Michael Wilson to Direct Pre-Broadway Concert Staging of William Inge's Off the Main Road

By Adam Hetrick
March 27, 2012

Michael Wilson (The Best Man, Dividing the Estate) will stage a concert reading of William Inge's Broadway-aimed "lost" play Off the Main Road as part of the William Inge Theatre Festival.



The play about a woman who goes into hiding with her daughter was adapted into a 1964 television broadcast during "Bob Hope's Chrysler Theater." The play was titled Out on the Outskirts of Town and starred Anne Bancroft and Jack Warden. The unproduced work was rediscovered after Inge's passing.

The April 18 staging is presented in special arrangement with Manhattan Theatre Club, which has optioned the play for a Broadway production, according to the Inge Festival. It is billed as a pre-Broadway sneak preview. MTC has not announced its upcoming season. 

“We are in discussions with the Inge estate about this and other plays by Inge. Manhattan Theatre Club is not announcing any specific production at this time," MTC artistic director Lynne Meadow and artistic producer Mandy Greenfield said in a joint statement to Playbill.com.

Here's how the play is billed: "The setting is the early 1960s in Missouri. The elegant Faye Garrit checks into a run-down resort to hide from her abusive husband Manny, a washed-up former professional baseball player. Faye's mother is among those urging her to sever the marriage; meanwhile, Faye's daughter is exploring her spiritual and emotional needs as well."

Full casting will be announced shortly.

William Inge's plays also include Picnic, Bus Stop, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs and Come Back Little Sheba.

Held in Independence, KS, at Inge's alma mater, Independence Community College, the Inge Theatre Festival annually honors a writer, or writing team, with the Inge Festival Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre Award. The Inge festival will run April 18-21. Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang will be honored this spring.

Visit IngeCenter.