Atlantic Will Stage John Patrick Shanley's Sleeping Demon, a Companion Play to Doubt; Season Revealed

News   Atlantic Will Stage John Patrick Shanley's Sleeping Demon, a Companion Play to Doubt; Season Revealed
World-premiere plays from Ethan Coen, Fernanda Coppel, Gabe McKinley, Adam Rapp and Pulitzer Prize winner John Patrick Shanley have been added to the 2011-12 season of Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater Company.

John Patrick Shanley
John Patrick Shanley Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The season launches with the previously announced U.S. premiere of Simon Stephens' Bluebird starring Olivier Award winner Simon Russell Beale. It begins previews in August.

Obie Award-winning playwright Rapp (Red Light Winter) will make his Atlantic debut with the first mainstage production of the season, the world premiere of Dreams of Flying Dreams of Falling, directed by Atlantic Theater Company artistic director Neil Pepe.

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Coen ("No Country for Old Men") returns to Atlantic with his third world-premiere play. Happy Hour will also be directed by Pepe, who staged Coen's hit comedies Almost an Evening and Offices at Atlantic.

Former New York Times reporter McKinley (Off-Broadway's Extinction) draws on personal experience to make his Atlantic debut with the world premiere of his play CQ/CX, "about a reporter whose dreams of becoming a famous journalist come crashing down as he becomes the center of a plagiarism scandal."

Emerging playwright Coppel (The Leak) will see her play Chimichangas and Zoloft in the season, directed by Jaime Castañeda. The Atlantic season will conclude with the unveiling of its new and expanded mainstage home at the Linda Gross Theater, where Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner John Patrick Shanley's play Sleeping Demon, "the final installment of his trilogy called Church and State, which began with Doubt," receives its world premiere.


While its mainstage in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood is being renovated, ATC will produce at Signature's Peter Norton Space and at Classic Stage Company's home.

Here's a more in-depth look at the 2011–12 season of Atlantic Theater Company:

At Atlantic Stage 2
By Simon Stephens
Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch
Aug. 9-Sept. 9

"Jimmy MacNeill (Simon Russell Beale) is a London taxi driver who seems to draw personal stories and confessions from his passengers without even trying. Over the course of Simon Stephens' meticulously observed and deeply compassionate play, the truth of Jimmy's own life and secret burdens unfurls with each new fare. In this acclaimed early play, the first of several he has since had produced at the Royal Court Theatre, Stephens illuminates big questions about how we transcend our own mistakes, and the value and cost of intimacy. He is an unparalleled observer of the small details that unlock joy and pain for the throngs of people anonymously going about their business in the big city."

At Classic Stage Company
Dreams of Flying Dreams of Falling
By Adam Rapp
Directed by Neil Pepe
Sept. 9-Oct. 23

"Something is not right in the world. The sky is a strange color, and there are geese bombarding the Connecticut home of Sandra and Bertram Cabot. In this surreal new play, Adam Rapp lifts the veil on the lives of two wealthy American families, and shows us how even the most polished among us can behave like animals."

At Signature Theatre Company's Peter Norton Space
Happy Hour
By Ethan Coen
Directed by Neil Pepe
Nov. 16, 2011-Jan. 1, 2012

"Ethan Coen returns to Atlantic with this world premiere, following the success of his hit comedies Almost an Evening and Offices. An embittered barfly has a theory — or two — about what the world has become. A lonely young man and lonely young woman can't see how right they are for each other. His motel room is so ugly a business traveler wants to end it all. Your life could be worse — and these three one-act comedies show you how."

At Signature Theatre Company's Peter Norton Space
By Gabe McKinley
Jan. 25-March 11, 2012

"Jay, an up and coming black reporter at the New York Times, finds his dreams of becoming a famous journalist come crashing down as he becomes the center of a plagiarism scandal. Drawing on his own experience as a newsman, McKinley weaves a revealing and complex story about the collateral damage of unchecked ambition and compounded lies. In this new play inspired by real events, truth becomes slippery and racial tensions reach a boiling point. CQ/CX raises difficult questions about the state of our media culture, and the meaning and price of journalistic integrity."

At Atlantic Stage 2
Chimichangas and Zoloft
By Fernanda Coppel
Directed by Jaime Castañeda
Spring 2012

Suffering from a profound sense of disappointment after her 40th birthday, Sonia flees her family and goes on a binge of prescription Zoloft and greasy chimichangas. Sonia's rebellious daughter Jackie and her best friend Penelope hatch a plan to lure Sonia back home, while their fathers struggle with a secret association of their own. This irreverent story examines the search for happiness and the mysteries of sexuality through the eyes of two brazen teenagers.

At The Linda Gross Theater
Sleeping Demon
By John Patrick Shanley
Spring 2012

"Sleeping Demon is the final installment of the trilogy called 'Church and State,' which began with Doubt. The story concerns a Bronx Borough President who is forced, by the mortgage crisis, into a confrontation with a local minister. The question they confront is one that faces us all. What is the relationship between spiritual experience and social action?"

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