Making its world premiere Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons, Agnes Borinsky's The Trees has announced its cast. Previews begin for the co-production from Playwrights Horizons and Page 73 February 12 for the previously announced run through March 19. March 5 is opening night.
Tina Satter (Is This A Room) directs the production, which will star Broadway alums Jess Barbagallo (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) as David, Crystal Dickinson (Clybourne Park) as Sheila, Max Gordon Moore (Indecent) as Saul, Ray Anthony Thomas (American Buffalo) as Norman, and Sam Breslin Wright (Macbeth) as Terry/Vendor. Also featured in the cast will be Marcia DeBonis (Fran’s Bed) as Sheryl, Sean Donovan (Oratorio for Living Things) as Jared, Xander Fenyes (GirlsFiveEva) as Ezra, Pauli Pontrelli (The Visitor) as Tavish, Danusia Trevino (Exegesis) as Grandmother, Becky Yamamoto (Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven) as Charlotte, and Nile Harris as Julian.
The Trees follows two siblings who fall asleep in a public park and become a literal part of the landscape as they accidentally establish a utopian community. This contemporary parable looks into structure, community, and the risks of staying put.
Borinsky said in a statement, “Kafka took ideas that might seem like punchlines and stayed with them. I love the idea of staying with something that seems like a joke long enough for it to become something else—something stranger, or unexpectedly rich.” The playwright continued, "You feel so powerless in the face of the catastrophe of our world; and I’ve been asking myself what that means dramatically. For so long we believed in stories where there’s a protagonist who has some agency and goes out and changes the world in some way, but that’s not how things work vis à vis capitalism and climate. The dramatic models I had started to feel less and less useful to me. I’m interested in how characters with limited access to action—who can’t go on a literal journey—could offer a back door into thinking about these larger problems.”
The creative team includes scenic designer Parker Lutz (Is This a Room), costume designer Enver Chakartash (Is This a Room), lighting designer Thomas Dunn (Is This A Room), sound designer Tei Blow (I Understand Everything Better), puppet designer Amanda Villalobos (Is This A Room), production stage manager Randi Rivera (Is This A Room), and assistant stage manager Kayla Owen (Wish You Were Here).
Borinsky (A Song of Songs) makes her Playwrights Horizons debut with The Trees, but has previously written The Marriage of Earth and Sky for Playwrights Horizons' anthological fiction podcast, Soundstage. Playwrights Horizons and Page 73 last collaborated on A Strange Loop.
For tickets and more information, visit PlaywrightsHorizons.org.