Does PTP/NYC suffer from seasonal affective disorder in reverse? Every summer, this New York wing of the Potomac Theatre Project celebrates the solstice with a repertory schedule composed of the darkest and most despairing dramas imaginable. Its vision of summer nights: murder, suicide, rape, madness. This year, you can add financial malfeasance and corpse-robbing to that list. PTP co-artistic director Cheryl Faraone leads off with a revival of Caryl Churchill's slick and cunning Serious Money, about a crisis in London's City, which is soon joined by Neal Bell's chilling Frankenstein adaptation, Monster, directed by Jim Petosa, also co-artistic director. The Atlantic Stage 2, 330 West 16th Street, potomactheatreproject.org
Does your turn signal tick in iambic pentameter? Are your windshield wipers swishes of stichomythia, every honk of your horn an anguished soliloquy? Then you, dear driver, should pull in for the summer season of Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot. All performances are held in the Municipal Parking Lot at the corner of Ludlow and Broome, and tickets are free, though if you treat the show as a drive-in, you will have to pay the Muni Meter. This summer, Drilling Company artistic director Hamilton Clancy takes on comedy and tragedy, wringing pathos and dodging traffic in The Merry Wives of Windsor and Coriolanus. Municipal Parking Lot, at Ludlow and Broome streets, shakespeareintheparkinglot.com
Performances begin August 24
Playwright Lisa D'Amour has carved out a downtown niche. Well, two of them, actually. First, she made a splash as an architect of darkly baroque dreams like Red Death and 16 Spells to Charm the Beast. Yet she also became known for her playful, elliptical, feminine performance works, conceived in collaboration with Katie Pearl. Now she has moved several blocks uptown and turned her hand to a new form: naturalism. Detroit takes place in the backyards of adjoining suburban houses and concerns two couples in financial free fall. Anne Kaufmann directs the bickering and barbecues. Playwrights Horizons, 416 West 42nd Street, playwrightshorizons.org
'If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet'
Performances begin August 24
Anyone who has ever been tempted to lick his or her computer or television screen when Jake Gyllenhaal's face appeared upon it will now have a chance to enjoy the swoony actor in three dimensions. Although Gyllenhaal made his stage debut many years ago in London, he has yet to grace the New York boards. But that will change when Gyllenhaal appears at the Roundabout Theatre in Nick Payne's drama as Terry, an aimless uncle who befriends his fat and friendless 15-year-old niece. Payne, a playwright increasingly lauded in his native London, writes small, quiet plays with disproportionately large impacts. Michael Longhurst, who helmed a much-praised production of Payne's Constellations, directs. Laura Pels Theatre, 111 West 46th Street, roundabouttheatre.org