Potential subscribers to Manhattan Theatre Club's 2002-03 season have been told the hot not-for-profit will present the New York premieres of David Ives' Polish Joke, David Lindsay-Abaire's Kimberly Akimbo, Charlayne Woodard's In Real Life, John Corwin's Gone Home and Dael Orlandersmith's Yellowman.
Corwin's play was bumped from the 2001-2002 season to the fall 2002 slot. Yellowman, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, was announced earlier this year and has been making the rounds of regional theatres. Kimberly Akimbo was mentioned as a 2002-03 show for MTC in 2001.
A Broadway production will be added to the subscription package as part of the four shows in the MTC Stage I series. Another Stage II selection will be announced. Off-Broadway's MTC operates out of City Center's Stage I and Stage II, and is currently refurbishing the historic Biltmore Theatre on Broadway to make the troupe a three-venue operation by fall 2003. As is always the case with early announcements, the schedule is subject to change.
Here's the season at a glance:
- In Real Life (first preview Sept. 17, opening Oct. 8 on Stage II), writer-performer Charlayne Woodard's autobiographical solo piece about a young actress starting out in New York — and landing a role in Ain't Misbehavin' (an MTC show), directed by Daniel Sullivan.
- Yellowman (first preview Oct. 1, opening Oct. 22 on Stage I), Dael Orlandersmith's drama about light and dark skinned people of color, and conflicting perceptions and prejudices about skin tone, directed by Blanka Zizka and featuring the playwright and Howard Overshown, who appeared in the play at Philadelphia's Wilma Theatre and continue a regional tour prior to the MTC engagement.
- Gone Home (first preview Nov. 25, opening Dec. 17 on Stage II), John Corwin's drama about returning home in adulthood and asking hard questions, directed by MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow (The Tale of the Allergist's Wife).
- Kimberly Akimbo (first preview Jan. 14, 2003, opening Feb. 4, 2003 on Stage I), David Lindsay-Abaire's New Jersey-set play starring Marylouise Burke (Into the Woods, Fuddy Meers) and focusing on a girl stricken with an ailment that causes her to age faster than she should, as she's surrounded by a quirky dysfunctional family. David Petrarca directs the staging of a work previously seen in Los Angeles.
- Polish Joke (first preview May 6, 2003, opening June 3, 2003 on Stage I), David Ives' comedy about a Polish man seeking to reinvent himself and avoid being the butt of cultural cliches, directed by John Rando (who is also helming a Long Wharf Theatre production of the play). The comedy was first seen in Seattle at ACT.
For subscription information, call (212) 399-3030 or visit ManhattanTheatreClub.com.
MTC-originated plays Proof and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife are currently playing on Broadway. A tour of Proof continues on the road, and Allergist's Wife takes to the road come summer.
— By Kenneth Jones