Stenborg to Star in Panych's Vigil Off-Broadway

News   Stenborg to Star in Panych's Vigil Off-Broadway
Tony Award nominee Helen Stenborg will star in the Off-Broadway engagement of Morris Panych's two-person comedy Vigil, according to a casting notice.
Timothy Busfield and Helen Stenborg
Timothy Busfield and Helen Stenborg Photo by Kathleen O

The play was previously staged at the Westport Country Playhouse in February 2008. Stenborg (Waiting in the Wings, The Crucible) will reprise her performance. According to the casting notice, Vigil will begin previews Sept. 20 and run through Nov. 29 at a theatre to be announced. Angelo Fraboni and Daryl Roth will produce. No official announcement has been made. Stephen DiMenna, who also helmed the Westport engagement, will direct Off-Broadway. The play, according to the casting notice, "offers belly laughs and pathos as it explores subjects of loneliness and mortality. Kemp, a 'down on life' neurotic, receives a letter asking him to come to the side of his long-lost, dying aunt, Grace. He goes not only to help out as asked, but to help her along, since her impending death is not happening quickly enough for him… As he unburdens himself to his only (barely) living relative, unraveling the dysfunctions of his childhood and family, they develop an oddly loving and symbiotic bond. The lack of Grace's loquaciousness is revealed in an ironic ending."

Casting is currently under way for the role of Kemp. Emmy winner Timothy Busfield co-starred with Stenborg in the Westport engagement.

Helen Stenborg was Tony-nominated for her work in Waiting in the Wings; her most recent Broadway appearance was the 2002 revival of The Crucible. Stenborg received a 2000 Drama Desk Award for Lifetime Achievement.

In March 2010, Vigil playwright Panych will direct Oscar-winner Olympia Dukakis in the play for the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.

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