Actor Liev Schreiber will join the previously announced Sigourney Weaver in the MCC Theatre's season opener The Mercy Seat Nov. 26-Jan. 12 as confirmed by a production spokesperson. The Neil LaBute world premiere, to officially open Dec. 18 at the Acorn Theater, will also be directed by the scribe. Tickets will go on sale Oct. 21 according to MCC representatives.
Schreiber, known for his stage and film work, was last seen on the New York stage in Land of the Dead (LaBute's contribution to the 9/11 benefit of Brave New World) with Kristin Davis under the direction of LaBute. The thespian, expected to play the role of Shylock in the upcoming New York Theatre Workshop production of The Merchant of Venice, adds to his already Shakespearean-laden resume which includes The Tempest, Macbeth, Cymbeline, Hamlet and Othello. Last seen on Broadway in Betrayal, Schreiber has also sustained a steady film career with roles in the "Scream" trilogy, "The Daytrippers," "Kate & Leopold" and, of course, the Ethan Hawke "Hamlet."
Weaver and Schreiber will play in the two-person drama which explores the affair between a married man and an older woman following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. This production replaces the previously announced The Distance From Here.
Weaver received a Tony Award nomination for her starring role in Hurlyburly on Broadway, but Is perhaps best known for her film work on "Aliens," "Ghostbusters," and her Academy Award-nominated turn in "Gorillas in the Mist." Her most recent stage work was in the 9/11-themed The Guys — she also stars in the upcoming film version — directed by her husband Jim Simpson.
The Distance From Here is being postponed until the 2003-04 season to make room for the more timely LaBute work. His most recent work to reach the New York stage was last season's The Shape of Things starring Rachel Weisz, Paul Rudd, Gretchen Mol and Frederick Weller. Other LaBute works include bash: latter day plays and Filthy Talk for Troubled Times. For tickets to MCC's The Mercy Seat at the Acorn Theatre, 410 West 42nd St. (between Ninth and Tenth Ave.), call (212) 279-4200.
Following The Mercy Seat is The Crucible star Brian Murray in the title role of first-time playwright Anto Howard's Scattergood. Previews will begin Feb. 11 and open Feb. 26 for a run through March 22 at the Samuel Beckett Theatre. Doug Hughes will helm the work about a young scholar who aspires for the chivalry of knighthood under the tutelage of his professor.
Jim Simpson, who helmed the still-running Bat Theatre Company production of Anne Nelson's The Guys as well as the Los Angeles production and movie version, will direct the previously announced Intrigue With Faye. Set to preview May 20 and open June 5 for a run to June 28, the drama will also play the Samuel Beckett Theatre in the 42nd Street complex. The work by Kate Robin (story editor for the HBO drama "Six Feet Under") concerns an urban couple so self-conscious they decide to cheat trust by videotaping their every move. The dark comedy delves into issues of exhibitionism and confession via the electronic medium.
MCC Theater was founded in 1986 by current artistic directors Robert LuPone and Bernard Telsey. The company is dedicated to bringing new works to New York with its three-play season. Past productions have included Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize winning Wit, Tim Blake Nelson's The Grey Zone, Marsha Norman's Trudy Blue and last season's Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Glory of Living by Rebecca Gilman.
For more information about MCC, visit www.MCCTheater.org.