Austin Pendleton to Helm SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER for Mississippi Mud
Fresh from Ivanov starring Ethan Hawke, Obie- Award winning director Austin Pendleton directs Tennessee Williams' stark and religiously sensual morality play Suddenly Last Summer with the Mississippi Mud. This is the play that moved Brookes Atkinson to praise Williams as being "at the peak of his talent as a poet of the damned." It is brought to life in a new bold raw space production that places center stage the lush language of this modern fable. Mr. Pendleton stars as Dr. Cukrowicz and helms a talented cast of actors that includes Johanna Leister (Broadway: Whose Life Is it Anyway w/Mary Tyler Moore, Tartuffe w/Victor Garber, Dracula w/Raul Julia; Beyond the Horizon at Irish Rep; The Edge Of Night), Jen Danby (Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference, Orson's Shadow with Mississippi Mud, Cat on A Hot Tin RoofMud Lab production, directed by Austin Pendleton; "Paula" and "Bad Pictures" vlogisodes with The Wooster Group, the film Run #3), and Maureen Mooney (Guiding Light, All My Children; Mod Donna at The Public directed by Joseph Papp, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with the Mud, directed by Austin Pendleton). Other casting to be announced.
The Birthday Party at Steppenwolf, where he is a member of the Ensemble. He has directed several Mississippi Mud productions, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and is now preparing productions of A Streetcar Named Desire, Vieux Carre, and Lust, among others, all for Mud. He won an Obie in 2011 for directing Three Sisters for CSC, with Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal. He has acted in many movies and television episodes. His last Broadway appearance was in The Diary of Anne Frank,with Natalie Portman and Linda Lavin, in a script revised by Wendy Kesselman, in whose musical, The Black Monk, he also appeared. He has written three plays:(Orson's Shadow, produced at Mud after its off-Broadway run in 2005 at the Barrow St. Theatre, directed by David Cromer; Uncle Bob, which has been produced in NY, around the country and internationally; and Booth, which starred Frank Langella in its productions in New York, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre; as well as the libretto for A Minister's Wife, music by Josh Schmidt and lyrics by Jan Tranen, produced in 2011 at Lincoln Center). All of these works have been published. He teaches acting at HB Studio, in New York.
The wealthy Violet Venable attempts to bribe Dr. Cukrowicz, a psycho-surgeon from a New Orleans mental hospital that is desperately in need of funds, into lobotomizing her niece, Catharine Holly. Violet wants the operation performed in order to prevent Catharine from defiling the memory of her son, the poet Sebastian. Catharine has been babbling obscenely about Sebastian's mysterious death that she witnessed while on holiday together in Spain the previous summer.
About the Play
Suddenly Last Summer was written by Mr. Williams in 1957 when he was engaged in what he called the "purgatory" of his own pschoanalysis. The play boldly takes on homosexuality, cannabilism, the ethics of psychiatry and lobotomy, the machinations of endowments, poverty and privilege, and family wounds. Yet, it is filled with a cry for love, hope, and endurance, with all of Williams' elegance, wit, and grace. The radical subject penned in the 1950s remains relevant today in the face of a sometimes violent world. Mississippi Mud newly engages the theatrical power of Williams' poetry from a new "naked space" angle. This limited run production developed out of Mississippi Mud Lab explorations of Suddenly Last Summer in summer 2102.
About Mississippi Mud Productions
Mississippi Mud Productions is a developing theatre company with roots in the NYC scape, working on developing visionary American theatre with artists from around the world. Mud is in its third year and in addition to its actors laboratory and shows has an education wing dedicated to fostering creative space for the actor. Past productions include A Streetcar Named Desire at The Cherry Pit (2010), Orson's Shadow on Theatre Row (2011), Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference (2012), as well as the Mississippi Mud Lab Cat on A Hot Tin Roof. Works from modern classics to new works in development are explored by the Mud. Austin Pendleton is Mud's Artistic Adviser; Founder and Artistic Director is Jen Danby; Managing and Marketing Director is Lisa Raymond; and founding core member is Charles Black.
Tickets are available online at Brown Paper Tickets via http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/312074 or at the door, if available. Please note that seating is limited to 30 seats. Tickets are now on sale.
Preview tickets are $12, regular performance tickets are $15. Senior and student tickets are $10 (valid for 1 ticket only, please show ID at the door).
A very limited number of $8 student rush tickets are available online as well.