DOWNTON ABBEY Star Dan Stevens to Join Jessica Chastain & David Strathairn in THE HEIRESS on Broadway - October 2012!
Downton Abbey meets Broadway! BWW can report that Dan Stevens, star of the Golden Globe-winning series "Downton Abbey," will play the role of "Morris Townsend" opposite Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain (Catherine Sloper) and Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner David Strathairn (Dr. Austin Sloper) in the Tony Award-winning play The Heiress. Written by Ruth Goetz & Augustus Goetz, The Heiress will be directed by Tony Award nominated playwright and director Moisés Kaufman. Performances will begin October 2012 at a theatre to be announced.
About making his Broadway debut, Stevens says "I couldn't ask for a more exciting Broadway debut: to work on such a fascinating play, with such fantastic actors as Jessica Chastain and David Strathairn and one of Broadway's great directors, Moisés Kaufman. I can't wait to get started."
The Heiress will be produced by Paula Wagner, Roy Furman and Stephanie P. McClelland. Dan Stevens is currently shooting season three of "Downton Abbey," the Golden Globe-winning series written by Julian Fellowes, reprising the leading role of "Matthew Crawley." On stage, Dan's credits include the lead role of "Septimus Hodge" in David Leveaux's hit West End production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, and the "Doctor" in Tom Stoppard and André Previn's Every Good Boy Deserves Favour at The National Theatre. He has worked frequently with Sir Peter Hall on productions including The Vortex (West End), Hay Fever (Haymarket Theatre), Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It, which wowed audiences in London, New York and Los Angeles, and earned him an Ian Charleson Award nomination which is the British theatrical award to reward the best classical stage performances in Britain by actors aged under 30. Forthcoming feature films include British independent Summer in February in which he stars alongside Dominic Cooper and Emily Browning and which he also executive-produced and Amy Heckerling's Vamps with Alicia Silverstone, Krysten Ritter and Sigourney Weaver (due out in Autumn 2012).
Ms. Chastain was nominated for a 2012 Academy Award®, Golden Globe® Award and a Screen Actor's Guild Award for her performance as "Celia Foote" in The Help. Her work in The Tree of Life (2011) and Take Shelter (2011) has garnered critical acclaim and multiple awards as Best Actress from the National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Chicago Film Critics Association. Jessica has a variety of feature film projects in the works including Lawless and the Kathryn Bigelow movie about Bin Laden scheduled for release in December 2012.
Mr. Strathairn will star opposite Daniel Day Lewis in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and will next been seen in HBO's Hemingway and Gellhorn starring alongside Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. He won the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival and in 2006 earned nominations from the Academy, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA and Independent Spirit Awards for his compelling portrait of legendary CBS news broadcaster Edward R. Murrow in George Clooney's Oscar nominated drama Good Night, and Good Luck. Mr. Strathairn won an Emmy in 2010 for Best Supporting Actor in the HBO project, Temple Grandin. In addition to appearing on Broadway, he has maintained a high profile in the theatrical world with roles at such venues as the Manhattan Theatre Club, the New York Shakespeare Festival, Soho Rep, the Hartford Stage Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre and Seattle Repertory.
Moisés Kaufman is a two-time Tony Award-nominee as author of 33 Variations, which he also directed on Broadway starring Jane Fonda, and as director of the Broadway production of I Am My Own Wife for which he won an Obie Award and also received Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel nominations. His play Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde earned him a Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway play as well as a Joe A. Callaway Award for Best Director. And his film of his play The Laramie Project earned him two Emmy nominations (writing and directing) as well as a National Board of Review Award and a Humanitas Prize.
This production marks 17 years since the celebrated play was last seen on Broadway. The original production of The Heiress, suggested by the Henry James novel Washington Square, premiered on Broadway in 1947 at the Biltmore Theatre. The 1949 Academy Award winning movie version was adapted from the play by the Goetzes, and was directed by William Wyler, starring Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift and Ralph Richardson.