New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) Artistic Director James C. Nicola and Managing Director William Russo, and The Acting Company Producing Artistic Director Margot Harley have announced that The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, written by Rebecca Gilman, based on the novel by Carson McCullers, directed by Doug Hughes, will begin performances Friday, November 13, 2009, at 7pm, at NYTW, 79 East 4th Street, between Second Avenue and Bowery. Opening night is scheduled for Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 7:00pm. The production will run through Sunday, December 20.

A beautiful and timeless tale about the universal need for human connection, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter tells the story of John Singer, a deaf man, as he navigates the world without his dearest friend who has recently been committed to an insane asylum. When Singer, initially isolated and alone, moves to a small Southern town, the locals-a café owner, a rebellious teenager, a black physician, and an idealistic labor organizer-flock to him as a newfound confidant, seeking compassion and understanding from the one person who needs it most. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter intertwines the lives of these characters in a surprising way that results in a deeply moving story of outcasts in the South during the Great Depression.

The cast of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is Bob Braswell, Jimonn Cole, Michael Cullen, James McDaniel, Cristin Milliotti, Randall Newsome, Roslyn Ruff, I. N. Sierros, Henry Stram, and Andrew Weems.

Rebecca Gilman's plays include Spinning Into Butter (Roger L. Stevens Award, Joseph Jefferson Award), The Glory of Living (Evening Standard Award, Osborn Award), Boy Gets Girl, Blue Surge (Prince Prize), The American in Me, The Crime of the Century, and The Sweetest Swing in Baseball.

Carson McCullers was born in Georgia in 1917. Her work includes the novels The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1940), Reflections in a Golden Eye (1941), The Member of the Wedding (1946), and Clock Without Hands (1961), as well as The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1951), a 1951 short story collection that includes a novella of the same title. She wrote numerous short stories and two plays, including the stage adaptation of The Member of the Wedding. She died in 1967.

Doug Hughes's recent Broadway productions include A Man for All Seasons, Mauritius, Inherit the Wind, A Touch of the Poet, Frozen, and Doubt, for which he won the Tony Award. He is currently represented on Broadway by The Royal Family and Oleanna. In addition to the Tony, he has also won Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, OBIE, and Callaway awards. At New York Theatre Workshop he directed The Beard of Avon, Flesh and Blood, and A Question of Mercy.

The set design for The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is by Neil Patel; the costume design is by Catherine Zuber; the lighting design is by Michael Chybowski; the original music and sound design is by David Van Tieghem; and the projection design is by Jan Hartley.

New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW), now celebrating its 27th season, is a leading voice in the world of Off-Broadway and within the theatre community in New York and around the world. NYTW has emerged as a premiere incubator of important new theatre, honoring its mission to explore perspectives on our collective history and respond to the events and institutions that shape our lives. In addition, NYTW is known for its innovative adaptations of classic repertory. Each season, from its home in New York's East Village neighborhood, NYTW presents three to five new productions, more than 80 readings, and numerous workshop productions, for over 45,000 audience members. Over the past 27 years, NYTW has developed and produced more than 100 new, fully staged works, including Jonathan Larson's Rent, Tony Kushner's Slavs! and Homebody/Kabul, Doug Wright's Quills, Claudia Shear's Blown Sideways Through Life and Dirty Blonde, Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and Valhalla, and Caryl Churchill's Mad Forest, Far Away, and A Number. The 2002 remounting of Martha Clarke's seminal work Vienna: Lusthaus and subsequent American tour was one of the longest-running productions in NYTW's history. NYTW supports artists in all stages of their careers by maintaining a series of workshop programs including work-in-progress readings, summer residencies, and minority artist fellowships. In 1991, NYTW received an OBIE Award for Sustained Achievement and in 2000 was designated to be part of the Leading National Theatres Program by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Recipient of a TONY® Honor for Excellence in Theater, The Acting Company has performed 133 productions for millions of people across America while developing the careers of some of America's finest actors. Noted Alumni include Kevin Kline, Patti LuPone, Jesse L. Martin, Frances Conroy, Jeffrey Wright, David Schramm, Harriet Harris, David Ogden Stiers, Henry Stram, Andrew Weems, Hamish Linklater, Roslyn Ruff, Jimonn Cole, Keith David and Rainn Wilson. Its celebrated Education Programs - master classes, workshops and Literacy Through Theater artistic residencies - reach over 30,000 students yearly, particularly those with no other access to arts education and live performances.

This season-our 37th national tour-we present Romeo and Juliet, our thirtieth production of Shakespeare's work, directed by Penny Metropulos, as well as three intensive workshops of Alice in Wonderland, which we have commissioned Kira Obolensky to adapt. Will Pomerantz will direct.

While on tour, we present master classes, student matinees and one-hour, performance-based workshops of Shakespeare for younger audiences. Our Literacy Through Theater program, a weeklong artistic residency, is the centerpiece of our education program. Teaching artists involve students in all aspects of the plays being presented on our tour. They explore writing, communications, poetry, character development and other facets of theater before seeing the production and spending the day with our actors.

The Acting Company is a TONY Honoree for Excellence in Theater and has also won the OBIE Award, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, Citibank's Excellence in Education Award and two Audelco Awards.

The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter plays at New York Theatre Workshop, 79 East 4th Street, between Second Avenue and Bowery. The regular performance schedule is Tuesday at 7:00pm, Wednesday through Friday at 8:00pm, Saturday at 3:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sunday at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. There will be special student matinees on Wednesday, November 25 at 12pm and Wednesday, December 16 at 1pm. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter runs through December 20, 2009. Tickets are $65 and may be purchased online at www.telecharge.com, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or by phoning Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200. For exact dates and times of performances, visit www.nytw.org.

Maintaining its commitment to making theatre accessible to all theatergoers, NYTW continues its CheapTix Sundays program in which all tickets for all Sunday evening performances at 7:00pm will cost $20. Tickets may be purchased in advance, payable in cash only, and are available in person only at the NYTW Box Office. And for all performances, student tickets cost $20, based on availability, and can be purchased in advance from the NYTW Box Office with valid student identification. The NYTW Box Office is open 1:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

Photo credit: Walter McBride

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