Yale Repertory Theatre has turned to Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid to kick off its 1999-2000 season, Sept. 16-Oct. 9. The world premiere adaptation by James Magruder, book for Triumph of Love, will be directed by Mark Rucker. The play's plot tells the story of Argan, the invalid of the title, is an absurd hypochondriac who longs to marry his daughter to a doctor's son, ensuring his own round-the-clock medical care.
The season continues with Yale Rep resident director, Liz Diamond. Diamond, known primarily for her long association with playwright Suzan Lori-Parks (Death of the Last Black Man in the Entire World, and Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom), will helm Harold Pinter's Betrayal, running Oct. 21-Nov. 13. Betrayal is Pinter's marriage drama that tells its story in reverse, revealing the climax first and then its previous episodes.
Next up for Yale will be Preston Sturges' A Cup of Coffee, directed by Joe Grifasi, Nov. 26-Dec. 18. Known primarily as a screenwriter and director of such Hollywood comedies as "The Lady Eve," "Sullivan's Travels" and "The Miracle of Morgan's Creek," Sturges first tasted success on Broadway. His play Strictly Dishonorable, his second after The Guinea Pig, opened to great success in 1929 under the direction of Antoinette Perry, later the namesake of the Tony Awards. Sturges was at the time working as an assistant stage manager and soon afterwards left for Hollywood.
Sam Shepard's dysfunctional family classic, Curse of the Starving Class will play Yale Rep's stage, Feb. 3-26, 2000, with a director TBA. The dark comedy looks at the Tate family struggling to make it on a run down farm in a country being sold off by developers.
Artistic director of Yale Rep, Stan Wojewodski will take the next spot in the season when he helms William Shakespeare's Richard III as a special project with Yale School of Drama's graduating class, Mar. 16-Apr. 8, 2000. Yale Rep associate artist, director-choreographer Ralph Lemon will wrap up the season with the world premiere of his Geography: Asia/Belief, Apr. 20-May 13, 2000. Lemon previously staged his the first part of his "Geography" trilogy, the "Africa" section, at Yale in 1997. The "Asia" section will look at Asian spirituality through the eyes of an American black man who's also a Buddhist.
For information on any of these productions, call (203) 432-1234.
-- By Sean McGrath