Premieres of Quiara Alegría Hudes, Sarah Ruhl and More Announced for Signature Theater’s 2022-2023 Season

Signature Theater today announced its 2022-2023 season – from resident playwrights Quiara Alegría Hudes, Samuel D. Hunter, Sarah Ruhland Branden Jacobs-Jenkins– alongside the inauguration of Launchpad, a new residency supporting early-career playwrights that expands on the organization’s singular mission to produce a body of work by each writer-in-residence. While Signature’s season structure – producing multiple plays by each Resident Writer – fundamentally brings audiences closer to the playwrights, this season particularly offers a personal and deep insight into each Resident Writer’s voice and vision. Often adapting their own work or using the stage to explore the imprint of places and relationships, the playwrights of 2022-2023 offer works that tap into various intimate realms of experience – in textured and complex impressions of American reality. contemporary. All productions will take place at the Pershing Square Signature Center (480 W. 42nd Street).

Artistic director paige evans says, “From season to season, our audience can see a play in the context of the playwright’s work, alongside the work of other resident playwrights. This ongoing engagement with writers is unique to Signature and finds new resonance in a season where so many of our playwrights tell personal stories.”

The season kicks off with the return of Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes to Signature for the second piece of her first residency (after the world premiere of Daphne’s Dive in 2016), the stage adaptation of her memoir My Broken Language. The world premiere production, directed by Hudes and which collides with monologue, literary reading, music and movement in its depiction of the lives of six Puerto Rican women in Philadelphia, continues a momentous moment for the playwright: in 2021 she released the acclaimed book on which the play is based, and his Tony-nominated on-stage musical collaboration with Lin Manuel-Miranda, In the Heights, has reached audiences around the world as a beloved major film. (Hudes wrote the book in the Broadway production and the movie script).

MacArthur Fellow Samuel D. Hunter, whose first work in his first residency – the world premiere of A Case for the Existence of God – is currently showing at Signature to great critical acclaim, returns in winter 2023 with the Off-Broadway premiere of A Bright New Boise . As in Case, Hunter here captures a region of his home state of Idaho in the negative space of a depersonalized work environment, through the people who inhabit it. This dark comic work depicts a Boise Hobby Lobby thrown into chaos by the arrival of a new employee sorting out a tragic past. Like Hudes, audiences can experience Hunter’s stage work alongside his unique on-screen dramatic vision: Darren Aronofskythe film adaptation of his play La Baleine, starring Brendan Fraseris expected to be released by A24 sometime in 2022.

Early 2023, MacArthur Fellow Sarah Ruhl begins her Spotlight residency with the world premiere adaptation of her 2018 epistolary book, Letters from Max: A Poet, a Teacher, and a Friendship, “a deep and resonant contribution by two fully trained artists to the literature of illness” (Slate). Ruhl, whose accomplished body of work includes Eurydice and Pulitzer Prize finalists In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) and The Clean House, here shares letters and poems passed between her and her former student Max Ritvo, as it candidly discusses terminal illness and tests poetry’s ability to put into words what otherwise seems ineffable.

MacArthur Fellow Branden Jacobs-JenkinsThe first residency ends in 2023, with his first self-directed semi-autobiographical work, Grass. With a title inspired by walt whitmannThe quintessentially American collection of 1855 Leaves of Grass poetry, the play follows a mother and son on a road trip with stops at numerous civil rights museums, where America’s perception of itself shines through through the stories that are lifted and those that are erased. Jacobs-Jenkins-whose previous Signature Productions including Appropriate and Pulitzer Prize finalist Everyone is currently creating a TV series based on Octavia Butler’s seminal classic, Kindred, for FX.

With long-term commitments to playwrights’ works and amplifying the breadth of their visions, Signature Theater’s residency programs set the organization apart: Residency 1 (formerly Residency 5) supports the development and production of several short stories plays by each resident playwright, while the Spotlight Residency (formerly Residency 1) offers a deep dive into the work of an established writer through productions of three or more plays, both new and reimagined. The newest residency program, the Launchpad Residency, provides diverse early-career writers with holistic and ongoing support, including two commissions, development opportunities, workshop production, and full production. The residency also supports new playwrights through mentorship opportunities, health insurance, office space and community building, and deepens Signature’s mission to produce works by exceptional playwrights at all stages. of their career. The Launchpad residency will begin with a workshop production in spring 2023 at Ford Foundation Studio Theater; more details to come.

SigSpace – the eclectic work program in the spacious lobby of the Pershing Square Signature Center, maintaining it as a free public workspace and social hub for New York artists – will return this season with a new sound and lighting system , with details to come.

