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Austin Pendleton to Direct MITF's The Speed Queen

The Midtown International Theatre Festival will present The Speed Queen, based on the novel of the same name by Stewart O'Nan, adapted and performed by Anne Stockton and directed by Austin Pendleton
In the play, "Marjorie Standiford, an original if not reliable narrator tells the story of her wild life of sex, drugs, and crime which includes the murder of 8 people.  While waiting for what may be her imminent execution on Oklahoma's death row, Marjorie attempts to set the record straight as she answers questions posed to her by American's most popular horror novelist who hopes to create a best selling book based on her story," state press notes.

Playwright and performer Stockton (American Caesar, Weekend with Bob, "Guiding Light") has appeared in the show at New Jersey Repertory Theater in Long Branch, New Jersey and at the Culture Project's Women Center Stage Festival. 

Director Pendleton also an actor and playwright received a 2007 Drama Desk award for A Renaissance Man of the American Theater. His third play, Orson's Shadow premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago and enjoyed an off-Broadway run.  He directed the Broadway production of The Little Foxes with Elizabeth Taylor, the world premieres of Say Goodnight, Gracie and The Runner Stumbles and last season's Toys in the Attic at the Pearl Theater.  He has also directed at the Steppenwolf Theatre and the Williamstown Theatre Festival.  He was the Artistic Director of The Circle Repertory Theatre in New York.  As an actor he has appeared in original Broadway cast of Fiddler on the Roof and the Broadway revival of Diary of Anne Frank and The Little Foxes, among others. He has made many Off-Broadway, regional, tv and film apperances. His first published play Booth, starred Frank Langella and played at the Long Wharf Theatre as well as Off-Broadway.  His second play Uncle Bob, was originally produced at the Mint Theatre in New York.

Novelist O'Nan is an award-winning fiction writer whose works include Snow Angels, The Names Of The Dead, The Speed Queen, A World Away, A Prayer For The Dying, Everyday People, and the story collection in The Walled City.  In 1996, Granta named him one of America's Best Young Novelists.  He wrote The Speed Queen in 66 days while living on Route 66. 

The production team includes Stage Manager Adrian Wattenmaker, dialect coach Sam Chwat and festival representative June Rachelson-Ospa.

The show runs Saturday, July 28th at 5:00 pm, Wednesday August 1st at 10:00 pm, Friday August 3rd at 4:15 pm and Sunday August 5th at 1:00 pm.  Tickets are $18.00 for general admission and $15.00 for students and seniors.  For reservations please call (212) 868-4444 or visit to purchase tickets online.  It is being presented at The WorkShop Theater's Jewelbox, 312 West 36th Street, on the Fourth floor, just west of Eighth Avenue.

Photo of Austin Pendleton by Linda Lenzi

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