The season opener for the company's 25th anniversary began performances Dec. 11 and opened at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City, Dec. 18.
Documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman directs the New York Premiere of his English adaptation, translated by Robert Chandler. The 60-minute work was developed in 2000 by Wiseman for La Comédie-Française. The French version previously toured Canada and the United States in 2001.
Taken from Russian writer Vasily Grossman's novel "Life and Fate," The Last Letter shares a letter written in 1941 by a Russian Jewish doctor to her son. At the time of the Nazi occupation of the Ukraine, she explains things that are going on around her and inside her as she prepares for the worst.
Chalfant recently did double duty Off-Broadway, performing in both Savannah Bay and Talking Heads. The actress was a Tony Award nominee for her turn in Angels in America: Millennium Approaches. Other credits include her lauded performance in Wit, as well as roles in Racing Demon and M. Butterfly. Though superseded by film actress Meryl Streep in the screen adaptation of Angels in America,, Chalfant appeared in the HBO Films version of The Laramie Project.
The design team for The Last Letter includes Douglas Stein (set), Miranda Hoffman (costumes) and Donald Holder (lighting). Next, TFANA will present William Shakespeare's Pericles — as directed by Bartlett Sher — at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Harvey Theatre, Feb. 12-28, 2004. The final production will be the W.S. Gilbert farce Engaged at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, April 20-May 16, 2004. The latter was slated to be directed by the late Gerald Gutierrez (The Heiress, A Delicate Balance). The production will go on in honor of the two-time Tony winner. No new director has been set.
The Last Letter plays at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher Street. For more information, visit www.tfana.org.