OB's Director To Stay Put Through Summer; John Shea Leaves June 17

News   OB's Director To Stay Put Through Summer; John Shea Leaves June 17 The producers of The Director, a hit at the Arclight Theatre on the Upper West Side, continue to cast about for a larger commercial house Off-Broadway, but for the moment, they're staying where they are. "A move doesn't make sense to even think about until the fall," Director director Evan Bergman told Playbill On-Line (May 26). "Nothing is available that's suitable to us."

The producers of The Director, a hit at the Arclight Theatre on the Upper West Side, continue to cast about for a larger commercial house Off-Broadway, but for the moment, they're staying where they are. "A move doesn't make sense to even think about until the fall," Director director Evan Bergman told Playbill On-Line (May 26). "Nothing is available that's suitable to us."

Bergman added that although star John Shea would be leaving the production June 17, the rest of the cast would stay put. The possibility also remains that Shea would return for any commercial move of the show. No decision has yet been made as to who would take over the lead role in mid-June.

Nancy Hasty's play -- which asks, When do intense, psychological theatre techniques cross the line into dangerous mind games? -- opened to mostly good reviews on Feb. 1. The show's plot has a forgotten experimental director -- one trained by Grotowski himself -- working as a janitor by day because his reputation as a theatre maniac has driven off nearly everyone who ever worked with him. Still, a young woman brings him an intensely autobiographical drama, and he can't resist taking on the project. The theatre games begin almost immediately, with issues of trust, fear and humiliation overshadowing rehearsals of the play itself.

Starring as the "Svengali-like" has-been director is Shea, last seen Off Broadway in How I Learned to Drive. Co-starring are Tasha Lawrence, Todd Simmons, Shula Van Buren, Tanya Clarke and Warren Press. Laine Valentino is producing the drama, which features sets by John Farrell, lighting by Steve Rust and costumes by Jill Kliber.

For tickets (previews $25; regular $35) and information on The Director at the Arclight Theatre, 152 West 71st Street, call (212) 279-4200. --By David Lefkowitz