Presented with Sydney Theatre Company, the co-world premiere will begin performances March 6 prior to an official opening March 13. Directed by Mark Brokaw (Cinderella, The Lyons), Switzerland will continue through April 19.
In Switzerland, "the playwright invites playgoers to the home of legendary author Patricia Highsmith ('Strangers on a Train,' 'The Talented Mr. Ripley'). The grande dame of crime literature lives out her reclusive existence in Switzerland, where her permanent sense of rage and injustice contrasts with the neutrality of her surroundings," press notes state. "Taking refuge in her impressive collection of books and weapons, Highsmith — a chain-smoking alcoholic —must battle with the legacy of her past and the demons of a creative life.
"One morning, an attractive young emissary from her New York publishing house arrives at her door; his mission is to persuade the intimidating genius to write the next anticipated addition to her sinister Mr. Ripley series. Highsmith's contempt is palpable, but soon she must face the fact that her young visitor may just be the most potent force she has ever had to deal with. The author’s caustic wit and macabre imagination meet with this mysterious character’s own darkly seductive agenda."
“The more I knew about Patricia Highsmith, the more obsessed I became by her," Murray-Smith said in a statement. "Part of the pull of her character was that she was in many ways an utterly vicious and unlikeable person, deeply unkind, irascible, and self-important but she was simultaneously one of the great, great psychological writers of the 20th century. Part of her brilliance was that she understood evil and its place within the ambiguity of human beings — how we can present as one thing and be something else. She knew — and evoked in her writing — how we all have deeply troubling characteristics — envy, cruelty, aspirations that make us transgress. She embodied that truth and it was fundamental to her creativity."
With funding from the Edgerton Foundation, Geffen Playhouse commissioned Switzerland and granted production rights for the co-world premiere to Sydney Theatre Company. Linney is a three-time Tony Award nominee for The Crucible, Sight Unseen and Time Stands Still. Her stage credits also include Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Uncle Vanya, among others. A three-time Academy Award nominee, she has appeared in the films "You Can Count On Me," "Kinsey" and "The Savages." She starred on the TV show "The Big C" and the miniseries "John Adams."
Tickets and more information are available by calling (310) 208-5454 or visiting geffenplayhouse.com.