Austin's Actors Repertory of Texas, the company who last year hosted the world premiere of Tennessee Williams' Spring Storm, has announced its 2000-01 season, which, although it contains no first bows, does include Jean Stapleton's Eleanor: Her Secret Journey, the Tuna trilogy's Jaston Williams as Tru as well as the Tony winner The Beauty Queen of Leenane and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit.
Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane, begins the season, running Aug. 25-Sept. 24 at the State Theatre. Set in the remote west country of Ireland, Leenane concerns a middle aged woman who attempts to break free from the manipulative power of her aged mother for the love of a man. Beauty Queen won three Tony Awards (although not best play) and was followed on Broadway by the third Leenane play, The Lonesome West. He is also the author of the Aran Island trilogy, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and The Banshees of Inisheer.
Jaston Williams, famous for co-creating the denizens of Tuna, Texas, takes on Truman Capote in the autobiographical one man show, Tru. A Southern Gothic writer, journalist, playwright and man-about-town, Capote is know for his novels "The Grass Harp," "In Cold Blood" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's." Larry Randolph directs Williams at the Zachary Scott Theatre Sept. 7-Oct. 8.
Jean Stapleton's Eleanor: Her Secret Journey, currently making stops across the country in hopes of a Broadway run, settles down at the Paramount Theatre Nov. 17-26. Popular with stage and television audiences, Stapleton created the classic role of Edith Bunker on television's "All in the Family." Eleanor is described as a revealing portrait of Eleanor Roosevelt's challenges and triumphs.
The Tony Award winner Art will run Jan. 18-Feb. 18 in the Zachary Scott Theatre. Yasmina Reza's comedy tells what happens to three devoted friends when one decides to buy a piece of art that happens to be a completely white canvas. Terrence McNally's Master Class, in which opera diva Maria Callas gives lessons on life, music and art, runs April 5-May 13 at the Zachary Scott Theatre. This comes at the same time McNally will be presenting his papers to Austin's Harry Ransom Center.
The final production of the season will be Margaret Edson's Wit, playing May 18-June 17 in the State Theatre. Much lauded for its 1998 2000 run Off-Broadway, Wit traces the cancerous disintegration of literature professor Vivian Bearing's body, even as she comes to understand mortality, human kindness and dependence on others. The often comic drama is punctuated by the poetry of John Donne, Bearing's specialty, which revels in intellectual and literary wit. Wit is the first play for Edson, a Georgia kindergarten teacher.
Tickets are available by contacting the separate box offices. The Zachary Scott number is (512) 476-0541, ext. 1; Paramount Theatre number is (512) 469-SHOW and the State Theatre is (512) 472-5143.