Merry Me


By Hansol Jung
Directed by Leigh Silverman

2023/24 Season

October 11, 2023—November 19, 2023

Merry Me runs 90 minutes with no intermission.

CONTENT TRANSPARENCY: In an effort to care for our community, we’re sharing details about this production that may be sensitive for members of our audience. The following information may reveal plot points.

Merry Me contains strobe effects, flashing lights, loud sounds and simulated sexual acts.

Read Synopsis

NYTW Usual Suspect & Former 2050 Artistic Fellow Hansol Jung‘s Merry Me is an intoxicating queer cocktail of restoration comedy and the Greeks, served with a heavy garnish of ridiculous. NYTW Usual Suspect & Tony Award nominee Leigh Silverman directs.

On an island not far away from the vulnerable coasts of the enemy state, a mysterious blackout has left the Navy restless and itching for action. Lieutenant Shane Horne has occupied her time satisfying the libidinous needs of all the women on the base—including the jealous general’s wife. But her own merries will not… come. Meanwhile a famed Angel re-descends to amend her previous prophesy, sending the Navy’s psychiatrist on an epic quest to save humanity. Will the general discover the affair? Will the earth be saved? Will they ever be merry enough?

CONTENT TRANSPARENCY: In an effort to care for our community, we’re sharing details about this production that may be sensitive for members of our audience. The following information may reveal plot points.

Merry Me contains strobe effects, flashing lights, loud sounds and simulated sexual acts.

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Getting your merries is more fun with friends! Check out our lineup of free For The Culture events to get you in the mood.  😉

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New York Theatre Workshop strives to be both an active producing theatre, engaging in an ongoing conversation with our audiences, and a nurturing workshop, providing off-stage support to a diverse community of artists. Our workshop activities are designed to provide artists a space to experiment and are not open to the public. However, the development of the work we share with our audiences is an important part of the conversation around each production. To that end, we include information on the piece’s provenance, or beginnings, in our programs.

Playwright Hansol Jung and director Leigh Silverman both have long relationships with NYTW—Leigh’s beginning as an intern in 1996 and Hansol’s as a 2050 Playwriting Fellow in our 2015/16 season. Both have developed many pieces under the auspices of NYTW’s Workshop and Leigh has directed Oedipus at Palm Springs by the Five Lesbian Brothers in 2005 and Madeleine George’s Hurricane Diane in 2019. 

Leigh and Hansol first collaborated on Hansol’s play Cardboard Piano at the 2016 Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville. They subsequently worked together on Hansol’s play Wild Goose Dreams (developed as part of her 2050 Fellowship) at La Jolla Playhouse and The Public Theater. As the rehearsal period for Wild Goose Dreams was coming to a close, Hansol asked Leigh what they should work on together next and Leigh proposed Hansol write a lesbian sex comedy.

Excited by Leigh’s request and inspired by the work of Euripides, William Wycherley and a panoply of queer iconic artists from the 20th and 21st centuries, Hansol set to work writing Merry Me. In the interceding years, Hansol and Leigh developed the text, nurtured by dramaturgs Jeanie O’Hare and Lexy Leuszler and a company of remarkable actors—many of whom are in the play tonight. We began working with Hansol & Leigh on Merry Me in March 2023 in advance of this production, providing opportunity for text workshops and a sound lab to develop the foley language used in the piece. The cast and creative team brings together frequent collaborators of both Leigh and Hansol to imagine the raucous world of Merry Me.

  • Doctor Jess O'Nope

    Off-Broadway: You Will Get Sick (Roundabout), Sandblasted (Vineyard), The Cake (MTC), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Mobile Unit), Teenage DickMiss You Like Hell (The Public); The Treasurer, Bella: An American Tall TaleA LifeFar from Heaven (Playwrights Horizons); Sex of the Baby (Access Theatre); Obama-ology (The Juilliard School). Regional: Airness (Humana); A Doll’s House (Huntington); Three Sisters (Playmaker’s Rep); Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Intimate Apparel (Dorset Theatre Festival); Fairfield (Cleveland Play House). TV: “A League of Their Own”,”Evil”,”Law & Order: Organized Crime”,“New Amsterdam,” “High Maintenance,” “Madam Secretary,” “Gotham.” BFA: Howard University. MFA: NYU Graduate Acting Program.

