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Second Stage announces ‘Cult of Love,’ Broadway-debut play from Leslye Headland

The nonprofit has also announced an Off-Broadway drama by Donald Margulies starring Reed Birney and Lisa Emery.

Leslye Headland (Credit: Courtesy of Polk & Co.)

The nonprofit Second Stage has announced the Broadway premiere of “Cult of Love,” a new play by Emmy Award nominee Leslye Headland. Obie Award winner Trip Cullman will direct the production, set to begin previews on Nov. 20 and open on Dec. 12 at the Hayes Theatre.

“Cult of Love” follows the Dahl family during holiday season. Their four adult children return home with partners in tow. Dahl traditions include singing carols in harmony at the drop of a hat — but this gathering is anything but harmonious. Old conflicts resurface, new issues battle and dinner takes forever to be served. It soon becomes uncertain whether the love the Dahls have for one another is enough to get them through or if this will be their last Christmas together.

Headland, who will make her Broadway debut with “Cult of Love,” is a veteran of Second Stage, which produced her 2010 comedy “Bachelorette” and 2016’s “The Layover.” Her 2012 play “Assistance” was also mounted Off-Broadway. (She teamed with director Cullman on all three.) Headland’s screenwork includes a film adaptation of “Bachelorette,” which she wrote and directed, in addition to credits as writer, producing director and showrunner for the Netflix series “Russian Doll,” which earned her two Emmy nominations.

Cullman’s Broadway directing credits include “Significant Other,” “Six Degrees of Separation,” “Choir Boy,” “The Rose Tattoo” and Second Stage’s production of “Lobby Hero.” His extensive Off-Broadway résumé includes an Obie Award win for directing “Punk Rock” and a Drama Desk nod for helming “A Small Fire.”

In addition to “Cult of Love,” Second Stage has announced an Off-Broadway production of the new play “Lunar Eclipse” (previewing Oct. 9, opening Oct. 30) by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies (“Dinner with Friends”), directed by Drama Desk nominee Kate Whoriskey (“Clyde’s”) and starring Tony winner Reed Birney (“The Humans”) and Drama Desk nominee Lisa Emery (“Abigail’s Party”) at the Kiser Theatre.

Additional casting and full creative teams will be announced.