A world premiere by Arthur Miller and another by Jane Martin will be among works in the Guthrie Theater's 2002-2003 season.
Artistic director Joe Dowling unveiled the upcoming season March 18. Minneapolis' Guthrie is one of the country's most respected and oldest regional theatres.
Launching the season at the Guthrie (as previously reported by Playbill On-Line) is the world premiere of Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues. Miller, who is currently represented on Broadway by the hit revival of The Crucible, has written a satiric comedy about a young revolutionary leader who is captured by a military government and sentenced to death by crucifixion. David Esbjornson, a Guthrie regular who directed the Broadway premiere of Miller's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, will helm the production, which begins previews on August 3 with an official opening on August 9. Resurrection Blues will play through Sept. 8.
The Guthrie's smaller theatre, the Guthrie Lab, will kick off its season with a world premiere by pseudonymous playwright Jane Martin (who has never made a public appearance as Martin and whose true identity is known to only a few) in late August. Entitled Good Boys and directed by Jon Jory — former artistic producing director of Actors Theatre of Louisville, believed by some to be Martin — the dramatic opus concerns an encounter between a white and a black father and asks the question, "To what degree can parents be held responsible when a child turns to violence and people get killed?" Good Boys previews Aug. 23, officially opens Aug. 28 and runs through Sept. 22.
"We are thrilled to begin the season with two world premieres — one on the mainstage and one in our Guthrie Lab, by two extraordinary playwrights of out time," Dowling said in a statement. "Arthur Miller, for more than half a century, has been the quintessential American dramatist, and Jane Martin, the pseudonym of our best-known unknown playwright, is a four-time winner of the Best Play of the Year Award from the American Theater Critics Association and a Pulitzer Prize nominee." The remainder of the Guthrie's mainstage season includes The Comedy of Errors (Sept. 28-Nov. 3), Shakespeare's tale of mistaken identities that is being directed by Dominique Serrand; an adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (Nov. 16-Dec. 29) by Barbara Field, that features direction by guest director Gary Gisselman; a production of George Bernard Shaw's witty social commentary Mrs. Warren's Profession (Jan. 11-Feb. 16) under the direction of Lisa Peterson, a guest director who is currently The Mark Taper Forum's resident director; John Guare's Tony-winning Six Degrees of Separation (March 1-April 6), a tale of a young man who claims to be Sidney Poitier's son, with direction by Ethan McSweeny; and the Chekhov classic The Three Sisters (April 19-May 24) under the helm of Guthrie artistic director Dowling.
Following the premiere of Good Boys on the stage of the Guthrie Lab will be Ionesco's haunting comedy The Chairs, featuring direction by the SoHo Rep's artistic director Daniel Aukin, who is making his Guthrie debut. The Chairs will begin previews on Oct. 25 with an opening on Oct. 30; the "anti-play" will run through Nov. 24. The rest of the Guthrie Lab season consists of Charles L. Mee's Wintertime (Jan. 31-March 2), a new comedy about an eccentric group of people who face conflicting passions and ideals, that will be directed by the Guthrie's associate artistic director John Miller-Stephany; and Casey Stangl's production of Caryl Churchill's acclaimed play, Top Girls (May 16 June 15), which explores the nature and meaning of success for women in a male-dominated world.
The Guthrie Theater is located at 725 Vineland Place in Minneapolis, MN. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (612) 377-2224, (877) 44 STAGE or go to guthrietheater.org.
Guthrie at a Glance:
Resurrection Blues: Aug. 3-Sept. 8
The Comedy of Errors: Sept. 28-Nov. 3
A Christmas Carol: Nov. 16-Dec. 29
Mrs. Warren's Profession: Jan. 11-Feb. 16
Six Degrees of Separation: March 1-April 6
Three Sisters: April 19-May 24
Good Boys: Aug. 23-Sept. 22
The Chairs: Oct. 25-Nov. 24
Wintertime: Jan. 31-March 2
Top Girls: May 16-June 15
—By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones