The Light Years

Playwrights Horizons World Premiere

February 17, 2017 - April 2, 2017

Mainstage Theater

TICKETS HERE!

Behold The Spectatorium: an audacious, visionary 12,000-seat theater designed for the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 by Steele MacKaye, the now-forgotten theatrical impresario around whom this haunted, 40-year love story spins. The Light Years is an epic, intimate tale of two families struggling to meet their future, and a spectacular tribute to man's indomitable spirit of invention.

The Light Years has been developed in part at the 2011 and 2012 Sundance Institute Theatre Labs and at New York Stage and Film and is supported by a grants from The Greenwall Foundation and Jerome Foundation.

TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE SOON!

WRITTEN BY HANNAH BOS AND PAUL THUREEN 
DIRECTED AND DEVELOPED BY OLIVER BUTLER

SET DESIGN BY LAURA JELLINEK
LIGHTING DESIGN BY RUSSELL CHAMPA
COSTUME DESIGN BY MICHAEL KRASS 
COMPOSITION BY DANIEL KLUGER
SOUND DESIGN BY LEE KINNEY

Jacuzzi

Premiered at Ars Nova, Fall 2014

"A slow, killing pace appropriate to a Japanese horror movie. The tension is off the charts." - Marilyn Stasio, Variety

"This mysterious theatrical striptease will haunt your thoughts for days after you leave the theater." - Zachary Stewart, Theatermania

"An expert, intimate production." - Charles Isherwood, NYTimes

TIME OUT NY TOP 10 of 2014

In the Marshall family’s peacefully remote Colorado ski chalet, Erik and Helene are making themselves very much at home. So at home, they just might stay for good. At the edge of civilization, the lifestyles of the rich collide with the lifestyles of the aimless in the bubbling waters of a hot tub.

WRITTEN BY HANNAH BOS AND PAUL THUREEN 
DIRECTED AND DEVELOPED BY OLIVER BUTLER
FEATURING: HANNAH BOS, PETER FRIEDMAN, CHRIS LOWELL, & PAUL THUREEN

SET DESIGN BY LAURA JELLINEK
LIGHTING DESIGN BY BRADLEY KING
COSTUME DESIGN BY JESSICA FORD
SOUND DESIGN BY M.L. DOGG
STAGE MANAGER: LISA MCGINN
PROPERTIES MASTER: NOAH MEASE

BUY THE SCRIPT HERE!

Blood play

3416141_orig.png

Premiered at Bushwick Starr, Fall 2012

Also produced as part of Under the Radar at The Public Theater, The Next Thing Festival at ArtsEmerson and at Williamstown Theatre Festival as part of their 2013 season.

"Once again Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen and Oliver Butler escort audiences into an unforgettable setting gleefully stacked with layer upon layer of affecting detail." A+ - Backstage

"Blood Play is a stealth machine... Mr. Thureen is a marvel." - The New York Times

A tranquil suburban evening in the early 1950′s: the kids are away on a Junior Cherokee camping trip and a string of coincidences leads to a spontaneous grown-up party in the basement of a new ranch house. Exotic cocktails are imbibed, raucous games are played, and new friends are made, but much is happening that no one is talking about. And something is stirring underground. Blood Play is a darkly comic thriller of post-war verve and pre-adolescent disquiet.

WRITTEN BY HANNAH BOS AND PAUL THUREEN 
DIRECTED AND DEVELOPED BY OLIVER BUTLER
FEATURING: HANNAH BOS, MICHAEL CYRIL CREIGHTON, BIRGIT HUPPUCH, EMMA GALVIN, HANLON SMITH-DORSEY, PAUL THUREEN, RONETE LEVENSON, JENNY SEASTONE

SET DESIGN BY LAURA JELLINEK
LIGHTING DESIGN BY MIKE RIGGS
COSTUME DESIGN BY SYDNEY MARESCA
SOUND DESIGN BY BEN TRUPPIN-BROWN & M.L. DOGG
STAGE MANAGER: AMY EHRENBERG
CASTING CONSULTANT: PAUL DAVIS 
PRODUCTION MANAGER: JOSHUA KOHLER
PROPERTIES MASTER: NOAH MEASE

BUY THE SCRIPT HERE!

BUDDY COP 2

BC2pic.jpg

Premiered at the Ontological Theater at Saint Mark’s Church,  Spring 2010

Presented at Atlantic Stage 2 in association with Performance Space 122 as part of COIL.

