Wright, and Matthew Arkin in Primary Stages 2006 production of Indian Blood

Primary Stages - Black Tie

Daniel Davis and Gregg Edelman in Primary Stages production of Black Tie

A.R. Gurney - Buffalo Gal - Primary Stages

Jennifer Regan, James Waterston, and Susan Sullivan in Primary Stages production of Buffalo Gal

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The cast of A.R. Gurney’s Sweet Sue

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Matthew Broderick and Annaleigh Ashford in the 2015 Broadway production of Sylvia

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Sarah Jessica Parker in the original production of Sylvia at Manhattan Theater Club in 1995

 

The Primary Stages production of Final Follies by A.R. Gurney runs through October 21, 2018 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Click here for ticket information and more!

Final Follies Production Photos

A.R. Gurney’s Final Follies began performances on September 12 and is running through October 21. Take a look at photos from the production featuring cast members Betsy Aidem, Colin Hanlon, Mark Junek, Piter Marek, Greg Mullavey, Rachel Nicks, and Deborah Rush. All photos are by James Leynse.

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Colin Hanlon and Rachel Nicks

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Greg Mullavey and Mark Junek

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Deborah Rush and Piter Marek

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Betsy Aidem and Deborah Rush

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Deborah Rush

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Betsy Aidem and Piter Marek

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Colin Hanlon and Piter Marek

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Rachel Nicks, Betsy Aidem, and Piter Marek

A.R. Gurney's Final Follies at Primary Stages.

Colin Hanlon and Rachel Nicks

The Primary Stages production of Final Follies by A.R. Gurney runs through October 21, 2018 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Click here for ticket information and more!

What Defines a Home: Announcing our 2018/19 Season

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A note from Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director:

For the past few seasons, the Primary Stages family has been exploring what it means to be a true home for our artists and our patrons. At the same time, the very question of where and what we each call ‘home’ has become a front-and-center debate, locally and abroad. What defines a home? Where do we feel most at home? We hope our new season will answer some of those questions.

FINAL FOLLIES
Three One-Act Plays written by A.R. Gurney
Directed by David Saint
Join us as we bid farewell to a beloved member of the Primary Stages family and one of the most prolific playwrights of the 20th century with FINAL FOLLIES, a uniquely curated selection of three one-act plays by master writer A.R. Gurney. The plays specifically chosen for this special engagement include: The Love Course, an observation of the culminating meeting of an undergraduate romantic literature course, co-taught by two of academia’s most eccentric professors; The Rape of Bunny Stuntz, an enigmatic story of an overburdened woman anxiously trying to keep her personal life from the throes of chaos while leading a rowdy community meeting; and the titular Final Folliesthe last chapter in Gurney’s oeuvre of short plays examining WASP life in America, about a forlorn Manhattanite searching for the key to adulthood in the most truly, and literally, adult place imaginable. (September-October 2018)

DOWNSTAIRS
Written by Theresa Rebeck
Directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt
Theresa Rebeck, one of the country’s most acclaimed and widely-produced playwrights, returns to Primary Stages with the gripping new family drama, DOWNSTAIRS. This thrilling production will star real-life siblings Tyne and Tim Daly, who will be appearing together for the first time on the New York stage. In Downstairs, Teddy is a bit lost and has found himself staying in his older sister Irene’s unfinished basement, which has infuriated her husband Gerry (played by John Procaccino). As Irene and Teddy struggle with this less-than-ideal living arrangement, they quickly find themselves grappling with the burden of their family’s troublesome history. While trying to mend the past, the pair unearths a foreboding danger threatening to break the perilously thin bonds holding them together. (November-December 2018)

GOD SAID THIS
Written by Leah Nanako Winkler
Directed by Morgan Gould
Proudly developed during award-winning playwright Leah Nanako Winkler’s tenure as part of the Primary Stages Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group, GOD SAID THIS is a provocative and surprisingly funny new drama about five Kentuckians facing mortality in very different ways. With her mom undergoing chemotherapy, Hiro, a NYC transplant, returns home to Kentucky after years away, struggling to let go of the demons she inherited. Sophie, her born-again Christian sister, confronts her faith while tackling inevitable adversity. James, their recovering alcoholic father, wants to repair his fractured relationship with his daughters. And John, an old classmate and thirty-something single dad, worries about leaving a lasting legacy for his only son. Wry and bittersweet, GOD SAID THIS is a portrait of five Godless and God-loving people finding that their struggles bring them together in unexpected ways. GOD SAID THIS will have its world premiere at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in February 2018. (January-February 2019)

LITTLE WOMEN
Written by Kate Hamill
Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott
Directed by Sarna Lapine
In the spring, Primary Stages will welcome back Kate Hamill, playwright and star of our hit production of Pride and Prejudice, with her fresh new take on Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel of love and duty, LITTLE WOMEN. Jo March doesn’t want to be like other girls; in fact, she’s not even sure that she wants to be a girl. Jo is ambitious, rough around the edges, headstrong, and yearns for a future she can’t yet articulate. As the nation is torn apart by civil war, Jo and her sisters struggle with what it means to grow up. Gender roles, political beliefs, poverty, and even love itself threaten to break family ties, as the March sisters try to reconcile their identities with society’s demands. How do you stay true to yourself when the world wants you to become a perfect little woman? (May-June 2019)

Join the family and discover your Off-Broadway home: Subscribe to our 2018/19 season.