LOS ANGELES, May 12, 2011 — Next season the Geffen Playhouse is introducing Angelenos to acclaimed new works – including the previously announced Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins featuring Kathleen Turner, Pulitzer Prize nomineeThe Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz and Tony Award nominee Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts – as well as introducing the theater community at large to three world premieres – including a stage adaptation of The Exorcist by Edgar Award winner John Pielmeier (Agnes of God), The Jacksonian, a new work by Pulitzer Prize winner Beth Henley, and Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie, the playwriting debut of actor Alan Alda. In addition to the acclaimed playwrights represented this season, the Geffen Playhouse is welcoming internationally lauded directors to helm these works including Tony Award winners John Doyle and Robert Falls.
This collection of plays includes works that are part of the traditional 2011/2012 season in the Gil Cates Theater (with one title still to be announced) as well as two titles (The Jacksonian and Radiance), which will appear in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater in 2012.
“We’ve talked a lot over the past couple of years regarding the development of new plays not being limited to world premieres,” said Producing Director Gil Cates. “With this in mind, in addition to the three world premieres we’re producing this year, we’re investing in subsequent productions of new works. These plays are all in different stages of their development, but what they undoubtedly have in common is their extraordinary theatricality. These works engage an audience in a way that no other medium can and we can’t wait for our patrons to experience that.”
The Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
With one title still to be announced, the
Geffen Playhouse 2011-2012 season in the Gil Cates
Theater currently includes:
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (West Coast Premiere)
Written by Kristoffer Diaz
Directed by Edward Torres
Run: August 30 – October 9, 2011
Opening Night: September 7, 2011
Think pro-wrestling is all outrageous masks and pyrotechnics? Think again – there’s so much more in this 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist. This West Coast premiere slams together thrilling spectacle, incredible characters and geopolitical allegory into an invigorating theatrical experience you can’t find on pay-per-view. This smack-down of a play tackles racism, drop-kicks globalization, and brings this championship tale into the ring. In wrestling, as in life, behind every winner lies the story of a really excellent loser.
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity had its world premiere in 2009 at Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago before moving to Second Stage in New York. Both productions were directed by Eddie Torres, who will also be helming the Geffen Playhouse production. This West Coast premiere will allow both playwright and director to delve deeper into this still new work.
Next Fall (West Coast Premiere)
Written by: Geoffrey Nauffts
Directed by: Sheryl Kaller
Run: October 25 – December 4, 2011
Opening Night: November 2, 2011
Next Fall, which has already won widespread critical acclaim (nominations for the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Play) makes its West Coast debut at the Geffen Playhouse with the original New York director, Sheryl Kaller. Adam and Luke seem like a case of opposites attract – Adam is older, neurotic and an atheist; Luke is impulsive, a struggling actor, and a devout Christian. After Luke is involved in a critical accident, family and friends descend upon the couple and these longtime differences collide, forcing opposing views on faith and family into a stand-off. As timely as it is touching, this must-see play exposes the fundamental truth that we love people both because of – and in spite of – who they are.
Next Fall had its world premiere at Naked Angels Theater in New York in 2009 before transferring to the Helen Hayes Theater on Broadway in 2010. While there have been subsequent regional productions, this will be the second production for original director Sheryl Kaller and will give her the opportunity to explore the play with different artists.
Red Hot Patriot: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins (West Coast Premiere)
Written by: Allison Engel & Margaret Engel
Directed by: David Esbjornson
Run: January 3 – February 12, 2012
Opening Night: January 11, 2012
Two-time Tony and Oscar nominee Kathleen Turner sizzles as Molly Ivins, the brassy Texan reporter whose liberal journalism skyrocketed her to the national stage. From writing Elvis Presley’s New York Times obituary to becoming the most widely-read self-proclaimed “pain in the ass to whatever powers come to be,” Ivins – often described as a modern-day Mark Twain – made rabid fans and enemies alike with her sharp-tongued humor and unabashed political
criticism. This acclaimed one-woman show captures the red-headed reporter’s indomitable character by weaving personal anecdotes with her colorful take on national politics.
Red Hot Patriot had its world premiere at Philadelphia Theatre Company directed by David Esbjornson and featuring Kathleen Turner; Esbjornson directed a subsequent production at ZACH Theatre in Austin (featuring Barbara Chisholm).
PLAY 4 - TBD
Run: April 3 – May 13, 2012
Opening Night: April 11, 2012
The Exorcist (World Premiere)
Written by: John Pielmeier
Directed by: John Doyle
Adapted from the novel by: William Peter Blatty
Opening Night: July 11, 2012
This world premiere adaptation of the famous 1971 novel documenting the terror and redemption of a ten-year old girl remains as frightening and relevant as when we first experienced it. Under the direction of Tony Award winner John Doyle and adapted by acclaimed playwright John Pielmeier (Agnes of God), The Exorcist transforms the unsettling battles of good versus evil, faith versus fact and ego versus ethos into a uniquely theatrical experience as sophisticated as it is suspenseful.
The Geffen Playhouse production marks the world premiere.
The audrey skirball kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
The Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, which opened after the theater’s renovation in 2005, is the Geffen Playhouse’s more intimate space and has been home to award-winning productions including Jane Anderson’s The Quality of Life and Neil LaBute’s Wrecks. Currently the two plays programmed in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse for 2012 include:
The Jacksonian (World Premiere)
Written by: Beth Henley
Directed by: Robert Falls
Run: January 31 – March 11, 2012
Opening Night: February 8, 2012
This eerie offering by Pulitzer Prize winner Beth Henley and directed by Tony Award winner Robert Falls transports us to a seedy motel in Jackson, Mississippi circa 1964. You go to The Jacksonian Cottages to bury your secrets, making the motel an unsettling world where subversive becomes commonplace and the passage of time becomes hauntingly unpredictable. Revolving around the night of a murder, The Jacksonian is a surreal trip that is rife with disturbingly dark humor. As this salacious tale’s mysterious events unfold, both characters and audience find themselves on a road that ultimately leads to a dead end.
The Geffen Playhouse production marks the world premiere.
Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie (World Premiere)
Written by: Alan Alda
This world premiere play by acclaimed actor Alan Alda delves into the life and romance of one of the most brilliant female scientists in history. Famous for her groundbreaking research in radioactivity, Curie was the only person ever to win two Nobel Prizes in multiple sciences, but not without a struggle. For all the answers that came to her in the lab, Curie’s life is peppered with questions of how to realize the passion she has for both knowledge and love. Celebrated but then rejected by the popular press as both a woman and scientist, Curie is left to define her place in society – and history – on her own terms.
The Geffen Playhouse production marks the world premiere. (Exact dates and the director for this production will be announced shortly.)
Five play subscriptions to the 2011-12 Gil Cates Theater season are available by calling 310.208.2028. Prices range from $170 to $345 per subscription. More information on the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater plays and season and additional subscription packages can be found at http://geffenplayhouse.org/newseason.
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ABOUT THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
The Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and musicals, the Geffen Playhouse continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company is helmed by Producing Director and President of the Board Gilbert (Gil) Cates, Artistic Director Randall Arney, Managing Director Ken Novice and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, please visit geffenplayhouse.org.