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“Downstate” and “Catch as Catch Can” in the new season of Playwrights Horizons


“Downstate,” a Bruce Norris play that New York Times chief theater critic Jesse Green called a “moral thrill ride,” will premiere in New York in October as part of the new season. of Playwrights Horizons, the company announced Monday.

As Adam Greenfield, Artistic Director of Playwrights Horizons said, “If theater is there to catch us off guard, to shake our foundations, to make us rethink our values ​​and realize how hypocritical we are,” Norris can really point this out.

“I sometimes think he’s like the Molière of our time,” Greenfield said in a recent Zoom interview.

The 2022-23 season will be Greenfield’s first full in-person season since assuming the role of artistic director in 2020. And the five-show lineup, which includes co-productions with Page 73 Productions, MCC Theater and WP Theater, full of themes. emerging from the pandemic lockdown, including a variety of perspectives on ‘normalcy’.

The lineup includes Mia Chung’s “Catch as Catch Can,” a drama in which two white, working-class New England families examine what Greenfield called “the slipperiness of identity and how identity may crumble or crumble”, and the debut of Agnes “The Trees” by Borinsky, a parable of two siblings who fall asleep in the park and wake up literally rooted in the landscape.

“Catch as Catch Can,” which in 2018 The Times called a “tender horror story,” returns in October. This time it’s set with an all-Asian cast playing working class Irish and Italian – with actors also playing the dual roles of father and daughter, mothers and sons.

“The Trees,” which will be released in February 2023, is special for Greenfield. He knew that this piece by Borinsky was the first work he wanted to program when he became artistic director.

“She sees the world gently despite all the reasons not to,” he said.

The play, which Greenfield says involves two people transforming into trees and the community that forms around them, will be co-produced with incubator theater company Page 73 Productions (the company’s last work was the scary political drama “Man Cave”).

The earthy Off Broadway production will get plenty of sparkle from Broadway visionaries. “The Trees” will be directed by Tina Satter, whose fall 2021 Broadway docudrama “Is This a Room” won critical acclaim. And the last time Playwrights Horizons and Page 73 teamed up was to launch “A Strange Loop,” which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and opens April 26 for its own Broadway run.

The other shows, set to debut in March 2023, are the world premiere of Julia Izumi’s “Regretfully, So the Birds Are” (a co-production with WP Theatre), described by Greenfield as a “Swiss Army knife of a play”. filled with surprises. with “a delightful sense of goofy comedy” centering on three siblings making sense of unreliable parents.

Also in March, John J. Caswell Jr.’s “Wet Brain” (co-produced with MCC Theater), a candid drama that follows siblings (also a set of three) struggling to find a language for closure and grief – in the space . It’s a sci-fi version of the American family play that Greenfield says “explodes”.

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