Primary Stages

Todays Date: 06/26/22
Last Update: 03/06/10 03:55:10 PM
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Primary Stages recently announced their 2009-2010 season that highlights an all-female roster of playwrights: the world premiere of A Lifetime Burning by Cusi Cram (July 28 - September 5, 2009), the New York premieres of Night Watcher by Charlayne Woodard (September 22 - October 31, 2009), and Happy Now? by Lucinda Coxon (January 26 - March 6, 2010) at Primary Stages at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street).

Schedule of Upcoming Productions

No New Productions Scheduled

Production History

A Body of Water  | Open: 10/03/08 Close: 11/16/08
Maria Mileaf (Going to St. Ives) returns to Primary Stages to direct the three-member cast that features Michael Cristofer (Romeo & Juliet, The Shadow Box) as Moss, Christine Lahti ("Chicago Hope," The Heidi Chronicles) as Avis and Laura Odeh (The Rivals) as Wren.

Who are we without our memories? A Body of Water is a haunting drama that explores the slippery nature of reality and conviction. Avis and Moss awake one morning in a house set in the forested hills above a picturesque body of water. The weather's great, the view's magnificent. However, neither of them seems to know whose house this is or who they are. Will the stranger at their doorstep be able to help?

Lee Blessing is the author of such notable plays as the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize nominated A Walk in the Woods and the Primary Stages Outer Critic's Circle Award winning production of Going to St. Ives, directed by Maria Mileaf.

A Lifetime Burning  | Open: 07/28/09 Close: 09/05/09
If you had the power to revise your past, what would you change? Who would you be? In A Lifetime Burning, trust fund darling Emma imagines what her life would have been like had she come from a less privileged background. Trouble is, she chronicles her alternate life in a new tell-all “memoir” that was sold for a hefty advance. When Emma is exposed, will her sister, Tess, stand by her? Or will Emma’s deceit destroy their already fractured relationship? This dark comedy brings up questions of legacy, loyalty and what it means to belong.


Cusi Cram’s work has been hailed as imaginative, original, poetic and has been produced across the country at theaters such as Barrington Stage, The Public Theater and South Coast Rep. “This season, Primary Stages is excited to highlight the plays of three exciting voices in the theater,” said Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director. “We are thrilled that Cusi Cram’s play opens our 25th Anniversary Season.”

The creative team includes Kris Stone (Set), Theresa Squire (Costumes), David Weiner (Lights), and Daniel Baker (Sound). The Production Stage Manager is C.A. Clark.

Chasing Manet  | Open: 03/24/09 Close: 05/02/09
Chasing Manet is a new comedy in which a rebellious painter from a distinguished family in Boston and an ebullient Jewish woman with a huge adoring family form an unlikely bond. Inside the confining walls of Mount Airy Nursing Home, the two plot an escape to Paris aboard the QE2. But can they possibly pull it off amidst the chaos of their surroundings? The tension and comedy grow as they struggle to take wing for the last time.

Tony Award-nominated playwright Tina Howe is best known for Coastal Disturbances and Painting Churches. This world premiere of Chasing Manet marks her first collaboration with Primary Stages.

Casey Childs, Executive Producer at Primary Stages said, "I am thrilled to have Tina Howe join our growing roster of illustrious playwrights.” Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director, added, "we are delighted to have Michael Wilson return to Primary Stages following the success of the critically acclaimed production of Dividing the Estate that recently ended on Broadway after receiving its New York premiere at Primary Stages.”

The creative team includes Tony Straiges (Set Design), David C. Wollard (Costume Design), Howell Binkley (Light Design), and John Gromada (Sound Design). The Production Stage Manager is Susie Cordon.

Inner Voices: Solo Musicals  | Open: 04/02/10 Close: 04/24/10
Inner Voices: Solo Musicals is part of Primary Stages Spring Celebration celebrating 25 years with 25 days of events.

In 2008, PREMIERES embarked on a new initiative in keeping with its mission to support creative talent, and produced Inner Voices: Solo Musicals at the Zipper Factory Theater. Three new pieces by Ellen Fitzhugh & Michael John LaChiusa, Laura Harrington & Jenny Giering and Michele Lowe & Scott Davenport Richards were presented, featuring Victoria Clark, Jennifer Damiano and Barbara Walsh.  Inner Voices: Solo Musicals, inspired by Alan Bennett’s ‘Talking Heads,’ introduced a new genre of theater that unites the spoken monologue into a tapestry of lyrics and music. 

Mosaic, by Cheri Steinkellner & Georgia Stitt, is a multi-media, real-time half hour in the life –and on the MacBook – of Ruth, a woman blogging at the crossroads of birth, death, love and Diet Coke. Featuring Heidi Blickenstaff as Ruth with musical direction by Steve Marzullo.

Whida Peru: Resurrection Tangle, by David Simpatico & Josh Schmidt, brings us into the chambers of a rare creature, as she is forced to evaluate the quality of life, death and what lies in between for her. Featuring Judith Blazer as Whida Peru with musical direction by Andy Boroson and J. Oconer Navarro.

The creative team includes Dane Laffrey (Set & Costumes), Jennifer Schriever (Lights), Toby Algya (Sound), and Rocco DiSanti (Video). The Production Stage Manager is Robert Bennett.

Inner Voices: Solo Musicals, a 95-minute presentation,will play a sixteen-performance schedule.