Atlantic Will Stage Plays by Auburn, Coen, Thurber and Pinter at Borrowed Spaces While Mainstage Is Renovated

By Kenneth Jones
12 Jul 2010

Ethan Coen and Neil Pepe
Ethan Coen and Neil Pepe

Atlantic Theater Company's 25th anniversary season will include world premieres by Lucy Thurber, Academy Award winner Ethan Coen, Pulitzer and Tony Award winner David Auburn, plus a pairing of one-acts by Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter. The 2010-11 season was announced on July 12.

A renovation of the Off-Broadway company's mainstage, the Linda Gross Theatre on West 20th Street, is planned, which will bump ATC productions to "satellite" Off-Broadway stages including Classic Stage Company, the Lucille Lortel Theatre and St. Ann's Warehouse.

The 2010-11 ATC season will begin at Atlantic Stage 2, the company's second stage, with the world premiere of Bottom of the World by Lucy Thurber, who returns to Atlantic following her acclaimed play Scarcity. Irish director Caitriona McLaughlin will direct.

Atlantic returns to the work of the late Pinter with The Collection & A Kind of Alaska: Two Plays By Harold Pinter, billed as a world-premiere pairing of plays that have previously been produced, part of the mainstage season, to play Classic Stage Company this fall.



A new world-premiere adaptation of Langdon Mitchell's 1906 comedy The New York Idea, by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Auburn (Proof), will play the Lucille Lortel Theatre in spring 2011. This is an Atlantic commission.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Coen ("No Country for Old Men") returns to Atlantic with his third world-premiere production, Four Pickups, directed by Neil Pepe, who also staged Coen's hit comedies Almost an Evening and Offices. This special co-production with St. Ann's Warehouse will be performed in their flexible DUMBO, Brooklyn space in April 2011.

ATC will conclude its 2010-11 season at Atlantic Stage 2 with 10X25, a one-act festival debuting world- premiere short plays by playwrights, directors and actors who have worked at the company over the past 25 seasons.

In addition to its 2010-2011 season, Atlantic Theater Company subscribers will have exclusive access to the upcoming world-premiere Broadway production of Atlantic co-founder David Mamet's play A Life in the Theatre starring Patrick Stewart and T.R. Knight, directed by ATC artistic director Neil Pepe.

Here's the ATC season at a glance:

Bottom of the World by Lucy Thurber
Directed by Caitriona McLaughlin
Sept. 3-Oct. 3
At Atlantic Stage 2

"Heartbroken over the sudden death of her sister, Kate, Abby delves into the world of Kate's final novel to deal with her grief and somehow move on. As the lines blur between the fictional world and her own reality, Abby attempts to make sense of life and death in this funny and poignant play."

The Collection & A Kind of Alaska: Two Plays by Harold Pinter
By Harold Pinter
Nov. 3–Dec. 12
At Classic Stage Company

"Atlantic eagerly returns to the work of Harold Pinter, several seasons after its acclaimed production of his first and last plays, The Room and Celebration. Here again, the plays are separated chronologically by many years; both, however, are steeped in the author's signature humor, mystery and psychological tension. In The Collection (1962), a 4 AM phone call and a surprise visitor set off a series of conversations about potential infidelities among two couples. And a middle-aged woman who has been asleep in a hospital room awakens after 30 years and must reorient herself to a greatly changed world in A Kind of Alaska (1982), which was inspired by the work of Oliver Sacks in his seminal book, 'Awakenings.'"

The New York Idea
Adaptation by David Auburn from the original play by Langdon Mitchell
Jan. 6, 2011–Feb. 13, 2011
At the Lucille Lortel Theatre

"Cynthia Karslake is a freewheeling young divorcee in 1906 New York City society. She has decided to settle down again into a much more stable, reliable relationship with the prominent Judge Philip Phillimore. Little does she know, however, that neither of their impetuous and blowsy ex-spouses, nor her beloved race horse Cynthia K is yet down for the count. In this sharp-tongued comedy, David Auburn sheds vibrant new light on a little known play from a century ago that offers a surprisingly contemporary look at social mores, status and attitudes about sex and divorce in upper crust New York."

Four Pickups
A co-production with St. Ann's Warehouse
By Ethan Coen
Directed by Neil Pepe
April-May 2011
At St. Ann's Warehouse

"Ethan Coen returns to Atlantic following the success of his hit comedies Almost an Evening and Offices with the world premiere of four short plays centered around pickup trucks."

10 X 25 One Act Festival
May 18–June 26, 2011
At Atlantic Stage 2

Atlantic Theater Company concludes its 25th anniversary season with a major celebration of its history with 10X25, an all-commissioned series of evenings of short plays by 25 of the extraordinary playwrights who have been produced there since 1985. 10X25 will unite and reunite Atlantic ensemble members, playwrights, and frequent guest actors and directors in three separate evenings of ten-minute plays which will run the gamut of theatrical styles and content. Playwrights already confirmed to participate include Leslie Ayvazian, Annie Baker, Stephen Belber, Bekah Brunstetter, Moira Buffini, Kia Corthron, Tom Donaghy, John Guare, Peter Hedges, Kevin Heelan, Tin Howe, Craig Lucas, David Mamet, Peter Parnell, Keith Reddin, Kate Robin, Kate Moira Ryan, Eddie Sanchez, Lucy Thurber and Jeff Whitty.

Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, artistic director; Jeffory Lawson, managing director) is the award-winning Off-Broadway theatre company "dedicated to producing great plays simply and truthfully utilizing an artistic ensemble." Atlantic "believes that the story of the play and the intent of the playwright are at the core of the creative process." Atlantic maintains an ensemble of acclaimed actors, writers and directors including Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and director David Mamet and Academy Award nominated actor William H. Macy, who founded Atlantic in 1985.

Tickets for main stage productions are $65 and available by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visiting ticketcentral.com. To become an ATC member, or for more information, visit www.atlantictheater.org.