Movie star Meryl Streep will perform the title character in the world premiere of Wendy Wasserstein's new play, An American Daughter at Seattle Repertory Theatre. Streep will appear in the solidly sold-out workshop production May 31 to June 2.
Seattle Rep was the proving ground for Wasserstein's previous play, The Sisters Rosensweig
Though Streep is primarily known from her film work, including Kramer vs Kramer, Sophie's Choice and The Bridges of Madison County, her roots are in theatre. Broadway appearances in the 1970s include Secret Service and the musical Happy End. Streep and Wasserstein have known each other since their college days at Yale University. This production was sold out before Streep was announced as its star.
In Seattle Rep's newsletter, Andrea Watson describes the play as centering on Lyssa Dent Hughes, "eighth-generation granddaughter of Ulysses S. Grant and a specialist on health care issues [who] has been nominated for the cabinet post of Health and Human Services. She lives in the world of the Washington political and intellectual elite, her friends and relatives all successful, affluent, and -- above all -- connected. Lyssa's life begins to unravel when it surfaces that she had dodged the system at one point in her life and got away with it because of her affluence and connections. Scandalized by the media, support for her nomination steeply declines. Lyssa must make a decision in a no-win situation: continue to pursue the post, when there is sure to be an ugly battle at her congressional hearings, or decline the nomination and become a sacrificial victim, disappointing feminist and liberal causes."
The play had a private reading at New York's Lincoln Center in fall 1995. Seattle Rep will host the play's first public performance.