Academy Award winner Frances McDormand will star in the New York Theatre Workshop season opener, Caryl Churchill's Far Away. Director Stephen Daldry, whose busy film schedule caused the postponement of the play last season, will finally helm the work set to begin Nov. 1 and officially open Nov. 11 for a run through Dec. 22.
Though a screen star, marked by her Oscar nods for "Mississippi Burning," "Almost Famous" and win for "Fargo," McDormand is also familiar to the stage. Her credits include The Sisters Rosensweig, The Swan, Awake and Sing!, A Streetcar Named Desire and most recently To You, The Birdie! — the Wooster Group's adaption of Racine's Phedre. Other film credits include "Wonder Boys," "Primal Fear," "Blood Simple" and "Raising Arizona" — the latter two under the direction of her director-screenwriter husband Joel Coen.
Far Away is an anti-utopian look at the future as shown through a girl's visit to her auntie's house. The play, which originally opened in London in 2000, will also star Alexa Eisenstein, Marin Ireland, Chris Messina and Gina Rose.
Daldry made a name for himself as a director at London's Royal Court Theatre and on Broadway with An Inspector Calls and Via Dolorosa. He then went on to direct films, most notably, his feature film debut "Billy Elliot." He is currently working on "The Hours" starring Nicole Kidman (The Blue Room), Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep (The Seagull), Allison Janney (A View from the Bridge), Ed Harris, Claire Danes, Toni Collette (Wild Party), Eileen Atkins (Indiscretions), Stephen Dillane (The Real Thing), John C. Reilly (True West) and Miranda Richardson.
* Among the other shows chosen is a post-modern production of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice to be directed by Hungarian director Robert Alfoldi. As previously reported, Liev Schreiber told Playbill On-Line he was discussing the possibility of playing Shylock in the staging.
Actress Cherry Jones — set to play in the Broadway-bound Imaginary Friends — has been mentioned to star in Peter Gaiten's Flesh and Blood, adapted from the novel by Michael Cunningham.
Director Greif will return to the original home of his staging of Rent to helm Cavedweller. The adaptation from novelist Dorothy Allison's sophomore offering with the same title follows a woman's journey home to the children she left following the death of the rock star who took her away from them.
The comedy The Beard of Avon by Amy Freed (Freedomland) is also set to play the season. No date or order — with the exception of Far Awayhas been confirmed — according to NYTW spokesperson. All artists and shows are subject to change.
For more information or tickets to NYTW shows, 79 East Fourth Street (between Bowery and Second Ave.), call (212) 460-5475. Also visit their website at www.nytw.org.
— by Ernio Hernandez