Shirley Knight Will Star in World Premiere of Tennessee Williams' In Masks Outrageous and Austere

News   Shirley Knight Will Star in World Premiere of Tennessee Williams' In Masks Outrageous and Austere
 
Producers Victor Syrmis, Carl Rumbaugh and Susan Batson, along with Culture Project (Allan Buchman, artistic director) will present the world premiere of In Masks Outrageous and Austere, the final full-length play from Pulitzer Prize winner Tennessee Williams.

Directed by David Schweizer, previews will begin April 5 with an official opening April 16 at Culture Project at 45 Bleecker (at Lafayette Street). The production is scheduled to play through May 26.

The cast will be headed by Tony winner Shirley Knight, who will play the role of Babe Foxworth. Additional casting will be announced shortly.

In a statement director Schweizer said, "We are thrilled to have Shirley Knight with us to bring In Masks Outrageous and Austere to life on the stage for the very first time. Her long, vivid and sensitive association with Tennessee and his work is well known of course. She collaborated with him actively and brilliantly when he was alive throughout his and her careers. What especially excites me is the fierce intelligence and bold virtuosity of her work, this towering role has finally been given the gift of the actress who can truly make it sing."

With In Masks Outrageous and Austere, Tennessee Williams, according to Culture Project, continues to "explore the passionate obsessions that made him famous in the early masterworks —the impenetrability of the human heart, the futility and hypocrisy of denying or displacing physical attraction, the power of love and its tyranny—while employing the dramaturgical freedom and aesthetic daring he discovered in his later plays. And all of this he does with the provocative wit and lyricism that was his hallmark."

"Masks is a sublimely haunting piece of theater and feels almost uncanny in its expressiveness as Tennessee’s farewell piece,” added Schweizer. “There are utterly surprising, surreal theatrical gestures here, but also a deeply rooted, passionate sense of yearning that only he can evoke in the theater. I knew Tennessee when I was a young man and he was exactly the age that I am now, and I feel privileged to bring this astonishing work in all of its explosive theatricality, to the stage.” Shirley Knight won a Tony Award as Best Featured Actress in a Play for Kennedy's Children and was nominated for a Best Actress Tony for The Young Man From Atlanta. She was Oscar-nominated for "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" and "Sweet Bird of Youth."

Tickets are $75 for Tuesday-Friday performances and $85 for Saturday and Sunday performances. They may be obtained by calling (866) 811-4111 or by visiting www.cultureproject.org.

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