The Wooster Group has enlisted Richard Maxwell to adapt four of Eugene O'Neill's plays for the world premiere of Early Plays, anchored in the world of sailors and the sea, which will play St. Ann's Warehouse beginning Feb. 15, 2012.
Maxwell, the founding artistic director of the New York City Players, will also direct the four-play work, which includes Bound East for Cardiff (1914), In the Zone (1917), The Long Voyage Home (1917) and The Moon of the Caribbees (1918).
Early Plays is scheduled to officially open Feb. 22, 2012. The 90-minute piece will run through March 4, 2012. Early Plays also features original music and lyrics by Maxwell.
The cast will be a mix of Wooster Group members and associates, including Enver Chakartash, Ari Fliakos, Teresa Hartmann, Bozkurt Karasu, Bobby McElver, Kaneza Schaal, Andrew Schneider and Kate Valk, as well as New York City Players Lakpa Bhutia, Keith Connolly, Alex Delinois, Nicholas Elliott, Jim Fletcher and Brian Mendes.
According to St. Ann's, "In these plays, O’Neill draws on his own experience as a merchant seaman and captures the vernacular of sailors from disparate nations, all shipmates on the British tramp steamer Glencairn. Maxwell and the cast are exploring this language from the viewpoint of both its starkness and potential for musicality. The production reveals O’Neill’s beautifully romantic text in a sparse, modern, yet still mythic place. Dark episodes showing the underside of turn-of-the-century maritime life—brawls, dances and carousing—are staged with a quotidian grace allowing these simple stories to resonate emotionally."
St. Ann's previously hosted the Wooster Group productions of La Didone (2008), Hamlet (2007), The Emperor Jones (2006), House/Lights (2005), Brace Up! (2003) and To You, The Birdie! (Phèdre) (2002), as well as Maxwell’s Good Samaritans (2004).
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