News plays by Pulitzer winner Annie Baker, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Will Eno, plus revivals of a series of plays by another Pulitzer winner, Suzan-Lori Parks, as well as one by Athol Fugard, are on the docket for the 2016-17 season at Off Broadway’s Signature Theater.
In the midst of transitioning between founding artistic director James Houghton and new chief Paige Evans, who takes over July 1, Signature has lined up new work by three of the artists affiliated with the theater through its Residency Five program. Baker will follow up her recent outings “The Flick” and “John” (seen at Signature over the summer) with “The Antipodes,” premiering in April 2017, while Eno (“Thom Pain,” “The Realistic Joneses“) will bow a new, untitled project starting performances in February. “Everybody,” the latest by Jacobs-Jenkins (“Gloria,” “An Octoroon“), is billed as a new play based on one of the oldest in the English language.
Signature didn’t give any plot details for the new Baker and Eno plays. Both “Everybody,” starting performances in January, and “The Antipodes” will be directed by Lila Neugebauer (“Kill Floor”); “Antipodes” will be the first new work by Baker to hit New York without director Sam Gold (“Fun Home”) attached.
Meanwhile, the Signature’s annual season of work devoted to a single writer will revolve this year around Parks (“Topdog/Underdog,” “Father Comes Home from the Wars“), with new productions of her 1990 play “The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World,” directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz and starting in October, and of her 1996 title “Venus,” starting in April in a new production by Lear deBessonet. (On tap for the 2017-18 season are Jo Bonney’s stagings of Parks’ “In the Blood” and “F—ing A,” to be performed in rep.)
Also up at bat this fall is a new production of Fugard’s 1982 play “Master Harold… and the Boys,” directed by the writer. That one seems ripe for star casting; Danny Glover starred in the show that last time it was on Broadway.
The Signature is in the midst of wrapping up its current season with plays including Quiara Alegria Hudes’ latest, “Daphne’s Dive.”