Neil Simon's Rewrites To Make World Premiere in New Seattle Rep Season with Temple Musical

News   Neil Simon's Rewrites To Make World Premiere in New Seattle Rep Season with Temple Musical Neil Simon's Rewrites is one of six world premieres featured in incoming artistic director David Esbjornson's inaugural season at Seattle Repertory Theatre. The slate will also include Tuesdays with Morrie, Nine Parts of Desire, and a new musical based on the life and growth of an autistic girl, Temple Grandin.
Neil Simon
Neil Simon Photo by Aubrey Reuben

"I'm interested in doing a season that honors artists and relationships that the Rep has developed so well in the past," said Esbjornson in a release, "while also presenting a season that allows me to explore this audience and this community. I'm excited by the variety of work we're presenting next year, a mix of commissions and projects that have been in development here in Seattle for some time, along with work that represents artists and projects that I'm bringing as part of my history. It's a season designed to help me get to know the audiences here at Seattle Rep, and I look forward to it."

Productions will play at the Washington state company's mainstage Bagley Wright Theatre and more intimate The Leo K. Theatre. The season is as follows (subject to change):

  • Cathay: Three Tales of China by Ping Chong and Shaanxi Folk Art Theatre (Sept. 10-Oct. 9)
    Billed as "a theatrical triptych that weaves together tales from far-flung eras of China's past and present, mixing puppetry and actors." The three tales center on an emperor and his consort, World War Two's consequences in a country village, and a contemporary "grand hotel" collage of international tourists and business people. A commission by the Kennedy Center for the 2005 Festival of China and developed in partnership with Shaanxi Folk Art Theatre.
  • Carlo Gozzi's The King Stag adapted by Shelley Berc and Andrei Belgrader (Sept. 24-Oct. 22)
    In a world premiere adaptation, Gozzi's 18th century classic tale of magic and mayhem set in the land of Serendippo finds a king wants a woman who truly loves him but a scheming prime minister may thwart his plan.

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  • Purgatorio by Ariel Dorfman (Oct. 29-Nov. 26)
    The world premiere from the playwright of Death and the Maiden and Widows is a work "where a man and a woman are each faced with the truths of their lives and required to account for them." The drama asks "Are Medea's crimes beyond the measure of her injuries? And is her husband Jason without blame?"
  • Restoration Comedy by Amy Freed (Dec. 3, 2005-Jan. 7, 2006)
    The Beard of Avon scribe set her world premiere play in the late-17th-century London. Inspired by John Vanbrugh's The Relapse and Colley Cibber's Love's Last Shift, the work finds a man trying to reunite a woman believed to be a widow and her very-alive philandering husband while another man "attempts to make his fortune (and outwit his brother) through his own game of love."
  • Rewrites by Neil Simon (Jan. 19-Feb. 18, 2006)
    Based on his own memoir of the same name, one of America's most celebrated playwrights sculpts his latest world premiere play about love and the theatre. In the new work, a young newlywed playwright on the verge of two life-changing events — the birth of his first child and the berth of his first Broadway play.
  • Temple music by Norman Durkee, book and Lyrics by Silvia Peto (March 2- April 1, 2006)
    Based on the real life of a girl who did not speak until she was three but grew up — despite her autism — to achieve success, a doctorate and more, "this world premiere musical celebrates the determined ingenuity of a miraculous spirit through the true story of Temple Grandin."
  • Nine Parts of Desire by Heather Raffo (March 18-April 15, 2006)
    Following a successful stint Off-Broadway, the playwright-performer shares her work with Seattle audiences. The drama finds her taking on a cross-section of Iraqi women in the solo which "depicts the realities of life in Iraq... of these unique women, whose individual worlds have been frayed and fractured, sometimes beyond repair, by their country's troubled history."
  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom (April 8-May 7, 2006)
    The play based on Albom's best-selling book centers on the sports writer's retelling of the life lessons learned during weekly visits with his college professor Morrie Schwartz, who is dying from Lou Gehrig's disease. New artistic director Esbjornson recently staged Kathleen Tolan's Memory House at Playwrights Horizons. Other recent credits include the 2004 Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park offering Much Ado About Nothing and the Worth Street Theatre's revival of The Normal Heart. He has also staged the world premiere of Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? on Broadway, Arthur Miller's Resurrection Blues at the Guthrie Theatre, Suzan-Lori Parks' In the Blood at the Public and Tony Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches at the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco.

    Subscriptions to the new season at Seattle Repertory Theatre, at 155 Mercer Street in Seattle, WA, are on sale now by calling (206) 443-2222, 1-877-900-9285 (toll free) or online at www.seatttlerep.org. Single tickets will go on sale in August.