In a Northern California forest that seems to keep shape-shifting around them, two sisters go looking for their father who has gotten lost on a routine mushroom-hunting expedition.  After encountering a mysterious young boy who bears a striking resemblance to their absent brother, the family searches for the road back, tackling limited visibility and the interfamilial politics of race and gender, pushed to extremes.

Written by Ma-Yi Writers Lab member Sam Chanse and directed by Shelley Butler, Fruiting Bodies brought the Northern California woods to Theatre Row with breathtaking scenic design by Reid Thompson and


Theatre Row 410 West 42nd Street New York, NY 10036

Watch the Trailer for Fruiting Bodies

About the Playwright

Sam Chanse | Playwright

Sam Chanse is the author of Trigger, The Opportunities Of Extinction, The Other Instinct, What You Are Now, Lydia’s Funeral, About That Whole Dying Thing, and Fruiting Bodies. A former fellow at MacDowell, Sundance Institute, Cherry Lane Mentor Project, Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop at The Lark, and Playwrights Realm, she has also received residencies and other support from Lark Playwrights’ Week, Djerassi, Tofte Lake Center, the Yale Institute for Music Theatre, Labyrinth, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, and SPACE at Ryder Farm. Her plays have appeared on the Kilroys List, and commissions include Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Project, Ma-Yi/ Flea, Second Generation, Leviathan, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. She is an alumna of Ars Nova’s Play Group, the Civilians R&D Group, and the Lark’s New York Stage & Film Vassar Retreat. She has taught writing and theater at Columbia University, NYU, and elsewhere, and she served for some years as artistic director of the San Francisco-based arts nonprofit Kearny Street Workshop. She is a Lark Venturous Fellow, a resident playwright of New Dramatists, and a member of the
Ma-Yi Writers Lab.

About the Director

Shelley Butler | Director

Shelley Butler has over thirty Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional credits to date and has worked extensively with writers on new plays and musicals. Recent productions include the world premiere of Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House Part 2 at South Coast Repertory and the Japanese premiere of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo. She has directed and developed work across the country for theaters including: Ars Nova, Primary Stages, E.S.T., Women’s Project, Hartford Stage, South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre Company, GEVA, New York Stage and Film, Dallas Lyric Stage, PlayPenn, New Dramatists, the Lark, New Georges, Dixon Place, The Playwright’s Realm, Urban Stages, Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre and Keen Company. Shelley is the recipient of a Drama League Directing Fellowship, a 2005 Director’s Guild of America Trainee, a member of SDC, the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab and the Women’s Project Directors Lab. Shelley spent two seasons as artistic associate in charge of new play development for Hartford Stage and three seasons as artistic associate for Great Lakes Theater Festival.


Design Team

  • Reid Thompson | Scenic Design
  • Sara Ryung Clement | Costume Design
  • Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew | Lighting Design
  • Kate Marvin | Sound Design & Original Music
  • Jenny Ainsworth | Production Stage Manager
  • Jessica Fleischman | Assistant Stage Manager

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