Arthur Kopit's new play, Discovery of America, due to play New York Stage & Film's summer season at Vassar College July 5-7, has been cast.
The players include Jay O. Sanders, Paul Kandel, Felix Solis, Bray Poor, Teagle Bougere, Sam Guncler, Opal Aladdin and Brian Keane.
Discovery, as the title suggests, is about an encounter between the Spanish conquistadors and native Americans in the 16th century. Kopit drew on a Spanish explorer's personal journal for his story.
Kopit career began with a bang with the Off Broadway production of Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Bad, produced soon after the playwright graduated from Harvard. After much hullabaloo, the absurdist comedy opened to lackluster reviews. Nonetheless, it went on to become the biggest hit in the history of the Phoenix Theater. Kopit's sporadic writing career since then has included the plays Indians, Wings, End of the World, Y2K as well as the books to the musicals Nine and High Society.
The remaining NYS&F line-up is as follows: Mainstage Productions:
• Tuesdays with Morrie by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom, directed by David Esbjornson, June 21-July 6
• Adrift in Macao, book and lyrics by Christopher Durang, music by Peter Melnick, directed by Sheryl Kaller, July 10-20
• Left, written and directed by Richard Nelson, July 24-Aug. 4
Susan Stein Shiva Theater:
• Discovery of America by Arthur Kopit, July 5-7
• The Violence Project conceived and directed by Elizabeth Swados, July 19-21
• Diosa by Edwin Sanchez, directed by Melia Bensussen, Aug. 2-4
Reading Festival #2, July 26-28
• A Perfect Dinner Party by Alexandra Gersten and Theresa Rebeck
• Picasso's Closet by Ariel Dorfman
• Rosemary and I by Leslie Ayvazian
• Wilderness or Mirrors by Charles Evered
For tickets, call (845) 437-5599.
The 18-year-old New York Stage & Film is particularly hot right now. Always a popular training ground for new plays, the troupe's 2001 season produced a high amount of success stories. Three productions—Mr. Goldwyn with Alan King, Donaghy's Boys and Girls and Jessica Goldberg's Good Thing—made it to New York City stages this season. Another show, David Henry Hwang's Largo, will be staged at Trinity Rep in Rhode Island in the coming season.
This year's crop is already off to a good start. Commercial producers are attached to Tuesdays with Morrie. The play is expected to reach New York.
—By Robert Simonson