By Melissa James Gibson

Directed by Daniel Aukin

Originally produced at Playwrights Horizons, New York.

November 6,2009 through December 13, 2009

About the Premiere Production:
As a general rule, writers avoid the word “this,” at least as a stand-alone noun. Instead they work to describe and define whatever condition or reference they might generalize limply with a “this” and clarify what they mean. In her new play, This, Melissa James Gibson slips this word into the dialogue with enough frequency to achieve a certain sly emphasis. These “this’s” in the play refer variously to relationships, stages in life, “the existential condition,” and so forth, and their inexactitude jumps out at us all the more because characters choose their words so carefully in this play.

Artistic Statement:
I believe This is a breakout play for Melissa James Gibson. Two of her earlier plays, sic and Suitcase, were both very well received at the wonderful downtown theater, Soho Rep. The characters in both of these plays were very definitely denizens of a downtown milieu. But I was drawn by her insights, her controlled use of language and the freshness of her perspective to offer her a commission. This is the result of that commission and one can feel her growing maturity. The characters are pushing forty and reluctantly turning to face the real world. It no longer suffices to indulge in hipster indecision. There are bills to pay and children to raise. All of these characters conduct their own searches for meaning. But they are completely contemporary beings and the meaning they seek is never ponderous or pretentious. So it is easy to take the journey with them. At the end, audiences may not even identify what they are feeling as “meaningfulness.” They may only feel a lift. That’s what This does. It’s art. - Tim Sanford, Artistic Director

Director: Daniel Aukin

Set Design: Louisa Thompson

Lighting Design: Matt Frey

Sound Design: Matthew Tierney

Costume Design: Maiko Matsushima

Subsequent Productions:

Round House Theatre

Silver Spring, MD

October 9, 2013 - November 3, 2013

North Coast Repertory Theatre

Solana Beach, CA

April 4, 2012 - April 29, 2012

Center Theatre Group

Los Angeles, CA

July 31, 2011 - August 28, 2011

Seattle Repertory Theatre

Seattle, WA

April 8, 2011 - May 15, 2011

Main Street Theater

Houston, TX

April 2, 2011 - April 24, 2011

Actors Theatre of Phoenix

Phoeniz, AZ

January 21, 2011 - February 6, 2011