Michael Kahn Helms Signature Theatre's PRIDE IN THE FALLS OF AUTREY MILL World Premiere, Beg. Tonight
Signature Theatre has announced the pairing of one of the theatre's most celebrated friends with the upcoming 2013/14 season's newest play. Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director Michael Kahn returns to Signature this fall for the first time in nearly twenty years to direct the world premiere of Pride in the Falls of Autrey Mill, the new play by Paul Downs Colaizzo.
The production, scheduled to run tonight, October 15 through December 8, 2013, marks Signature's second collaboration with the 27-year-old Colaizzo, whose play Really Really became a smash hit at Signature last winter. Really Really ran off-Broadway at MCC Theater in March following an extended run and rave reviews at Signature.
"I'm thrilled that Michael will be coming back to Signature to direct Paul's newest play," said Signature's Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer. "We're all very excited to bring this comedy to life, and I think Michael and Paul will be the perfect team to make it happen."
Pride in the Falls of Autrey Mill invites audiences into the well-groomed, meticulously peaceful world of the American suburbs. The Falls of Autry Mill is the most desired zipcode in town. From the outside, the flawless neighborhood glitters with elegant roman column porches and exquisitely manicuRed Lawns. However, demons lurk behind the designer window treatments when one seemingly-perfect family disintegrates from the inside out. In this vicious and gripping play, Colaizzo rips the façade off of America's privileged suburbia with his trademark brutal honesty.
"I'm very excited about doing this play," said Kahn earlier this week. "When I work with writers on new pieces at Shakespeare Theatre, they tend to be adaptations of classic plays. When Eric sent this new play to me I liked it immediately. I think it's wonderful. Paul has written something meaningful and smart, and it's both funny and upsetting. I'm excited and happy to have the chance to work with an author I admire at a theatre I admire."
The residents of The Falls of Autrey Mill may be part of an exclusive community, but Kahn sees far-reaching themes throughout the play. "This is the story of a family that looks normal on the surface but suffers huge complications underneath, many of which I think we all have and can relate to," he said. "It's about the ways in which people sometimes try to keep up the façade of the perfectly functioning family, and how very necessary that can seem when you're living in a community that doesn't want to address certain problems."
"There are secrets in this family," Kahn adds. "As in all great family plays. And these secrets bring plenty of surprise."
Kahn was previously with Signature in 1994, when he directed the world-premiere production of the historical drama Otabenga.
The World Premiere of PRIDE IN THE FALLS OF AUTREY MILL by Paul Downs Colaizzo, directed by Michael Kahn, runs October 15 - December 8, 2013, in the ARK Theatre. Single tickets on sale September 13, 2013. Signature's exciting 2013/14 season is on sale now! To learn more about this and other upcoming shows, visit signature-theatre.org/2013-14-season.
Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) Artistic Director Michael Kahn was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame by the American Theater Critics Association earlier this year after leading the Shakespeare Theatre Company to become a Regional Theatre Tony Award recipient in 2012. Kahn's numerous honors and awards include seven Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Director, the 2007 Mayor's Arts Award Special Recognition for Shakespeare in Washington, the 2007 Sir John Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts, 2005 Person of the Year from The National Theatre Conference and a Tony Award nomination for his Broadway production of Show Boat. In addition to leading STC, he is also the founder of the Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University and the former Richard Rodgers Director of the Drama Division at Juilliard. In 1991, he created the Free For All, which brings an STC production to audiences completely free of charge every year. The Free For All has reached more than 642,000 people to date.