Shipwrecked! will open on the Geffen's mainstage on June 25 and run until August 3. Previews begin June 17 in Los Angeles.
The forthcoming Geffen-commissioned Margulies project — with the working title of The Elephant in the Room — was announced to open this June, but was postponed "in order to align with the schedule of the artistic team's first-choice director and give this new production the best possible world premiere — something the theatre is confident about with award-winning director Daniel Sullivan signing on to direct the piece as part of the Geffen's 08/09 season," the Los Angeles not-for-profit announced April 2.
"I wanted very much to work on this new play with Dan Sullivan, who wasn't available this spring, and with whom I have enjoyed a rewarding collaboration now spanning ten years, starting with Dinner with Friends and continuing through the Broadway productions of Sight Unseen and Brooklyn Boy," stated playwright Margulies. "Serendipitously, the Geffen was interested in producing my recent play Shipwrecked! An Entertainment in the near future and the artistic team for that production happened to be available this June, so everything fell into place quite nicely."
Shipwrecked! was recently commissioned by South Coast Repertory and had a lauded limited run at the Orange County theatre in fall 2007. Geffen producing director Gil Cates and artistic director Randall Arney saw the production, "were taken by the fun-filled adventure tale, and began working with Margulies to bring the playwright's new work to a greater Los Angeles audience."
Bart DeLorenzo, who recently helmed the SCR production as well as the Geffen's world premiere of Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress, again directs. According to Geffen, "Inspired by the true story of the unlikely hero who spellbound Victorian England — and subsequently the world — with his incredible tale of survival, Shipwrecked! is a production that appeals to all ages with a wealth of fantastic characters."
The story is narrated by adventurer Louis de Rougemont, played by award-winning actor Gregory Itzin, "who reenacts his lifetime of escapades for the audience." The various other players in Louis' adventures — a "giant octopus, a faithful dog, a curmudgeonly sea captain and some cagey natives" — come to life through actors Melanie Butiu and Michael David Cassady.
Itzin, a Tony Award nominee for The Kentucky Cycle, appeared on TV's "24," and has many theatre and TV credits.
For more information visit GeffenPlayhouse.com.