The Guthrie Theatre commissioned the play, which premiered in May 2009 at the Minnesota venue under the direction of Michael Greif (A Bright Room Called Day, Next to Normal, Rent). The Public Theater will house the production March 22-June 12, with Greif again at the helm.
The Public presented a reading of the play in September. The work takes inspiration for its title from George Bernard Shaw's The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism and Mary Baker Eddie's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
The Guthrie cast featured original Angels in America cast members Kathleen Chalfant and Stephen Spinella alongside Homebody/Kabul original cast member Linda Emond. Casting for the 2011 New York premiere has not been announced.
Press notes read: "In the summer of 2007, Gus Marcantonio, a retired longshoreman, summons his children to the family’s Brooklyn brownstone for a series of shocking announcements. The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With A Key to the Scriptures explores revolution, radicalism, marriage, sex, prostitution, politics, real estate, unions of all kinds and debts both repaid and unpayable."
Kushner said in a statement: "I have a long relationship to The Public Theater, beginning of course as an audience member when I first arrived in New York and then as a playwright, through A Bright Room Called Day, produced by Joe Papp and directed by Michael Greif; The Dybbuk, produced by George C. Wolfe; Caroline, or Change, which George produced and directed; and Mother Courage and Her Children, produced by Oskar Eustis. Oskar and I have been working together closely since the start of my career. The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide, or as I’ve been abbreviating it, iHo, has deep roots in an ongoing conversation with Oskar about life, politics and art that’s essential to my thinking and writing. Since I began working on it, this play has felt to me like it belonged at The Public. “There’s no theater on earth I admire more than the Signature, both for its faith in American playwrights and for its magnificent productions of our plays," he continued. "Jim Houghton has enormous talent and daring, a man of marvelous collegiality and seriousness of purpose. I’m thrilled and honored to have been offered a Signature season. Now that it’s almost here, I’m also terrified, but in the nicest way. Since I began working on this play, I felt it would make a perfect choice for the new play slot in my Signature season. iHo opening in New York as part of both The Public’s and Signature’s season, co-produced by Oskar and Jim, feels so much like having my cake and eating it too that I’m embarrassed by my good fortune, and very happy."
As previously reported, the Signature Theatre will devote its 20th anniversary season to producing Kushner's work, including Angels in America and another production to be announced.
A Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner for Angels in America, Kushner also penned Short Talks on the Universe, A Bright Room Called Day, Slavs!, Hydriotaphia, Homebody/Kabul, The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures and the book to the Tony-nominated musical Caroline, or Change. His adaptations include Corneille's The Illusion, S.Y. Ansky's The Dybbuk, Brecht's The Good Person of Sezuan and Mother Courage.
Kushner is also the recipient of two Obie Awards for Best Play, an Arts Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Mid-Career Playwright, a Spirit of Justice Award from the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, a Cultural Achievement Award from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and the 2008 Harold and Mimi Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award.