The Little Flower of East Orange, Starring Ellen Burstyn, Opens Off-Broadway April 6

News   The Little Flower of East Orange, Starring Ellen Burstyn, Opens Off-Broadway April 6 Director (and Oscar-winning actor) Philip Seymour Hoffman and playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis reteam for The Little Flower of East Orange, starring Ellen Burstyn, which officially opens Off-Broadway April 6.
Ellen Burstyn in Little Flower.
Ellen Burstyn in Little Flower. Photo by Monique Carboni

LAByrinth Theater Company and The Public Theatre co-produce the new work, which has already extended its limited run. Hoffman directs the Guirgis play that began previews March 18 and will now play through May 4 at the Public Theater.

Little Flower centers on the tale of an ailing woman who unknowingly ends up at a Bronx charity hospital while her son and daughter struggle to deal with her condition.

"The main characters in the play are not [Guirgis'] typical main protagonists," Hoffman told Playbill.com. "They're more of a family dealing with each other than you usually see [in his plays]." (For more from the interview, visit Playbill.com's Brief Encounter.)

Academy Award winner Burstyn stars with Elizabeth Canavan (Sailor's Song), Liza Colón-Zayas (Our Lady of 121st Street), Arthur French (Dividing the Estate), Gillian Jacobs (A Feminine Ending), Ajay Naidu (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui), Howie Seago (The Skin of Our Teeth), Michael Shannon (Bug), Sidney Williams (Prologue to Glory) and David Zayas (Anna in the Tropics, "Dexter").

Little Flower, seen at the 2005 and 2006 Barn Series Festival and developed at Manhattan Theatre Club's "6 @ 7" series, reteams the playwright and director of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, Jesus Hopped The 'A' Train and Our Lady of 121st Street. Previous readings featured Hoffman in a cast that also included Anne Meara and Eric Bogosian as well as Jeffrey DeMunn, Stephen McKinley Henderson and David Zayas. The Little Flower design team includes Narelle Sissons (set), Mimi O'Donnell (costumes), Japhy Weideman (lighting) and David Van Tieghem (sound).

Burstyn (last seen on the Broadway stage in Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All) earned a Tony Award for her work in Same Time, Next Year and her Oscar for the film "Alice Doesn't Live Her Anymore" — both in the same year (1975). Other stage credits include 84 Charing Cross Road, Shirley Valentine, Shimada, Sacrilege and Fair Game. She was also Oscar-nominated for her roles in "The Last Picture Show," "The Exorcist," "Same Time, Next Year," "Resurrection" and, most recently, "Requiem for a Dream."

Tickets to Little Flower of East Orange at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, can be purchased by calling (212) 539-8750 or by visiting labtheater.org" or publictheater.org.

Ellen Burstyn and Michael Shannon in <i>The Little Flower of East Orange.</i>
Ellen Burstyn and Michael Shannon in The Little Flower of East Orange. Photo by Monique Carboni