New Tunes By Playwrights Horizons Songwriters Will Punctuate Songs on 5 Stories Benefit

By Kenneth Jones
September 21, 2006

Playwrights Horizons will present the return of its unique site-specific benefit theatre event, Stories on 5 Stories, but this year the players will sing.

The benefit Nov. 13 is billed as Songs on 5 Stories. Instead of following tradition and presenting scenes in the nooks, crannies and public space in the five-story Playwrights Horizons home on West 42nd Street, songs by well-known and emerging composers and lyricists will be sung. The performers are not yet announced.

On Monday evening Nov. 13, expect original songs by the theatre's alumni and current writers, including Tony Award winners Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Once on This Island), five-time Tony Award nominee Michael John LaChiusa (See What I Wanna See, The Wild Party), Tony Award winner Adam Guettel (The Light in the Piazza, Floyd Collins), Ricky Ian Gordon (My Life With Albertine, Dream True), Scott Frankel & Michael Korie (Grey Gardens) and Michael Friedman & Rinne Groff (Playwrights Horizons commissioned artists).

"The evening will celebrate the theatre's home at 416 West 42nd Street and benefit the company's 2006-2007 season musical theatre activities," according to PH. "Songs are being written specifically for the evening, inspired by and performed in locations around the theatre company's five-story headquarters. While noted for its two state-of-the-art theaters, the building will host each number in such site-specific, non-traditional locations as the costume shop and the trap room under the Mainstage."

The numbers will be performed concurrently, each repeated several times in its own location. Attendees will travel throughout the building in small groups in order to see each work, and each will be performed by separate casts.

"Everyone will have the opportunity to view all six performances," PH promises.

"Our first two years of Stories on 5 Stories succeeded in celebrating Playwrights Horizons' new home, reuniting our community of artists and offering our supporters new works created especially for those evenings," stated artistic director Tim Sanford. "This year, in honor of the theatre company's long and rich tradition of producing new musicals, we've invited nine of musical theatre's brightest names to continue the tradition and create original songs for the evening. We look forward to new theatre music premiering throughout our five floors at this festive event."

The schedule will be:

  • 6 PM - Dinner (optional) at Chez Josephine (414 West 42nd Street), attended by Playwrights Horizons staff and Board members, as well as some of the evening’s playwrights.

  • 7:30 PM – Event begins

  • 9 PM – Post-show reception with artists.

    Tickets are priced at $150 ("Ovation" ticket - a single ticket to the shows and reception) and $325 ("Overture" ticket - a single ticket for the pre-event dinner, shows and reception).

    The event is strictly limited to 200 people. Tickets are expected to sell quickly.

    Playwright Horizons, under the leadership of artistic director Tim Sanford and managing director Leslie Marcus, bills itself as a writer's theatre "dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American playwrights, composers and lyricists, and to the production of their new work."

    Tickets for Songs on 5 Stories can be reserved online by visiting the Playwrights Horizons website www.playwrightshorizons.org or by calling (212) 564-1235, extension 3154.