Third is a full-length expansion of a one-act that had its premiere at Theatre J in Washington, DC, in early 2004. At the time, it was paired with another one act, Welcome to My Rash. In the one-act version of Third, Laurie Jameson, a veteran professor at a private liberal arts college, and Woodson Bull III (as in "the Third"), her conservative, wrestling jock of a student, face off in a series of confrontations over politics, Shakespeare, and campus culture. Meanwhile, Laurie fends off hot flashes as well a challenging relationship with her college-age daughter.
Wiest will play the professor, and Aldredge will play her father.
Lincoln Center has made no official announcement about casting.
Daniel Sullivan—who piloted Wasserstein's best known titles, The Heidi Chronicles and The Sisters Rosensweig—will direct the work, which is expected to begin in mid-September and open in October.
Dianne Wiest is a two-time Academy Award-winner ("Hannah and Her Sisters," "Bullets Over Broadway"). She is currently in Memory House at Playwrights Horizons. Other recent theatre credits includeSalome, Solitaire on Broadway. , She won a Theatre World Award and an Obie Award for The Art of Dining in the early '80s and a second Obie for her work in the plays Other Places and Serenading Louie. Aldredge is currently starring in Broadway's Twelve Angry Men. Other recent work from the constantly employed actor includes Twentieth Century and The Crucible. He made his Broadway debut in 1959's The Nervous Set. He has been nominated for Tony Awards for Twentieth Century, Passion, The Little Foxes, Where's Charley? and Sticks and Bones.
Lincoln Center has long been Wasserstein's New York home, the place where her plays An American Daughter and Old Money have been seen. On Third, Wasserstein and Sullivan reunite for the first time since 1997's An American Daughter, which was a critical and popular disappointment for both. Mark Brokaw directed the subsequent Old Money.
Wasserstein's other plays include Isn't It Romantic? and Uncommon Women and Others. Her musical, Pamela's First Musical, premieres in California in 2005-06.