At Request of August Wilson Estate, NYC's Signature Changes Its 2006 Season Plan

News   At Request of August Wilson Estate, NYC's Signature Changes Its 2006 Season Plan Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre Company announced Nov. 3 that, at the request of the August Wilson Estate, the company would not be presenting the August Wilson celebration in 2006, previously announced as part of the 15th anniversary season.

In a letter sent to the company, "the Estate expressed its appreciation of Signature's extensive efforts to celebrate Mr. Wilson's body of work, but said that it couldn't continue to grant rights at this time," according to Signature.

Pulitzer Prize winner Wilson died of cancer Oct. 2. He was 60 years old. Announced far in advance of Wilson's summer revelation that he was battling liver cancer, the August Wilson season at Signature was to begin in fall 2006 with a new production of Two Trains Running. The season was to also feature Wilson's one-man show How I Learned What I Learned; and a marathon reading of all the dramas that make up his decade-by-decade examination of African-American life during the 20th century.

Signature's founding artistic director James Houghton said in a Nov. 3 statement, "We are very disappointed not to have the opportunity to honor our friend and Playwright-in-Residence August Wilson but, of course, we respect the wishes of Mr. Wilson's estate. This is a very difficult time for his family and for all of us who cared so much for August and revere his extraordinary body of work."

Signature is the not-for-profit devoted to staging the past (and sometimes new) work of one writer over the course of a season.

Signature Theatre Company will be announcing revised programming shortly. *

Signature’s 15th Anniversary "Signature Series" season will begin on Nov. 15, 2005 with Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful, directed by Harris Yulin and featuring Lois Smith as Carrie Watts and Hallie Foote as Jessie Mae Watts.

The 15th Anniversary "Signature Series" (offering works by playwrights from past Signature seasons) will continue in spring 2006 with John Guare's Landscape of the Body, directed by Michael Greif and starring Lili Taylor and Sherie Rene Scott. Landscape of the Body will run March 28-May 21, 2006.

Signature presents at its home in the Peter Norton Space at 555 W. 42nd Street (between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues).

All tickets, for all shows, are $15. Performance schedule is Tuesdays-Fridays at 8 PM; Saturdays at 3 PM and 8 PM; and Sundays at 3 PM. For subscription and ticket information, please call (212) 244-PLAY (7529). To make theatre accessible to the broadest possible audience, "Signature has partnered with Time Warner, Inc. to establish a groundbreaking ticket initiative offering every seat at every show for $15" during its 15th season.

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