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Friday, 06 April 2012 11:31

Playwrights Horizons Announces 2nd extension for THE BIG MEAL, Now Through Apr 29

Playwrights Horizons






Limited Engagement now set to play through April 29

      Due to popular demand, Playwrights Horizons (Tim Sanford, Artistic Director; Leslie Marcus, Managing Director) has announced an additional extension of its critically-acclaimed New York premiere production of THE BIG MEAL, a new play by Dan LeFranc.  Originally set to play a limited engagement through Sunday, April 8, the production initially extended two weeks to Sunday, April 22.  THE BIG MEAL will now extend an additional week through Sunday, April 29 at Playwrights Horizons’ Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 West 42nd Street).   

{module ad_left_body}      “Directed with a fine sense of shifting dynamics” (The New York Times, Charles Isherwood) by Obie Award winner Sam Gold, THE BIG MEAL began previews Thursday, March 1 and had its official opening on Wednesday, March 21.   The production recently earned 4 2012 Lucille Lortel Award nominations, including Outstanding Play.

     Proclaiming it “A life-in-overdrive comic drama,” Charles Isherwood of The New York Times wrote, “Dan LeFranc’s snappy dialogue captures the tumultuous tenor of family gatherings. The cast is superb.”  David Cote of Time Out-New York pronounced it, “Ambitious and impressive.  You will be amazed.”  Michael Schulman of The New Yorker called it, “Intimate and exhilarating,” Scott Brown of New York proclaimed, “The service is excellent,” Jennifer Farrar of Associated Press called it, “Engrossing” with Joe Dziemianowicz of Daily News saying, “Packed with humanity and humor, THE BIG MEAL dishes up laughs and tears.  Sam Gold is in his element.” And Erik Haagensen of Backstage raved, calling it “Triumphantly its own thing.  Dan LeFranc has written the kind of play that every critic hopes to encounter whenever a curtain rises but all too seldom does.  Go!

     The acclaimed Ensemble cast, lauded as “Superb” (The New York Times, Isherwood), “Impeccable,” (Variety, Stasio), “Excellent” (New York, Brown), “Expert” (The New Yorker, Schulman) and “Delicious” (Daily News, Dziemianowicz), features David Wilson Barnes, Griffin Birney, Tom Bloom, Tony Award nominee and Theatre World Award winner Anita Gillette, Drama Desk nominee Jennifer Mudge, Rachel Resheff, Cameron Scoggins, Phoebe Strole and Molly Ward.

     Somewhere in America, in a typical suburban restaurant on a typical night, Sam and Nicole meet.  And sparks fly, setting in motion an expansive tale that traverses five generations of a modern family, from first kiss to final goodbye.  A stunning, big-hearted play that spans nearly eighty years in a single sitting, THE BIG MEAL tells the extraordinary story of an ordinary family.

     THE BIG MEAL features scenic and costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Mark Barton and sound design by Leah Gelpe.  Production Stage Manager is Alaina Taylor.

     The performance schedule for THE BIG MEAL is Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2 & 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2 & 7PM.  Single tickets, $60, may be purchased online via, by phone at (212) 279-4200 (Noon-8pm daily), or in person at the Ticket Central Box Office, 416 West 42nd Street (between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).  Premium tickets, $79, are also available.

     Reflecting Playwrights Horizons’ ongoing commitment to making its productions more affordable to younger audiences, the theater company offers HOTtix, $25 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before showtime to patrons aged 30 and under. Proof of age required. One ticket per person, per purchase. STUDENT RUSH, $15 rush tickets, subject to availability, day of performance only, starting one hour before curtain to full-time graduate and undergraduate students. One ticket per person, per purchase. Valid student ID required.

     HOTtix and STUDENT RUSHare some of Playwrights Horizons’ popular Arts Access initiatives, which allow the institution to reach out to those who may not be able to afford the cost of a full-price theater ticket.  This program is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and The McGraw-Hill Companies.

     THE BIG MEAL has received generous support from the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation and the Jerome Foundation.

     Playwrights Horizons’ season productions are generously supported in part by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. 

     Playwrights Horizons is supported in part by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.  In addition, Playwrights Horizons receives major support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Time Warner Inc., the Charina Endowment Fund and the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation.

     Following THE BIG MEAL, the Playwrights Horizons 2011/2012 Season will conclude with RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN, the World Premiere of a new play by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award winner Gina Gionfriddo, directed by Peter DuBois.  Performances begin Friday, May 18 with a cast featuring five-time Emmy Award nominee Amy Brenneman, Beth Dixon, Virginia Kull, Kellie Overbey and Lee Tergesen.

