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Schiff & Wright to Star in Broadway Revival of TALLEY'S FOLLY

Producers Phil Monat, T. Richard Fitzgerald and Randall L. Wreghitt announced today that TALLEY'S FOLLY, the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Lanford Wilson (Burn This, Fifth of July, Balm in Gilead) will have its first-ever Broadway revival as part of the 2010-2011 Season. The production will begin previews in spring 2011, with exact dates and a theater to be announced.

TALLEY'S FOLLY will be directed by legendary and five-time Tony Award-nominated director Marshall W. Mason (for Wilson's Talley's Folly, Fifth of July and Angels Fall, plus Knock Knock and As Is), who directed the original World Premiere production.

The production will star veteran film and stage actor and Emmy Award winner Richard Schiff (Toby Zeigler on "The West Wing," over 50 films including The Lost World: Jurassic Park, most recently seen on stage in New York in The Exonerated and on London's West End in Underneath the Lintel) and three-time Screen Actors Guild Award nominee and Golden Globe nominee Robin Wright (Forrest Gump, The Princess Bride, Hurlyburly, the recent State of Play and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee). Both Mr. Schiff and Ms. Wright will be making their Broadway debuts.

TALLEY'S FOLLY is a timeless two-character comedy that unfolds on the 4th of July near the end of World War II in the romantic setting of a moonlit boat house in rural Missouri. Sally Talley (Ms. Wright) is the daughter of a prominent local family who is being courted by an unlikely suitor, Matt Friedman (Mr. Schiff), a Jewish accountant from St. Louis. Both are rebels against the conventions of the turbulent times, and finding each other may be their only chance for happiness.

A prolific writer of experimental and traditional drama, Lanford Wilson is one of the most commercially-successful playwrights of all time. Widely considered a major contributor to American theater, and father of the genre that has become known as "lyric realism," he has enjoyed success both on and Off-Broadway and his works are among the most regularly produced plays in regional, college and community theaters. He's been lauded by critics, actors and audiences alike for his ability to transform everyday vernacular into poetry and for his compassionate depiction of society's outcasts. He remains an important voice in American playwriting, as evidenced by the continued productions of his plays, especially the modern classics Balm in Gilead, Fifth of July and Burn This.

Mr. Wilson's 44-year collaboration with director Marshall W. Mason has been certified by Playbill as the longest collaboration between a writer and director in the history of the American theater. Together they co-founded (as Playwright-in-Residence and Artistic Director, respectively), the legendary Circle Repertory Company, acclaimed by The New York Times as "the chief provider of new American plays." Their collaboration on new works extends from the original production of Balm in Gilead in 1965 to the world premiere of Book of Days in 2000. Mr. Mason has directed twelve plays on Broadway that have earned him five Tony nominations for Best Director, including the original production of TALLEY'S FOLLY.

The production will feature scenic design by Tony Award winner John Lee Beatty (the original Talley's Folly, with 11 other nominations including The Color Purple, Doubt and Wilson's Fifth of July), costume design by Obie Award winner Jennifer von Mayrhauser (the original Talley's Folly, plus Rabbit Hole, The Heidi Chronicles, Come Back, Little Sheba) and lighting design by Phil Monat (Obie Award for Woman Before a Glass, Lortel Award for Camping with Henry and Tom). Mr. Beatty and Ms. von Mayrhauser designed the original acclaimed scenic and costume designs for the World Premiere production.

TALLEY'S FOLLY had its Broadway Premiere on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1980, following a 1979 Off-Broadway production under the auspices of The Circle Repertory Company. Mr. Mason directed a cast that starred Judd Hirsch and Trish Hawkins at The Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where it ran for 286 performances and won both the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 1979-80 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play. The new Broadway producers joined with The McCarter Theatre to present a production of the play in the fall of 2008, also featuring direction by Mr. Mason, starring Mr. Schiff and featuring the iconic original designs by Mr. Beatty and Ms. von Mayrhauser.

Exact dates and a theater for TALLEY'S FOLLY will be announced in the coming months.

