MCC Theatre will kick off their 15th Anniversary season with a bang — make that three bangs. Not only have they nabbed a New York premiere from the prolific (and recently popular to produce) playwright Rebecca Gilman, they have also lined up Philip Seymour Hoffman to direct the production. Now, they've announced that Academy Award winning film actress Anna Paquin to star in the play.
The Canadian-born, New Zealand-bred actress, who has been in such films as "Almost Famous," "Hurlyburly," and "X-Men," won her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the role of Flora in "The Piano" at the age of 11 (nine during filming). This will be the young thespian's first stage venture, according to the production spokesperson.
The cast also includes Myk Watford, Jeffery Donovan, Erika Rolfsrud, Alicia Couvering, Jenna Lamia, Larry Clarke, David Aaron Baker and Andrew McGinn. Lending their hands to the production team are Michelle Malavet (sets), Mimi O'Donnell (costumes), Jim Vernuelen (lights) and David Van Tieghem (sound).
Set to run Oct. 30-Dec. 2, The Glory of Living is a dark and violent story about abuse, sexual deviance and serial murder. In the work, a 15 year-old child bride is turned into a multiple murderer by her demented husband. The play is based in part on a real Alabama murder Gilman had heard about during her senior year of college. The play won Gilman the 1999 London Evening Standard Theatre Award suitably for Most Promising Playwright.
Gilman, who enjoyed two NY productions last season — Spinning Into Butter (Lincoln Center Theater) and Boy Gets Girl, (Manhattan Theatre Club) — is also enjoyed two other premieres this year. Her The American in Me made its debut at San Francisco's Magic Theatre and Blue Surge will don the stage at her hometown Chicago's Goodman Theatre. Hoffman, who last staged the LAByrinth Theatre Company's Jesus Hopped the "A" Train Off-Broadway, has also helmed LAByrinth's production of In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings. Perhaps best known as an actor, last season Hoffman earned a Tony nomination for his portrayal in True West. He has numerous film credits including "Boogie Nights," "Magnolia," "Flawless," "State and Main" and "Almost Famous." He was also seen on stage this summer in the New York Shakespeare Festival production The Seagull alongside John Goodman, Kevin Kline, Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep and Christopher Walken.
For more information on the MCC Theatre, or for tickets/ subscriptions, call (212) 727 7765 or visit their website at www.mcctheater.com.
— by Ernio Hernandez