Guthrie Season to Include Guare's His Girl Friday and Uhry's Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara

News   Guthrie Season to Include Guare's His Girl Friday and Uhry's Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara The 2005-2006 season at Minneapolis' Guthrie Theater — the final season at Vineland Place prior to the opening of the new Guthrie Theater in summer 2006 — has been announced.

The season on the Guthrie Theater Mainstage will kick off with the U.S. premiere of John Guare's His Girl Friday. An adaptation of both Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's The Front Page and the Howard Hawks film "His Girl Friday," the Guare comedy will run July 2-31. Guthrie Artistic Director Joe Dowling will direct the production, which premiered at London's Royal National Theatre in 2003.

W. Somerset Maugham's The Constant Wife follows, playing Aug. 13 Sept. 11. John Miller-Stephany will direct the social comedy, which follows "Constance, an intelligent, charming and faithful wife who discovers that her husband is having an affair with her best friend. Rather than humiliating herself and others, she denies the affair, defends the two, and sets about turning the painful situation to her own advantage."

A 35-year-old single African-American seamstress named Esther who resides in 1905 New York is the focus of Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel. Directed by Timothy Bond, Nottage's tale will play the Guthrie Sept. 24-Oct. 23. Apparel explores Esther's struggles "with loneliness and wishes for the kind of fulfillment she cannot find behind a sewing machine."

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre returns to the Guthrie with Measure for Measure. An "original practices" production, the William Shakespeare classic will run Oct. 27-Nov. 6.

The holiday favorite A Christmas Carol marks its 31st production at the Guthrie, playing Nov. 19-Dec. 24. Barbara Fields' adaptation of Charles Dickens' immortal tale will be directed by Gary Gisselman. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Alfred Uhry — of Driving Miss Daisy fame — will present his new play, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, Jan. 7-Feb. 5, 2006. Based on the book by David I. Kertzer, Edgardo Mortara concerns the true story of a Jewish boy who was taken from his family and raised Catholic. "As an infant," reads production notes, "Edgardo Mortara suffers a devastating illness. Unknown to his parents, their Catholic housemaid baptizes him, fearing for the baby’s soul. The child survives the illness, but under the direction of the Vatican, Edgardo is taken from his family to be raised by the Catholic Church. Under the law of the Papal States at the time, Edgardo’s baptism makes him a Christian, and Jews cannot raise a Christian child, even their own. Despite repeated appeals by his family and attempts to bring him home, the child remains a ward of the Catholic Church." Doug Hughes will direct the Guthrie premiere.

The Guthrie Mainstage season will conclude with a second Shakespeare, the revenge play Hamlet. Joe Dowling will direct the tale of Hamlet, Gertrude and Ophelia March 4-May 7.

The Guthrie Lab offerings include Shakespeare's Macbeth — directed by Max Stafford-Clark — Sept. 23-Oct. 2 and Freezing Paradise: An Evening with Kevin Kling, Oct. 19-30. And, the Guthrie's Pantages Theatre will present Arlecchino, Servant of Two Masters, Nov. 8 20.

The Guthrie Theater is located in Minneapolis at 725 Vineland Place. Tickets can be purchased by calling (612) 377-2224 or by visiting www.guthrietheater.org.