PHOTO CALL: Ari Graynor, Kerry Butler, Amy Ryan, Adam Rapp And More at The Great God Pan Opening Night
By Joseph Marzullo
Playwrights Horizons' world premiere of Amy Herzog's The Great God Pan, with Jeremy Strong (Broadway's A Man for All Seasons) playing a young Brooklyn journalist shaken by a revelation from the past, opened Dec. 18 following previews from Nov. 24. He's joined by Becky Ann Baker, Tony Award nominee Peter Friedman, Oliver Award nominee Sarah Goldberg, Keith Nobbs, Erin Wilhelmi and Joyce Van Patten.
The production, directed by Carolyn Cantor, plays PH's Mainstage Theater. The limited run by the not-for-profit Playwrights Horizons will play to Jan. 6, 2013.
Herzog's plays — touching on the bonds of family and friends — include After the Revolution (PH), 4000 Miles (Lincoln Center Theater), The Wendy Play (ACT in San Francisco) and Belleville (Yale Rep and upcoming at New York Theatre Workshop). This time, a thirtysomething writer named Jamie (Strong) looks inward after an estranged childhood friend (Nobbs) surfaces with the revelation that his father molested him. Was Jamie also molested? Behavior in Jamie's adulthood collides with clues from the past to prompt a painful and necessary (and universal) exploration of the murkiness of childhood — in order to find a clear path to your adult future.
Here's how The Great God Pan is characterized by PH: "Jamie's life in Brooklyn seems just fine: a beautiful girlfriend (Goldberg), a budding journalism career, and parents (Baker and Friedman) who live just far enough away. But when a possible childhood trauma comes to light, lives are thrown into a tailspin. Unsettling and deeply compassionate, The Great God Pan tells the intimate tale of what is lost and won when a hidden truth is unloosed into the world."
Mark Wendland's set of shifting pieces of a large wall is covered with photographic images of verdant green leaves streaming with sunlight, suggesting both an eternal springtime and a shrouded forest where secrets are kept.
Strong's Off-Broadway credits include Frank's Home and Our House (PH); Paraffin (Rattlestick); The Coward (LCT3); Conversations in Tusculum (The Public); New Jerusalem (CSC).
Cantor directed Herzog's family drama After the Revolution at Playwrights Horizons.
Baker's credits include Good People, All My Sons, Assassins and TV's "Smash" and "Girls"; Friedman is a Tony and Obie Award nominee who appeared in Ragtime, PH's The Shaggs, After the Revolution, Circle Mirror Transformation and The Heidi Chronicles; Goldberg earned her Olivier nomination for Clybourne Park in London, and also appeared in the Broadway production; Lortel and Drama Desk nominee Nobbs' resume includes Lombardi, columbinus and Four; Van Patten's Broadway credits include I Ought to Be in Pictures, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Rumors; and Wilhelmi was seen in Manhattan Theatre Source's Likeness.
The production features costume design by Kaye Voyce, lighting design by Japhy Weideman and sound design by Darron L West. Production stage manager is Cole P. Bonenberger.
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