Frank's Home, Richard Nelson's Blueprint of Architect's Life, Premieres in Chicago

News   Frank's Home, Richard Nelson's Blueprint of Architect's Life, Premieres in Chicago Frank Lloyd Wright, a singular American character whose life was the stuff of good drama, is the cornerstone of Richard Nelson's new play, Frank's Home, starting a world premiere run Nov. 25 at Chicago's Goodman Theatre.
Peter Weller stars as Frank Lloyd Wright in Frank's Home.
Peter Weller stars as Frank Lloyd Wright in Frank's Home. Photo by Michael Brosilow

The new play is among a number of recent stage projects that share the subject of the brilliant and troubled architect (1869-1959), known for his horizontal "prairie style" designs. Also fascinated by the man are the creators of the opera Shining Brow; Work Song: Three Views of Frank Lloyd Wright; the solo show Frank Lloyd Wright; and the musical Renewing Wright, among others.

Robert Falls directs the Nov. 25–Dec. 23 production of Frank's Home (in Goodman's Owen Theatre), a collaboration with Playwrights Horizons in New York City, where it will play in early 2007. The Goodman opening date is Dec. 5.

The cast includes Peter Weller as Wright and Harris Yulin as mentor-architect Louis Sullivan, as well as Goodman favorite Mary Beth Fisher as Miriam Noel, Frank's mistress; Maggie Siff as Catherine, Frank's daughter; Jay Whitaker as Lloyd, Frank's son; Jeremy Strong as William, Frank's assistant; Chris Henry Coffey as Kenneth, Catherine's husband; and Holley Fain as Helen, a schoolteacher.

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According to Goodman, "It is summer 1923, and architect Frank Lloyd Wright has recently left Chicago for California—the edge of the continent—determined to embrace Hollywood's youthful zest, mend broken relationships with his adult children and revive his career. He has recently enjoyed the successful completion of his latest 'wonder of the world'—Tokyo's Imperial Hotel—and is now poised to settle down and embrace his new home. But his splintered family still has deep-seeded resentments. Then news arrives of an earthquake in Japan that has crumbled Wright’s prized hotel to the ground. Or has it? A stunning new play from one of America's best contemporary playwrights, Frank's Home is a lyrical, heartbreaking story about one of our greatest, if less than perfect, visionaries—a man who created a new architectural vocabulary, but couldn't create a home for himself and his family." Peter Weller starred in the "Robocop" films, and was featured last season in the hit series "24" as terrorist collaborator Christopher Henderson. He began his career in New York theatre and made his debut in the Broadway premiere of David Rabe's Sticks and Bones, a role he also played in London. Other Broadway credits include Summer Brave (William Inge's rewrite of Picnic), The Merchant of Venice and Otto Preminger's production of Full Circle. Off-Broadway he appeared in Rabe's Streamers, David Mamet's The Woods, Lanford Wilson's Serenading Louie and, most recently, The Exonerated. He earned a 1994 Academy Award nomination for Best Live Action Short for his directorial debut, "Partner."

Harris Yulin (Louis Sullivan) appeared at Playwrights Horizons in Fran's Bed and Arts & Leisure. Broadway credits include Hedda Gabler, The Price, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Visit, A Lesson From Aloes and Watch on the Rhine. He directed Signature Theatre's acclaimed The Trip to Bountiful Off-Broadway.

The design team includes Tom Lynch (set), Michael Philippi (lights), Susan Hilferty (costumes) and Richard Woodbury (sound).

For more information, visit www.goodmantheatre.org.

Holley Fain, Peter Weller, Maggie Siff and director Robert Falls in rehearsals for <i>Frank's Home</i> at the Goodman.
Holley Fain, Peter Weller, Maggie Siff and director Robert Falls in rehearsals for Frank's Home at the Goodman. Photo by Michael Brosilow