"D" Is For Drama: Shanley's Defiance Opens Feb. 28 as Part of Trilogy | Playbill

News "D" Is For Drama: Shanley's Defiance Opens Feb. 28 as Part of Trilogy
John Patrick Shanley's Defiance, the new play that re-teams the writer with Manhattan Theatre Club and Doug Hughes — the respective producer and director of the lauded Doubt — opens Feb. 28 at Manhattan Theatre Club.
Stephen Lang in Defiance.
Stephen Lang in Defiance. Photo by Joan Marcus

Interest and expectations for the world premiere work are high: This is, after all, the same author, director and Off-Broadway not-for-profit that gave us the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Tony Award-honored Doubt, which moved from MTC's Stage I (where Defiance is playing) to Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre.

Defiance has been extended before even opening. Performances will continue to April 30, one week longer than announced. Previews began Feb. 9.

Defiance is billed as "part of an intended trilogy of plays by playwright John Patrick Shanley that began with Doubt." Like 2004's Doubt, the new play is an intermissionless 90 minutes long.

According to MTC, "Defiance is set on a United States Marine Corps base in North Carolina in 1971. Two officers, one black (Chris Chalk) and one white (Stephen Lang), are on a collision course over race, women, and the high cost of doing the right thing. The play is about power, love, and responsibility — who has it, who wants it, and who deserves it."

* The cast of the world premiere military drama features (in alphabetical order) Chris Bauer as Chaplin White, Tony Award nominee Stephen Lang (A Few Good Men, The Speed of Darkness) as Colonel Littlefield, Trevor Long as Gunney, Margaret Colin as Margaret Littlefield, Jeremy Strong as Private Evan Davis and Chris Chalk as Captain Lee King.

Shanley said in MTC production notes, "Doubt was about the birth of uncertainty in a person of faith set in a church school I attended in the '60s. Shortly thereafter, the country went through a cultural earthquake. The authority of most of our institutions was called into question, and a powerful cynicism took hold. In short, Doubt turned into Defiance, which is my second play about American hierarchy. I feel doubt is an important and valuable exercise, a hallmark of wisdom. Defiance is a necessary step in the life of an individual and in the life of a nation, but it is an intermediate step — that's why there's going to be a third play."

The design team includes John Lee Beatty (set), Catherine Zuber (costume), Pat Collins (lighting), David Van Tieghem (original music and sound design).

Shanley is the Pulitzer Prize-honored, Tony Award-winning playwright of Doubt, Danny and the Deep Blue See, Where's My Money?, Italian American Reconciliation and more. He won the 1987 Academy Award for the original screenplay, "Moonstruck," which is being developed into a musical for the stage. The film comedy was also nominated for Best Picture.

Tickets are $65 and can be reserved by calling CityTix at (212) 581-1212. Group and student rates are available. For group ticket information, call (212) 399-3000 ext. 134. Student tickets are $25 and are on sale for all performances based on availability on the day of the performance, up to one hour before showtime. Call (212) 581-1212 for further information.

Visit www.manhattantheatreclub.com.

From Left: Jeremy Strong and Chris Chalk in <i>Defiance</i>.
From Left: Jeremy Strong and Chris Chalk in Defiance. Photo by Joan Marcus

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