Theater notes: N.Y. exposure for playwright Payne, director Leon in ’16

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Atlanta playwright Topher Payne. CONTRIBUTED BY PETER NOONAN
Atlanta playwright Topher Payne. CONTRIBUTED BY PETER NOONAN

Atlanta playwright Topher Payne. CONTRIBUTED BY PETER NOONAN

Payne’s ‘Arrangement’ to go off-Broadway

Off-Broadway’s Primary Stages theater company has announced that it will present the New York premiere of Atlanta playwright Topher Payne’s “Perfect Arrangement” starting in September.

Process Theatre Company gave the drama with comedic elements its Atlanta premiere last fall at Onstage Atlanta. The play made its world premiere at Washington’s Source Festival and received the 2014 American Theater Critics Association’s Osborn New Play Award.

Set in the 1950s, “Perfect Arrangement” tells the story of Washington neighbors the Martindales and the Baxters, who have lives seemingly as peppy as a sitcom. However, through a secret door at night, they live as two gay couples. Among the ensuing complications, the State Department boss of Bob Martindale, the engineer of this arrangement, demands that he start firing gay employees.

Information: www.primarystages.org.

Leon directing play off-Broadway and Atlanta in ‘16

Atlanta director Kenny Leon. CONTRIBUTED BY  JOHN LAMPARSKI / GETTY IMAGES

Atlanta director Kenny Leon. CONTRIBUTED BY JOHN LAMPARSKI / GETTY IMAGES

Before Kenny Leon directs Lydia Diamond’s “Smart People” for his True Colors Theatre Company at Southwest Arts Center in July 2016, the always-on-the-go Atlanta director will do the same early next year in New York for Second Stage.

The off-Broadway company recently announced that Leon would stage the latest from the “Stick Fly” playwright. “Smart People” probes, through a quartet of Harvard-connected characters, whether social and sexual prejudice is hard-wired into our brains.

In the play, set on the eve of Barack Obama’s first election, Diamond “explores race and class in a most exciting and humorous way, ” Leon said.

Second Stage hasn’t announced dates for “Smart People.” The True Colors run is July 12-Aug. 7, 2016. Individual tickets on sale July 1: 1-877-725-8849, www.ticketalternative.com or www.truecolorstheatre.org.


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