Previews began Oct. 2 at the Los Angeles company's Skirball Kenis Theater. Performances will continue through Nov. 18.
The Geffen-commissioned work centers on "Dinah (Williams) and Bill (Bakula), a conservative Christian Midwest couple, still recovering from the loss of their daughter, who have decided to visit their left-leaning cousins, Jeannette (Metcalf) and Neil (Boutsikaris) who've lost their house and everything they owned in a wildfire."
"There's a terrible rift in this country between the far right and the far left," stated writer director Anderson in an announcement. "One of the things I hope to achieve with The Quality of Life is to help the audience recognize that in the face of this dichotomy of ideals, there's the possibility of finding a common human connection."
Metcalf reteams with the Emmy Award-winning writer in this four-character drama, after having previously collaborated on Anderson's Looking for Normal at Geffen. Remembered for her Emmy Award-winning turn as the sister on "Roseanne" and her recent "Desperate Housewives" stint, Metcalf also appeared last season at the Geffen in Arthur Miller's All My Sons. The Steppenwolf Theatre Company member's stage credits also include Pot Mom, Balm in Gilead, Libra, My Thing of Love, Educating Rita, You Can't Take it With You, Coyote Ugly and The Glass Menagerie. She next stars opposite Nathan Lane on Broadway in David Mamet's November.
Metcalf is joined in the starry ensemble by Bakula ("Quantum Leap," "Star Trek: Enterprise"), who has appeared on stage in Romance/Romance, Marilyn an American Fable, Three Guys Naked from the Waist Down and Shenandoah. Boutsikaris' stage credits include Amadeus, Filumena, Bent, Sight Unseen, The Boys Next Door, That Championship Season, A Picasso and Julius Caesar. He was last seen at the Geffen in Mamet's The Old Neighborhood.
Williams — a film star of such hits as "Kramer vs. Kramer," "Poltergeist" and "The Big Chill" — has also spent some time on the stage in Moonchildren, Lady House Blues, A Couple of White Chicks, Gardenia, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Vagina Monologues.
The design team for The Quality of Life features Francois-Pierre Couture (scenic), Christina Haatainen Jones (costume), Jason Thompson (lighting) and Karl Lundeberg (sound). Anna Belle Gilbert serves as production stage manager. Props supervisor is Ilana Gordon.
The Geffen Playhouse 2007-2008 season launched with Third starring Christine Lahti (through Oct. 21) and continues with Atlanta (Nov. 20-Dec. 30), The Female of the Species (Feb. 5-March 16, 2008), Emergence-See! (April 15-May 25, 2008), The Elephant in the Room (June 17-July 27, 2008) and one production yet to be announced.
Tickets to The Quality of Life, at the Geffen, 10886 Le Conte Avenue in Los Angeles, CA, are available by calling (310) 208-5454. For more information visit GeffenPlayhouse.com.