Long Wharf Theatre Presents THE OLD MASTERS, 1/29-2/13

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Long Wharf Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein and Managing Director Ray Cullom, present the U.S. premiere of The Old Masters by Simon Gray.

The show will take place Jan. 19-Feb. 13, 2011 on the Mainstage. Tickets are $40 to $70.

The cast is comprised of Sam Waterston (Bernard Berenson), Rufus Collins (Edward Fowles), Brian Murray (Joseph Duveen), Shirley Knight (Mary Berenson) and Heidi Schreck (Nicky Mariano). The production will be directed by Michael Rudman. The creative team is comprised of Alexander Dodge (Set Design), Toni-Leslie James (Costume Design), Peter Kaczorowski (Lighting Design), John Gromada (Sound Design and Original Music), and Jack Doulin (Casting). The stage manager is Bonnie Brady.

Long Wharf Theatre's production of The Old Masters precedes an anticipated Broadway run produced by John Martello and Elliot Martin.

"This is a very beautiful and brilliant play. Like most of Simon's plays, it is about so many different things. It is certainly about art and money ... it's about old friends. It's about old rivalries and it's about life and death, facing the end of your life," Edelstein said. "This is a great project, having all of these great artists together to do this important play about this important subject."

The play, written in 2004 and previously performed in London's West End, takes place under the menacing shadow of Mussolini in 1937. Two aging lions joust over the value of art and money. Just outside Florence, famous art historIan Bernard Berenson (played by Waterston) and notorious art dealer Joseph Duveen (portrayed by Murray) edge toward a revealing final encounter as their fascinating relationship erupts on stage.

"A subtle and cunningly constructed piece, The Old Masters trains its attention on the potentially corrupt relationship between art dealer and art expert and examines the human price of dictating commercial value of pictures that transcend the market's idea of worth... The Old Masters is authentically, vintage Gray," according to the Independent in London.

Long Wharf Theatre has a long history of performing Gray's works, including the award-winning production of Quartermaine's Terms, produced during the 1982-83 season, then transferring to Playhouse 91 in 1983. The show won an OBIE Award that year for ensemble performance. In addition, Long Wharf Theatre produced the much acclaimed The Common Pursuit.

For more information about the show, call 203-787-4282 or visit www.longwharf.org

Mr. Collins is delighted to be making his Long Wharf debut. Broadway: The Royal Family, To Be or Not To Be, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, An Ideal Husband, and The Homecoming. Off-Broadway: Aristocrats, Orson's Shadow, House and Garden.  Regional highlights:  The Autumn Garden, Dissonance (Williamstown), The Real Thing, In This Corner, Dinner with Friends , Spinning Into Butter, Hedda Gabler, Indian Ink, The Ruling Class, Macbeth, Inexpressible Island, Cakewalk.  Film: Wanted, Joshua, Milia.  Television: "Law & Order" (All versions) "All My Children" "The Guiding Light" "One Live to Live." Rufus studied acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

Ms. Knight is the recipient of a Tony Award, three Emmy Awards and two Academy Award nominations. She appeared on Broadway in The Young Man from Atlanta (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), Kennedy's Children (Tony Award and Drama Desk nomination), and The Three Sisters (directed by Lee Strasberg.) Her Off-Broadway credits include Swimming Upstream, Losing Time, The Landscape of the Body (Drama Desk nomination, Joseph Jefferson Award), A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, Necessary Targets, The Vagina Monologues, and Come Back Little Sheba. Her film credits include Sweet Bird of Youth (Academy Award nomination, Golden Globe nomination), The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (Academy Award nomination, Golden Globe nomination), Endless Love, The Rain People, The Group, Dutchman, Petulia, Angel Eyes, The Color of Night, The House on the Hill, Seventy Five Degrees in July, Diabolique, Stuart Saves His Family, The Salton Sea, As Good As It Gets, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Paul Blart:Mall Cop, and The Other Side of the Tracks. Ms. Knight has received Emmy Awards for her work on television in "Indictment: The McMartin Trial," "NYPD," and "Thirtysomething." She received Emmy nominations for her work on "Desperate Housewives," "Law and Order" and "Playing for Time."

