Wednesday, 7:00 pm EDT April 12, 2023
The Center for Fiction
The Ticket/Voucher option includes a $10 Bookstore voucher, redeemable toward the featured event books on the night of the event. All registrants will receive a link to livestream the event.
The Center for Fiction and Theatre Communications Group are thrilled to welcome playwright Will Arbery and philosopher and journalist Chloé Cooper Jones for an event celebrating the publication of Arbery’s play Heroes of the Fourth Turning and the paperback release of Jones’s Easy Beauty.
In Heroes, four young conservatives gather to toast the newly inducted president of their tiny Catholic college. Their reunion spirals into spiritual chaos and clashing generational politics, becoming less a celebration than a vicious fight to be understood. On a dark night, in the middle of America, Arbery’s haunting play speaks to the heart of a country at war with itself. The play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and the recipient of an OBIE, a Lortel Award, and a New York Drama Critics Circle Award.
Easy Beauty weaves together memory, observation, and aesthetic philosophy with a profound examination of Jones’s experience living with a rare and painful congenital condition called sacral agenesis. It was named a best book of 2022 by the New York Times, Vulture, Time magazine, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and many other outlets.
Novelist and essayist Leslie Jamison (Make It Scream, Make It Burn) will moderate the discussion.
By registering for this co-presented event, you agree to share your information with The Center for Fiction and Theatre Communications Group.
Will Arbery is a playwright from Texas + Wyoming + seven sisters. Heroes of the Fourth Turning premiered at Playwrights Horizons in Fall 2019 and was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It won the 2020 Obie Award for Playwriting, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, and the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Playwriting Award. Arbery also won the Whiting Award for Drama in 2020. Other plays include Corsicana (Playwrights Horizons), Evanston Salt Costs Climbing (The New Group), Plano (Clubbed Thumb), and Wheelchair (3 Hole Press). He’s currently under commission from Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Audible. He’s a member/alum of New Dramatists, The Working Farm at SPACE on Ryder Farm, Interstate 73, Colt Coeur, Youngblood, and Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers Group. His plays have been developed at Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, the Vineyard Theater, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Ojai Playwrights Conference, The Cape Cod Theatre Project, The New Group, EST/Youngblood, The Bushwick Starr, Alliance/Kendeda, and Tofte Lake Center. TV: HBO’s Succession and Irma Vep.
Photo Credit: Zack DeZon
Chloé Cooper Jones
Chloé Cooper Jones
Chloé Cooper Jones is a philosophy professor, journalist, and the author of the memoir Easy Beauty, which was named a best book of 2022 by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, TIME magazine, and others. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times magazine, a Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant recipient and, in 2020, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Photo Credit: Andrew Grossardt
Leslie Jamison is the author of The Recovering, The Empathy Exams, Make it Scream, Make it Burn, and a novel, The Gin Closet. She is a contributing writer for the New York Times magazine and teaches at Columbia University.
Photo Credit: Beowulf Sheehan
Heroes of the Fourth Turning
By Will Arbery
Published by Theatre Communications Group
A fiercely intelligent new play about a group of young conservative Catholics encountering crises of confidence in faith, country, and self. Night. Wyoming. Four young conservatives have gathered to toast the newly inducted president of their tiny Catholic college. Their reunion spirals into spiritual chaos and clashing generational politics, becoming less a celebration than a vicious fight to be understood. On a dark night, in the middle of America, Will Arbery’s haunting play speaks to the heart of a country at war with itself.
By Chloé Cooper Jones
Published by Simon & Schuster
Born with sacral agenesis, a visible congenital disability that affects her stature and gait, Chloé Cooper Jones found solace in “the neutral room”—a dissociative space in her mind that offered her solace and self-protection, but also kept her isolated. When she becomes pregnant (disproving her doctor who had assumed her body was “inhospitable” for carrying a child), something necessary in her starts to crack, and she must reckon with her defensive positionality to the world and the people in it. So begins an odyssey across time and space as Chloé—while at museums, operas, concerts, sporting events, and in the presence of awe-inspiring nature—reconsiders the consciousness-shifting power of beauty. Every chapter is a moving tapestry of memory, place, and ideas confronted and overturned as Chloé offers us a chance to interrogate our history and our place in it, and open ourselves up to a new story..
About Theatre Communications Group
Theatre Communications Group (TCG) is the national organization for theatre, with a membership network of 500+ member theatres and over 250 university, funder, trustee, and business affiliates, and over 7,000 individuals. TCG reaches over 1 million students, audience members, and theatre professionals each year through its programs and services.
TCG Books events are supported by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mellon Foundation.
About this series
Our Story/Teller series features actors reading from new works of fiction to give audiences a taste of the language, characters, and story, followed by moderated conversations with the authors.
A Reading by the 2023 Whiting Award Winners
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Letters to a Writer of Color with Deepa Anappara, Taymour Soomro, Amitava Kumar, and Madeleine Thien
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In Translation: Brazil’s Macunaíma: The Hero with No Character with Katrina Dodson, Madhu H. Kaza, John Keene, and Musician Iara Rennó
Wednesday, 6:30 pm EDT April 26, 2023
Sarah Cypher on The Skin and Its Girl with Zaina Arafat
Wednesday, 7:00 pm EDT May 3, 2023
The Center for Fiction Presents Abraham Verghese on The Covenant of Water
Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT May 23, 2023