  • General's Wife

    Theater: Catch As Catch Can, Log Cabin, Iow@ (Playwrights Horizons), Golden Shield (MTC), Tiny Beautiful Things (Long Wharf), The Great Immensity (The Civilians), Middletown (Vineyard), The Seagull, Antigone (NAATCO), Sugar House…(Ma-Yi), Making Tracks (2G), Sides: The Fear Is Real (Ma-Yi/MIYAGI).

    TV/Film: The Sinner, The Flight Attendant, Thirteen Reasons Why, Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens, Billions, High Maintenance, The Good Fight, Bull, Blue Bloods, New Amsterdam, FBI, Kevin Can Wait, House of Cards, Elementary, Homeland, Love In Taipei, Mistress America, The Light of the Moon, Wolves, The Sunlit Night, A Kid Like Jake, Obvious Child, Children of Invention, Robot Stories, Lady In The Water. Proud community member of: AAPAC Steering Committee, MIYAGI, The Actors Center Workshop Company, E.S.T., The Civilians. Eddie and Walter – Be home soon.

  • Lieutenant Shane Horne

    Esco Jouléy is an actor, singer, dancer, clown, movement artist, and creator. Recent credits include Sundance STATE OF THE UNION, Starz BLINDSPOTTING, HBO’s HIGH MAINTENANCE, Netflix INVENTING ANNA, Hulu’s MONSTERLAND and Bravo’s IN A MAN’S WORLD, where they appeared as a movement coach. Esco’s theatre credits include: Twelfth Night, Wolf Play, As You Like It, Interstate, Runaways, Galatea, The Demise (Magic Theater Player), Beowulf. Esco was a resident actor at the historic Barter Theater for three and a half years and is an alum of the ABC Discovers Showcase.

  • General Memnon

    BroadwayOne Man Two Guvnors, Passing StrangeOff BroadwayMalvolio (Classical Theater of Harlem) Epiphany (Lincoln Center); Merry Wives, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, The Comedy of Errors, Pericles (Public Theater/NYSF); Where We Stand (Women’s Project); Passage (Soho Rep); The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World (Signature Theater Company); Mankind (Playwrights Horizons); Gone Missing (City Center Encores!); The Glory of the World (BAM); Arden of Faversham (Red Bull Theater); Candida (Gingold Theatrical Group) Regional: Berkeley Rep, Repertory Theater of Saint Louis, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Barrington Stage Company, American Conservatory Theater, Dallas Theater Center, California Shakespeare Theater, among others. Film: Relay (upcoming), The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Medal of Victory, Bee SeasonOther Credits: Member of Project Number One at Soho Rep 2020/21 Season and serves on the Acting Faculty at The Playwrights Horizons Theater School/NYU.

  • Private Willy Memnon

    RYAN SPAHN (he/him). NYTW debut. Ryan can currently be seen on FX’s “American Horror Story: Delicate,” written by Halley Feiffer. Recent New York theater credits include Yilong Liu’s Good Enemy at the Audible Theatre and Talene Monahon’s Jane Anger at the New Ohio. Other notable productions: How To Load A Musket, Daniel’s Husband, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Mr. Toole, Summer & Smoke, Still at Risk, Exit Strategy, and Gloria, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Ryan has performed at some of the nation’s acclaimed theaters including: Goodman Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Berkshire Theatre Group, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Vineyard Playhouse, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. TV: “Succession”, “Modern Love”, “The Bite”, “The Blacklist,” and “Chicago P.D”. On film, he will appear in the upcoming feature Parachute, written and directed by Brittany Snow. As a filmmaker, Ryan co-wrote the feature comedy He’s Way More Famous Than You, as well as wrote and produced the films Grantham & Rose, Woven, Who We Were, Router, and The Other John. Streaming: “What’s Your Emergency,” directed by Michael Urie. His films have collectively played 20+ film festivals worldwide. Ryan received his BFA from Juilliard. IG: @ryanspahn

