Playwright Alexander Dinelaris (Still Life, The Chaos Theories, Zanna Don’t!) takes his filial duties seriously—across two generations, at the least. He has dedicated drama Red Dog Howls, which debuts at New York Theatre Workshop, to his paternal grandmother and named one of its three characters for her. (Director Ken Rus Schmoll must be particularly devoted, too, as he has hired the extraordinary actress Kathleen Chalfant to star as the lady in question.) The play, set in Manhattan and featuring Florencia Lozano and Alfredo Narciso, concerns a thirtysomething writer pushed by his father’s death to explore a painful family secret. Through a series of encounters with an enigmatic elderly woman (Ms. Chalfant), he unearths a much greater one: a genocide too long eclipsed by history.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Sundays, 7 p.m.; Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 3 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Sept. 5. Continues through Oct. 14, 2012