"This downtown gem, full of minor-key revelations and offhand epiphanies, roots its quirky charm in an earnest and surprising realism. Charming, offbeat, sneakily funny." CRITICS’ PICK - Jason Zinoman, The New York Times

"Wistful and sweet and uncanny. The delightful, oddly delicate Buddy Cop 2 is steeped in Christmas cheer." FOUR STARS. CRITICS’ PICK. - Helen Shaw, TimeOutNY

Two cops . . . in the kind of quiet little town where a kid dreams of growing up to be a fireman. Or a racecar driver. Where the only question you ask yourself at the end of the day is if you’re gonna knock back your cold one at Swanky’s, Spanky’s or Zingers. A town where neighbors pitch in to help neighbors in need. And where if you wake up in the middle of the night . . . you should keep your eyes closed. Because the man in red is there in the corner. Watching you. Smiling at you with his yellow eyes and black teeth. Best to pretend you’re still asleep.

Written by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen
Directed and developed by Oliver Butler

Featuring: Hannah BosPaul Thureen,
Monique Vukovic & Michael Cyril Creighton

Set Design by Laura Jellinek
Lighting Design by Mike Riggs
Costume Design by Sydney Maresca
Sound Design by Nathan Leigh
Stage Manager: Amy Ehrenberg
Assistant Stage Manager: Shelley Miles

BUY THE SCRIPT HERE!

You're Welcome: A Cycle of Bad Plays by The Debate Society

Premiered at The Brick Theater, Spring 2010

"An hour-long celebration of theatrical sins. The company’s essential, idiosyncratic charm remains irresistible." - John Del Signore, The Gothamist 

"In a sweet and funny evening of five resolutely terrible playlets, the Debaters make an affirmative case for the comic possibilities of the deflated expectation." 4 STARS - Helen Shaw, TimeOutNY

You’re Welcome is a collection of 5 small plays about creation and failure; a unified theatrical myth that tells the story of an invented band of performers and their catastrophic attempts at connection. The plays are also about love, death, desire, tragedy, comedy, drunk driving, sexiness, beauty, loss, the battle between good and evil, a baby born wearing a hat. And theater. They’re about theater. Kind of the last word on theater. This is You’re Welcome - 5 plays that pretty much nail it. You’re welcome.

Written by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen
Directed and developed by Oliver Butler
Featuring Hannah Bos, Michael Cyril Creighton and Paul Thureen

with Jon Herman, Marisa Savic, Annabelle Meunier, Rachel McKeon, Tim Chawaga, Anna Drezen

Costume Design by Sydney Maresca
Lighting Design by Mike Riggs
Sound Design by Nathan Leigh

Production SM: Amy Ehrenberg
Assistant Director: Danielle Kourtesis
Intern: Marisa Savic

BUY THE SCRIPT HERE!

CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT

3363931536_7b8c210a34_b.jpg

Premiered at PS122, Fall 2008

"Under the brilliant and rigorous direction of Oliver Butler, the Debate Society certainly doesn’t disappoint in this bizarre but deeply winning homage to the drive-in cinema of yore." The New Yorker

"Cape Disappointment is a wonderful gift of a show. It is haunting, gentle, elliptical, poetic, humorous, bittersweet, occasionally startling and intense but always true." - Culturebot

A decaying drive-in comes to life with stories of lighthouses, naughty little girls and places you imagine remembering. So sit back, relax, refrain from loud talking and rough-housing, turn off your headlights, enjoy some tasty popcorn, put litter in its place, keep an eye on your children, think about how happy we could be, and remember that this country is full of dark, dark places along dark, dark roadways where dark, dark things can happen.

The Debate Society’s fourth full-length play transforms the performance space into their own version of a drive-in theater to present an intimate and absurd perspective of classic Americana. The Brooklyn based play-makers conjure a road trip epic wherein “The lives, desires, and memories of various passengers take a number of sharp and darkly comic turns over the course of one night, dissolving into three studies of bittersweet disenchantment.” (The New Yorker)

Written by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen
Directed and developed by Oliver Butler

Featuring: Hannah BosPaul Thureen,
Michael Cyril Creighton & Pamela Payton-Wright  

Lighting design by Mike Riggs
Sound design by Nathan Leigh
Costume design by Sydney Maresca
Scenic Design by Karl Allen
Stage Management Hope Bowman
ASM - Shelley Miles

BUY THE SCRIPT HERE!

