Henry David Hwang, Tony-winning author of M. Butterfly, has tackled Henrik Ibsen's Norwegian adventure epic Peer Gynt. His adaptation has been announced to premiere at Rhode Island's Trinity Repertory Company at a date to be announced during the 1997-98 season.
The wild, picaresque tale will be part of Trinity Rep's 34th season, the fourth under artistic director Oscar Eustis. Peer Gynt is such an epic, sprawling work, few theatre companies attempt it. Recent examples have included a celebrated mounting starring Richard Thomas at Hartford Stage Company, and Ingmar Bergman's staging imported by the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Dates, directors and casts have still to be set, but here's the line-up of productions for the rest of Trinity Rep's season:
* William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. A woodland love story of misplaced affections and meddling sprites.
* Emily Mann's Having Our Say, an adaptation of Sadie & Bessie Delaney's memoir, covering the African-American sisters' hundred years together. * Peer Gynt, adapted by David Henry Hwang. On a journey of self discovery, a young man travels everywhere and back again.
* Paula Vogel's How I Learned To Drive. Awards keep accruing for this tragicomic story of a young girl's unhealthy relationship with her alcoholic uncle. The play is currently (May 1997) Off-Broadway at the Century Center Theatre in a Vineyard Theatre production.
Also on tap will be the company's 21st annual A Christmas Carol -- with a twist. This one will alternate the performers playing Scrooge. . . one male, one female.
The second annual Providence New Play Festival will also bring an extra dimension to the season, through stagings and readings of new works.
"The coming season is an exciting blend of well-loved classics and the best and newest of the American theatre," artistic director Eustis has announced. A spokesperson for Trinity Rep says further details on personnel for the season's plays, as well as Hwang's plans for Peer Gynt, probably won't be available until July.
For information on Trinity Rep's 34th season (subscriptions start at $48) , call the Providence-based theatre at (401) 351-4242.
--By David Lefkowitz