South Coast Rep has announced the cast for the world premiere of Howard Korder's The Hollow Lands, which opens Jan. 14, 2000, for a one-month run. SCR associate artist David Chambers directs Rene Augesen, Simon Billig, Richard Doyle, Armando Duran, Mark Harelik, Rob King, Art Koustik, Hal Landon Jr., Graham Shiels, Doug Spearman, Michael Stuhlbarg and Don Took in the drama. The designers are Ming Cho Lee (set), Shigeru Yaji (costumes), Chris Parry (lighting), Jon Gottleib (sound), Dennis McCarthy (original music), Carol F. Doran (wigs), Judi Lewin (make- up) and Lynn Watson (dialect). Jerry Patch and Jennifer Kiger are production dramaturgs and Julie Haber is the stage manager.
The Hollow Lands relates a story of American "Manifest Destiny" as seen through the eyes of James Newman (Stuhlbarg), a 19th-century immigrant with grand ambitions. He arrives penniless in New York, where he meets Mercy (Augesen), a young woman whose fate becomes entwined with his own. Mercy has already endured too many unpleasant adventures and is ready to settle down, but James yearns to wander the continental wilderness. Spurred on by a Mephistophelean con man/entrepreneur/adventurer named Samuel Markham (Harelik), James begins a perilous journey across the immense American landscape, encountering numerous colorful characters along the way.
Korder's Search and Destroy was premiered by the SCR in 1990 and went on to successful performances in New York, London and elsewhere. He is the recipient of a 1996 Guggenheim Fellowship in playwriting. He has also worked with New York's 52nd Street Project, both with children in Hell's Kitchen and the Navajo Project.
South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive. For tickets and information call (714) 708-5555 or visit www.scr.org
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent