Downtown Manhattan's New York Theatre Workshop kicks off its 2001-2002 season Aug. 24 with a new Charles L. Mee play, First Love. The production set to open Sept. 9-23 under the direction of the playwright's daughter, Erin B. Mee.
The drama tells the tale of a chance encounter of two people at a park bench which changes the course of their lives forever. Mee wrote the piece for the show's costars Ruth Maleczech and Frederick Neumann, the co-artistic directors of avant-garde theater company Mabou Mines. Also featured in the production is Jennifer Hall, recently seen in Labryinth Theatre's The Trail of Her Inner Thigh.
Other works by the playwright Mee include Big Love, True Love, Summertime and Berlin Circle. *
Following the Mee and mini-Mee production, NYTW will present the Karin Coonrod-directed Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor. The "script" is actually the prose of a couple of O'Connor's stories, lifted from the page and put on the stage, as per a legal agreement between the director and the author's estate. The story follows protagonist Julian and his mother, who is oblivious to her own prejudices until after being struck by a black woman she has insulted. It's set for an October-November run. Homebody/Kabul by Tony Kushner will run November-January 2002 at NYTW. The play, to be directed by Declan Donnellan, follows a woman fascinated by Afghanistan and her encounter with an Afghan man whose fingers were cruelly severed. The work-in-progress had a run in London in 1999 starring British actress Kika Markham, the actress Kushner had in mind when it was written.
Caryl Churchill's anti-utopian look at the future as shown through a girl's visit to her auntie's house can be seen in her play Far Away. The play will run February March 2002 under the direction of Stephen Daldry.
For more information or tickets to NYTW shows, 79 East Fourth Street (between Bowery and Second Ave.), call (212) 780-9037.
— by Ernio Hernandez