Lisa Emery and David Chandler Are Broken Parents in Long Day's Journey in Louisville Starting Oct. 9; Les Waters Directs
By Kenneth Jones
Obie Award winner Lisa Emery plays drug-addicted Mary Tyrone opposite David Chandler as aging actor James Tyrone in Long Day's Journey Into Night at Actors Theatre of Louisville starting Oct. 9 in ATL's three-venue complex in downtown Louisville, KY.
The run through Oct. 29 marks director Les Waters' first production there as new artistic director. The physical world of the new production is spare and not literal. The Pulitzer Prize-winning classic by Eugene O'Neill dips into the author's own family history to tell of the dysfunctional Tyrone family, including James and Mary's grown sons James, Jr. (played by Michael Bakkensen) and Edmund (played by John Brummer).
Performances play the Pamela Brown Auditorium at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Opening is Oct. 11.
"It's a titanic play for a quartet of extraordinary actors," Waters, an Obie award-winning director, said in a statement. "It's the greatest play about family of all time, a play about love's struggles and confusions and failed promises. For me, it's a play about absence, about a mother who cannot be there in the way that her family needs her to be — as well as their guilt and anger that they are part of the problem, and their loving confusion about how to be part of the solution."
According to ATL notes, "Over the course of one fateful summer day, renowned actor James Tyrone, his troubled wife Mary and their two sons wrestle with resentment so deep — and a love so fierce — that it threatens to consume them. O'Neill's play is both a poem of forgiveness to his own family, and one of the legendary achievements of American drama."
This is New York actress Emery's debut at the Tony Award-winning Actors Theatre of Louisville. Her Broadway credits include Relatively Speaking, The Women and Present Laughter. The Lortel and Drama Desk Award nominee also appeared in Off-Broadway's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Iron, Marvin's Room and the recent Sex Lives of Our Parents and Lonely, I'm Not.
Chandler and Brummer most recently appeared in Waters' production of John Logan's Red at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where they played Mark Rothko and Ken, respectively. Chandler appeared on Broadway in American Clock, Death of a Salesman and Lost in Yonkers.
Bakkensen makes his debut at Actors Theatre having previously appeared at Arena Stage, Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Alliance Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre and Alabama Shakespeare Festival. His New York credits include Festen, Noises Off and The Man Who Came to Dinner and Off-Broadway's The Paris Letter and Waxing West.
The creative team includes Antje Ellerman (scenic designer), Lorriane Venberg (costume designer), Matt Frey (lighting designer) and Richard Woodbury (sound designer).
Actors Theatre last staged O'Neill's masterpiece in 1973 as part of its tenth anniversary season. The production was directed by Jon Jory and featured Jory's parents, Victor Jory and Jean Inness, as James and Mary Tyrone.
For ticket and information, visit ActorsTheatre.org.
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