  • Mrs. Sapph Memnon

    Nicole Villamil, Actor, Member of The Pack Company. Recent Credits: Wolf Play (MCC Theatre), Wolf Play (Soho Rep), How to load a Musket (59E59), Network (Broadway), Queens (LCT3), Lessons in Survival (Vineyard Theatre -Online Series), MUD (Boundless Theatre), Shakespeare’s R&J (Hangar Theatre), De Profundis (PlayMakers Rep), Tell me I’m not Crazy, The Rose Tattoo (Williamstown Theatre Festival) The Hunchback of Seville, The Love of the Nightingale (Trinity Repertory Co.); TELEVISION: New Amsterdam, The Last OG; [Edu] M.F.A., Brown/Trinity Repertory Co.; B.A., University of Pennsylvania. She is the 2023 Lucille Lortel Award Recipient for Outstanding Ensemble. @nicoleavillamil @the_pack_company

  • The Angel

    Shaunette is thrilled to be making her NYTW debut. Previous theater credits include La Race Page 73/Working Theatre (Off-Broadway), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Yale Rep), Cymbeline (Yale Rep), The House That Will Not Stand (Yale Rep). Shaunette was most recently seen in Disney/Luscasfilm’s “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” Wilson will next be seen in Hulu’s continent-crossing limited series “Washington Black,” opposite Sterling K. Brown as well as the lead in Kahlil Joseph’s upcoming feature, “BLKNWS” for A24. She recently wrapped filming the indie, “Press Your Luck” opposite Paul Walter Houser. Following her first film appearance as a Dora Milaje in Marvel’s “Black Panther,” she was fan favorite ‘Dr. Mina Okofor’ on four seasons of FOX’s “The Resident”. Other TV credits include “Billions” and Hulu/Blumhouse’s “Into the Dark” anthology series. Wilson was honored at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival by Variety and Golden Globes with their ‘Breakthrough Award’. Shaunette is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and a recipient of the Princess Grace Award.

Hansol Jung / Playwright

Hansol Jung is a playwright from South Korea. Productions include Wolf Play (Soho Rep & Ma-Yi), A New Translation of Romeo and Juliet (Two River Theater & NAATCO), Wild Goose Dreams (The Public Theater & La Jolla Playhouse), Cardboard Piano (Humana Festival at Actors Theater of Louisville), Among the Dead (Ma-Yi Theatre), and No More Sad Things (Sideshow & Boise Contemporary). Her work has been developed at Royal Court, New York Theatre Workshop, Hedgebrook, Berkeley Repertory, Sundance Theatre Lab, and the Lark. Hansol is the recipient of the Steinberg Award, Hodder Fellowship, Whiting Award, Helen Merrill Award, Page 73 Fellowship, Lark’s Rita Goldberg Fellowship, NYTW’s 2050 Fellowship, MacDowell Artist Residency, and International Playwrights Residency at Royal Court. Hansol has written for Apple+ Series Pachinko and Netflix Series Tales of the City and is developing multiple projects for the screen with Amazon Studios, Apple + TV, Ink Factory, Fifth Season Production Company and Kindred Spirit. She is a proud member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab, NYTW’s Usual Suspects, and the New Class of Kilroys. MFA: Yale.

Leigh Silverman / Director

Leigh Silverman is an American Director who has directed over 60 newplays and musicals both on Broadway and off. She was nominated for the 2014 Tony Award, Best Direction of a Musical for the musical Violet and the 2008 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Director of a Play for the play From Up Here. Broadway: Grand Horizons (2ST; Williamstown Theater Festival); The Lifespan of a Fact (Studio 54); Violet (Roundabout; Tony nomination); Chinglish (Goodman Theatre; Longacre); Well (Public Theater; ACT; Longacre). Recent Off-Broadway: Suffs (Public Theater); Search For Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (The Shed); Soft Power (Public Theater; Ahmanson Theater/Curran Theater; Drama Desk nom); Tumacho (Clubbed Thumb); Hurricane Diane (New York Theatre Workshop; Two River Theater); Harry Clarke (Vineyard Theatre/Audible, Minetta Lane; Lortel nom); Wild Goose Dreams (Public Theater; La Jolla Playhouse); Sweet Charity (New Group); On The Exhale (Roundabout); The Outer Space (Public Theater). Encores: Bring Me to Light; Violet; The Wild Party; Really Rosie. 2011 Obie Award and 2019 Obie for Sustained Excellence.

