Kathleen Chalfant, who collected countless awards for her performance as an English professor felled by cancer in last season's hit play Wit, will find her next role at Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre, according to the theatre's latest season brochure. Chalfant will be featured in Sybille Pearson's True History and Real Adventures, directed by Michael Mayer (Side Man). The play will be performed in late 1999-early 2000. No dates have been set.
True/Real is about a Scottish girl who comes to America at the turn of the last century and teams up with some rogue teenagers to find the real Calamity Jane. Pearson previously penned the plays Baby and Phantasie.
News of True/Real was sent out by the Vineyard through a subscription brochure. No official announcement of the Vineyard's season has been made and the schedule is subject to change.
The new Vineyard season may also reunite the team of playwright Nicky Silver and director David Warren, one of the most enduring theatrical partnerships of the '90s. The two have worked together on Fit to Be Tied, The Eros Trilogy, Raised in Captivity and Pterodactyls, the last three at the Vineyard. The new work, The Altruists, takes aim at familiar Silver targets and then some, including "radicals, do-gooders, leftists, fascism, racism, sexism, agism, gay rights, civil rights, the NEA, the ERA, the NRA, ACT UP and anyone with a social conscience." The comedy is set for winter of 2000.
Being considered for the first play of the season is Fully Committed, a new play by Becky Mode about an out of work actor dealing with an avalanche of people all trying to secure a reservation for New York's hottest restaurant on a Saturday night. Mark Setlock stars. Directing Fully Committed is one of the country's most in-demand directors, Nicholas Martin. Martin scored two hits this past New York season, with John Guare's Bosoms and Neglect at the Signature Theatre and Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation at Playwrights Horizons. Currently he is piloting Tennessee Williams' Camino Real and Guare's new play, Chaucer in Rome, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
For information on the Vineyard, call (212) 353-3366.
--By Robert Simonson