World Premiere of Agnes Borinsky's The Trees Opens Off-Broadway March 5 | Playbill

Off-Broadway News World Premiere of Agnes Borinsky's The Trees Opens Off-Broadway March 5

The contemporary parable about two siblings who become one with the landscape and create a new society runs at Playwrights Horizons.

Jess Barbagallo, Ray Anthony Thomas, Marcia DeBonis, Sean Donovan

Agnes Borinsky's The Trees, co-produced by Playwrights Horizons and Page 73, opens its world premiere March 5. The Off-Broadway run at Playwrights Horizons began previews February 12 and will play through March 19.

Broadway alums Jess Barbagallo (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and Crystal Dickinson (Clybourne Park) star as siblings David and Sheila. After, they fall asleep in a public park, they become a literal part of the landscape and accidentally establishing a queer kind of utopian community. 

They are joined in the cast by Max Gordon Moore (Indecent) as Saul, Ray Anthony Thomas (American Buffalo) as Norman, and Sam Breslin Wright (Macbeth) as Terry/Vendor, 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.

Borinsky said in an earlier 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.”

Tina Satter (Is This a Room) directs Borinsky's contemporary parable about structure, community, and the risks of staying put. The creative team also 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

See the Cast and Creatives of The Trees During First Rehearsal


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