Stephen Kunken to Star in David Auburn Premiere Off-Broadway

News   Stephen Kunken to Star in David Auburn Premiere Off-Broadway
Stephen Kunken will star in Pulitzer Prize-winner David Auburn's latest piece, The Journals of Mihail Sebastian, set to debut at Off-Broadway's Keen Company March 6-April 4.

The work is adapted from the writings of the title novelist and playwright. Keen Company artistic director Carl Forsman will direct. The venue is to be announced.

Sebastian was a Rumanian novelist and dramatist. His journals, which were published in 1996, told of the shocking history of anti-semitism in the Bucharest of World War II. Despite the country's one-time reputation as a safe place for Jews during the conflict, the book revealed that Romania's wartime government killed 150,000 Jews and imposed employment limitations on others. Sebastian himself was barred from holding certain jobs and had to borrow money to pay his rent.

The play is a one-man show, covering six years in Sebastian's life. It is described as "expressionistic," the journal being "created" over the course of the evening.

It's a return to Auburn's work for Kunken, who starred with Anne Heche in Broadway's Proof (he also played opposite Mary-Louise Parker for a spate). He was also featured in the national tour of the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Recently, he acted in The Story at The Public Theater, where he was also seen in The Dybbuk and Henry VIII.

This will be Auburn's first new stage work to be presented in New York since the premiere of Jonathan Larson's tick, tick...BOOM!, the book of which Auburn's refashioned. Auburn's second major full length play, Proof, premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2000 and transferred to Broadway. It went on to win nearly every available prize and has been produced throughout the United States and the world. A movie version is in the works.

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