Though the program is called "The Millennium Project," the time frame being placed under Washington, D.C.'s Studio Theatre's microscope is the 20th century. In keeping with the current fin de siecle spirit, Studio has announced that it will stage 10 plays over the next two seasons, each production hailing from or evocative one of the decades of this century.
The project gets underway with Beckett's seminal 1940's work Waiting for Godot. Studio Artistic Director Joy Zinoman will direct the absurdist classic (Sept. 2-Oct. 4). Representing the first decade of the century will be Moises Kaufman's 1997 drama Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (although the trials in question actually took place during the l890's). Jack Going will direct the production (Oct. 28-Nov. 29).
Alfred Uhry's The Last Night of Ballyhoo will provide a window onto the 30's, under the direction of Serge Seiden (Jan. 6-Feb. 7). The season's fourth slot (March 10-April 11) is reserved for an as-yet-unnamed Irish play meant to represent the 90's flush of Gaelic playwrights. The production will continued the Studio's exploration of Irish drama which resulted in its current mounting of Sebastian Barry's The Steward of Christendom.
Finally, William Marchant's comedy Desk Set (May 5-June 6) -- best known as a Katharine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy film -- will stand in for the 1960s. No director has yet been named.
The teens, 1920s, '50s, '70s, and '80s will be covered during Studio's 1999-2000 season, therefore taking the theatre within six month of the new century and millennium. (Despite all the heavy plans being made for the year 2000, the new era technically begins Jan. 1, 2001.) For information on "The Millennium Project," call (202) 332-3300.
-- By Robert Simonson