The Manhattan Class Company, better known by their abbreviated moniker MCC, has set dates for their upcoming season. When the 16-year-old company lost the lease on their theatre space on West 28th Street, they moved uptown to their new digs in the new Shubert 42nd Street Theater Complex, according to a production spokesperson.
Playwright Neil LaBute himself will direct the world premiere of his play The Mercy Seat, which is set to begin previews Nov. 26, open Dec. 18 and run through Jan. 11. The two-person drama explores the an affair between a married man and an older woman following the events of Sept. 11, 2001. This production replaces the previously announced The Distance From Here.
The Distance From Here is being postponed until the 2003-04 season to make room for the more timely LaBute work. His most recent work to reach the New York stage was last season's The Shape of Things starring Rachel Weisz, Paul Rudd, Gretchen Mol and Frederick Weller. Other LaBute works include bash: latter-day plays, Filthy Talk for Troubled Times and the films "In the Company of Men," "Your Friends and Neighbors" and Nurse Betty.
Following The Mercy Seat is The Crucible star Brian Murray in the title role of first-time playwright Anto Howard's Scattergood. Previews will begin Feb. 11 and open Feb. 26 for a run through March 22 at the Samuel Beckett Theatre. Doug Hughes will helm the work about a young scholar who aspires for the chivalry of knighthood under the tutelage of his professor.
Murray, who played Deputy-Governor Danforth to Liam Neeson's John Proctor in the recent Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible, has also played on The Great White Way in Uncle Vanya, Twelfth Night and the original production of Noises Off. His Off-Broadway credits include Hobson's Choice, The Play About the Baby and Long Day's Journey Into Night. The lauded thespian boasts a 1998 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence as well as a 1998 Lucille Lortel Award for Lifetime Achievement. Jim Simpson, who helmed the still-running Bat Theatre Company production of Anne Nelson's The Guys as well as the Los Angeles production and movie version, will direct the previously announced Intrigue With Faye. The Kate Robin work concerns an urban couple so self-conscious they decide to cheat trust by videotaping their every move. The dark comedy delves into issues of exhibitionism and confession via the electronic medium.
Set to preview May 20 and open June 5 for a run to June 28, the drama will also play the Samuel Beckett Theatre in the 42nd Street complex. Playwright Robin was the 1995 recipient of the Princess Grace Award for Playwriting and a 1997 recipient of the Whitfield Cook Prize. She also serves as executive story editor for the HBO drama series "Six Feet Under." Her stage work includes The Light Outside (The Flea Theatre), Swimming in March (Market Theater), Bride Stripped Bare (ThreadWaxing Space) and 7 Trumpets (The Women's Project).
MCC Theater was founded in 1986 by current artistic directors Robert LuPone and Bernard Telsey. The company is dedicated to bringing new works to New York with its three-play season. Past productions have included Margaret Edson's Pulitzer Prize-winning Wit, Tim Blake Nelson's The Grey Zone, Marsha Norman's Trudy Blue and last season's Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Glory of Living by Rebecca Gilman.
For more information about MCC, visit www.MCCTheater.org.
—By Ernio Hernandez