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Kline, Hill, Etc. Set for Mint's Return of the Prodigal

The Drama Desk and Obie Award-wining Mint Theater Company will present a rare New York revival of St. John Hankin's The Return of the Prodigal. Jonathan Bank, Mint Artistic Director, will direct.  Performances begin May 23rd, and continue through July 8th. Opening night is set for June 6th.

The Return Of The Prodigal will feature Bradford Cover (A Thousand Clowns), Tandy Cronyn (Antigone, Cabaret), Leah Curney, Robin Haynes (Blood Brothers), Roderick Hill (Butley, Lestat), Richard Kline (TV's "Three's Company," City of Angels), Kate Levy, W. Alan Nebelthau (Salome), Cecelia Riddett and Margot White (Bobbi Boland).

"Mint Theater Company first called attention to the neglected genius of St. John Hankin in 2002 with the New York Premiere of his masterpiece, The Charity That Began At Home.  Hankin, along with Granville Barker and Shaw helped further the revolution that returned the function of social criticism to drama.  Granville Barker dedicated his first published volume of plays in 1909 to 'My co-worker St. John Hankin.' The Guardian calls Hankin, 'the forgotten man of Edwardian drama,' and describes The Return Of The Prodigal as 'a delightful discovery…This is social comedy with a sharp tooth: a riveting critique of the philosophy of survival of the fittest.' Hankin wrote only five full-length plays between 1903 and his death by suicide at the age of 40 in 1909," state press materials.

The Return Of The Prodigal is "'a blistering expose of middle-class life, laced with acid humor.'  The prodigal of the title is Eustace Jackson, the son of a wealthy manufacturer.  Five years earlier Eustace was packed off to Australia to make his fortune, but he only succeeds at failing in everything he attempts.  Desperate and destitute, he returns home, a charming loser. The resulting collision is 'both hilarious and uncomfortable,' culminating in 'a final act of anguish and confrontation which is genuinely gripping.'" 

In 2001 the Shaw Festival in Canada produced The Return Of The Prodigal and it became the surprise hit of the season and was revived the following year. 

The Return Of The Prodigal will have set and costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Tyler Micoleau, and sound design by Jane Shaw. Casting by Stuart Howard, Amy Schecter & Paul Hardt

In 2001, the Mint was awarded an Obie grant for "combining the excitement of discovery with the richness of tradition," and in 2002 a special Drama Desk Award for "unearthing, presenting and preserving forgotten plays of merit."

The Return of the Prodigal will take place on the Third Floor of 311 West 43rd Street.  Performances, which begin May 23rd and continue through July 1st, will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7 PM, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets will be $40 through June 5th only, and $50 thereafter and are available by calling (212) 315-0231 or online at www.minttheater.org.


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