Veanne Cox will star in the next venture at Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons, Amy Freed's Freedomland. Cox has been a constant presence in New York theatre over the past couple of seasons, appearing in Company at the Roundabout Theatre Company, The Food Chain at the Westside Theatre, Labor Day at Manhattan Theatre Club and The Waiting Room at the Vineyard Theatre. Her films include the recent "Henry Fool."
Joining Cox on stage will be Jeffrey Donovan, Heather Goldenhersh, Dakin Matthews, Carrie Preston (The Tempest with Frank Langella, Antony and Cleopatra at the Public), Robin Strasser and Jeff Whitty.
Howard Shalwitz will direct Freedomland, which begins previews Nov. 27, opens Dec. 16 and run through Jan. 3, 1999.
This darkly satiric comedy had its premiere at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, CA, Nov. 1997. The play takes its title from the name of a Wild West theme park in the Bronx, where Freed grew up. (The park was ultimately torn down in the 1960s to make way for Co-op City, a high-rise housing development.)
"Freedomland [the park] represents a primordial, unquestioning order for me -- a place of safety," said Freed in a recent interview in the Los Angeles Times. The play, however, is not about the warm, nostalgic world of amusement parks; at its center is a distraught family with deep seated problems. The father has been abandoned by his first wife; his second wife is a free-love refugee; his two grown daughters -- an avant garde artist and a lost soul who loves to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings -- hate each other; and his paranoid son is on the verge of going crazy. Freed's previous play, the black comedy The Psychic Life of Savages -- a fictionalized look at the poets Sylvia Plath, Ted Morgan, Anne Sexton, and Robert Lowell -- won the New York Arts Club's prestigious $10,000 Joseph Kesselring Award and was a hit two seasons ago at Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington (in a production that won a 1995 Charles McArthur Award for outstanding new play).
-- By Robert Simonson and David Lefkowitz