by Max Posner
directed by David Cromer
Originally produced at Playwrights Horizons, New York, NY
September 15 to October 29, 2017
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: Ida Armstrong is broke, lonely, and fading fast. And she’s spending all of her children’s money, forcing her son to assume the unwanted role of The Treasurer: an arrangement that becomes untenable the more he questions his devotion to her. In this darkly funny, sharply intimate portrait, Max Posner chronicles the strained ties between a son and his aging mother, and the hell of a guilty conscience.
Artistic Statement: The Treasurer is precisely what we hope for when we commission a play. Not only is this play a huge leap in Max Posner’s trajectory as a writer, it’s also just an excellent play, and beautifully written. “The Son,” a geologist who lives in Denver, is appointed by the family as “Treasurer” of his 88-year-old mother’s finances, and as her mental state deteriorates, he becomes increasingly exasperated with her, which only fuels his extreme guilt over the gradual, horrified realization that he doesn’t love his mother enough: a self-truth that has made him begin to believe in hell, certain he'll go there when he dies. Escher-like in its structure, composed of short, fragmented scenes which seem to float and meld together ethereally, like a sort of dramaturgical Mobius strip, The Treasurer is darkly funny and utterly heartbreaking, a searing and totally original meditation on a son’s obligation to his mother.
Grant Statement: We’re thrilled that David Cromer has signed on to direct The Treasurer, given his exceptional track record of finding unexpected, brilliant moments and his acute psychological work with actors. Both of these skills are essential to the success of this sly, slippery play, and to realize the choreographic staging and intense character work that this play demands will require an extended rehearsal process. More than most plays, The Treasurer’s success depends on finding the narrow, hard-to-pin-down zone in which the play floats in the dream-like space of the writing while also retaining its powerful emotional impact. We feel profoundly invested in this play and this writer – they both emerged and were developed here on Playwrights Horizons soil – and the Edgerton Foundation's support allows us to offer them both a process sufficiently long enough to realize their potential.
Set Designer: Laura Jellinek
Lighting Designer: TBD
Costume Designer: Sarah Laux
Sound Designer: Dan Kluger
Additional Funders Supporting The Treasurer: Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs