Jo Bonney Will Be at the Helm of Neil LaBute's Miss Julie Rewrite at Geffen Playhouse

By Kenneth Jones
January 14, 2013

Jo Bonney, a frequent creative partner of playwright Neil LaBute, will direct the writer's new adaptation of August Strindberg's Miss Julie at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles this spring.



LaBute "has set August Strindberg's classic on Long Island just before the 1929 stock market crash." Performances will play April 23-June 2, opening May 1, in Geffen's Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater.

LaBute said in production notes, "I wanted this setting to be my own while still dealing faithfully with the themes and mores of the lives of these characters as they were first written. A cloud of desperation and despair will soon hang over the United States but tonight — in this kitchen that Strindberg conjured up 150 years ago — the lives of the three characters in Miss Julie will never be the same."

Here's how Geffen bills Miss Julie: "The scandalous turn-of-the-century play, banned in Britain for nearly 50 years after its publication, chronicles the night-long flirtation and seduction between the wealthy lady of the house and one of her father's household employees. Featuring one of theatre's most commanding female characters, this world premiere adaptation couples provocateurs Strindberg and LaBute to capture the timeless consequences of passion and power."

Bonney (Off-Broadway productions of LaBute's Some Girl(s), The Break of Noon and Fat Pig) directed the September 2012 West Coast premiere production of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark at the Geffen (repeating her Off-Broadway work). The cast and the design team for Miss Julie will be announced.

LaBute's films include "In the Company of Men" (New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best First Feature and the Filmmaker Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival), "Your Friends and Neighbors," "Nurse Betty," "Possession," "The Shape of Things" (a film adaptation of his play by the same title), "The Wicker Man," "Lakeview Terrace," "Death at a Funeral" and the forthcoming "Some Velvet Morning." His plays include bash: latter-day plays, The Shape of Things, The Mercy Seat , The Distance From Here, Autobahn, Fat Pig (Olivier nomination for Best Comedy), Some Girl(s), This Is How It Goes, Wrecks, Filthy Talk for Troubled Times, Lovely Head, In a Dark Dark House, reasons to be pretty (Tony Award nomination for Best Play), reasons to be happy and the forthcoming The Money Shot.

For more information, visit geffenplayhouse.com.

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To accommodate for artist schedules, the runs of Miss Julie and the subsequent production of The Judy Show (both slated in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse), will shift to six-week runs opening in May and June.

The Judy Show: My Life As a Sitcom stars Judy Gold, is written by Judy Gold & Kate Moira Ryan and directed by Amanda Charlton. Presented in association with Daryl Roth and Eva Price, it will play June 18-July 28.