The Eaten Heart

Premiered at the Ontological Theater at Saint Mark’s Church,  Spring 2007

"Flawlessly directed. Awesome in scope and bold in execution. The result is, quite simply, great theater." - Show Business Weekly

"A cornucopia of vivid acting and inspired staging." - Gothamist’s “Best of a Year in Theater”

"A joyous and lightheaded celebration of Bos and Thureen’s remarkable skills . . . a showcase for two splendid actors to strut their stuff. The quick changes and transformations are near miraculous, the shifts in costume and temperament are downright astonishing." - Martin Denton, 

The Debate Society’s third full-length work, The Eaten Heart is inspired by Giovanni Boccaccio’s 14th century masterwork The Decameron. The essence of Boccaccio’s characters and stories flavor The Debate Society’s creation: a modern lucid dream of loneliness, longing and desire that matches The Decameron’s penchant for hilarious, erotic and occasionally gory twists. “Wizardly actors” (Gothamist) Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen seamlessly shift among over a dozen different characters seeking refuge in the anonymous security of a remote roadside motel. Their stories loop and multiply as the strangers check in and out, rendezvous, plot and then disappear again back onto the lonely highways.

Written and performed by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen
Directed and developed by Oliver Butler

Lighting Design by Mike Riggs
Sound Design by Nathan Leigh
Costume Design by Sydney Maresca
Scenic Design by Amanda Rehbein
Stage management: Amy Ehrenberg

The Snow Hen

Premiered at The Charlie Pineapple Theater, Spring 2006

"Represents everything great about independent theatre. Performances of enormous craft, intellectual rigor and a grandly emotional pay-off. Absolutely gorgeous." - Backstage

"The Snow Hen was the best thing I saw all season." - Mitch Montgomery, OffOffOnline

"Haunting, melancholy, and oddly hilarious . . . masterful." - Flavorpill

The populations of the world have been decimated in a global epidemic. Apocalyptic weather has washed civilization into the ocean. A little girl has survived… and she is growing feathers!

The Snow Hen spends her days fishing for remnants of civilization that float in with the tide, each new day unearthing memories of her vanished family. Her lonely existence is broken by a haunted wanderer, a giant survivor, who crashes into her world. They fall for each other, and then they fall apart.

Based on the Jostedalsrypa myth which emerged from the Black Death of the 14th century in Norway, The Snow Hen pairs with The Eaten Heart as two-thirds of The Debate Society’s planned (and as of 2016, still unfinished!) “Black Plague Trilogy”. 

Written and performed by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen
Directed and developed by Oliver Butler

Lighting Design by Mike Riggs
Sound Design by Nathan Leigh
Costume Design by Sydney Maresca
Stage management: Amy Ehrenberg

A Thought About Raya

The first collaboration of Hannah Bos, Oliver Butler and Paul Thureen, A Thought About Raya premiered in New York City in March of 2004 at the Red Room before transferring to Clemente Soto Velez. The play toured to Portland, OR, Austin, TX, Hartford, CT and was remounted for a short run at The Brick theater in Brooklyn, NY in November, 2007.

"Enraptures the audience from start to finish!" - Washington Square News

A Thought About Raya brings to the stage the violent and darkly comedic spirit of Leningrad artist Daniil Kharms, whose idiosyncratic visions and nonlinear theatrical performances led to his arrest, imprisonment, and eventual death during Stalin’s purges. In a series of colliding scenes, vibrant images and absurd turns frame this performance that is part fable, part dance, and part experience. The complex themes of love, sex, violence, and death pepper this simple story of the search for a voice in the midst of chaos.

CREATED AND PERFORMED BY HANNAH BOS & PAUL THUREEN
DIRECTED BY OLIVER BUTLER
BASED ON THE WRITINGS OF DANIIL KHARMS

Premiere Production Creative Team:
Lighting Design - Sabrina Braswell
Costume Design - Sydney Maresca
Production Manager - Shane Tilston
Machine Artist - Paul O’Connor

Touring Production Creative Team:
Costume Design - Sydney Maresca
Lighting Design - Mike Riggs
Sound Engineer - Nathan Leigh

 

 

IN DEVELOPMENT . . . 

THE CARE AND FEEDING OF ADULTS is a new play in the beginning stages of development, looking at what happens to the body and the brain as it ages, the processes leading up to death, and issues of memory, dignity and fear that confront the aging and elderly.

CARE is a Playwrights Horizons commission. Development of the play began at a Jerome at Camargo Foundation residency in Cassis, France. 

CARE AND FEEDING OF ADULTS - R&D in Provence  Jerome Foundation / Camargo Foundation

CARE AND FEEDING OF ADULTS - R&D in Provence 

Jerome Foundation / Camargo Foundation