Primary Stages

#HortonFoote100 Highlights

The sun shined undeniably bright during the run of Horton Foote’s The Roads to Home , but now we have reached the end of this beautiful journey. As a part of our celebration of Horton Foote’s centennial, we posted 100 days worth of Horton Foote memories from his dearest friends and family. To wrap up our final #HortonFoote100 post, we have picked 10 of our favorite Horton Foote memories:

10. What we love about this artwork of Horton Foote by Ken Fallin is how he included a drawing of an old southern house, an element that is always a part of Horton Foote’s plays.


9. A photo of Horton Foote and Harper Lee taken on Horton’s 90th We just love to see these two literary geniuses laughing together at the antics of the inimitable Dame Edna.


8. A family affair! This picture of Horton Foote and his daughters is one of our favorites because it shows the support Horton Foote had on his daughter Daisy’s theatrical career by directing her play When They Speak of Rita at Primary Stages.


7. Opening night grandeurs! Just a little celebration for all the cast, crew, and creative team’s hard work.


6. Short, simple, and truthful advise from the ever-wise Horton Foote.


5. This shows where it all started for the Academy Award-winning Horton Foote film, Tender Mercies.


4. Horton Foote always writes the best comeback lines for his characters. This passage from The Day Emily Married is just one of them.


3. Another one of Horton Foote’s wise words that we love. His plays tell the most truthful stories about living in the south.


2. This is the free student matinee edition! These students were actively asking questions and sharing their ideas with the cast.


1. Last but not least, this photo of Cicely Tyson at our 2016 Gala. Cicely Tyson spoke beautifully and eloquently about her experience working on Horton Foote’s A Trip to Bountiful.


We would like to once again thank all cast, crew, and of course, the audience for making our show the best it can be. In this bittersweet moment, we’d like to remind all of you that even though the production has ended, Horton Foote’s impact in all lives will live on.


A Taste of The Roads to Home

Please enjoy these highlights reels from The Roads to Home! 

A Nightingale

 The Dearest of Friends

 Spring Dance

The Primary Stages production of The Roads to Home runs through November 27, 2016 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Visit the Primary Stages website for tickets and more info.

Exit Strategy: Production Photos

A fiery, riveting work from the award-winning writer of Hit the Wall, about the chaotic final days of an urban public high school, Exit Strategy is a taut, edge-of-your-seat drama about the future of public education from a vital new voice in American playwriting.

Primary Stages - "Exit Strategy"

Ryan Spahn and Christina Nieves

Primary Stages - "Exit Strategy"

Ryan Spahn and Aimé Donna Kelly

Primary Stages - "Exit Strategy"

Ryan Spahn

Primary Stages - "Exit Strategy"

Deirdre Madigan

Primary Stages - "Exit Strategy"

Brandon J. Pierce

Primary Stages - "Exit Strategy"

Michael Cullen

Primary Stages - "Exit Strategy"

Christina Nieves

Performances for Exit Strategy run through May 6 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Visit our website for more information and to purchase tickets.


Catching up with Kelly Hutchinson

Kelly Hutchinson

Lives of the Saints is a collection of six short plays by David Ives. If you could pick one of these worlds to live in, which would you choose and why?

If I could pick a world to live in I honestly think it would be the 1950s land of Soap Opera mostly because I would get to wear awesome clothes and tiny pill box hats.

In one of the short plays, you play a woman with a doppelganger. If you had your own double in real life, what kind of trouble would you get into together?

If I had a doppleganger I would probably just have my double do all of the logistics of running my life – you know, paying bills, doing taxes, returning emails, while I lie cave like in my bed watching horrible trash television (I’m looking at you “Vanderpump Rules”!)

Primary Stages - Lives of the Saints

(from left) ARNIE BURTON, RICK HOLMES, KELLY HUTCHINSON, and LIV ROOTH in Lives of the Saints. (c) 2015 James Leynse Primary Stages production of Lives of the Saints by David Ives, directed by John Rando at Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street.

In another of the plays, a man meets another iteration of himself where he chose another path in life. If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing with your life?

Well, I’m a writer as well so I’d probably be doing that. OR I would be a detective. But without the dangerous parts. I’d like to be a female Hercule Poirot. Sailing on French cruise ships while pointing fingers at would be poisoners. That would be the life!

You’re married to fellow Lives of the Saints cast member Rick Holmes. What’s the best advice you can give husband and wife teams who work together?