     For subscription and ticket information to all Playwrights Horizons productions, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200, Noon to 8 pm daily, or purchase online at the Ticket Central website at


Dan LeFranc (Playwright) received the 2010 New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award for Sixty Miles to Silver Lake,premiered by Page 73 Productions and Soho Rep. His other plays include Origin Story, Bruise Easy, Night Surf, In The Labyrinth, The Fishbone Fables, Backyard, Kill The Keepers and CatgutThe Big Meal received its world premiere at American Theater Company in Chicago, where it earned 5 Jefferson Award nominations including Best Play and was named The Best Play of the Year by Time Out-Chicago. Awards include the Whitfield Cook Award, the John C. Russell Fellowship, a Djerassi Resident Artists Program Fellowship, a MacDowell Colony/Alpert Foundation Residency; and commissions from Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep, and American Theatre Company in Chicago.  He is a proud member of New Dramatists, the MCC Playwrights Coalition, and a former member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. A graduate of the MFA playwriting program at Brown University, Dan served as visiting faculty in Literary Arts at Brown and head playwriting instructor of the Brown/Trinity Rep Consortium. He was recently a visiting lecturer at University of Rochester and Whitman College.  Sixty Miles to Silver Lake is published by Samuel French and his short play Hippie Van Gumdrop is published in The Backstage Book of New American Short Plays 2005, edited by Craig Lucas.  He was born and raised in Southern California.

Sam Gold (Director) was represented at Playwrights Horizons last season with his critically-acclaimed production of Bathsheba Doran’s Kin.  Also at Playwrights, he won a 2010 Obie Award for his direction of Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation, also winning for his direction of Baker’s The Aliens at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. He’s most recently directed the Broadway/World Premiere production of Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar, John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger at Roundabout, Zoe Kazan’s We Live Here at Manhattan Theatre Club, Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House at Williamstown Theatre Festival and Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County at The Old Globe.  Other New York credits include The Coward by Nick Jones (Lincoln Center Theater’s LCT3), Tigers be Still by Kim Rosenstock (Roundabout), Stephen Belber’s Dusk Rings a Bell (Atlantic Theater Company), Nick Jones’ Jollyship the Whiz-Bang, which played to sold out runs at Ars Nova in 2008 and The Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival in 2010,  Noah Haidle’s Rag and Bone (Rattlestick), Sam Marks’ The Joke (Studio Dante), Betty Shamieh’s The Black Eyed (New York Theater Workshop), Colin McKenna’s The Secret Agenda of Trees (Cherry Lane), The Threepenny Opera and Marlowe’s Edward II (Juilliard).  From 2003 to 2006, Sam served as the dramaturg at The Wooster Group. He is a Roundabout Associate Artist, NYTW Usual Suspect, Drama League Directing Fellow, recipient of the Princess Grace Award and the Garson Kanin/Marian Seldes Theatre Hall of Fame Fellowship, and a graduate of the Juilliard Directing Program. Upcoming: The Realistic Joneses (Yale Rep), Uncle Vanya (Soho Rep).

David Wilson Barnes (Man 2). Broadway: The Lieutenant of Inishmore. West End: Becky Shaw. Off-Broadway: All New People, Becky Shaw (Second Stage Theatre); Lady, St. Crispin's Day (Rattlestick); Vengance (stageFARM); The Attic (The Play Company); Men Without Shadows (Flea); The Square (Ma Yi Theatre Company/The Public); Hamlet (The Public Theatre); Jail Bait (Cherry Lane); The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Bald Soprano (La Mama ETC.). Film/TV: You Don't Know Jack, Love and Other Drugs, The Scene, Capote, “30 Rock,” “Sex and the City.”

Griffin Birney (Boy) most recently appeared in the Second National Tour of Billy Elliot in the role of Michael.  Other stage credits include Annie Get Your Gun (Goodspeed Opera) and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Children’s Professional Theatre).  He has been recognized with a number of dancing honors including On Stage America’s Platinum Special Award and Star Systems National Talent Competition’s High Gold.

Tom Bloom (Man 1). Broadway: Cyrano de Bergerac, Henry IV, The Rehearsal and Racing Demon.  Off-Broadway: Timon of Athens, Winter’s Tale, Mad Forest, Red Memories, Widow’s Blind Date. Regional: Much Ado About Nothing, Last Gas, Roger Is Dead, Ah! Wilderness, Oedipus, As You Like It. Film/TV: The Green, The Emperor’s Club, Joshua, Best Thief in the World, The Jury, “Law & Order,” “Guiding Light,” “As the World Turns” and “All My Children.”

Anita Gillette (Woman 1). Broadway: Chapter Two (Tony nomination, LA Drama Critics Award), Cabaret, Carnival, Gypsy, Guys & Dolls, Don’t Drink the Water, All American, Jimmy, They’re Playing Our Song, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Mr. President, The Gay Life, Kelly, Showboat. Off-Broadway/Regional: Love, Loss & What I Wore, The Seagull, Juno, Rich & Famous, The Importance of Being Earnest, My Fair Lady, South Pacific, Sweet Bird of Paradise, Morning’s at Seven.  Film/TV: Moonstruck, Shall We Dance, Boys on the Side, “30 Rock” (Margaret Lemon), “CSI,” “Law & Order,” “Sex and the City,” “Frasier.”

