The Captain's Tiger, South African playwright Athol Fugard's autobiographical story of a young writer, subtitled "a Memoir for the Stage," opens at Manhattan Theatre Club Jan. 19, 1999.
The date is a week later than expected as a result of actor-playwright Athol Fugard's illness during previews. Manhattan Theatre Club bumped its opening from Jan. 12 to Jan. 19 to give co-director and star Fugard time to recover from a recent bout with pneumonia, which caused him to miss a day of work, according to an MTC spokesman.
The Captain's Tiger draws on Fugard's youth as an idealistic young writer penning his first novel aboard the S.S. Graigaur, a rusting tramp steamer bound for Asia. There he meets Donkeyman, the ship's Swahili crew member, and Betty, the story's heroine. In the drama, the writer character is haunted by a cherished photo of his mother.
Fugard co directs (with co-director, set-and-costume designer Susan Hilferty) at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage II. Previews there began Dec. 17, 1998.
This isn't the first time American audiences have seen Fugard's Captain's Tiger: This production previously played at California's La Jolla Playhouse July 12-Aug. 9, 1998 and at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre Sept. 23-Nov. 1, 1998. Like the La Jolla and D.C. stagings, the Off- Broadway production of the three-character play co-stars Felicity Jones and Tony Todd. New Jersey's McCarter Theatre hosted the American premiere May 5-24, 1998. In that production, South Africans Owen Sejake and Jennifer Steyn joined Fugard on stage.
The play had its world premiere in the fall of 1997 at the State Theatre in Pretoria, South Africa.
Other plays by Fugard, South Africa's major playwright, include The Blood Knot, Boesman and Lena , The Road To Mecca , Master Harold...and the Boys and Valley Song, which had its U.S. premiere at the McCarter.
Manhattan Theatre Club tickets are $36. City Center is at 131 W. 55th St. For information, call (212) 581-1212. On MTC's mainstage, Captains Courageous: The Musical began previews Jan. 12 for an opening Feb. 16, 1999.