Yale Repertory Theatre has turned to the New York-based Mabou Mines to kick off its 1998-99 season. The acclaimed avant-garde troupe will perform Peter and Wendy, its adaptation of J.M. Barrie's novel, at the New Haven theatre. Lee Breuer will direct Karen Kandel, who plays Wendy and provides the voices for all the other characters, which are portrayed by a cast of bunraku puppets. Julie Archer provides pop-up-book scenery and Johnny Cunningham wrote the Celtic score. The production received a successful run at New York's New Victory Theatre in February 1997. The show plays Yale Rep Sept. 17-Oct. 3.
The theatre will celebrate Bertolt Brecht's centennial with its next production, Galileo (Oct. 22-Nov. 14), the German master's take on the famed physicist who was persecuted for his claims that the Earth was not the center of the universe. The season continues with Lynn Nottage's Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Nov. 27-Dec. 19). Nottage's drama takes a look at the 1950s America, from the rural South to Brooklyn to Harlem, through the eyes of 17-year-old Ernestine Crump.
The graduating acting class of the Yale School of Drama will take Yale Rep's stage Jan. 28-Feb. 20, performing Shakespeare's Measure for Measure. Following the Bard will be a new production of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie (Mar. 18-Apr. 10), staged by renowned director Joseph Chaikin.
Brecht isn't the only one experiencing his 100th birthday. In commemoration of Noel Coward's centennial in 1999, Yale Rep will present one of his funniest comedies, Hay Fever (Apr. 29-May 22), the story of the self-absorbed Bliss family and the chaos they create over an English country weekend.
No other casting or directors have been announced at this time. For information on any of these productions, call (203) 432-1234. -- By Robert Simonson