Viola Davis, one of the Tony nominees from last season's Seven Guitars, will play the focus figure in God's Heart, Craig Lucas' controversial -- and cautionary -- new drama on the evils of contemporary out-of-control technology.
The play, scheduled to open in the spring at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre at New York's Lincoln Center, had its world premiere May 9, 1995 at Trinity Rep in Providence, RI. It was the last directing effort of Lucas' longtime collaborator Norman Rene, who has since passed away.
Joe Mantello, who helmed Love! Valour! Compassion! on stage and screen, has assumed direction of the Lincoln Center production, which goes into rehearsal Jan. 9 and starts previewing Feb. 13 for an opening there March 16.
John Benjamin Hickey from L!V!C! and Amy Brennerman of "NYPD Blue" play an Upper West Side couple -- a doctor and a housewife, respectively -- whose lives intersect with that of Davis, a dying woman who had been the subject of considerable film documentation in her past (a la the Loud family). Because of this excess video footage, which is fed into a computer -- and because of the advanced technology that is postulated in the play -- it becomes possible to transfer her soul onto video. It's science-fiction with an emphasis on drama.
Julia Kavner, who played Robin Williams' assistant in Awakenings, and Kevin Carroll are also part of the eight-member cast currently being assembled.-- By Harry Haun