The Off-Broadway company is producing three world premieres this coming season. David Rabe's drama is expected to surface in spring 2012. No casting has been officially announced for the production, to be directed by Jo Bonney.
Lily Rabe told the Globe that she has always wanted to act in a play by her father; her mother is the late actress Jill Clayburgh.
"It's scary," she told the Globe, in an interview that coincides with her July 20-31 turn as Nora in A Doll's House at Williamstown Theatre Festival, "but we're really excited to work on it."
Here's how The New Group bills An Early History of Fire: "From one of the most influential playwrights of our time, a world premiere set at the tipping point of the early 1960s. In a Midwestern town, Danny's world is defined by friendship and loyalty. But the bigger world is encroaching in the form of Karen, back from college in the east, alluring and unsettling because of what she now knows. Still, Danny can't escape the grip of his immigrant father, who is mourning a vanished world of lost prestige and clinging to his only son. A whirl in longing and confusion, An Early History of Fire marks David Rabe's return to The New Group, following the acclaimed revival of Hurlyburly."
All New Group productions for the season will play Off-Broadway's Theatre Row (in the Acorn Theatre) on West 42nd Street. The new season will also feature Erika Sheffer's Russian Transport, which will be directed by artistic director Scott Elliott. "Set in the Russian-Jewish enclave of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn," Russian Transport, according to The New Group, is a "deeply personal, emotionally charged tale of an immigrant couple, their two assimilated teenagers and the fierce and fiery upheaval they experience when sexy, mysterious Uncle Boris from the old country comes to stay with them for his shot at the American dream."
Burning by Thomas Bradshaw, directed by Elliott, will also be part of the season. Guggenheim Award winner Bradshaw's play is described as such: "In intersecting stories spanning two eras, a contemporary Black painter who hides his race goes to Germany for a show, only to find that the gallery owner has misinterpreted his work. And in the '80s a homeless teenager comes to New York to become an actor and is taken in by two gay men, who are themselves producing a new play. Titillating, taboo-testing and psychosexually insightful, this epic tale of ambition and self-invention bursts open the conceits of the worlds of art and theatre."