Two Plays by Pinter Get Fresh Life by Atlantic Theater, at Borrowed Home Off-Broadway

By Kenneth Jones
03 Nov 2010

Rebecca Henderson, Larry Bryggman and Lisa Emery
Rebecca Henderson, Larry Bryggman and Lisa Emery
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Atlantic Theater Company's double bill branded as The Collection & A Kind of Alaska: Two Plays by Harold Pinter, begins Off-Broadway Nov. 3, marking the troupe's return to a favorite author. Two-time Tony Award nominee Larry Bryggman is among the players.

While its main stage Linda Gross Theater undergoes renovation in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, Atlantic presents the Pinter plays at the East Village home of Classic Stage Company at 136 E. 13th Street.

The troupe includes ATC members Bryggman (Broadway's Proof and Picnic) and Matt McGrath and guest artists Lisa Emery, Rebecca Henderson and Darren Pettie.

Atlantic founding member Karen Kohlhaas directs both plays. Official opening Nov. 22 for a limited run to Dec. 12.



Here's how the not-for-profit company characterizes the experience: "Atlantic returns to the work of Tony Award and Nobel Prize winning playwright Harold Pinter following its critically hailed 2005 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 (1961), 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.'"

This marks the first major production of Pinter's work to be done in New York City since his death in 2008.

Kohlhaas returns to staging the work of Harold Pinter following her production of The Hothouse at Atlantic. Karen most recently directed the world premiere of Annie Baker's Body Awareness at Atlantic. She also recently staged Clare Bayley's At Sea for Cambridge U.K.'s Menagerie Theatre and 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother by Kate Moira Ryan starring Judy Gold at the Montreal Comedy Festival, Ars Nova, Off-Broadway at the St. Luke's Theatre, and national tour.

Bryggman (John Dixon of TV's now-canceled "As the World Turns") returns to Atlantic following appearing in Tom Donaghy's world premiere adaptation of The Cherry Orchard and the world premiere of David Mamet's comedy Romance. Emery returns to Atlantic following starring in the American premiere of Moira Buffini's Gabriel. Henderson was most recently seen Off-Broadway in Sheila Callaghan's Roadkill Confidential. McGrath starred in the musical The Black Rider at Center Theater Group's Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, the Barbican Theatre in London, San Francisco's ACT and in Sydney, Australia; and also starred on Broadway in Cabaret as the M.C. Pettie has appeared at Atlantic in Hobson's Choice on Broadway in Butley and Off-Broadway in This and in Dedication or The Stuff of Dreams.

The creative team for The Collection & A Kind of Alaska includes scenic designer Walt Spangler, costume designer Bobby Frederick Tilley II, lighting designer Jason Lyons and sound designer Obadiah Eaves.

Pinter (1930-2008) wrote 29 plays including The Birthday Party, The Caretaker, The Homecoming and Betrayal, 21 screenplays including "The Servant," "The Go-Between," "The French Lieutenant's Woman" and "Sleuth," and directed 27 theatre productions, including James Joyce's Exiles, David Mamet's Oleanna, seven plays by Simon Gray and many of his own plays including his last, Celebration, paired with his first, The Room at The Almeida Theatre, London in the spring of 2000. In 2005 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The Collection & A Kind of Alaska will play Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM, with Wednesday and Saturday performances at 2 PM and Sunday performances at 3 PM. There will be a 7 PM performance on Sunday Nov. 7. No performance on Thursday Nov. 25 (Thanksgiving). There is no matinee on Dec. 1.

All tickets are $65 and available by calling Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or at ticketcentral.com, in person at the Ticket Central box office or in person at the Atlantic Stage 2 box office located at 330 West 16th Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues).

Visit www.atlantictheater.org.