Time to shake things up | Lucy Thurber’s new play THE INSURGENTS comes to Labyrinth in February

If there’s one playwright in America you should be paying attention to, it’s Lucy Thurber. This pistol-packing artist shoots straight at the heart of America’s post industrial plight. And her canvas is western Mass.

Thurber’s five part THE HILL TOWN PLAYS kicked of Rattlestick’s first ever Theater Village festival back in August 2013. For anyone who saw it, the cycle will likely remain in memory as a major theatre experience. This is a writer on a mission.

Looks like she’s headed back to Manhattan early next year, and this time the downtown destination is Labyrinth. The play is called THE INSURGENTS.

“An explosive new play by Obie-Award winning Playwright Lucy Thurber (The Hill Town Plays), The Insurgents follows Sally Wright, an American wanderer, who has traveled across the country searching for something to believe in, only to find herself home again. Inspired by the lives of some of the most dynamic and controversial figures in American history, The Insurgents examines the lies and injustice that history has handed down to us and the actions people take when they finally decide that enough is enough.”

Knowing Thurber, that description right there is enough to generate some serious excitement.

Get thee to the isle of Manhattan and trek over to 155 Bank Street.

And strap in for the real deal.

New play by Lucy Thurber featured in Labyrinth’s 2014-15 season

Lucy Thurber, who was the first featured playwright at Rattlestick’s inaugural 2013 Theater:Village festival (winning an Obie in the process for her The Hill Town Plays), is back. And her latest work is headed for New York.

Labyrinth Theater Company will produce Thurber’s THE INSURGENTS in early 2015.

“An explosive new play by Obie-Award winning Playwright Lucy Thurber (The Hill Town Plays), The Insurgents follows Sally Wright, an American wanderer, who has traveled across the country searching for something to believe in, only to find herself home again. Inspired by the lives of some of the most dynamic and controversial figures in American history, The Insurgents examines the lies and injustice that history has handed down to us and the actions people take when they finally decide that enough is enough.”

Thurber writes straight from the heart and is a force to be reckoned with.

Get ready for it.

Cherry Lane Theatre, one of the venues where Lucy Thurber's five play cycle The Hill Town Plays was produced last summer in Rattlestick's first annual Theater:Village festival.
Cherry Lane Theatre, one of the venues where Lucy Thurber’s five play cycle The Hill Town Plays was produced last summer in Rattlestick’s first annual Theater:Village festival.

Rattlestick Playwrights Theater launches annual Theater Village festival in New York with The Hill Town Plays by Lucy Thurber

Five plays. One playwright. Four venues. One month (or so).

Welcome to Rattlestick Playwrights Theater’s new summer theatre festival in New York’s West Village.

theater:village is to be an annual event where multiple plays by the same playwright (or organized around a similar theme) run simultaneously in different Village venues.

This inaugural year it’s Lucy Thurber’s gritty and deeply felt cycle of plays about growing up in rural western Massachusetts, and the lingering impact of where you’re from on later life.

For diehard theatre fans the chance to see two or even three shows by the same playwright on the same day sounds pretty exciting.

And indeed, this welcome new event is one of the most vibrant and energetic undertakings in recent memory. It makes perfect sense and should quickly become a major item on the summer calendar in New York.

Old timers will recall New York’s beloved SPF, a summer festival at Theater Row that mysteriously died cold several years ago. Since that time, summer in New York has often been an in between time for exciting, off Broadway theatre.

Not any more.

Because theater:village is on the scene.

Rattlestick’s incredible logistical undertaking to get five plays by Lucy Thurber going on four different West Village stages at the same time looks to be a major success so far.

Though shows won’t open until September 5, based on preview performances of three of the five plays, this first version of the new festival promises to be challenging, rewarding, and exciting live art. With tickets around $25, the festival is also a great value.

Cherry Lane Theatre at 38 Commerce Street, home to SCARCITY and ASHVILLE.
Cherry Lane Theatre at 38 Commerce Street, home to SCARCITY and ASHVILLE.

Two things that should be everywhere in New York in the summer: bikes and theatre.
Two things that should be everywhere in New York in the summer: bikes and theatre.

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Axis at 1 Sheridan Square, home to KILLERS AND OTHER FAMILY.
Axis at 1 Sheridan Square, home to KILLERS AND OTHER FAMILY.

Shows were close to full.
Shows were close to full.

Set for KILLERS inside Axis.
Set for KILLERS inside Axis.

Axis.
Axis.

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Rattlestick at 224 Waverly Place, home to WHERE WE'RE BORN.
Rattlestick at 224 Waverly Place, home to WHERE WE’RE BORN.

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50 words: WHERE WE’RE BORN by Lucy Thurber at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater

2003. The girl, here a 19 year old college student all over the map in her own sexuality, returns home on fall vacation. Local friends stuck in dead end routines of work, weed, and wild nights. Superb comedy leavens the dark as all try to figure out who she is.

Thru Sep 28 at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater as part of The Hill Town Plays, the inaugural version of Theater Village, an annual festival produced by Rattlestick

50 words: KILLERS AND OTHER FAMILY by Lucy Thurber at Axis

2009. They come back. The girl, here a late 20’s academic named Elizabeth in New York City, opens the door to find a nightmare from her rural past. Interesting surreal tone as the strands of violence and delusion twine together. The past is endlessly replayed. Or is it the future?

Thru Sep 28 at Axis as part of The Hill Town Plays, the inaugural version of Theater Village, an annual festival produced by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater

50 words: SCARCITY by Lucy Thurber at Cherry Lane Theatre

1992. The beginning. Rachel, the girl who will reemerge in variations throughout the Hill Town Plays, is about 11 and along with brother Billy lost in a violent, alcoholic home in Western Mass. An effective and frightening portrayal of what early imprints on kids can do. Raw, rocking soundtrack. Bleak.

Thru Sep 28 at Cherry Lane Theatre as part of The Hill Town Plays, the inaugural version of Theater Village, an annual festival produced by Rattlestick Playwrights Theater

Theater Village Festival 2013 | THE HILL TOWN PLAYS by Lucy Thurber

In a brand new, ambitious undertaking, New York’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theater is inaugurating a summer theater festival. This year, Theater Village will feature THE HILL TOWN PLAYS – five plays by Lucy Thurber.

The shows run concurrently in August at four different Village venues (Cherry Lane Theatre, Axis, Rattlestick, and The New Ohio Theatre), allowing viewers to see up to three different plays a day.

Coup de ville.  A theater festival in the Village this summer.
Coup de ville. A theater festival in the Village this summer.
Configure your own theatre marathon.
Configure your own theatre marathon.