The major regional theatre premiere of Lanford Wilson's award-winning Book of Days will be a co-production between Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Hartford Stage, with the possibility of New York City in that production's future.
Although a Hartford Stage spokesman said it was too early to make any speculations about a future for the serio-comic play, about secrets in a small Missouri town, a spokesperson for Wilson at his agency, ICM, said a New York City run is being eyed after Hartford.
Marshall Mason, Wilson's longtime collaborator, will direct the co production, which had its world premiere in 1998 by the small SPT troupe, the Purple Rose Theatre Company, in Chelsea, MI.
Book of Days won the American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award in March 1999.
The Rep of St, Louis will stage Missouri native Wilson's work, about the people in Dublin, MO, hiding their passions and secrets following the death of a local business leader, Sept. 8-Oct. 8. The Hartford run will play Oct. 21-Nov. 20. No casting has been announced. As is usually the case with co productions, it's likely the cast will be the same in both Missouri and Connecticut.
The play follows a local bookkeeper, Ruth, who has been cast as St. Joan in a local production of the Bernard Shaw play, and how she searches to uncover the truth of the local cheese tycoon's death. A cheese factory is the town's major industry.
The play was commissioned by Jeff Daniels' Purple Rose Theatre Company and produced there in 1998. Retired Detroit Free Press critic Lawrence DeVine nominated the script for the ATCA award, but the play got widely mixed reviews from the major Detroit dailies.
-- By Kenneth Jones
and Robert Simonson