New York Theatre Workshop opens their 2002-2003 season with Caryl Churchill's Far Away, Nov. 11. Academy Award winner Frances McDormand heads up the cast in the play directed by "Billy Elliot" helmer Stephen Daldry. Performances began at the downtown venue Nov. 1 and will 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 with 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. The production runs 50 minutes with no intermission.
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 a Billy Elliot musical with composer Elton John and the film's screenwriter Lee Hall — who will provide book and lyrics — as well as choreographer Peter Darling. His upcoming film "The Hours" stars 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.