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Jessica Chastain Leads Broadway's THE HEIRESS, Fall 2012; Moises Kaufman Helms


Acclaimed actress Jessica Chastain, winner of 2011 New York, Los Angeles and Chicago Film Critics and National Board of Review Awards and recently nominated for Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards, will make her Broadway debut starring 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 and will open in the Fall of 2012 at a theatre to be announced.

The Heiress will be produced by Paula Wagner, Roy Furman and Stephanie P. McClelland. This production marks 17 years since the celebrated play was last seen on Broadway. The Heiress is based on the classic Henry James novel Washington Square and became an Academy Award-winning film. The dramatic and suspenseful play features one of the great female roles written for the stage.

A Juilliard graduate, Ms. Chastain’s stage work includes the title role of Salome, opposite Al Pacino in the 2006 Los Angeles staging of Oscar Wilde’s Salome, Othello at The Public Theatre and Rodney’s Wife at Playwright’s Horizons.

Ms. Chastain has recently been nominated for a 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 and Take Shelter 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.

Ms. Chastain has also been seen this year in The Debt opposite Helen Mirren and Coriolanus opposite Ralph Fiennes.

Says Paula Wagner: “I was immediately struck by Jessica's talent and skill when I saw her on stage opposite Al Pacino in Salome. She is an actress with that rare ability to transition effortlessly between the stage and screen. Moisés Kaufman had the vision to see Jessica as the perfect actress to play one of the great psychologically complex female characters."

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 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.

Says Moisés Kaufman: “Jessica Chastain is a great actress with chameleon-like prowess and enormous emotional intelligence; I think she's one of the best actresses of her generation. I'm thrilled to be working with her on The Heiress.”

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.

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