Rachel Hauck / Scenic Design

NYTW: Hurricane Diane, Hadestown, What the Constitution Means to Me, An Iliad. Broadway: Good Night Oscar, Hadestown, How I Learned To Drive, What the Constitution Means to Me, Latin History for Morons. Recent work: Is It Thursday Yet (La Jolla), Destiny of Desire (Old Globe), Swept Away (Berkeley Rep); Sandra (Vineyard). Recipient of OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence, TONY Nomination and Jeff Award for Good Night Oscar, and a TONY Award for Hadestown.

Alejo Vietti / Costume Design

NYTW debut. Broadway: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (West End–Olivier Nomination, National Tour, Japan & Australia), Holiday Inn, Allegiance (Drama Desk Nomination). NY: Titanique (Lucille Lortel Award). Other: Radio City Rockettes, Roundabout, Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic, NYC Opera, MCC, Irish Rep and City Center Encores! among others. @alejo_vietti_costume_design

Barbara Samuels / Lighting Design

NYTW: Hurricane Diane. Off-Broadway: Public Obscenities (Soho Rep; Hewes Design Award), Wolf Play (Soho Rep, Ma-Yi, MCC; Lortel Nom.), Becky Nurse of Salem (Lincoln Center), In the Green (LCT3; Lortel Nom.), Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future (Ars Nova; Drama Desk & Lortel Nom.). Proud member of USA 829.

Caroline Eng / Sound Design

NYTW debut. Recent theatre: Belfast Girls, The Democracy Project, Fences, The Overview Effect, Little Women, What the Constitution Means to Me, Three Sisters, The Future is Female, That Must Be the Entrance to Heaven. Upcoming: Masculinity Max, Coriolanus, Hurricane Diane.

Kate Marvin / Sound Design

NYTW debut. Recent: Wolf Play (MCC/Soho Rep/ Ma-Yi), Big Trip (La MaMa), The Best We Could (MTC), Vanessa in Bed (Audible), Bulrusher (McCarter/ Berkeley Rep), Three Sisters (Two River), Chimpanzee (HERE/The Barbican). Upcoming: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Lucille Lortel). Associate Artist at Target Margin Theater. MFA Yale School of Drama.

Claire Yenson / Casting Director

NYTW: Casting Director-in-Residence. Theatre: Mary Gets Hers (Playwrights Realm), To the Ends of the Earth (JACK), Hello Kitty Must Die (Edinburgh Fringe), Jane Anger (New Ohio/Shakespeare Theatre). Film/ TV: “Pachinko” (Apple TV+), “Fleishman is in Trouble” (FX, Emmy Nominated for Outstanding Casting), “Sharper” (A24), “Modern Love” (Amazon). Thank you Heidi and Kate.

Rocío Mendez / Intimacy Coordinator

(they/she) NYTW: runboyrun & In Old Age, On Sugarland, Merrily We Roll Along, How to Defend Yourself. Broadway: POTUS, Ain’t No Mo’, Merrily We Roll Along. Off-Broadway: The Bandaged Place (Roundabout); The Harder They Come, Merry Wives, Romeo y Julieta (Public Theater); Black No More (The New Group); NOIR (The Alley Theater). Member of Unkle Dave’s Fight-House.

Lauren E. Chilton / Properties Supervisor

Shelley Miles / Stage Manager

NYTW: american tele(visions), Nat Turner in Jerusalem, Hadestown, What’s It All About?: Bacharach Reimagined. Select Credits – Broadway: Ain’t No Mo’, Dana H., Is This A Room, The Ferryman, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Violet. Off-Broadway: Letters from Max, Tumacho, Soft Power, Harry Clarke, The Outer Space.

Katie Kennedy / Assistant Stage Manager

NYTW debut. Broadway: Once Upon a One More Time, Trouble in Mind, Clyde’s (sub). Off-Broadway: HEART, At the Wedding, Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, for colored girls…, Letters from Max, You Will Get Sick.


For the Culture

Join us in community at one of our many free pre- and post-show events with our partners including Cubbyhole, RISE, The Gray Mare, LAMBDA Literary, Sidney's Five, Babetown, The Center, National Queer Theater, Henrietta Hudson and more!

Taking Orgasms Seriously


As writer Merryn Johns puts it, “The moment a Black Sapphic angel introduces us to Lieutenant Shane Horne as “God’s gift to lady parts of all shapes, colors, and vintages,” Merry Me promises a wild ride centering on lesbian eros. And it delivers."

Dive Deeper on MERRY ME

Worlds Apart on a Shared Stage

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