BIOGRAPHIES

LANFORD WILSON (Playwright) launched his career at the avant-garde Caffe Cino during the off-off-Broadway movement of the 1960s. Early plays include Balm in Gilead (1965), The Rimers of Eldritch (1966, Vernon Rice Award) and The Gingham Dog (1968). In 1969, Wilson co-founded the Circle Repertory Company in Greenwich Village with his longtime collaborator, director Marshall Mason, and he was the group's playwright-in-residence until it disbanded in 1996. With Circle Rep, Wilson produced many of his most critically and commercially successful plays: The Hot L Baltimore (1973, New York Drama Critics' Circle, Obie, Outer Critics Circle awards); The Mound Builders (1975, Obie Award); Serenading Louie (1976); and the Talley Trilogy - three plays about a Midwestern family set in Wilson's birthplace - Fifth of July (1978, Drama-Logue Award, Tony nomination), Talley's Folley (1979, Drama-Logue Award, New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Pulitzer Prize for Drama) and A Tale Told, later revised as Talley & Son (1981). Other full-length works include Lemon Sky (1970), Angels Fall (1983, Tony nomination), Burn This (1987), Redwood Curtain (1993), A Sense of Place, or Virgil is Still the Frogboy (1996), Sympathetic Magic (1998, Obie Award), Book of Days (2000, American Theatre Critics Association Award) and Rain Dance (2001). One-acts include Brontosaurus, The Great Nebula in Orion, A Post of the Cosmos, The Moonshot Tape and Noon. Translations: Chekhov's Three Sisters, Ibsen's Ghosts. Opera: libretto for Lee Hoiby's Summer and Smoke. TV: "Taxi!," "The Migrants" (Emmy nomination). London's Donmar Warehouse is currently finishing a sold-out run of Serenading Louis prior to a UK tour and Steppenwolf will produce a new production of The Hot L Baltimore next March. He is the recipient of Obie, Guild Hall and Lortel awards for Lifetime Achievement. He was elected to the Theater Hall of Fame in 2001, and to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2004. Last year he was the recipient of the Dramatists Guild Award for Lifetime Achievement.

MARSHALL W. MASON (Director) was the Founding Artistic Director of the legendary Circle Repertory Company. He's directed twelve plays on Broadway that earned him five Tony nominations for Best Director: Knock Knock by Jules Feiffer, Talley's Folly (New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize), Fifth of July and Angels Fall by Lanford Wilson, and As Is by William M. Hoffman (Drama Desk Award for Best Play). His other productions on Broadway include Burn This, Redwood Curtain, The Seagull and Gemini. Off-Broadway, Mr. Mason has been honored with five Obie Awards for Outstanding Director (The Hot L Baltimore, Battle of Angels, The Mound Builders, Serenading Louie, and Knock Knock), as well as a sixth Obie for Sustained Achievement. Among his many memorable productions are Edward J. Moore's The Sea Horse (Vernon Rice Award for Best Play), William Mastrosimone's Sunshine, Romulus Linney's Childe Byron, Larry Kramer's The Destiny of Me (Lortel Award for Best Play), Robert Patrick's The Haunted Host, David Storey's The Farm, and Lanford Wilson's first full-length play Balm in Gilead and the more recent Book of Days (American Critics' Association Award for Best Play). His work has been seen nationwide and internationally at theaters across the U.S. and around the world. Mr. Mason has been honored with the Theater World Award for his discovery and nourishment of new talent, such as William Hurt, Kathy Bates, Christopher Reeve, Jeff Daniels and many others. In 1999 he was awarded a special millennium "Mr. Abbott" Award as one of the most innovative and influential directors of the twentieth century. He is the author of Creating Life on Stage: A Director's Approach to Working with Actors (Heinemann Press, 2006) and is currently working on a new book about Circle Rep called The Transcendant Years.

