VA's American Century Will Stage New Play About Treadwell; Axelrod, Lauro, R&H, Wilson Planned

News   VA's American Century Will Stage New Play About Treadwell; Axelrod, Lauro, R&H, Wilson Planned The 15th season of The American Century Theater (TACT) in Arlington, VA, will offer "four rarely seen masterpieces" and a world premiere about playwright and journalist Sophie Treadwell, artistic director Jack Marshall announced.

Washington, DC, playwright Allyson Currin is penning the yet untitled work focusing on Treadwell (1885-1970), to open May 27, 2010, at Arlington’s Theater-on-the-Run, for an engagement to June 19.

According to TACT, "Sophie Treadwell ought to be well-known to everyone: she was a trailblazing female journalist, a brilliant playwright (Machinal), a novelist, director, actress, and a courageous fighter for the rights of women. That she is almost forgotten today is a tragedy The American Century Theater hopes to remedy with its world premiere of a brand new play exploring Treadwell's many battles, defeats and triumphs…"

The eclectic season begins Sept. 11 with Shirley Lauro's A Piece of My Heart, the 1991 drama that considers the harrowing experiences of women who served in the Vietnam war in various roles, from nurse to entertainer. "Using material from a 1986 oral history by Keith Walker, Lauro's play is genuine and theatrical in its wide range of topics and emotions," according to TACT. Jason Beagle directs the production to play through Oct. 10 at Theater II, Gunston Arts Center, Arlington.

The 1955 Broadway smash, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, George Axelrod's "Faustian spoof in which a hack writer becomes a successful Hollywood screenwriter thanks to a deal with old Lucifer himself," will play Jan. 15-Feb. 6, 2010, at Gunston. Ellen Dempsey directs.

A Broadway hit in 1951, Stalag 17, based the actual experiences of its authors (Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinsky), will be revived in a staging directed by William Aitken will direct at Gunston's Theater II (March 26-April 17, 2010). Comedy and tragedy mix in the tale of a World War II prison camp; the well-known Billy Wilder film starred William Holden. The new installment of TACT’s "Rescues" series, in which the company presents staged readings or concert performances of famous large-cast plays and musicals "that other theatres deem too old and expensive to risk," will offer the Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms, June 24-June 27, 2010. (A version of the Depression-era classic is currently being prepped for a Broadway life). Rescues performances are free to all, but only TACT subscribers are guaranteed a seat at Theater-on-the-Run.

Director Steven Scott Mazzola will stage Lanford Wilson's Serenading Louie (1976), "an engrossing look at marriage — its compromises, stresses, challenges, disappointments and rewards — in the jungles of suburbia," to run July 23-Aug. 21, at Theater II.

Tickets and information are available at www.AmericanCentury.org or by calling the theatre at (703) 998-4555.