HONORS THE GREAT RUTH DRAPER
BY PERFORMING HER FAVORITE
MONOLOGUES FROM THE FORTY-YEAR
CAREER OF THE CELEBRATED STAR
PROJECT COMPLETES THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE’S 2013/2014 SEASON
LOS ANGELES, May 16, 2013 — The Geffen Playhouse announces the remaining production in its 2013/2014 season will feature acclaimed actress Annette Bening performing a selection of monologues created and first performed by Ruth Draper. A pioneer in 20th century drama, Ruth Draper was described as, “the greatest individual performer that America has ever given us.”
Her uncanny ability, while alone on stage, to shift between many characters captivated and thrilled audiences for decades and influenced generations of actors and performers. Now, Annette Bening makes Draper’s timeless monologues her own — highlighting their continued influence on audiences and artists alike. Meet the harried society woman, the hostess, the wife, and the mistress; like Draper before her, Bening embraces and embodies these monologues in this tour-de-force premiere.
"I am in awe of Ruth Draper. Performing these monologues is a great honor for me, and I look forward to the formidable challenge of breathing life into these stunning pieces," says Bening of Draper, who established a form of theater paving the way for monologists including Daniel Beaty, Eric Bogosian. Spalding Gray, Whoopi Goldberg, John Leguizamo, Charles Nelson Reilly, David Sedaris, Anna Deavere Smith, Lily Tomlin and Charlayne Woodard.
The production, with title and director to be announced shortly, completes the selection of nine plays for the 2013/2014 season: four world premieres/adaptations, three West Coast premieres and two productions of familiar works from Pulitzer or Nobel Prize winning playwrights. Furthering its mission to introduce audiences to new plays, re-imagined classics and emerging voices, the Geffen’s schedule – encouraged by continued growth in ticket sales – is the largest in the 19 year history of the organization.
“We are pleased to be able to complete the season with a unique solo performance by Annette Bening, who is making her third season-show appearance at the Geffen Playhouse,” said Artistic Director Randall Arney. Previously Bening was seen in Hedda Gabler and The Female of the Species. This latest production joins a season of world and West Coast premieres and new productions from Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning playwrights, acclaimed directors and performers including Donald Margulies, Harold Pinter, William Friedkin, Daniel Sullivan, Teller, Amy Brenneman and William Petersen.
In the upcoming 2013/2014 season, Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies will be represented by two plays both in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse. Taking inspiration from Anton Chekhov’s pastoral comedies, The Country House (June 10 - July 20, 2014 opening June 18) by special arrangement with Manhattan Theatre Club, will enjoy its world premiere in the Cates as the final play in that theater’s season. Margulies’ Coney Island Christmas (December 6 - 22, 2013), which premiered in the current season, returns to the Cates bringing a new holiday tradition to the Geffen for a limited engagement.
The Cates season also includes the West Coast premiere of Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn (August 13 - September 22, 2013 opening August 21) which gained much acclaim in its New York City debut; Amy Brenneman will be in the cast. A world premiere adaptation of Frederick Knott’s suspenseful Wait Until Dark (October 8 - November 17, 2013 opening October 16) will follow - helmed by the returning Matt Shakman who previously directed the Geffen’s successful West Coast premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People in 2011.
The coming calendar year then begins with a new production of Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party (February 4 - March 16, 2014 opening February 12) directed by Academy Award winner William Friedkin who was responsible for the filmed adaptation of the same piece over forty years ago. Annette Bening’s performance of selected monologues by Ruth Draper (April 8-May 18, 2014 opening April 16) follows.
Similar to the Cates selections, the three-play season in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse contains a bit of suspense and some new as well as “returning” work. The West Coast premiere of Teller’s Play Dead (November 5-December 15, 2013 opening November 20) will be anything but lifeless as acclaimed performer Todd Robbins wows and terrifies audiences with the creative team’s creepy, funny and sometimes gory illusions that blur the line between life, death and resurrection.
Artistic Director Randall Arney will helm the Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s production of Greg Pierce’s Slowgirl (March 4 - April 13, 2014 opening March 12) both at Steppenwolf in Chicago and its West Coast premiere in the Audrey – and will be joined by a team of regular Geffen Playhouse designers. The cast will include William Petersen who, along with Arney, is a Steppenwolf ensemble member. The world premiere of Death of the Author (May 20 - June 29, 2014 opening May 28), written by Steven Drukman and directed by Bart DeLorenzo will close the Audrey season with a sharp and intelligent examination of love, identity and art in the post-modern world.
Subscriptions are currently available for productions in both the Audrey Skirball Kenis and Gil Cates Theaters at the Geffen Playhouse or just a five-play season in the Cates. Prices range between $175 and $613 – all subscription packages include complimentary parking for each pair of subscriptions purchased. New subscribers may also purchase the season based on the availability of their desired series. Single tickets are not yet available.
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 second productions, 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 was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by 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.