The two shows will open at UK's Donmar this autumn. They will transfer to BAM the following winter.
Academy Award nominee Emily Watson heads the casts of both productions, which will play in repertory. David Bradley, Helen McCrory, Cherry Morris, Simon Russell Beale and Mark Strong are also featured in the cast. Chekhov's Vanya begins performances Sept. 5, 2002, and runs through Nov. 20, while Shakespeare's Night plays Oct. 11 through Nov. 30.
Playwright Brian Friel, author of Translations and Philadelphia, Here I Come!, has written the adaptation of the Chekhov classic.
It could not be learned if Watson, Beale or any members of the London cast would recreate their performances in Brooklyn. Late last year, American producers Anita Waxman and Elizabeth Williams revealed their intention to bring the Donmar stagings to New York. However, their original intention was to mount them on Broadway. At the time, Nicole Kidman was rumored to be the star.
Since then, the Public Theater booked its own starry production of Twelfth Night into Central Park's Delacorte Theater. Previews began June 25.
Waxman and Williams are also bringing over Christopher Hampton's Tales from Hollywood and David Mamet's Boston Marriage, both Donmar projects. The Mamet will play the Public Theater this fall. Hampton's play does not yet have a home. Phyllida Lloyd will direct the latter.
Sam Mendes has announced that his association with the Donmar Warehouse, the off-West End Covent Garden theatre that he has turned into one of the most successful and fashionable in London over a 10 year period, is to end. His resignation as artistic director is to take effect in December 2002. Leaving the Donmar will enable him to concentrate on theatre and film production, the latter being something he has been increasingly involved with since his Oscar-winning success with "American Beauty." His latest film effort is "The Road to Perdition," starring Tom Hanks.
—By Robert Simonson