Guthrie's Christopher Hampton Celebration Will Include Three Plays, Screenings of Films, Master Class and More

News   Guthrie's Christopher Hampton Celebration Will Include Three Plays, Screenings of Films, Master Class and More
Artistic director Joe Dowling announced Feb. 15 the three plays that will comprise the Guthrie’s 2012 celebration of British playwright, screenwriter and director Christopher Hampton.

Christopher Hampton
Christopher Hampton Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp

The plays include the Guthrie commission of Appomattox, a new play based upon Hampton’s original 2007 opera collaboration with composer Philip Glass; Tales from Hollywood; and Total Eclipse.

The Guthrie will also offer a series of one-night screenings of films selected by Hampton: "Carrington" (1995), the story of the relationship between painter Dora Carrington and author Lytton Strachey, starring Emma Thompson and Jonathan Pryce and adapted and directed by Hampton; "Atonement" (2007), Hampton’s adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel about lives changed by a lie during World War II starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy; and "Dangerous Liaisons" (1988), based on Hampton’s play about passion and betrayal amid aristocrats in 18th-century France, starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Hampton will also teach a Master Class on adapting works for the stage Sept. 24 and appear for an “In Conversation” with artistic director Dowling Oct. 15 on the Guthrie’s Wurtele Thrust Stage. Hampton will also participate in a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) session Oct. 16.

Appomattox, which will be staged on the McGuire Proscenium Stage, is described as "an American epic spanning a century, with the action in the first act dealing with the final week of the Civil War and the immediate aftermath of the treaty signed in April 1865 at the Appomattox Court House; the second act takes place 100 years later, addressing the still-contentious issue of racial suppression against the backdrop of the Civil Rights era."

Tales from Hollywood, according to the Guthrie, "dramatizes the lives in Los Angeles of prominent European writers and intellectuals who fled the spread of Nazism in Germany, including Bertolt Brecht and Thomas and Heinrich Mann. A combination of speculative fantasy, fact-based drama and comedic elements, Tales spotlights Hampton’s fascination with cultural creation and the role of the artist in differing cultural circumstances." It will play the Guthrie’s Wurtele Thrust Stage. Total Eclipse, press notes state, "depicts the dramatic and destructive relationship between the young 19th-century poet Arthur Rimbaud and his older mentor Paul Verlaine. Based in part on actual letters and poems, the play explores the volatile mix of a period of fertile creativity and personal imbalance. Hampton adapted the play into a screenplay for the 1995 film of the same name starring Leonardo DiCaprio and David Thewlis." Performances will play the Guthrie’s Dowling Studio.

For more information on the Christopher Hampton Celebration, visit

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