The Mound Builders, By Signature Alumni Playwright Lanford Wilson, Opens March 17

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17 Mar 2013

Zachary Booth and Will Rogers
Zachary Booth and Will Rogers
Richard Termine

Lanford Wilson's The Mound Builders, a tale of archaeologists exploring the remains of an ancient culture, is being unearthed by Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre Company, opening March 17 following previews from Feb. 26. The play by the late Wilson, a Signature resident writer in 2002-03, features Zachary Booth, Janie Brookshire, David Conrad, Lisa Joyce, Rachel Resheff, Will Rogers and Danielle Skraastad.

Jo Bonney directs the staging, which continues to April 7 at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center. 

According to Signature, "A team of archaeologists descends on an Illinois town to unearth the mysteries of the Mound Builders. As they excavate the remains of this Native American civilization, they confront powerful and dangerous forces of ambition and legacy. Signature 2002-03 Playwright-in-Residence Lanford Wilson's searing drama of class, culture and gender clash won the 1975 Obie Award for Distinguished Playwriting."

The Mound Builders is part of Signature's Legacy Program, in which works by past Signature resident writers are explored. Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning Talley's Folly has also surfaced Off-Broadway, in a production by Roundabout Theatre Company. The Mound Builders was originally produced by Circle Repertory Company in 1975.

The Signature design team includes Neil Patel (scenic design), Theresa Squire (costume design), Rui Rita (lighting design), Darron L West (sound design), Shawn Sagady (projection design) and Deborah Hecht (dialect coach). Casting is by Telsey + Company (William Cantler CSA). The production stage manager is Lori Ann Zepp.



Director Bonney's credits include Off-Broadway's Emotional Creature; By the Way, Meet Vera Stark; The Break of Noon; Some Girl(s); Fat Pig; Fifth of July; Stop Kiss and more.

In The Mound Builders, Booth (FX's "Damages," Keep the Lights On) plays Dr. Dan Loggins; Brookshire (Mint's Mary Broome) plays Cynthia Howe; David Conrad (TV's "Ghost Whisperer") plays Prof. August Howe, Joyce (La Bête) plays Dr. Jean Loggins; Resheff (The People in the Picture) plays Kirsten; Rogers (The Submission, Golden Age) plays Chad Jasker; and Skraastad (The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide…) plays D.K. (Delia) Eriksen.

American playwright Wilson, who died in 2011, also wrote Balm in Gilead, The Rimers of Eldritch, The Gingham Dog, Lemon Sky, Serenading Louie, The Hot L Baltimore, Angels Fall, Burn This, Redwood Curtain, Trinity, Book of Days, Rain Dance, Sympathetic Magic, A Sense of Place, and many one-act plays. He also wrote the libretto for Lee Hoiby's opera of Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke and a new translation of Chekhov's Three Sisters. He was a founder (with Tanya Berezin, Rob Thirkield and Marshall W. Mason) of The Circle Repertory Company in New York City and was a resident playwright there from 1969 to 1995.

Read what Wilson's colleagues said about him at the time of his death

Tickets to the initial runs of all Signature productions at The Pershing Square Signature Center are $25, part of the groundbreaking Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access, a program that guarantees affordable and accessible tickets to every Signature production for the next 20 years.

The Pershing Square Signature Center is at 480 W. 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.

To purchase tickets for all Signature productions, call the Signature Theatre Box Office at (212) 244-7529 or visit signaturetheatre.org.