LOS ANGELES -- Two major southern California theater companies will mount productions of Donald Margulies' Collected Stories this summer: The Geffen Playhouse and The Old Globe.
The play was originally commissioned by South Coast Repertory in 1996, went on to receive local best-play awards and was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1997.
Set in Manhattan's cozy literary world, the play tells of Ruth Steiner, a prominent short story writer who becomes mentor to her awestruck student, Lisa, a budding fiction writer. The relationship between the established writer and her adulatory fan gradually shifts, as the younger writer becomes a protege, friend, peer -- and finally a threatening rival.
On May 19 the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood will mount its version of the play, directed by Gilbert Cates, starring Linda Lavin and Samantha Mathis, for a one-month run.
Sept. 12, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego will complete its 1999 season by producing its own version of Collected Stories, featuring Kandis Chappell, who originated the role of "Ruth" at SCR. She will be directed by Anne McNaughton, who last worked at the Globe in 1986 co-directing Julius Caesar with Dakin Mathews. The Old Globe's production of Collected Stories will run through Oct. 23. The Geffen Playhouse is located at 10886 Le Conte Ave. Call (310) 208 5454 or Ticketmaster.
The Old Globe's website is www.oldglobe.org.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent