Marian Seldes and Brian Murray will head a New England brood in the world premiere of Theresa Rebeck's The Butterfly Collection, opening the new season of Playwrights Horizons in Manhattan.
Bartlett Sher (artistic director of Seattle's Intiman Theatre) will direct Seldes (Three Tall Women) and Murray (Spread Eagle, Twelfth Night), plus Reed Birney, Betsy Aidem, James Colby and Maggie Lacey in the new work, one of three world premieres in the coming season. Previews at Horizons' Anne G. Wilder Theater on 42nd Street begin Sept. 8, opening is Oct. 3 and performances continue to Oct. 15.
The Butterfly Collection is described thus in a season announcement: "When a spirited young writer's assistant invades a New England family, long-seeded tensions are dragged out into the open. Over the course of three tumultuous weeks, fathers, sons, lovers and spouses are pitted against one another in a ferocious battle of wits of wills that may claim them -- or restore a tenuous happiness."
Rebeck won a Peabody Award for her teleplays for "NYPD Blue." Her plays include Sunday on the Rocks, Spike Heels, A View of the Dome, Loose Knit and Abstract Expression. She is working on a musical melodrama adaptation of The Two Orphans.
Designers for The Butterfly Collection are Andrew Jackness (set), Ann Hould Ward (costumes), Christopher Akerlind (lighting) and Kurt Kellenberger (sound). Also in the Playwrights Horizons 2000-2001 mainstage season:
• The Wax, a world premiere by Kathleen Tolan, begins previews Nov. 24, opens Dec. 19 and continues to Dec. 31. David Petrarca directs. "Who knows what will happen at an out-of-town wedding? In a hotel by the sea, a bevy of soul searching writers and scientists find themselves in full midlife existential crisis, and in a bedroom farce, to boot. Lust and love, passion and poetry collide in this hilarious roll on the middle aged hay."
• A New Play, by Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Mark Brokaw, begins previews Feb. 16, 2001, opens March 13 and continues to March 25. "In the lobby of an urban apartment complex, in the aftermath of a brutal murder, four disparate souls -- two young cops, a restless security guard and his tightly wound supervisor -- are forced to confront the truth about themselves, their relationships and the city they call home."
• A Play or Musical to be announced, begins previews May 4, 2001, opens May 29 and continues to June 10.
The 141-seat Off-Broadway nonprofit, committed to shepherding playwrights and new works, will also offer two plays in its smaller studio space on 42nd Street. Christopher Shinn's Other People plays the Studio Oct. 12-Nov. 5. A second play will be announced.
Tim Sanford is artistic director of Playwrights Horizons.
For information about Playwrights Horizons, check out the web site at www.playwrightshorizons.org, or call (212) 279 4200.
-- By Kenneth Jones