RICHARD SCHIFF (Matt Friedman) founded and acted as Artistic Director of Manhattan Repertory Theatre in 1983, producing and directing classic and new plays in his hometown of New York. In L.A., he won an Ovation Award and several Drama-Logue Awards for his theater work, which included several years with Tim Robbins' renowned The Actor's Gang. He last appeared on the New York stage in the Off-Broadway hit The Exonerated and recently returned from London's West End in the highly acclaimed one-man show Underneath the Lintel, which was also broadcast on BBC Radio. His over 50 films include The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Deep Impact, Dr. Dolittle, City Hall, Seven, I Am Sam, Ray, Malcolm X, Hoffa, Living Out Loud, Last Chance Harvey, the recent Another Harvest Moon and Solitary Man, and the upcoming The Infidel and Made in Dagenham. Among countless Television roles, he is perhaps best-known to audiences as playing White House Communications Director Toby Ziegler on "The West Wing," a role for which he received an Emmy Award among three nominations and two SAG Awards. Schiff also made his directorial debut helming two episodes of the hit NBC series and recently directed "In Treatment" for HBO. His other TV roles include: "Relativity," "NYPD Blue," "ER," "The Practice," "Ally McBeal," "Eli Stone," "Entourage" and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles." Among his many honors are a Townsend Harris Medal for Postgraduate Achievement and an Honorary Doctorate from CCNY; the Father Dornan Peace Award from D.C.'s Coalition for A Livable World; The Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award from America Rights at Work; and a Humanitarian Award from the Weingart Center for the Homeless. Richard is a regular contributor to The Independent in London, a frequent commentator for BBC radio television and is on the Advisory Board of The Creative Coalition.

ROBIN WRIGHT (Sally Talley) made her film debut in Rob Reiner's cult classic The Princess Bride and has since become one of cinema's most acclaimed actors. She earned Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations in 1995 for her unforgettable role as Jenny in Robert Zemeckis' Best Picture winner Forrest Gump. She earned her second Screen Actors Guild nomination for Best Lead Actress in Nick Cassavetes' She's So Lovely, and her third nomination for Best Actress in a Television Movie or Miniseries in Fred Schepisi's Empire Falls. She has received three Independent Spirit nominations for her performances in Erin Dignam's Loved, Rodrigo Garcia's ensemble Nine Lives and Jeff Stanzler's Sorry, Haters. Additionally, Wright starred in and served as an executive producer on Deborah Kampmeier's Virgin, which received an Independent Spirit nomination for Best First Feature, also known as the "John Cassavetes Award." She was also recently honored with a career tribute at the 35th Annual Deauville Festival of American Cinema. Other film credits include Barry Levinson's What Just Happened and Deborah Kampmeier's Houndog, which Wright also executive produced; Kevin Macdonald's State of Play; Anthony Minghella's Breaking and Entering; Robert Zemeckis' Beowulf; Keith Gordon's The Singing Detective; Peter Kosminsky's White Oleander; Anthony Drazan's Hurlyburly; Sean Penn's The Pledge; Luis Mandoki's Message in a Bottle; M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable; Pen Densham's Moll Flanders; Barry Levinson's Toys; Room 10 for Glamour magazine's "Reel Women Film Series"; Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol, her third collaboration with the director; and rave reviews for her portrayal of the title role in Rebecca Miller's recent The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009 Berlin International Film Festival). She recently wrapped production on Robert Redford's courtroom drama, The Conspirator, opposite Justin Long and James McAvoy, as Mary Surratt, a woman convicted of taking part in the conspiracy to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.

JOHN LEE BEATTY (Scenic Designer) has designed many of Landford Wilson's plays directed by Marshall W. Mason, starting with 1975's The Mound Builders with Circle Repertory Company and also including Talley's Folly, Fifth of July, Redwood Curtain, Burn This and Angel's Fall. Many production on and Off-Broadway include Chicago; The Color Purple; Doubt; Proof; A Raisin in the Sun; The Heiress; A Delicate Balance; The Sisters Rosenzweig; The Most Happy Fella; Dinner at Eight; Crimes of the Heart; Ain't Misbehavin'; How the Ginch Stole Christmas; plus Sylvia; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; Penn and Teller; and A Life in the Theater. He won a Tony Award for the original production of Talley's Folly and is also the recipient of 11 additional Tony nominations, plus Obie, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards. A graduate of Brown University and Yale School of Drama, he was elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame in 2002.

