Dianne Wiest, Jason Ritter, Charles Durning and Gaby Hoffman star in the play, which was to have closed on Dec. 11. The show opened to mixed-to-positive reviews, with several critics calling the play Wasserstein's best effort in years.
Third is a full-length expansion of a one-act that had its premiere at Theatre J in Washington, DC, in early 2004. At the time, it was paired with another one act, Welcome to My Rash. In the one-act version of Third, Laurie Jameson, a veteran professor at a private liberal arts college, and Woodson Bull III (as in "the Third"), her conservative, wrestling jock of a student, face off in a series of confrontations over politics, Shakespeare and campus culture. Meanwhile, Laurie fends off hot flashes and engages in a challenging relationship with her college-age daughter.
Daniel Sullivan—who piloted Wasserstein's best known titles, The Heidi Chronicles and The Sisters Rosensweig—directs the work.
Lincoln Center has long been Wasserstein's New York home, the place where her plays An American Daughter and Old Money have been seen.
Wasserstein's other plays include Isn't It Romantic? and Uncommon Women and Others. Her musical, Pamela's First Musical, premieres in California in 2005-06.