Leslye Headland’s ‘Cult of Love’ to Open on Broadway in the Fall

“Cult of Love,” a play about a fractious holiday gathering of a Christian family, will come to Broadway this fall via Second Stage Theater, one of the four nonprofits with Broadway houses.

The announcement on Tuesday is a further sign that the current season is shaping up to be a robust one for plays, which had been considered an endangered species on Broadway, but which seem to be proliferating as the economic climate for musicals worsens.

“Cult of Love” is written by Leslye Headland, a creator of the Netflix series “Russian Doll” and the Disney+ series “The Acolyte.” She has also written and directed films including “Sleeping With Other People.”

The play is scheduled to begin previews Nov. 20 and to open Dec. 12 at the Hayes Theater.

“Cult of Love” is Headland’s final work in a series, called “Seven Deadly Plays,” that is inspired by the seven deadly sins; this one is about pride. The play was staged in 2018 at IAMA Theater Company in Los Angeles and there was a run early this year at Berkeley Repertory Theater in California. (A planned 2020 production at Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts was canceled because of the pandemic.)

The Broadway production, like the Berkeley production, will be directed by Trip Cullman. The play has 10 characters and casting has not been announced.

Second Stage also said on Tuesday that it would stage an Off Broadway production of “Lunar Eclipse,” a two-character play by Donald Margulies (a Pulitzer winner for “Dinner With Friends”) that had a run last year at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass.

The new production, directed by Kate Whoriskey, is to star Reed Birney (a Tony winner for “The Humans”) and Lisa Emery as a long-married couple. It is to begin previews Oct. 9 and to open Oct. 30 at the Tony Kiser Theater.

“Lunar Eclipse” is expected to be Second Stage’s final production in that space, which the company is exiting at the end of the year, citing financial considerations. Second Stage expects to present its spring season at the Pershing Square Signature Center while it explores options for an Off Broadway home.

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