Games of the 2022-2023 season (dates to come)

My broken tongue

Written and directed by Quiara Alegría Hudes

world premiere

First Resident Writer

Grave

the Romulus Linney court theater

Combining monologue, literary reading, live music and movement, six women relive life in the barrio in Philadelphia in the 90s – the uprising, the grief, the spirits, the dance. Navigating on the fringes of many communities, they forge a language of their own. First residency Playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes adapts and directs her acclaimed memoir.

A Bright New Boise

Written by Samuel D. Hunter

Directed by Olivier Butler

Off-Broadway premiere

First Resident Writer

Winter

The Irene Diamond Scene

This 2011 Obie Award-winning dark comedy centers on Will, a deceased evangelical who fled his northern Idaho hometown after a tragedy. Working in a Boise Hobby Lobby, Will bonds with his new colleagues and struggles to balance his life with his faith.

Letters from Max

By Sarah Ruhl

Directed by Kate Whoriskey

world premiere

Spotlight Resident Writer

Winter

the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theater

Based on Max’s Letters: A Poet, Teacher and Friend, MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and two-time Pulitzer Finalist Sarah Ruhl adapts his tender and inspiring correspondence with his late pupil, the poet Max Ritvo. A powerful interweaving of dialogue, poetry and ritual, Letters from Max follows the journey of a poetry teacher and his talented student as they grow and learn from each other.

Grass

Written and directed by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

world premiere

First Resident Writer

Spring

the Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theater

A nightmarish eviction leaves an unemployed actor with no place to go but his father’s home on an island in southeast Texas. But to get there – and not get shot – he’s going to have to let his mother drive. Hilarity ensues. Or not. In both cases, history tells. Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Appropriate, Everybody) culminates his Signature residency as playwright and director of this new play.

About the Signature Theater

Signature Theater is an artistic home for storytellers. By producing multiple pieces from each resident writer, Signature offers a deep dive into their works.

Signature fulfills its mission by welcoming distinctive resident playwrights and cultural communities to its permanent home at the Pershing Square Signature Center, a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects. At the Centre, which opened in January 2012, Signature continues its original playwright-in-residence model with Spotlight Residency (formerly Residency 1), an intensive exploration of the work of a single writer. The Premiere Residency (formerly Residency 5), a one-of-a-kind program, supports playwrights in building a body of work by guaranteeing each author three productions over a period of five years. The Legacy program, launched on Signature’s 10th anniversary, invites writers from both residencies to create or reproduce earlier pieces. In 2020, Signature launched SigSpace, to bring free arts programming to the Center’s public spaces and more fully activate Signature’s lobby as a free public workspace and social hub for New York artists.

The Pershing Square Signature Center is a major contribution to New York’s cultural landscape. The Center supports and encourages collaboration between artists, cultural organizations and local communities by providing free public access throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center has a theater studio, a rehearsal studio and a public cafe, bar and bookstore.

Founded in 1991 by James HoughtonSignature Theater is now led by Artistic Director paige evans. Signature’s resident playwrights include: Edward Albee, Annie Boulanger, Lee Blessing, Martha Clarke, Eno, Horton FooteMaria Irene Fornes, Athol Fugard, Jean Guare, Stephen Adly Guirgis, AR Gurney, Katori roomQuiara Alegria Hudes Samuel D. Hunter, David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin, Branden Jacobs-JenkinsAdrian Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Kenneth Lonergan, David Malloy, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, Dominique Morrisseau, Lynn Rating, Suzan Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, Sam Shepard, Anna Deavere Smith, Regina Taylor, Paula Vogel, Naomi Wallace, August Wilson, Lanford Wilson, Lauren Yee, Crazypeopleand historical members Negro Ensemble Company: Charles Fuller, Leslie Leeand Sam-Art Williams.

Signature and its artists have been honored with Tony Awards, Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur “Genius” Grants and Lucille Lortel, Obie, Drama Desk, AUDELCO and Artios Awards as well as the 50/50 Award for Gender Parity in Theatre, among many other honors. In 2014, Signature became the first theater in New York City to receive the Regional Theater Tony Award for its work and achievement as an institution. For more information, please visit signaturetheatre.org.

The innovative Signature Access (formerly Signature Ticket Initiative), which celebrated its millionth ticket sale in 2019, guarantees affordable tickets for every Signature production through 2032. Serves as a model for theaters and performing arts organizations across the country, the Initiative was founded in 2005 and is made possible, in part, by lead partner The Pershing Square Foundation.

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