Primary Stages

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!

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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!

#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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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 PrimaryStages.org or at Dukeon42.org, by phone at 646-223-3010, or at the box office.