U.S. Debut of Naomi Wallace's Birdy Planned in PA

News   U.S. Debut of Naomi Wallace's Birdy Planned in PA
 
The Philadelphia Theatre Company launches its 22nd season at a Full Gallop and closes with an American premiere.

The Philadelphia Theatre Company launches its 22nd season at a Full Gallop and closes with an American premiere.

The season opens Oct. 31 with Emmy-award winning actress Nancy Marchand (Mrs. Pynchon on television's "Lou Grant") as Diana Vreeland in Full Gallop, a one woman comedy. Former Vogue and Harper's Bazaar editor, Vreeland has just returned from Europe and is trying to move on with her life. Nicholas Martin reprises his directing role in this first mounting out of New York. Written by Mark Hampton and Mary Louise Wilson, who originated the role, Full Gallop runs through Nov. 30.

Minutes From the Blue Route, about a young man summoned home by his parents to talk his younger sister out of leaving college, is the first time Philadelphia-born playwright Tom Donaghy will have his work produced in his native city. Set in the suburbs, just Minutes From the Blue Route, this comedy looks beneath the surface of normal family life at unexpressed issues and yearnings. Premiered at the Atlantic Theatre Company in 1997. Runs Jan. 16 - Feb. 15.

March 27 - April 26, PTC asks A Question of Mercy, Tony-Award winner David Rabe's drama based on Dr. Richard Seltzer's essay. A retired physician struggles to reconcile his compassion to end suffering with his training to preserve life when he is asked to assist in the suicide of a dying man. Premiered at New York Theatre Workshop in 1997.

The season closes with the American premiere of Naomi Wallace's Birdy, May 29 - June 28. Based on the book by William Wharton, Birdy is set in Philadelphia, just after WW II. Moving freely between the present and the past, it examines the friendship between the sensitive Birdy, obsessed with birds, and Al, obsessed with body-building, and their struggle with identity in an unaccepting, rigid society. Birdy ran earlier this year in London. Wallace's previous plays include One Flea Spare, Slaughter City, In the Heart of America and The War Boys. For subscriptions or more information, call (215) 568-1920.

--By Laura MacDonald

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