Jennifer Mudge (Woman 2). Broadway: Reckless, The Philanthropist.  Other New York Theater: Oohrah! (Atlantic), Fault Lines (Naked Angels), Villa America (Williamstown), Dutchman (Cherry Lane, Drama Desk nomination), Only the End of the World (Directors Company).  Regional: Cat on a Hot Tin RoofFifth of July, As You Like It, Angels in America: Parts I & II, Guys and Dolls, Into the Woods, Othello. Film/TV: Things We Know, Drifting Elegant, Play it by Ear “The Good Wife,” “Mercy,” Law & Order,” “Hope & Faith,” “Hack.”

Rachel Resheff (Girl) has appeared on Broadway in The People in the Picture, Mary Poppins, Billy Elliot and Shrek, The Musical. Other credits include The Kid Who Could Be Pope (NYMF); The Miracle on 34th Street (Actor’s Fund Benefit); Laughing Matters (Roundabout); Suprema (New Dramatists); and Freckleface Strawberry (MMAC Productions). Film credits include 3 Backyards and Tick Tock Time Emporium.

Cameron Scoggins (Man 3). Off-Broadway debut.  Theater credits include Proof, Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Ionescopade, American Clock, Hedda Gabler and Midsummer Night’s Dream at Juilliard Theatre.  Other credits include The Tempest and This is Our Youth (North Carolina University of the Arts) and On Golden Pond (Triad Stage).  Film and television credits include The Happy Sad, “I Just Want My Pants Back,” “Edgar Allen Poe and Women” and “Home of the Giants.”

Phoebe Strole (Woman 3). Broadway: Spring Awakening.  Off-Broadway: The Metal Children, Mourning Becomes Electra, Spring Awakening.  Other theater: F2M, Parade, Smile, Animal of the Year, Sex AKA Weiners & Boobs, Myths & Fables, A Different Moon, Evita, Violet. Film/TV: My One and Only, Hamlet 2, Descent, Between the Clock & The Bed, To Mexico, “Mercy,” “Sorority Wars,” “30 Rock,” Law & Order: C.I.,” “Stella,” “Rescue Me.” 

Molly Ward (Server). Playwrights Horizons: Kin. Other New York: The Tenant (Woodshed Collective); Keep Your Baggage with You (Theater for the New City); Nosemaker’s Apprentice (Brick Theater); Nobody (RPR); End of Lines, The Shape of Metal (59E59 Theaters); Umbrella Plays (FringeNYC); The Lacy Project (Ice Factory Festival); Richard Foreman’s Paradise Hotel. World Premieres: Wendy MacLeod’s Find and Sign (Pioneer Theater),Theresa Rebeck’s Our House (Denver Center). Edinburgh: Three Sisters.

Playwrights Horizons is a writer’s theater dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American playwrights, composers and lyricists and to the production of their new work. Under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus, the theater company continues to encourage the new work of veteran writers while nurturing an emerging generation of theater artists. In its 41 years, Playwrights Horizons has presented the work of more than 375 writers and has received numerous awards and honors, including a special 2008 Drama Desk Award for “ongoing support to generations of theater artists and undiminished commitment to producing new work.”  Notable productions include five Pulitzer Prize winners: Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park (2011 winner), Doug Wright’s I Am My Own Wife (2004 Tony Award, Best Play), Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles (1989 Tony Award, Best Play), Alfred Uhry’s Driving Miss Daisy and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park with George – as well as Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation (three 2010 Obie Awards including Best New American Play), Bathsheba Doran’s Kin, Adam Bock’s A Small Fire, Amy Herzog’s After the Revolution, Edward Albee’s Me, Myself & I, Melissa James Gibson’s This (2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize finalist), Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie’s Grey Gardens (three 2007 Tony Awards), Craig Lucas’s Prayer For My Enemy and  Small Tragedy (2004 Obie Award, Best American Play), Adam Rapp’s Kindness, Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Lynn Nottage’s Fabulation (2005 Obie Award for Playwriting), Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero, David Greenspan’s She Stoops to Comedy (2003 Obie Award), Kirsten Childs’s The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (2000 Obie Award), Richard Nelson and Shaun Davey’s James Joyce’s The Dead, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Assassins, William Finn’s March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland, Christopher Durang’s Betty’s Summer Vacation and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, Richard Nelson’s Goodnight Children Everywhere, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s Once on This Island, Jon Robin Baitz’s The Substance of Fire, Scott McPherson’s Marvin’s Room, A.R. Gurney’s Later Life, Adam Guettel and Tina Landau’s Floyd Collins and Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley’s Violet.

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