According to the Guthrie, the play (based on the 2003 novel) is "a moving story of tradition, family, love and loss, follows the life of Fidelis Waldvogel and his family, as well as Delphine Watzka and her partner Cyprian, as they adjust in their separate lives in the small town of Argus, North Dakota. Bookended by World War I, in which both Fidelis and Cyprian fought, and World War II, in which Fidelis' children fight, the play chronicles the lives of ordinary small-town citizens as they encounter the extraordinary events — both in their insular world and in the larger world — that come to define their lives."
A full performance schedule and ticketing information will be available when the remainder of the 2010-2011 season is announced on May 18.
"I'm very pleased that we're able to continue to commission new work for the Guthrie stage," artistic director Joe Dowling said. "Over the last several seasons we've been able to commission and produce new plays from Tony Kushner, Jeffrey Hatcher, Naomi Iizuka and Robert Bly, in addition to a musical based on the work of Laura Ingalls Wilder. To have the opportunity to produce a new play based on a novel by a significant Minnesota author like Louise Erdrich is particularly gratifying to us."
Norman won the Pulitzer Prize for her play, 'night, Mother and a Tony Award for her book of the Broadway musical, The Secret Garden. She is the book writer for the musical The Color Purple, which just completed a national tour and run on Broadway. Norman is co-chair, with Christopher Durang, of the Playwriting Department of the Juilliard School and vice president of the Dramatists Guild of America. Her other plays include Getting Out, Traveler in the Dark, Sarah and Abraham, Trudy Blue and Last Dance.
Zambello is the general and artistic director of the Glimmerglass Festival. Her work has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, the Bolshoi, Covent Garden, the Munich Staatsoper, Paris Opera, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, English National Opera, on Broadway and beyond.