UNCLE VANYA Launches Guthrie's 2013-14 Season Tonight
Guthrie Theater presents 12 mainstage shows in its 2013-2014 season. The theater's 51st season includes first-time Guthrie Productions of playwrights Beth Henley and Nina Raine, classics on the Wurtele Thrust Stage directed by Dowling and Marion McClinton, WorldStage Series presentations of returning companies Kneehigh Theatre and Out of Joint, as well as a summertime slate of a beloved musical and a Christopher Durang comedy that is currently a Broadway hit.
"This upcoming season is marked by a terrific balance of classics, contemporary works and playwrights whose work I'm immensely excited to see on our stages," said Dowling. "This is a season that fulfills our mission looking forward toward the Guthrie's next half-century, telling great stories in a way that engages our community and furthers the dialogue of the theater."
The 2013-2014 Guthrie subscription season includes nine productions, beginning on the Wurtele Thrust Stage with Uncle Vanya (tonight, September 14 - October 27, 2013), the 1899 classic by Anton Chekhov about Vanya and his niece Sonya, who work their small estate, living frugally and keeping their emotions tightly reined in when they are visited by a relative and his beautiful young wife, and uncontrolled passions cause their regulated lives to implode. This stripped-down take by Brian Friel, tightening the play's diction in English and sharpening its confrontations, will be directed by Joe Dowling.
The season continues next on the McGuire Proscenium Stage with Tribes (October 5 - November 10, 2013), the story of a young man born deaf into a hearing family who meets a young woman from a deaf family who introduces him to sign language and the confidence and sense of belonging he begins to feel within the deaf community. Nina Raine's play won the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play, and will be directed by Wendy C. Goldberg, the current artistic director of the National Playwrights Conference at The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and the director of Dollhouse at the Guthrie in 2010. Tribes will be the first time Raine's work appears at the Guthrie.
Next on the proscenium will be Garson Kanin's (renowned for his Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn films Adam's Rib and Pat and Mike) Born Yesterday (November 23, 2013 - January 5, 2014), in which a corrupt businessman on the rise heads to Washington to influence a senator. He soon realizes that his showgirl Mistress Billie will need polish and education if he's going to get ahead and gets more than he bargained for when Billie begins to piece together her boyfriend's business dealings as well as how to exert some influence of her own. Born Yesterday was made into a 1950 film starring Judy Holliday, after Holliday originated the role of Billie on Broadway. John Miller-Stephany (A Streetcar Named Desire, 1776) will direct.
The Guthrie subscription season continues on the proscenium with the Guthrie Theater's WorldStage Series presentation of Kneehigh Theatre's production of Tristan and Yseult (February 13 - March 23, 2014), by Anna Maria Murphy and Carl Grose, adapted and directed by Emma Rice. A king at war falls in love with his enemy's sister in a tale of forbidden desires and broken hearts. The acclaimed Kneehigh, who previously brought the wildly popular and evocative Noël Coward adaptation Brief Encounter to the Guthrie in 2010, returns with a blend of comedy, live music, grand passions and tender truths. In a five-star review, the U.K.'s The Guardian summed up its judgment succinctly: "I loved it with a passion."