Steven Dietz is all but playwright-in-residence during the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre's 1998-99 season. The company has selected two Dietz works for its upcoming line-up, including a world premiere.
The premiere is Dietz' new play Force of Nature, which the playwright has based on Goethe's 1809 novella The Elective Affinities. The production will be the finale of the MRT mainstage season, running from April 7-May 9. In addition, the company is also staging Dietz' Rocket Man at its smaller Stiemke Theater, Jan. 22-Feb. 14. In the play, a man cleaning out his house for a vast lawn sale begins to reflect on his life and subsequently embarks on a time-traveling fantasy.
This marks the third consecutive MRT season which has featured a Dietz work. The company previously produced Dietz' Silence two seasons ago, and his Private Eyes during 1997-98.
MRT will open its 1998-99 mainstage season with Peter Shaffer's Mozart drama Amadeus. Milwaukee Rep Artistic Director Joseph Hanreddy will direct the production, set to run Sep. 9-Oct. 11.
Timothy Bond will then stage Pearl Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky (Oct. 21-Nov. 22), followed by Alfred Uhry's The Last Night of Ballyhoo, mounted by J.R. Sullivan (Dec. 2-Jan. 3), and Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile, directed by Edward Morgan (Jan. 13-Feb. 14). The season's fourth slot belongs to Italian director Paolo Landi, a longtime colleague of Hanreddy. Landi will make his Milwaukee debut with 18th-century Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni's Servant of Two Masters. The production will run Feb. 24-March 28.
The three-show Stiemke season will begin with Stuart Spencer's Resident Alien (Sept. 18-Oct. 11), which recently had its premiere at the Actors Theatre of Louisville's Humana Festival. Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie will come next (Oct. 30-Nov. 22), followed by Dietz' Rocket Man.
For information, call (414) 224-1761.
-- By Robert Simonson