New JT Rogers Play Aims For NYC, By Way of London

PlayBlog   New JT Rogers Play Aims For NYC, By Way of London
Brooklyn playwright JT Rogers has a very circuitous pipeline to New York theatre.

The Overwhelming, his play set on the brink of the Rwandan genocide, lifted off in London's National Theatre in May 2006 in a production directed by Max Stafford-Clark, who, in October 2007, installed it Off-Broadway at the Laura Pels Theatre.

And now Rogers' latest, Blood and Gifts, will be going a comparable route. Howard Davies is directing its world premiere at the National Theatre. "I can't say who's in it — offers are out," relays the playwright. "It's a commission for Lincoln Center, and they're letting me do it there — 'out of town' — but the real full production will be here at Lincoln Center at the end of this year and the beginning of next year. (Lincoln Center has not made an official announcement.)

"It's about the secret war behind the Afghan-Serbia war, about all the intrigues going on around," says Rogers, whose research included interviews with real spies.

Under its original published title, The Great Game: Afghanistan, the play wobbled into a tryout at London's Tricycle Theatre and went over well enough to warrant the production at the National. Its central battlelines are drawn between a CIA agent and a Mujahideen freedom fighter over the secret provision of arms.

— Harry Haun

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