We just feel really lucky cuz we goof around, talking in accents and wearing wigs at home, and now we get to do it in front of people. Also, always make sure to stay out of his light.

There are six short plays in Lives of the Saints. Describe the evening in six words.

Friendship. Love. Second Chance. Faith. Wigs.

See Kelly in Lives of the Saints, playing now through March 27, 2015 at Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street. Tickets can be purchased online at or at, by phone at 646-223-3010, or at the box office.

Meet Sharon Washington

Get to know actor Sharon Washington, who plays Eva in the Primary Stages production of Billy Porter’s While I Yet Live.

S. EPATHA MERKERSON and SHARON WASHINGTON in While I Yet Live. (c) 2014 James Leynse Primary Stages production of While I Yet Live by Billy Porter, directed by Sheryl Kaller at Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street.

S. EPATHA MERKERSON and SHARON WASHINGTON in While I Yet Live. (c) 2014 James Leynse Primary Stages production of While I Yet Live by Billy Porter, directed by Sheryl Kaller at Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street.

Tell us a little about your character, Eva.

I’ve based my character Eva’s relationship with Maxine (played by S. Epatha Merkerson) on the relationship between my mom and her sister, my Aunt Millie. Even though Eva and Maxine are not sisters, the dynamic is similar.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

Cooking two turkeys so everyone gets to have their favorite part. And even though I never really liked the taste, I loved the look on the table of the glazed ham covered with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries in the center. There was a prop ham made for this production that we had in rehearsal. It looked exactly like that but got cut during tech week. I miss it. I’m hoping to take it home as a souvenir.


A Chat with Sheria Irving

Get to know actor Sheria Irving, who plays Tonya in the Primary Stages production of Billy Porter’s While I Yet Live.

SHERIA IRVING in While I Yet Live. (c) 2014 James Leynse Primary Stages production of While I Yet Live by Billy Porter, directed by Sheryl Kaller at Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street.

SHERIA IRVING in While I Yet Live. (c) 2014 James Leynse. Primary Stages production of While I Yet Live by Billy Porter, directed by Sheryl Kaller at Primary Stages at The Duke on 42nd Street.

Tell us a little about your character, Tonya.

In While I Yet Live, Tonya is the unrestricted raconteur. She’s the only player that fosters a relationship with the audience, with whom she divulges her truth and takes on a trip down memory lane. Tonya’s memories aren’t all pleasant and become weapons that constantly assault, enrage, disappoint and empower her throughout the life of the play. She’s like so many of us trying to reconcile the past in order to press forward to our future.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

Since my undergraduate years at Florida State University, my dearest friends and I have created our own thanksgiving tradition. Each year I make my special slow-baked turkey and gather with my best buddies to share what we are thankful for, eat, drink and laugh the day away.

How did you approach the play and your character? Were there any surprising discoveries about your character during the rehearsal process?

What surprised me most about working on Tonya was how similar her religious upbringing is to my own. Like Tonya, I was raised never to question God. Tonya’s family believe in God and the Bible unequivocally, which leaves no room for her to explore her own beliefs. Tonya, however, decides to make room and as she matures develops her own understanding of the world and determines her relationship with God on her own terms.

Performances run through October 31st at The Duke on 42nd Street.  To order tickets online, click here.  Or you can call the box office at (646) 223-3010.

Ask not what you can do for ESPA, but what ESPA can do for you.

Brendan Naylor is a Directing student at Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA). Here, he tells us about his experience in ESPA classes and what he has learned about directing and the the industry through his “SHOPportunity” assisting 2014 Tony Nominee Leigh Silverman (Best Director for Violet) with the premiere of  American Hero at Second Stage.

I took my first class at ESPA in the fall of 2013. I enrolled in Site-Specific Directing, taught by Daniel Talbott for a few reasons. I was excited by the notion of opening up the doors to the theater and taking my directing to unconventional spaces. Beyond the education aspect, though, I was looking for something a little more significant. I had taken the last year off from directing to explore a casting career, but I quickly learned that directing was where my heart was. I was eager to build up a directing community again, an artistic home where I would meet other young artists in a similar state as me. The class provided that and more. I felt empowered to do my work and create constantly. I saw theatre opportunities everywhere. It’s like the fog cleared and then the switch for my creativity was turned on.

“Being a student at ESPA provides you not only with a fantastic education, but also the opportunity to continually stretch your artistic muscles in a number of performances, readings and observerships.”