Broadway: Mary Stuart, The Rivals, The Crucible (Tony nom.), Uncle Vanya (Drama Desk nom.), Twelfth Night, The Little Foxes (Drama Desk Award, Tony nom.), Racing Demon, A Small Family Business (Drama Desk nom.), Noises Off (Drama Desk Award), Black Comedy, Sleuth, Da, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Tony nom.) Off Broadway: Me, Myself And I, Keep Your Pantheon, Gaslight, Colder Than Here, Much Ado About Nothing, Beckett/Albee, Scattergood, Hobson's Choice, The Play About the Baby (Obie Award), Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Entertainer, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Misalliance, Molly Sweeney, Travels with My Aunt (Drama Desk, OCC awards), Mud River Stone, Ashes (Obie), Spread Eagle, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and The Butterfly Collection. Regional: The world premieres of Edward Albee's Me, Myself and I and A Seagull In The Hamptons at the McCarter and Alfred Uhry's Edgardo Mine at Hartford Stage and The Guthrie. As director (Broadway): The Circle, Blithe Spirit, Hay Fever, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Show Off, The Waltz of The Toreadors. Film/TV: Bob Roberts, City Hall, Treasure Planet (voice of John Silver), "Dolley Madison," "The Investigation," "Liberty," "Hamlet," "Twelfth Night." Recipient: 1998 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence, 1998 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work, Fox Foundation Fellow. 

Off-Broadway: The Language Archive (The Roundabout Theatre Company) Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons; Theatre World Award, OBIE and Drama Desk for ensemble), Drum of the Waves of Horikawa (Two-Headed Calf at HERE, Obie Award); The Happy Sad (SPF); Open House (The Foundry); Amazons and Their Men (Clubbed Thumb); Women of Trachis (Target Margin); The Internationalist (13P); and Demon Baby (Clubbed Thumb). Regional Credits include In the Wake (Center Theatre Group; Berkeley Repertory Theatre) and roles at Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Empty Space, ACT, New York Stage and Film, Sundance Theatre Lab, On the Boards, and Printer's Devil Theatre. Film includes Hedda Gabler and Perfidia. She is an affiliated artist with New Georges and Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf and featured in both Time Out New York and The Village Voice as one of New York's favorite actors.  Heidi is also a writer, and her latest play There Are No More Big Secrets is in performances now off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre in NYC.

Mr. Waterston returns to Long Wharf Theatre, having previously performed in Have You Seen Us? and Travesties. His portrayal of charismatic, tough District Attorney Jack McCoy, in Wolf Films/Universal Network Television's Law & Order, has earned three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series, the 1999 Screen Actors Guild Award, a Screen Actors Guild nomination in 1998 and a Golden Globe nomination in 1995. Waterston received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for The Killing Fields, three Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award for I'll Fly Away, and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Most Promising Newcomer for the "Nick Carraway" role in The Great Gatsby.  He was awarded an Emmy as host of the ten-part NBC informational series Lost Civilizations, and, in England, has received numerous BAFTA nominations. Waterston's extensive film credits include Woody Allen's films Interiors, Hannah and Her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanors, John Waters' Serial Mom, Hopscotch and Heaven's Gate and two Anthony Harvey films; Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie with Katharine Hepburn, Michael Moriarty, and Joanna Miles and Eagles Wing with Martin Sheen and Harvey Keitel.  He starred opposite Jeff Bridges in Tom McGuane's Rancho Deluxe and with Reese Witherspoon in Man in the Moon. On television, he played "Oppenheimer" in mini-series of the same name, produced and starred opposite Jennifer Beals and Lisa Gay Hamilton in the cable movie A House Divided, and portrayed Abraham Lincoln opposite Mary Tyler Moore in Gore Vidal's television mini-series, Lincoln.  Waterston starred in the NBC movie, The Matthew Shepard Story, opposite Stockard Channing and his recent films include The Commission with Martin Landau and Le Divorce with Kate Hudson, Glenn Close and Stockard Channing. Waterston earned a Tony Award nomination as Lincoln in Abe Lincoln in Illinois at the Lincoln Center Theater in New York, and an Obie Award and a Drama Desk Award for his "Benedick" in Much Ado About Nothing. His stage work includes the New York Shakespeare Festival, productions As You Like It, Cymbeline, Measure for Measure and Hamlet.  Waterston is a graduate of Yale University and currently serves on the board of Oceana, the world's preeminent ocean conservation organization. Waterston lives in Connecticut with his wife.  Their children James, Elisabeth, and Katherine, are a new generation of ever more successful actors, playing important roles on stage in New York, as well as on film and television.  Their son Graham is a writer and director.  They have two grandchildren.