JENNIFER von MAYRHAUSER (Costume Designer) has designed costumes for over 25 Broadway show and many Off-Broadway plays, earning an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence in Costume Design. Designs at Circle Repertory Company for Marshall W. Mason include Lanford Wilson's Talley's Folly, Angels Fall, Serenading Louie and The Mound Builders. Broadway credits include the recent Come Back, Little Sheba; Rabbit Hole; The Heidi Chronicles; The Night of the Iguana; Baby; Da; Knock Knock; and Talley's Folley. Recent credits: Some Americans Abroad (Second Stage), The Cripple of Inishmaan (Milwaukee Rep), The Drawer Boy (Pittsburgh Public), Mrs. Packard and A Seagull in the Hamptons (The McCarter), and Member of the Wedding (Ford's Theatre), also directed by Marshall Mason. TV: "Law & Order" (Emmy nomination). Film includes Mystic Pizza, The Real Blonde, Lean on Me, I'm Not Rappaport, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Rebecca Miller's The Ballad of Hack and Rose and last year's The Private Lives of Pippa Lee starring Robin Wright.

PHIL MONAT (Producer / Lighting Designer) has been active in the theater for over thirty years. Since beginning work in New York City in 1980, he has designed over 300 productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in non-profit developmental theater such as New York Shakespeare Festival, Circle Rep, Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, The Vineyard Theatre, Primary Stages, Manhattan Theatre Club, The WPA Theatre, The American Place Theatre, Lincoln Center Theatre and The Hudson Guild, among others. He has won an Obie Award (Woman Before a Glass), a Lortel Award (Camping with Henry and Tom), and has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards. He has designed over 400 productions in regional theaters throughout the United States and Europe, in addition to countless industrial shows, theme park productions, national tours and concert events. Though Mr. Monat's professional credits are all design-related, he has been instrumental in putting together projects, plays, directors and theaters for many years. This is his first official Broadway producing credit.

T. RICHARD FITZGERALD (Producer) is the Chief Executive Officer of Sound Associates, Inc. He is the Recipient of a special 1980 Tony Award for his innovative design that introduced to Broadway theaters the Infrared Listening System to aid hearing impaired patrons. In addition to his work with the Infrared Listening System, Richard also is the designer of ShowTrans, I-Caption and D-Scriptive; automated, multi-language commentary, individual closed captioned, and descriptive commentary systems to assist special needs audiences. He has designed sound systems for over 250 Broadway, Off-Broadway and national productions, including Beauty & the Beast (1994 Drama Desk Award nomination), An Inspector Calls (1996 L.A. Ovation Award nomination), Sexaholix (2003 L.A. Ovation Award nomination) and 4 Guys Named Jose (2000 Lortel Award nomination). Additional Broadway sound design credits include Annie, 42nd Street, Zorba, The King & I, Dancing at Lughnasa, Peter Pan, The Dresser, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Sunshine Boys, Freak, The Rocky Horror Show, Little Shop of Horrors, Sly Fox, A Raisin in the Sun, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Xanadu.

RANDALL L. WREGHITT (Producer). Broadway: The Miracle Worker, Impressionism, Grey Gardens, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Little Women, Golda's Balcony, Metamorphoses, Hedda Gabler, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Electra, The Lonesome West, Band in Berlin, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Real Thing (associate producer). His productions have been nominated for 41 Tony Awards with 12 wins. Off-Broadway: The Waverly Gallery, As Bees in Honey Drown, The Springhill Singing Disaster, The Boys in the Band, The Food Chain, Camping with Henry and Tom, Zombie Prom and Three Tall Women (associate producer). London: The Boys in the Band, Lobby Hero. Tour: Little Women. Edinburgh: Velocity. Regionally: Crush.... Film: A Tale of Two Pizzas. Television: the upcoming "Broadway Bullpen." Robert Whitehead Award for "Outstanding achievement in commercial theatrical producing." Randall established Pro-Marketing, a marketing and promotions company and serves on the board of Early Stages. Upcoming Theater: The Great Game, Pure Country: The Musical, Pepita: Senorita Matador. www.randallwreghitt.com

 


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