The Mint Theater Company, Off-Broadway's purveyor of lost and forgotten classics, semi-classics and oddities, will offer rare looks at the work of playwrights St. John Hankin and Arthur Schnitzler in 2002-03.
The season begins Sept. 27 with Hankin's comedy The Charity That Began at Home. Gus Kaikkonen, who directed Harley Granville Barker's The Voysey Inheritance at the Mint, will pilot Charity—a play which was actually first produced by Barker at London's Royal Court in 1906.
The British Hankin (1869-1909) wrote comedies during Shaw's time and was praised by the critic. Charity is about an overly kind family that writes letters for orphans, visits the sick, tolerates incorrigible servants and invites "the most disagreeable, boring and ill-tempered people they can find to stay with them." For the clan's trouble, disaster is visited upon their house. The show lasts until Oct. 27.
Schnitzler, the author of La Ronde, is better remembered than Hankin, but the work the Mint is producing, Das Weite Land, is as obscure as Charity. Produced all over Europe when is debuted in 1911, the play has never been seen in New York City. Mint's artistic director Jonathan Bank will direct the piece, a satirical look at Viennese society. The elite of Vienna are about to depart for their summer holiday when their plans are delayed by the suicide of the pianist Korsakov.
Tickets will be $35, with low-priced previews (Sept. 27 through Oct. 6) at $19.The Mint is located at 311 West 43rd Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. For information call (212) 315-0231. —By Robert Simonson