Anna D. Shapiro — who staged the 2006 world premiere of the work at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre — will direct the new staging at the New Haven, CT home. Performances begin May 4 towards an official opening May 10. The run will end May 26.
In The Unmentionables, "tensions reach a boiling point on the equator when Americans filled with beneficence and missionary zeal clash with each other and the local residents of an African town," reads show materials. "A wealthy entrepreneur, Christian charity workers, an exasperated doctor, a flamboyant government official and an abrasive teenager become entangled in a scathingly funny web of good intentions and selfish motives." The production warns that it "includes strong language."
Playwright Norris just saw his comedy The Pain and the Itch produced Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons. Other works include We All Went Down to Amsterdam, The Infidel, Purple Heart, The Actor Retires and The Vanishing Twin. As an actor, Norris has appeared at Steppenwolf in Closer and the films "School of Rock" and "The Sixth Sense."
Director Shapiro, an associate artist with Steppenwolf, has staged I Never Sang For My Father, Man From Nebraska, Until We Find Each Other, The Ordinary Yearning of Miriam Buddwing, The Drawer Boy, Side Man and Three Days of Rain. She previously teamed with Norris on The Infidel, Purple Heart and The Pain and the Itch.
Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter's In the Continuum kicks off the new year at Yale Rep (Jan. 12-Feb. 10), and Frank Wedekind's Lulu (March 30-April 21) will follow. For tickets to the The Unmentionables at Yale Rep, 1120 Chapel Street (at York St.) in New Haven, CT, call (203) 432-1234. For more information, visit www.yalerep.org.