Playwright Richard Greenberg continues his hot streak with Take Me Out, a new play about sports which will be co-produced in 2002 by the UK's Donmar Warehouse and New York's Public Theater. The work will premiere at the Donmar in summer 2002 and then move to the Public sometime early in the company's 2002-03 season, said a spokesperson for the theatre. No director or cast have been confirmed for the project. Greenberg's most frequent collaborators in recent years have been Evan Yionoulis (Three Days of Rain, Everett Beekin) and David Warren (Night and Her Stars, Hurrah at Last).
The Donmar has produced Greenberg's work before, giving Three Days of Rain a home in 1999. Elizabeth McGovern starred.
Greenberg's current command of New York's stages began this fall with the Broadway production of his adaptation of August Strindberg's Dance of Death, starring Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren. That production was joined last month by the Lincoln Center Theater staging of Everett Beekin, an examination of the wanderings of four generations in a Jewish-American family, with one act taking place in the Lower East Side in the 1950s and the second in 1990's California. The spring will bring the Roundabout Theatre Company's staging of The Dazzle, the story of two brothers and a woman who comes between them.
Take Me Out represents an unusual change of pace for Greenberg, whose plays are often the home of highly educated and cultured white professionals—novelists, architects, professors and the like. As the title suggests, the new drama takes a look at the blue-collar topic of sports and what athletic events mean to everyday people. According to Variety, the main character is a centerfielder of mixed race.
With Take Me Out, Greenberg will have achieved an enviable hat trick, having, with one year's time, landed productions at Manhattan's three largest nonprofit theatre companies. Greenberg will be one of five American playwrights to be produced by the Donmar in 2002. The others are David Auburn (Proof), Stephen Adly Giurgis (Jesus Hopped the A Train), Keith Reddin (Frame 312) and Kenneth Lonergan (Lobby Hero).
The Public Theatre's 2002-03 season is slowing starting to take shape. In addition to Take Me Out, the company will present Caroline or Change, a new musical by composer Jeanine Tesori and playwright Tony Kushner. George C. Wolfe will direct the work, which has already had a few readings and is still in development.
Kushner originally wrote the libretto for the San Francisco Opera. When that arrangement failed, the Public entered the picture.
Caroline or Change takes place in Louisiana in 1963, just before President Kennedy's assassination and during the Civil Rights movement. Caroline is the black maid of a Southern family, made up of a father, his new wife and the man's young son. The son's birth mother has recently died, and the stepmother is trying to establish a relationship with the child, who already has a close connection with Caroline. The title has a double meaning, referring to the myriad social changes swirling around the family and a family argument surrounding the spare change perpetually found in the boy's pants pockets.
Kushner's Homebody/Kabul, his first new play to see New York City in years, will begin previews at New York Theatre Workshop on Dec. 5. His past works include Slavs!, an adaptation of The Dybbuk (also seen at the Public) and, of course, the two-part epic Angels in America.
Tesori wrote the music for the Off-Broadway musical Violet, seen at Playwrights Horizons. Her Thoroughly Modern Millie was praised during its run at La Jolla Playhouse and will open on Broadway on April 18, 2002.
Caroline or Change will be the first musical Wolfe will direct since Broadway's The Wild Party. Prior to that, he staged Jelly's Last Jam, Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk and On the Town, all on Broadway.