The world-premiere production, which was originally slated to run through May 4, began performances at the Mint Feb. 26.
Set during the Spanish Civil War, The Fifth Column, according to press notes, "is the dramatic, sexy and surprisingly funny story of the private and political passions of Philip Rawlings, a counter-espionage agent working for the Republic during the Spanish Civil War. At the heart of the play is a romance between Rawlings and Dorothy Bridges, a journalist in over her head professionally and head-over-her-heels personally. Against a backdrop of treachery and danger, Dorothy and Philip take solace in each other's arms and dream of peace—a dream that threatens Rawlings's commitment to the cause."
The Fifth Column marks the only full-length Hemingway drama which was never produced in its original version. The Mint staging features James Andreassi, Heidi Armbruster, Kelly AuCoin, Ryan Duncan, Ronald Guttman, John Patrick Hayden, Joe Hickey, Carlos Lopez, Ned Noyes, Maria Parra, Joe Rayome, Nicole Shalhoub and Teresa Yenque.
Mint Theater Company artistic director Jonathan Bank stages the production with a creative team including set design by Vicki R. Davis, costume design by Clint Ramos, lighting design by Jeff Nellis and sound design by Jane Shaw.
One of America's foremost writers — having written the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Old Man and the Sea" as well as "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "The Sun Also Rises," "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "A Farewell to Arms" — Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. A candid war correspondent and American expatriate, Hemingway is known for his lifestyle as well as his literary works. The Fifth Column will run through May 18 at The Mint Theater Company, located at 311 West 43rd Street in New York. For more information visit www.minttheater.org.
Originally published within a collection of short stories, The Fifth Column wasn't as well received in print as were Hemingway's other works, and went unproduced until 1940. However, the 1940 production under the direction of Lee Strasburg presented an altered adaptation of Hemingway's original, and though it was well received by critics, the author would have nothing to do with what he felt was a bastardized representation. Almost 70 years later, the Mint Theatre Company presents the work as originally penned by Hemingway.