Writers' Theater Presents A MINISTER'S WIFE, 5/5

Writers' Theater Presents A MINISTER'S WIFE, 5/5

Writers' Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma announce that A Minister's Wife, Writers' Theatre's musical adapted from George Bernard Shaw's Candida, will be produced by Lincoln Center Theater in the 2010-11 season.  The original musical was conceived and directed by Michael Halberstam, adapted by Austin Pendleton with music by Joshua Schmidt and lyrics by Jan Tranen.   The Lincoln Center production will be directed by Halberstam.  Performances begin on Thursday, April 7, 2011 and opens on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater (150 West 65 Street, New York City).  

 A Minister's Wife had its World Premiere at Writers' Theatre after a four-year commissioning and development process.  The original sold-out run of A Minister's Wife at Writers' Theatre was extended by popular demand three times, running for a total of 13 weeks.  Workshops have continued on the production at Lincoln Center.

  Based on an early 1898 version of Candida (George Bernard Shaw revised the work in 1930) A Minister's Wife explores the fires burning beneath the surface of a seemingly ordinary marriage:  The Revered James Morrell and his wife, Candida, are happily married - or at least they think - until a romantic young poet enters their life, turning their world upside-down.

Michael Halberstam, SSDC (Director) is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Writers' Theatre. He has directed over thirty productions for the company including Not About Heroes (starring Nicholas Pennell), Private Lives, Look Back In Anger, Candida, The Father, Crime and Punishment, Benefactors, Seagull, The Duchess Of Malfi, Othello, The Savannah Disputation, the world premiere musical, A Minister's Wife and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Halberstam has appeared in numerous Writers' Theatre productions including Richard II (title role), Loot and Misalliance. Previously, he spent two years at The Stratford Festival in Ontario and performed in Timon of Athens, The Knight of The Burning Pestle (title role), Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It. Halberstam's other Chicago acting credentials include productions with Wisdom Bridge, Court Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

Elsewhere he directed The Gamester (Northlight Theatre); A Man For All Seasons (Peninsula Players Theatre); Hamlet (Illinois Shakespeare Festival); Candida (Jean Cocteau Repertory in New York); Ten Little Indians (Drury Lane Oakbrook); a highly acclaimed revival of Crime and Punishment, which Writers' Theatre produced Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theatres in New York City and Enchanted April and State of The Union (Milwaukee Repertory Theater). His forays into opera have included The Rape of Lucretia (Chicago Opera Theater); Francesca De Ramini featuring the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach and Le Freyshutz, a Berlioz adaptation of the Weber opera conducted by Christoph Eschenbach in its North American Premiere (Ravinia Festival). He spent two and a half years teaching Shakespeare at The Theatre School at DePaul University and has received awards for excellence in theater management and/or artistic achievement from The Chicago Drama League, The Arts & Business Council, Chicago Lawyers for the Creative Arts and The Chicago Associates of the Stratford Festival.

 Austin Pendleton (Adaptor) appeared at Writers' Theatre in Booth, directed by David Cromer, in a role originated in New York by Frank Langella.  Pendleton also wrote Orson's Shadow and Uncle Bob.  He is an Ensemble member at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and has acted there in The Sunset Limited, Valparasio, Uncle Vanya and Educating Rita, among other plays. He has directed several productions at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, such as Love Song, Frankie and Johnny in the Claire De Lune, Harvey, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Thee Sisters, Loose Ends and Say Goodnight, Gracie.  His recent New York directing credits include Uncle Vanya (Classic Stage Company), Michael Weller's Fifty Words (Manhattan Class Company) and Barbara Eda-Young's Lillian Yuralis (La Mama).  He has acted on and off-Broadway and in many regional theaters, as well as in about 100 movies and extensively on television, most recently in Law and Order.  Pendleton is a veteran of musical theatre, having originated the role of Motel the Tailor in Fiddler on the Roof.  He teaches acting at HB Studio in New York, Act One Studios in Chicago and directing at the New School of Drama in New York.

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