Lily Rabe (The Merchant of Venice) first revealed the news in a July interview with the Boston Globe. "It's scary," she said, "but we're really excited to work on it." Rehearsals will begin in February 2012.
In a statement for the New Group, David Rabe added, "A further excitement waits in the chance to collaborate with my daughter, Lily, for the first time. In a reading we did of the play, her embodiment of Karen brought clarity and heart to a difficult, complex person."
Here's how The New Group bills An Early History of Fire: "From one of the most influential playwrights of our time, a world premiere set at the tipping point of the early 1960s. In a Midwestern town, Danny's world is defined by friendship and loyalty. But the bigger world is encroaching in the form of Karen, back from college in the east, alluring and unsettling because of what she now knows. Still, Danny can't escape the grip of his immigrant father, who is mourning a vanished world of lost prestige and clinging to his only son. A whirl in longing and confusion, An Early History of Fire marks David Rabe's return to The New Group, following the acclaimed revival of Hurlyburly."
Bonney, who staged By the Way, Meet Vera Stark for Second Stage Theatre last spring, will helm An Early History of Fire, which will play the Acorn Theatre on 42nd Street.
Tony-winning playwright David Rabe's plays include The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, Sticks and Bones, The Orphan, In the Boom Boom Room, Streamers, Hurlyburly, Those the River Keeps, A Question of Mercy, The Dog Problem and The Black Monk. Lily Rabe received a 2011 Tony Award nomination for her performance as Portia in The Merchant of Venice, opposite Al Pacino. This summer she starred as Nora in the Williamstown Theatre Festival production of A Doll's House. She will return to Broadway this season in Theresa Rebeck's Seminar with Alan Rickman and Hamish Linklater. Her credits also include The American Plan, Heartbreak House, Steel Magnolias, Crimes of the Heart, Colder Than Here, Proof and The Crazy Girl.