Academy Award and Tony Award nominee Kathleen Turner returns to Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater October 7 to star in Joan Didion’s one-woman drama, The Year of Magical Thinking, adapted from Didion’s 2005 best-selling memoir of the same title.
Turner, who previously appeared in Arena Stage’s Mother Courage and Her Children and Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, portrays the writer in Didion’s penetrating and moving examination of grief. Gaye Taylor Upchurch directs.
Performances continue through November 20 in the 200-seat Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle.
In the solo play, according to production notes, “Didion chronicles the sudden death of her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, and illness of her only daughter. Her first-person account weaves together an intensely personal yet universal story of hope in the face of inescapable loss.”
“The Year of Magical Thinking is a powerful play,” artistic director Molly Smith said in an earlier statement. “Joan Didion was confronted with extreme personal loss and has bravely shared her story. Our production stars Kathleen, who intimately understands this story and will take the audience gently by the hand as she navigates this story of grief and transition. She is a superb actor and I know her performance will be unforgettable.”
“It is a play about grief, yes, but the rigorous assessing of grief and its effects, as delivered by the incomparable Kathleen Turner, is in fact an incredible act of generosity,” added Upchurch. “Kathleen's grit and grace and sly sense of humor are fantastically paired with Joan Didion's no-holds-barred piece. I feel honored to be plumbing the depths of this gorgeous work with her at Arena Stage.” “I am drawn to this piece by the exquisite writing and inherent grace that I hope to be able to share with others,” stated Turner.
The creative team includes set designer Daniel Zimmerman, costume designer Kathleen Geldard, lighting designer Jesse Belsky, original music and sound designer Roc Lee, stage manager Kurt Hall and assistant stage manager Emily Mellon.
Vanessa Redgrave debuted the solo play on Broadway in 2007.
Tickets may be purchased online at arenastage.org, by phone at (202) 488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth St., SW, D.C.