Simon Gray was born in 1936. He was educated at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Trinity College, Cambridge followed, before he was appointed lecturer in English at Queen Mary College, University of London. His first novel, Colmain, written while he was at Cambridge, was published by Faber & Faber in 1963. Adapting his short story,The Caramel Crisis for television kicked off a new career as a dramatist. Other television plays followed, for the BBC's Wednesday Play and Play for Today, frequently in collaboration with the producer Kenith Trodd. He began to write for live stage when his play Wise Child was considered too shocking for television. It starred Simon Ward and Alec Guinness and was produced by Michael Codron at Wyndham's Theatre  in 1967. His 1971 play Butley, also produced by Michael Codron, began a long creative partnership with Harold Pinter as director (of both the play and the film versions) and continued the partnership with the actor Alan Bates, begun with Gray's 1967 television play Death of a Teddy Bear. Bates starred in 11 of Gray's works, while Pinter directed 10 separate productions of Gray's works for stage, film, and television, beginning with Butley. Their final collaboration was a stage production of The Old Masters, starring Peter Bowles and EdWard Fox, in 2004. In 1984 Gray began keeping a diary when he was working with Harold Pinter on The Common Pursuit, staged at the Lyric, Hammersmith. This was the first of eight volumes of diaries. In 2003 Ian Jack, then editor of Granta, asked what Gray had done in his holidays. The result was the acclaimed trilogy, The Smoking Diaries, which brought him a new and appreciative audience. His last diary, Coda, was published posthumously in November 2008. With fellow playwright Hugh Whitemore, Gray adapted his Diaries for the stage. The Last Cigarette, starring Felicity Kendal, Nicholas Le Prevost and Jasper Britton and directed by Richard Eyre, was staged in 2009. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004 for services to drama and literature. He died on 7th August 2008 at the age of 71.

Mr. Rudman is an American who has worked mainly in Britain, where he has been director and/or artistic director of five theatres: the Traverse, Hampstead Theatre, the Lyttleton at the National Theatre, the Chichester Festival Theatre and the Crucible in Sheffield. He has directed many plays at the National Theatre and in the West End. While he was artistic director of the Hampstead the theatre won the Evening Standard award for outstanding achievement. In America he has directed three plays on Broadway, one of which, The Changing Room, originated at Long Wharf Theatre. His production of Death of a Salesman at the Broadhurst Theatre won the Tony Award for best revival. In 1976 he directed Sam Waterston as Hamlet at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park and at the Vivien Beaumont Theatre in Lincoln Center. In 1993 he directed Measure for Measure at the Delacorte.

Long Wharf Theatre (Gordon Edelstein, Artistic Director and Ray Cullom, Managing Director), entering its 46th season, is recognized as a leader in American theatre, producing fresh and imaginative revivals of classics and modern plays, rediscoveries of neglected works and a variety of world and American premieres.  More than 30 Long Wharf productions have transferred virtually intact to Broadway or Off-Broadway, some of which include The Glass Menagerie, the Pulitzer Prize-winning plays Wit by Margaret Edson, The Shadow Box by Michael Cristofer and The Gin Game by D.L. Coburn. The theatre is an incubator of new works, including last season's Have You Seen Us? by Athol Fugard. Long Wharf Theatre has received New York Drama Critics Awards, Obie Awards, the Margo Jefferson Award for Production of New Works, a Special Citation from the Outer Critics Circle and the Tony® Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. www.longwharf.org




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