Jeff Daniels' New Play Guest Artist to Premiere at Michigan's Purple Rose in 2006

News   Jeff Daniels' New Play Guest Artist to Premiere at Michigan's Purple Rose in 2006
Purple Rose Theatre Company, the Michigan Equity theatre founded by actor Jeff Daniels in his hometown of Chelsea, has announced its 2005-06 season, to include another play by the popular Daniels.
Jeff Daniels
Jeff Daniels

The stage and screen actor wasn't known as a playwright until his works started blooming at the not-for-profit Purple Rose more than a decade ago. His many works there have been hot sellers and were often extended. Some, like Escanaba in da Moonlight, found homes in commercial transfers or regional theatres.

Beginning in October, the new Purple Rose season will feature four plays: The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams; Guest Artist, a world premiere comedy by Jeff Daniels; The Late Great Henry Boyle, a love story by Livonia, MI, playwright David MacGregor; and Honus & Me, a "family-friendly" Midwest premiere by Steven Dietz (Fiction, More Fun Than Bowling, Ten November).

In the tradition of Daniels' Across the Way and Boom Town, his Guest Artist "is about the arrogant use of power; a story about taking risks, playing it safe and the mixed blessing of getting exactly what you wish for," according to the Purple Rose announcement. "In his most autobiographical work yet, Daniels weaves a funny and poignant story about a young man coming face to face with his hero and explores the tangled relationship between the dreams of youth and the wisdom of age."

Directed by PRTC artistic director Guy Sanville, the cast will include Purple Rose favorites Randall Godwin (The Underpants, Blithe Spirit), Patrick Michael Kenney (And the Winner Is) and Grant R. Krause (And the Winner Is, Bus Stop).

Guest Artist will have a limited nine week engagement Jan. 19-March 18, 2006. The Glass Menagerie, the poetic family portrait, plays Oct. 30-Dec. 17 under the direction of Michelle DiDomenico, a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and the PRTC apprentice program.

The Late Great Henry Boyle, a new play by emerging Livonia playwright David MacGregor is a love story about "endearingly befuddled Henry Boyle, an intensely sincere and very private professor of medieval studies who has just been ditched by his wife. A total social misfit who doesn't even watch television, Boyle camps out in his tiny office and — to make the loneliness bearable — writes a novel that inexplicably makes him an overnight pop culture sensation."

Guy Sanville will direct Randall Godwin, Paul Hopper, John Lepard, Wayne David Parker and Inga R. Wilson. The Late Great Henry Boyle will have a limited nine-week engagement April 6-June 3, 2006.

A work by Steven Dietz again finds a platform at Purple Rose in summer 2006 with the Midwest premiere of Honus & Me, a play adapted from the Dan Gutman novel about a Little League player who finds the most valuable baseball card in the world while cleaning an elderly neighbor's attic. The play is "filled with baseball history, time travel and romance" and "goes to the 1909 World Series between Ty Cobb's Detroit Tigers and Honus Wagner's Pittsburgh Pirates and back again."

Sanville will direct Barbara Coven, Janet Maylie and Wayne David Parker in a run of June 22-Aug. 26, 2006.

For more information, call (734) 433-ROSE (7673) or visit

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