Ward’s play, first seen in 1938, is set in Chicago between 1922 and 1933 and follows the fortunes of the Mason family as they steer a course through post-World War One racism and the Great Depression.
Big White Fog, helmed by Almeida artistic director Michael Attenborough, opens May 11, 2007, following previews from May 17.
That production follows Dying for It, Moira Buffini’s new adaptation of Nikolai Erdman’s 1928 satire, The Suicide which was banned by Stalin. Directed by Kathy Burke (The God of Hell for the Donmar) Dying for It opens March 15, following previews from March 8.
The previous major London production of a play by Erdman was Declan Donnellan’s version of The Mandate, also banned in the USSR, staged by the National Theatre in 2004-05.
Casting for Big White Fog and Dying for It has yet to be announced. Louisiana-born Ward was the sixth child of eleven siblings. His father – born into slavery – was a schoolmaster and following the break-up of his family, Ward traveled on the railroad, performing odd jobs and later settling in Utah where he was jailed for selling bootleg gin. After winning second prize in a writing competition, Ward joined the Writers’ Workshop in Chicago, where he died in 1983.
The Almeida production is the first time Big White Fog has been produced outside America.
Moira Buffini’s work includes Dinner, which premiered at the National Theatre before transferring to the Wyndham’s in the West End.
For more on the Almeida’s season call (0)20 7288 4999.