Dennehy will star on Broadway this spring in Falls' Desire Under the Elms (which concluded its Goodman run in Chicago March 1).
Dennehy joins current Collective members director/actor Frank Galati; director/actor Henry Godinez; director Steve Scott; director Chuck Smith; playwright/director/actor Regina Taylor; and director Mary Zimmerman.
"My collaboration with Brian has been one of the most fulfilling, wonderful journeys of my life, one that feels familiar, but it is always new," Falls stated March 5. "Over 20 years and seven individual productions, he has been my friend and compatriot, always at the center of my artistic dialogue. I am thrilled to welcome him to our Artistic Collective."
Falls formed the Artistic Collective in 1986, as he was "attracted to the great European theatres where there's a collaborative vision aimed at one goal, but with each director achieving that goal in his/her own way."
Desire Under the Elms marked actor Dennehy and director Falls' fifth collaboration on an O'Neill work, and their seventh production together over two decades. The first collaboration was The Iceman Cometh (1990), the portrait of hope and disillusionment with Dennehy starring as hardware salesman Theodore "Hickey" Hickman. In 1996 Falls and Dennehy returned to O'Neill with the 1936 tale of tragic self-delusion, A Touch of the Poet, featuring Dennehy as the tyrannical Con Melody.
Six years later O'Neill's masterpiece, Long Day's Journey Into Night, arrived on the Goodman stage with Dennehy as patriarch James Tyrone. The Broadway remount of the production two years later — featuring Dennehy, Vanessa Redgrave, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Robert Sean Leonard — won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play, with Dennehy and Redgrave each earning the prizes for Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
In 2004 Falls staged the posthumously published one-act, Hughie, with Dennehy as the big-time talker and small-time gambler Erie Smith.