|‘The Flick’ Prompts an Explanation From Playwrights Horizons
By PATRICK HEALY
The artistic director of Playwrights Horizons, a leading Off Broadway company that produces new American plays, took the unusual step on Saturday of e-mailing 3,000 of the theater’s subscribers to explain his decision to produce Annie Baker’s new play “The Flick,” whose three-hour length and periods of long silence have infuriated some audience members.
The letter, posted below, is the first of its kind for the artistic director, Tim Sanford. In a telephone interview on Monday, he said it was “not an apology,” but rather an effort at “community engagement” over a play that has been embraced by critics – and recently won the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize – but has prompted threats of subscription cancellations by some people walking out at intermission. Mr. Sanford said that about 10 percent of the audience had bolted the play at the interval during the first week of performances in February, but that those numbers have diminished since.
Our hope is to cultivate an audience that trusts the underlying integrity of our decision-making process. We are the only theater in New York (and practically the country) devoted solely to the premiere of new American plays and musicals.
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