Mint Production of The Lonely Way to Use Gehry Furniture

News   Mint Production of The Lonely Way to Use Gehry Furniture
 
Architect Frank Gehry's getting a lot of play in theatre circles lately. Recently, Gehry's design for the new Brooklyn home of Theater for a New Audience was unveiled. But, long before that edifice gets built, the master builder's work will receive its Off-Broadway debut at the Mint Theatre Company.

The Mint's new production of Arthur Schnitzler’s The Lonely Way (Der Einsame Weg) will feature a set festooned with examples of a new line of furniture created by the architect. "Schnitzler has naturally been associated with fin-de-siecle," says Mint artistic director Jonathan Bank, "But I believe that he's a true modernist."

The set of near-featureless, metallic gray shapes is described by Helleronline.com (which carries them) as: "A spectacular group of three cubes, a bench, an easy chair, a coffee table / sitting unit, and a sofa, in silver resin. Sculpture in space. With sleek surfaces and flowing lines."

Opening night is Feb. 13. The run is scheduled to end March 27, but if it follows the pattern of Far and Wide, an extension could occur.

The Mint Theatre Company scored a big critical and commercial hit with its production of Arthur Schnitzler’s little-seen masterpiece Far and Wide (Das weite Land). Now, the Off-Broadway company, which specializes in dusting off neglected dramatic works, turns to the Austrian playwright again.

Margaret Schaefer and Jonathan Bank have written the new translation of the work, which premiered in 1904, seven years before Far and Wide, and four years after Schnitzler's most famous play, La Ronde. Bank will direct a cast that includes George Morfogen, Eric Alperin, Lisa Bostnar, Ronald Guttman, Jordan Lage, Bennett Leak, Sherry Skinner, Constance Tarbox, and John Leonard Thompson. The Lonely Way will have set design by Vicki R. Davis, lighting design by Ben Stanton and costume design by Henry Shaffer. The story concerns artist Julian Fichtner, who, at middle age, finds himself with little to show for his life-long penchant for "pleasure, freedom and self expression." Wanting to lend his life meaning, he goes to his grown son, a soldier who does not know that the artist is his father.

According to the Mint, the play has never been seen in New York and was only produced once in the U.S., a 1931 Theater Guild production which tried out in Baltimore and Washington, but stalled when the leading man broke his leg.

The Mint's commitment to Schnitzler goes further than the production. The company plans to publish "Arthur Schnitzler Reclaimed," a book containing both Far and Wide and The Lonely Way. The book is part of Mint’s effort to extend the reach of its mission, "beyond 43rd street and out into the rest of the nation," according to Bank. "Schnitzler is a playwright who deserves the attention of anyone serious about the modern theatre."

Tickets will be $45; $35 during previews. To order tickets, call (212) 315 0231, or visit the Mint on-line box office at www.minttheater.org.

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