The play is a commission by The Purple Rose Theatre Company, Jeff Daniels' resident Equity troupe in Chelsea, Michigan, 60 miles west of Detroit, where Albom is known for his Detroit Free Press writing and radio-host gig.
Albom co-wrote a play version of his memoir, "Tuesdays With Morrie," with Jeffrey Hatcher. The property was also seen as a TV movie with Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria before it was a stage show Off-Broadway and (now) in regional theatre.
The new Duck Hunter plays the Purple Rose June 24-Aug. 28 under the direction of PRTC artistic director Guy Sanville, who has helmed many Jeff Daniels plays there. Opening night is July 2.
According to PRTC, "Duck Hunter Shoots Angel is a tender new comedy about a tabloid journalist from New York City on a search for two Alabama swamp poachers who believe they shot a celestial being. When the story he finds refuses to fit into his neatly ordered world, this jaded muckraker must decide if it is truly possible to talk to angels. Full of zany characters like Alligator Man and the Early brothers, Duck Hunter Shoots Angel is an out-of-this-world tale full of magical surprises and unexpected second chances."
The cast includes Joseph Albright, Ryan Carlson, Grant R. Krause, Wayne David Parker, Wallace Bridges, Jessica Cloud, Randolph Fitzpatrick, James Krag and Jenny McKnight. "I am pleased that in addition to his column, television appearances, radio show, and another novel, Mitch Albom is writing plays," director Sanville said in a statement. "And he is writing them for The Purple Rose Theatre Company. We are excited and honored that Mitch has chosen the Purple Rose as a creative home to nurture and present his new work."
PRTC is so committed to Albom that another play of his, And the Winner Is, has been announced for summer 2005.
Designers for Duck Hunter Shoots Angel include Steven Klein (set), Reid G. Johnson (lighting), Christianne Myers (costume), Danna Segrest (prop) and Quintessa Duffield (sound).
Purple Rose is at 137 Park Street in Chelsea, MI. For ticket information, call (734) 433-ROSE or visit www.purplerosetheatre.org.