Gugino, Schreiber and Dennehy will play Abbie Putnam, Eben Cabot and his father Ephraim, respectively, in the turbulent family drama directed by Goodman artistic director Robert Falls. Performances will play the Chicago resident theatre Jan. 17-Feb, 22, 2009. Opening is Jan. 26.
Additional casting will be announced. The production is the centerpiece of the Goodman's "global exploration" billed as "Eugene O'Neill in the 21st Century," featuring "highly contemporary, inventive interpretations of O'Neill's dramas from a handful of the world's leading theatre companies" between January and March 2009.
Gugino currently stars opposite Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino in the crime drama film "Righteous Kill," which also features Brian Dennehy. She appears as Amanda in the HBO hit series "Entourage," and will appear in the family comedy film "Race to Witch Mountain" for Walt Disney Pictures (release March 2009) and "Watchmen," based on the lauded graphic novel. Gugino made her Broadway debut in Roundabout Theater Company's 2004 revival of Arthur Miller's After the Fall (Outer Critics Circle Award nomination). She appeared opposite Blythe Danner in Roundabout's Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams.
Schreiber's credits include Reasons To Be Pretty (MCC Theater), Awake and Sing! (Tony Award nomination), Dying City (Lincoln Center), Mr. Marmalade, Manuscript Sin (A Cardinal Deposed), Blood Orange and Julius Ceasar (New York Shakespeare Festival). He will next be seen in "Nights in Rodanthe" directed by George Wolfe and can currently be seen in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" directed by Woody Allen.
Falls' history with Eugene O'Neill has spanned four landmark productions: The Iceman Cometh (1990), A Touch of the Poet (1996), Long Day's Journey Into Night starring Brian Dennehy in a Tony Award-winning turn (2002) and Hughie (2004). Dennehy also won the Tony for playing Willy Loman in Falls' production of Death of a Salesman. Desire Under the Elms will play Goodman's Albert Theatre. According to production notes, "Sparked by the dark hollows and brilliant imaginings of his subconscious, master playwright Eugene O'Neill conceived Desire Under the Elms as he slept one night, resulting in a work with the powerful emotional pitch of a fever dream. Elder Ephraim Cabot returns to his remote New England farm with his third wife — the young, alluring, headstrong Abbie — setting his three disapproving grown sons on an emotional rollercoaster and bitter fight for their inheritance. When Ephraim's youngest son Eben sets his sights on Abbie, the resulting tempest brings tragic consequences."
First produced in 1924, Desire Under the Elms "hauntingly mingles love and loathing."
For Goodman Theatre's 2009 exploration of O'Neill, Falls views the 20th century "father of the American drama" through a 21st century international lens: a handful of the world's leading theatre companies bring to Chicago their highly contemporary, inventive interpretations of O'Neill's dramas to plumb the depths of this important playwright."
For more information visit www.goodmantheatre.org.