James Earl Jones, Amanda Plummer, Dana Delany & More To Star In The Acting Company's Benefit Reading Of Tennessee Williams' THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA
The Acting Company presents a one-night-only benefit reading of The Night of the Iguana, Tennessee Williams' feverishly poetic 1961 drama, at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College (68th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues), on Monday, June 11. Directed by Michael Wilson, the acclaimed Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award-winner, the performance reunites much of the cast and creative team from last season's critically acclaimed production at The American Repertory Theatre.
An all-star cast led by Tony Award winners James Earl Jones, Amanda Plummer, and Elizabeth Ashley, two-time Emmy Award winner Dana Delany, and Drama Desk Award winners Bill Heck and Susannah Perkins breathes new life into one of the last of Tennessee Williams' great plays. In a ramshackle resort perched at the edge of the Mexican jungle, a group of troubled travelers seeks shelter from a storm. Based on his 1948 short story, Williams' drama follows a hotel proprietress and the defrocked Southern preacher who turns up on her veranda. A Nantucket portrait artist traveling with her ancient grandfather, a bus full of fuming Texan college administrators, and a party of vacationers collide in this drama about the impossible journey to outrun the demons within.
The benefit reading will follow the company's upcoming production of Twelfth Night at TFANA's Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn, May 10 - 27. Twelfth Night is the company's first collaboration with Tony-nominated director Maria Aitken, who sets Shakespeare's meticulously chaotic comedy of mistaken identity beyond a specific location or period, rather incorporating design elements that nod to the high fashion photography of Tim Walker. Twelfth Night tickets and information are available at www.theactingcompany.org.
The Night of the Iguana is presented by special arrangement with the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee.
Tickets and Schedule
The reading of The Night of the Iguana takes place Monday, June 11 at 7:00pm. Performance-only tickets priced from $50-$225 are available starting at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, April 25 exclusively through the Kaye Playhouse box office by calling (212) 772-4448 office or online at: www.hunter.cuny.edu/kayeplayhouse/calendar.
Premium benefit tickets including prime orchestra seating and an intimate post-show dinner with members of the cast are $1000 each, available now by calling The Acting Company's administrative offices at (212) 258-3111.
About Michael Wilson
Michael Wilson (Director) returns to The Acting Company, where in 2015 he directed the world premiere of Desire: an evening of one acts by Elizabeth Egloff, Marcus Gardley, Rebecca Gilman, David Grimm, John Guare, and Beth Henley, based on six Tennessee Williams' short stories. On Broadway, he directed Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful, Gore Vidal's The Best Man, Dividing the Estate, Enchanted April, and Old Acquaintance. His Off-Broadway productions include Arthur Miller's Incident at Vichy; Lanford Wilson's Talley's Folly; and the three-part, nine-hour Orphans' Home Cycle, for which he received Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Internationally, he staged both parts of Tony Kushner's Angels in America for the 1995 Venice Biennale. Wilson made his screen directorial debut with the 2014 Lifetime/Ostar television film adaptation of The Trip to Bountiful, nominated for two Emmy Awards--including Outstanding Television Movie-- and a DGA Award for Outstanding Direction of a Movie or Mini-Series for Television. From 1998-2011, Wilson was Artistic Director of Hartford Stage, where as part of a ten-year Tennessee Williams Marathon he directed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Glass Menagerie, The Gnadiges Fraulein, and Summer and Smoke. In 2017, he directed The American Repertory Theatre revival of The Night of the Iguana starring Ms. Ashley, Ms. Delany, Mr. Heck, Mr. Jones, and Ms. Plummer. He is currently in rehearsals for the premiere of Fellow Travelers by Jack Canfora, which performs at Bay Street Theatre May 28-June 17th.
About the Cast
Elizabeth Ashley (Judith Fellowes) most recently appeared on Broadway in the acclaimed You Can't Take It With You in 2015 and Gore Vidal's The Best Man in 2012, both alongside James Earl Jones. Ashley made her Broadway debut in 1959 in Dore Shary's The Highest Tree. Perhaps best known as one of the definitive interpreters of Tennessee Williams' work, Ashley has starred in many of his plays, including Eight by Tenn (with Amanda Plummer; Hartford Stage), the 1973 landmark Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof directed by Michael Kahn (Tony nomination and Tennessee Williams Foundation Award), Out Cry directed by Michael Wilson, among others. She has also appeared in The Glass Menagerie directed by Michael Wilson (Hartford Stage; A.R.T.; Alley Theatre) which won the Boston Globe Critic's Award. Film credits include The Carpetbaggers, Ship of Fools (Golden Globe nomination), Rancho Deluxe (with Jeff Bridges), Coma (with Michael Douglas), Dragnet with Tom Hanks, Vampire Kiss with Nicholas Cage, Stagecoach (with Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash), and more. TV credits include "Treme" (HBO) as Aunt Mimi for three seasons, "Evening Shade" (with Burt Reynolds; Emmy nomination), "Saturday Night Live" (Host - February, 1982), many appearances on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson, and many others.
Dana Delany (Maxine Faulk) Broadway credits include A Life and Translations. Off-Broadway credits include Blood Moon and Dinner With Friends. Regional credits include Much Ado About Nothing (Old Globe Theatre), Things We Said Today (Ensemble Studio Theatre), and The Parisian Woman (South Coast Repertory). Delany made her mark as Army nurse Colleen McMurphy on ABC-TV's critically acclaimed series "China Beach," for which she received two Emmy Awards and four nominations for Best Dramatic Actress. From 2011 - 2013, Delany starred as medical examiner Dr. Megan Hunt in the ABC drama "Body of Proof." Delany has appeared in numerous films including Tombstone, Housesitter, Fly Away Home, Light Sleeper and the animated film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. For three seasons, Delany portrayed Katherine Mayfair on the hit ABC series "Desperate Housewives." Other television credits include Fox's "Pasadena" and NBC's "Kidnapped" (opposite Timothy Hutton). Episodic work includes "Family Law," for which she received an Emmy Award nomination for outstanding guest actress in a drama series. Delany is currently co-starring with Ron Perlman in the Amazon series "Hand of God" which returns for a second season on March 10.
Bill Heck (Rev. Shannon) Broadway credits include Cabaret (Roundabout), Brooklyn Boy (MTC). New York credits include the role of Hector in Troilus & Cressida, Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing and The Winter's Tale (Public Theater), Water by the Spoonful (Second Stage), Night is a Room, Angels in America (Signature), The Orphans' Home Cycle (Signature; Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle noms, Theatre World Award, Clarence Derwent Award), Pig Farm(Roundabout), Chopin's Preludes (SLANT). Regional credits include Hartford Stage, Kirk Douglas Theatre (CTG), Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep, Circle X, CCTC, Vitality Productions. Heck is a board member of The New Harmony Project. Television credits include "Sleepy Hollow," "Feed the Beast," "Mercy Street," "The Americans," "The Leftovers," "Taxi Brooklyn" (regular), "Elementary," "Person of Interest," "Pan Am," "The Big C," "The Unit," "Without a Trace," "Medium," "NCIS," "CSI: NY," "Numb3rs," "The Closer." Film credits include Stephen Elliot's After Adderall (Slamdance 2017), Happy Baby, The Amazing Spiderman 2, Yen Tan's Pit Stop (Sundance 2013, OutFestLA award for Best Actor), Nonames. Training: BFA, University of Evansville; MFA, NYU Grad Acting.
James Earl Jones (Nonno) made his Broadway debut in 1957. Since that time he has performed on stage, television, and in films and continues to receive accolades from every corner of the entertainment industry. In addition to having won two Tony Awards for his work on Broadway in The Great White Hope and Fences, Jones has gathered much praise for more recent stage roles including those he performed in the Broadway productions of On Golden Pond, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Driving Miss Daisy, The Best Man, You Can't Take It With You and The Gin Game. Among his numerous and distinguished awards, Jones has received the National Medal of Arts, The John F. Kennedy Center Honor and most recently in 2011, The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented him with an honorary Oscar. James Earl Jones' voice is known by people of all ages and walks of life, from Star Wars fans who have long recognized him as the voice of Darth Vader, to children for whom he is Mufasa from Disney's The Lion King.
Susannah Perkins (Charlotte Goodall) most recently appeared in Bruce Norris's The Low Road at The Public Theater. She has worked on productions and workshops with Second Stage, Playwrights Realm, Clubbed Thumb, New York Stage & Film, The New Group, Playwrights Horizons, The Public, Gingold Theatrical Group, Rattlestick Theatre, The Civilians, The Lark, and American Repertory Theatre. She recently starred in The Rape of the Sabine Women (Playwrights Realm). She made her Off-Broadway debut in the original production of The Wolves (Playwrights Realm), for which she and her castmates earned Obie and Drama Desk Awards for Best Ensemble, and which was remounted this season by Lincoln Center Theater. Susannah holds a BFA in Acting from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.
Amanda Plummer (Hannah Jelkes) won a Tony and a Drama Desk award for her work in Agnes of God (opposite Geraldine Page); a Theatre World and Outer Critics Circle Award and was nominated for a Tony and a Drama Desk Award for her performance in A Taste of Honey. Other Broadway credits include Pygmalion(opposite Peter O'Toole) and The Glass Menagerie (with Jessica Tandy). Off-Broadway credits include The Two Character Play, A Lie of the Mind, and Killer Joe. Plummer has received critical acclaim for her work in film, television and stage. Plummer's impressive film work includes Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King-for which she received a BAFTA nomination - and Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, for which she received an American Comedy Award nomination for her memorable performance as Honey Bunny. Plummer played Wiress in the widely popular Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Ms. Plummer's work on television has been recognized with three Emmy Awards; one Emmy Nomination and a Golden Globe Nomination. Plummer is also the recipient of the Anti-Defamation League Award. In the summer of 2016 Plummer was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oldenburg Film Festival.
About The Acting Company
Founded in 1972 by legendary producer/director/actor John Houseman and previous Producing Director Margot Harley with members of the first graduating class of Juilliard's Drama Division, The Acting Company has performed 144 productions for over 4 million people. The Company has given a generation of actors the opportunity to master their craft. Alumni members include Kevin Kline, Rainn Wilson, Patti LuPone, David Schramm, Jesse L. Martin, Frances Conroy, Jeffrey Wright, Harriet Harris, Hamish Linklater and Keith David.
Promoting theater and literacy with a repertory of classical productions and exceptional new works, talented young actors and veteran teaching artists, The Acting Company performs each year to audiences of over 25,000 and reaches more than 15,000 students with its arts education programs: Learning Through Theater, Primary Shakespeare and Shakespeare for Teachers.
The Company has commissioned and premiered over a dozen new plays and adaptations by America's foremost writers, among them Lynn, Nottage Beth Henley, Tony Kushner, Marsha Norman, Rebecca Gilman, Maria Irene Fornes, Ntozake Shange, William Finn, David Grimm, and Marcus Gardley. Premiere productions include X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation, Love's Fire, Desire, Orchards, Pudd'nhead Wilson, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and Mud River Stone.
The Acting Company has been honored with numerous awards, including the Obie, Audelco, Los Angeles Critics Circle Award and a Tony for Excellence in Theater.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos