Scott Alan Evans, TACT's artistic executive director, directs the drama, seen on Broadway in 1976. The TACT opening is Nov. 4. Performances play to Nov. 24 at the Beckett Theatre, TACT's recent new home, at Theatre Row on West 42nd Street.
"Could the anguish he suffers over his illicit passion for Sister Rita, a young nun, have caused Father Rivard to commit the ultimate sin of murder?" ask TACT notes. "The truth, when revealed, is nowhere near as simple."
Based on a true story, the drama is set in rural Michigan at the turn of the last century. Austin Pendleton directed the Broadway staging. A 1979 film version directed by Stanley Kramer starred (in an unusual casting choice) Dick Van Dyke as the priest.
The cast will include TACT company members Mary Bacon, Jamie Bennett, Cynthia Darlow, Greg McFadden, James Murtaugh and Ashley West, with company designers Mary Louise Geiger (lighting), David Toser (costumes) and Daryl Bornstein (sound). Dana Moran Williams will design the sets.
Milan Stitt is a playwright, director, producer and professor. Born in Detroit, Stitt is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Yale School of Drama. He was a long-time member of the Circle Repertory Company with whom he wrote, directed and served as dramaturg, as well as founded its play development program and served as its executive director. His other plays include Labor Day and Back to the Races. Since TACT's first season 15 years ago, Evans directed over 60 of its productions, most recently the critically acclaimed production of Home by David Storey (December 2006) and The Sea by Edward Bond (April 2007).
Known for its concert performances of rarely produced plays, TACT presented its first season of fully staged productions in 2006-07.
Performance schedule for The Runner Stumbles will be Monday, Thursday, Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 2 & 8 PM and Sunday at 3 PM, plus Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 7:30 PM; Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 PM; with no performance on Nov. 23.
The Beckett Theatre is located at 410 West 42nd Street. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Ticket Central by phone at (212) 279-4200 or online at www.tactnyc.org.
The Actors Company Theatre "is dedicated to presenting neglected or rarely produced plays of literary merit, with a focus on creating theatre from its essence: the text and the actor's ability to bring it to life."
The next fully staged TACT production will be a rare Manhattan revival of The Eccentricities of a Nightingale by Tennessee Williams, directed by Jenn Thompson (April 27-May 24, 2007) at Theatre Row.