The production, to play Nov. 11-Dec. 22, "will anchor The Pearl's 30th season." It was previously slated for April 19-May 19, a gap that will now be filled with two one-acts by J.M. Barrie — Rosalind and The Twelve Pound Look, directed by Pearl artistic director J.R. Sullivan. The pairing is under the umbrella title This Side of Neverland, a reference to the mythical world from Barrie's Peter Pan.
The change in schedule is apparently due to a spring shortfall in fundraising. A March 5 letter from Sullivan to subscribers reads, "When we last wrote to you, The Pearl was in an urgent situation: a fundraising goal of $250,000 by March 15th. Since that time, you have fought for us — writing, calling, and clicking more than $125,000 in donations to support the company, the community, and the classics at The Pearl."
In reference to the change in programming, he wrote, "In light of our current situation, The Pearl decided that this financially prudent decision is also the artistically prudent one. … Finally, we still have a long road ahead of us; these weeks are crucial. If you have already given, we cannot express how much we appreciate your gift. If you have yet to give, the momentum is on our side and we look to you to help close this gap with gifts large and small."
Sullivan said in a March 8 statement, "These works by J. M. Barrie feature his trademark wit and perceptive characterization, rich with his love of the theatre but also sharp in social commentary, a very fine fit for concluding the Pearl's 29th season."
The one-acts open May 5. In Rosalind, "a chance meeting propels a woman into an astonishing confession—much to the surprise of her adoring suitor." In The Twelve Pound Look, "a gentleman's inconvenient encounter with a cheerful secretary sends his ego for a spin. With winking charm and affectionate wit, Barrie gives these delightful duos of incurable romantics a healthy dose of reality." Casting and production details are yet to come.
The Pearl's fall 2013 season will also include George Bernard Shaw's You Never Can Tell, in a co-production with the Gingold Theatrical Group (GTG). The comedy will be directed by GTG founder and artistic director David Staller, as part of GTG's Shaw New York festival.
The play, "which lovingly encourages the vital importance of people connecting with other people," will run Sept. 3-Oct. 13.
To support The Pearl, or learn more about its mission, visit pearltheatre.org.
Founded in 1984, The Pearl "has produced a body of work encompassing the full breadth of theatre history, from ancient Greek tragedy to contemporary works rooted in the classics."
In October 2012, The Pearl celebrated the opening its first permanent home, located at 555 West 42nd Street.