Stephen Lang Tapped for Shanley's Defiance

News   Stephen Lang Tapped for Shanley's Defiance
 
Tony Award nominee Stephen Lang is expected to take the lead role in the Manhattan Theatre Club production of Defiance in 2006, playwright John Patrick Shanley told Playbill.com columnist Harry Haun.

Lang, who played a steely military officer in A Few Good Men on Broadway, would play another Armed Forces role. The part was previously performed by Chris Cooper in a developmental showing of the Shanley drama at Vassar College. Lang was Tony-nominated for playing a lost, broken Vietnam vet in Steve Tesich's The Speed of Darkness.

Defiance — about a clash of wills between two officers on a U.S. Marine Corps base — was tested in July 2006 at the Powerhouse Theatre on the grounds of Vassar in Poughkeepsie, with Oscar winner Chris Cooper, Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Dana Delany. None is available for the New York run, but Shanley said Jeremy Strong and Trevor Long will reprise the roles they originated, and Chris Chalk has taken over the Santiago-Hudson role.

MTC has not yet officially announced casting for the world premiere staging at City Center Stage I. Doug Hughes, who directed the Pulitzer Prize-winning (and Tony Award-winning) MTC production of Doubt now on Broadway, directs Defiance. Previews begin Feb. 9, 2006, with an official opening set for Feb. 28. Performances continue to April 16.

Defiance, according to production notes, is set "on a United States Marine Corps base in North Carolina in 1971. Two officers, one black and one white, are on a collision course over race, women, and the high cost of doing the right thing. The play is about power, love and responsibility — who has it, who wants it, and who deserves it."

Shanley and Hughes' Doubt premiered at MTC's Stage I during the 2004-2005 season. It later transferred to Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre, where it currently resides. The play won Tony Awards for Best Play and Best Director as well as for actors Cherry Jones and Adriane Lenox. For more information, visit www.manhattantheatreclub.com.

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