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

From Artistic Director Tim Sanford:
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

Creative Team:

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


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