Anna Paquin Stars in LaBute's The Distance From Here for MCC, Starting April 14

News   Anna Paquin Stars in LaBute's The Distance From Here for MCC, Starting April 14 Academy Award winner Anna Paquin ("The Piano") and original London cast member Mark Webber lead the cast of MCC Theatre's staging of Neil LaBute's The Distance From Here, starting April 14.
Anna Paquin
Anna Paquin

Michael Greif (Rent, Never Gonna Dance) directs the American premiere of the work set to open at The Duke on 42nd Street May 6 for a run through June 5.

Amelia Alvarez (The Laramie Project), Ian Brennan (Juvenilia), Josh Charles ("Dead Poets Society," "Sports Night"), Melissa Leo ("21 Grams"), Logan Marshall-Green (The Rainmaker) and Alison Pill ("Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen") will also star in the work.

LaBute's The Distance From Here, which had its world premiere at London's Almeida, centers on a teen-aged slacker and his struggle with the discord in his family life: a mother who doesn't remember his childhood, a stepsister who wants to become sexually involved with him, and his mother's boyfriend, who is sleeping with his stepsister.

Distance was scheduled for last season but was replaced by the more timely The Mercy Seat as part of MCC's 2002-2003 season. MCC also recently presented LaBute's Autobahn — a one-night benefit of five one-acts by the scribe.

Paquin, who recently appeared in Off-Broadway's Roulette, also starred for MCC in the company's staging of Rebecca Gilman's The Glory of Living — which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. The actress, known for her turns in the "X-Men" films, "The 25th Hour" and her Academy Award-winning performance in "The Piano," also appeared on stage in Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth in London. Greif's other credits include Machinal, A Bright Room Called Day, Casanova, Marisol, Pericles, Dogeaters and Fuckin' A — all at the Public Theatre. The former La Jolla Playhouse artistic director also helmed Bright Lights Big City (NYTW), Monster (Classic Stage Company), A Few Stout Individuals (Signature Theatre), Betty Rules (Zipper Theatre) and Cavedweller (NYTW).

Playwright LaBute is known for his gritty dramas, which include The Shape of Things, bash: latter-day plays and his film work including "In the Company of Men," "Your Friends and Neighbors" and "Nurse Betty."

The design team for Distance features Louisa Thompson (sets), Angela Wendt (costumes), James Vermuelen (lights) and Robert Kaplowitz (sound) — who also provides additional music. Rick Sordelet handles fight direction.

Performances of The Distance From Here will play at The Duke, 229 West 42nd Street. For more information on MCC, visit www.mcctheater.com.

<i>The Distance from Here</i> cast (clockwise from left) Josh Charles, Melissa Leo, Anna Paquin, Mark Webber, Alison Pill, Amelia Alvarez, Logan Marshall-Green and Ian Brennan.
The Distance from Here cast (clockwise from left) Josh Charles, Melissa Leo, Anna Paquin, Mark Webber, Alison Pill, Amelia Alvarez, Logan Marshall-Green and Ian Brennan. Photo by Eric McNatt