Film and stage actress Martha Plimpton ends her star turn as Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler May 21 at Connecticut's Long Wharf Theatre's Stage II. Performances began April 12 with an opening April 19.
Long Wharf artistic director Doug Hughes directs his own translation of the Ibsen classic about a young woman recently married into a stifling middle-class house. Her actions become increasingly desperate as she realizes the hopelessness of her situation. Hughes' adaptation has been produced by Seattle Repertory Theatre, Denver Center and the Arden Theatre Company (PA).
A 1998 addition to the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Plimpton has appeared on their stage in The Glass Menagerie and The Libertine with John Malkovich, as well as the recent Long Wharf/Steppenwolf co-production of The Playboy of the Western World. Other credits include the Public Theater's Pericles, Prince of Tyre, The Haggadah and Runaways, Lincoln Center's SubUrbia and several plays at Seattle Rep. With over 30 films to her name, Plimpton's recent movie projects include "Eye of God," "Pecker" and "I Shot Andy Warhol."
Joining her in Hedda Gabler are Jenny Bacon (Mrs. Thea Elvsted), Beth Dixon (Miss Juliana Tesman), Quentin Mare (Eilert Lovborg), Richard Poe (Judge Brack), Janie Tamarkin (Berta) and Graham Winton (George Tesman).
Neil Patel designed the sets; Catherine Zuber, the costumes; Michael Chybowski, the lighting and David Van Tiegham, the original music and sound. Mark Bly is the stage manager. Tickets are $45-$10. For information, call (203) 787-4282.
Twenty-four non-theatre professional members of the New Haven community form much of the cast of Long Wharf Theatre's experimental Bertolt Brecht production, The Good Person of New Haven, running April 28-June 4 on the mainstage. Bill Rauch directs this adaptation, created by the Cornerstone Theatre Company's Alison Carey.
Long Wharf Theatre artistic director Hughes, struck by the complexity of New Haven's city life, formed the New Haven Project to explore the diversity of the people of the Connecticut town. Work toward that goal began in October 1997, when Hughes discussed the idea with Rauch and Carey. The Cornerstone, based in L.A., was formed upon the notion that society flourishes only when its disparate members come to know and respect each other. The company has since executed community based theater projects in New York and Washington, D.C.
Over the summer of 1999, the Long Wharf held a series of community meetings to select a play. After poring over several works, those involved chose the Brecht piece, seeing many aspects of New Haven life in its themes. The Good Woman of Szechwan concerns Shen Te, a good hearted prostitute who becomes unexpectedly wealthy, but finds the only way she can avoid bankruptcy at the hands of a rapacious community is to invent a ruthless alter-ego, Shui Ta.
Tickets are $45-$10. For reservations, call (203) 787-4282. The Long Wharf Theatre is on the web at http://www.longwharf.org.
-- By Christine Ehren