Playwrights Horizons is a not-for-profit theater dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American playwrights, composers, and lyricists and to the production of their new plays and musicals.
Since 1971, Playwrights Horizons has distinguished itself by its steadfast and unyielding dedication to the American writer; a history of acclaimed productions that have earned six Pulitzer Prizes; the recognition of the national theater community as a leader in the field; a commitment to new work and new voices, which has resulted in the launching of hundreds of playwriting careers; and the production of more than 300 plays and musicals, with hundreds more commissioned and developed at the theater.
Playwrights Horizons operates with an annual operating budget of approximately $10 million under the leadership of Artistic Director Tim Sanford and Managing Director Leslie Marcus.
Each year, Playwrights Horizons presents six plays and/or musicals, four in the 198-seat Mainstage Theater and two in the 128-seat Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Each show runs for six and one-half weeks, and every show is a world, American or New York premiere production of a new work by an American writer. Playwrights Horizons is committed to presenting each show with the best possible production values, which serves the vision of the writer and gives the audience a truly enriching artistic experience.
New Works Lab
New Play and Musical Theater Development
These behind-the-scenes programs encompass all phases of new play development and help writers to develop their newest work. Each year, Playwrights Horizons awards three to six new commissions to support writers during the creation process; presents developmental readings, which range from one-day to two-week events, of up to 25 new works-in-progress; produces three or more musical theater staged readings; and receives, reviews and responds to nearly 1,000 full-length scripts and scores submitted through an open door policy, one of the only programs of its kind in the country. Read more about the New Works Lab here.
Arts Access programs include discount tickets for students at the high school and college levels, people age 30 and under, and the general public; flexible and affordable subscription and membership packages; a five dollar ticket lottery; and open captioned performances for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Audiences learn more about productions and writers and the process of new play development through Production Bulletins that feature essays by the artistic staff and playwrights. Post-performance discussions conducted for each season production offer the writer and the audience an opportunity to converse and discuss each play. Audiences are engaged online by downloading podcast interviews with writers and actors, joining the Playwrights Horizons Facebook page or Twitter feed, and viewing video clips of current productions.
Playwrights Horizons trains and mentors 10 to 12 students and early-career professionals each season in the areas of casting, literary management, directing, stage management, marketing, fundraising, and musical theater. Fellows leave the program with valuable connections and marketable skills, poised to become the next generation of theater artists and administrators.
Our Resident Company program provides like-minded theater companies the space and resources to create more art, and expand their capacity to provide artistic opportunities to writers. The laudedClubbed Thumb (Maria Striar, Producing Artistic Director) is our inaugural resident company, and we’re thrilled to have them!
Playwrights Horizons Theater School
Since 1983, the School, in association with New York University's Tisch School of the Arts’ Undergraduate Drama Department, has offered students a unique four-year program that emphasizes professional development and interdisciplinary theater training. Further information about the Playwrights Horizons Theater School.
Ticket Central is a professional box office managed by Playwrights Horizons that provides high-quality, affordable ticketing and marketing services to more than 50 small and mid-size not-for-profit arts organizations and producers around New York City. Ticket Central serves approximately 250,000 ticket buyers annually. Visit the Ticket Central website.
Playwrights Horizons leases two floors of space at 440 Lafayette Street, which include 16 rehearsal studios and two theater spaces. When the spaces are not in use by the Playwrights Horizons Theater School, they are rented out as "440 Studios." Conveniently located and affordably priced, spaces at 440 Studios are rented to hundreds of not-for-profit arts groups and educational organizations annually. Visit the 440 Studios website.
Photos (1) Members of the 2014/2015 Season Playwrights Horizons Theatrical Residency Program. (2) Brian Hutchison, Quincy Tyler Bernsteine and John Ellison Conlee in a Playwrights Horizons New Works Lab reading of Tumacho by Ethan Lipton.