Theater

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!

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.

Behind the Scenes: Exit Strategy’s Set Design

Scenic Designer Andrew Boyce gives us a behind the scenes look at the process of creating the set for Exit Strategy by Ike Holter.

Tell us a little bit about the set design for Exit Strategy.

The play takes place primarily in the teachers lounge of a dilapidated public school in Chicago. So we dove into creating this environment as realistically as we were able. The play asks for that naturalism. I had the opportunity to go and visit some Chicago high schools, take photographs, etc. – so the materials and layout of the space came from that investigation.

What is your favorite part of the set?

It’s hard to pinpoint a singular, favorite part – but I did love wrestling with, and creating all of the little details that add up and round out the verisimilitude of this room. Thinking through the material choices, the right pieces of furniture, set dressing, etc. It was an exercise in specificity and patience in continuing to search.

Tell us a little about the process of designing the set to be used in (and moved between) Philadelphia and The Cherry Lane Theatre in New York.

That was the trickiest part of this process. They are two very different spaces that have different proportions, audience relationships, and design challenges. And tearing down and rebuilding scenery is always tricky – things get beat up, change, need re-configuring. Supporting the play in the two different spaces was an exciting challenge.

The set is quite detailed. What’s something that the audience may not notice right away, but should keep and eye out for when they see Exit Strategy.

Maybe the paper-products in the dressing? The teachers-union announcements, the posters, the recycling directions… [they’re all] straight from the source.

 

The Primary Stages production of Exit Strategy by Ike Holter is running now through May 6, 2016 at The Cherry Lane Theatre. For more information and tickets, visit our website.

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.

 

Projection Design: Interview with Alex Basco Koch

Projection Designer Alex Basco Koch shares how he brought Paul Watson’s photography and other design elements to life on stage in The Body of an American. 

Performances for The Body of an American run through March 20 at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Visit our website for more information and to purchase tickets.