The Purple Rose Theatre Company in Michigan has delivered a coup. The theatre company run by actor Jeff Daniels has commissioned Pulitzer-winning playwright Lanford Wilson to write a new play to debut in spring of 1997.
The commission was confirmed by Wilson's agent, Bridgette Aschenberg.
No title or subject matter has been settled, but the play will be custom-written for the troupe. Purple Rose spokesperson Alan Ribant said Wilson will visit the theatre in Chelsea, MI, this spring. "He'll be looking at our actors, our talent pool, and will take it from there."
Wilson is author of The Hot L Baltimore, Lemon Sky, Talley's Folly (Pulitzer Prize), The Fifth of July, Talley and Son, Angels Fall, Burn This and Redwood Curtain. Most of Wilson's plays were first produced at the Off-Broadway Circle Rep company in New York.
When Purple Rose Executive Director Jeff Daniels was an apprentice actor at Circle Rep in the 1970s, he appeared Wilson's Brontosaurus, Minnesota Moon and My Life. He later acted in Redwood Curtain on Broadway and TV.In a letter to Purple Rose subscribers, Daniels wrote "It is with great pride and a lot of jumping up and down that I am thrilled to announce" the world premiere. "Trust me, there will be people both On and Off Broadway who will get mild cases of whiplash after hearing the news."