Jon Robin Baitz
Jon Robin Baitz
Playwrights Horizons has announced the six productions that will make up its 2003-2004 season, though dates and casting have not yet been announced. The lineup features five world premieres and a New York premiere by writers Jon Robin Baitz, Craig Lucas, Wendy MacLeod, Lynn Nottage, Craig Wright, and the musical team of Eric Cressida Wilson, Mike Craver, and Jack Herrick.

Under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus, Playwrights Horizons is dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American playwrights, composers and lyricists. Over the past 32 years, the company has presented the work of more than 350 writers and is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. The company's two theaters -- the Mainstage and the Peter Jay Sharp Theater -- are located in its new building at 416 West 42nd Street.

The 2003-2004 season will begin at the Mainstage Theater with the New York premiere of Recent Tragic Events by Craig Wright (The Pavilion, Six Feet Under), directed by Michael John Garces (Forces Continuum). This dark comedy concerns fate, meaning, and interconnection in the context of a blind date on September 12, 2001. The show had a previous run at The Woolly Mammoth in Washington, D.C. in September 2002, earning the 2003 Steinberg New Play Commemorative Citation from the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) and a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding New Play.

With the exception of Recent Tragic Events, all of Playwrights Horizons' 2003-2004 productions will be world premieres. Juvenilia by Wendy MacLeod (The House of Yes, The Water Children), directed by David Petrarca (A Year With Frog and Toad), is a comedy that ponders if there's a better way to avoid writing a term paper than to plot the seduction of the wholesome girl across the hall.

Small Tragedy by Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss, Reckless), directed by Mark Wing-Davey, follows the explosive backstage and global politics when an enterprising Boston director stages his own translation of Oedipus Rex.

Chinese Friends by Jon Robin Baitz (Ten Unknowns, Mizlansky/Zilinsky or Schmucks), directed by Robert Egan, is a thriller about a cagey game of one-upmanship that ensues when a young man tracks down his long estranged father -- a politico in exile -- to demand the truth.

Wilder, which will be performed in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, is a new musical with book and lyrics by Erin Cressida Wilson and music and lyrics by Mike Craver and Jack Herrick, to be directed by Lisa Portes. The piece is described as an erotic chamber musical about a boy who hits puberty while living in a Depression-ear bordello.

Fabulation?! by Lynn Nottage, the second show at the Sharp and the last of the 2003-2004 season, follows a successful publicist who is plunged into a topsy-turvy world of welfare mothers, drug addicts, and unctuous FBI agents. The play will be directed by Kate Whoriskey.

Subscriptions to Playwrights Horizons' 2003-2004 season are now available; for information, visit the website www.playwrightshorizons.org or phone 212-279-4200.