Gurney's Strictly Academic Opens at Primary Stages Off-Broadway, Oct. 21 | Playbill

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News Gurney's Strictly Academic Opens at Primary Stages Off-Broadway, Oct. 21 The New York premiere of A. R. Gurney's Strictly Academic opens Off-Broadway at Primary Stages, Oct. 21 under the direction of Paul Benedict.

The work began performances Oct. 8 at the midtown Manhattan venue for a run through Nov. 30.

Strictly Academic comprises two works The Problem — about a husband and wife whose extramarital affairs are revealed — and The Guest Lecturer — set in the world of theatre where an artistic director concocts a sadistic scheme to keep her audiences coming back.

The cast features Remy Auberjonois (Othello - The Public Theatre), Susan Greenhill (Better Days), Keith Reddin (The Play’s the Thing) and Amy Southerland.

The design team for Strictly Academic features James Noone (set), Laura Crow (costumes), Deborah Constantine (lighting) with Amy and David Southerland (music direction).

Benedict was the director of the original Off-Broadway staging of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. He previously helmed Gurney's The Old Boy at San Diego’s Old Globe. Other credits include It’s Only a Play, Any Given Day, Anthony Rose and The Kathy and Mo Show. Also an actor, he has been seen The Play's The Thing, Hughie and The Music Man as well as in such films as "Waiting for Guffman," "Isn't She Great" and "A Mighty Wind." Gurney has also penned Scenes From an American Life, Children, The Dining Room, The Middle Ages, Richard Cory, The Golden Age, What I Did Last Summer, The Wayside Motor Inn, Sweet Sue, The Perfect Party, Another Antigone, The Cocktail Hour, Love Letters, The Snow Ball (adapted from his novel), Later Life, A Cheever Evening, Sylvia, Overtime, Labor Day, Far East, Darlene and Ancestral Voices. His The Fourth Wall and O Jerusalem were seen on New York stages last season and Big Bill will play at Lincoln Center Theatre's .

Primary Stages next inaugurates its new 200-seat theatre at 59 E. 59 St. with the world premiere of Terrence McNally's The Stendhal Syndrome. Leonard Foglia (Master Class) directs the new work (slated for a Jan.-April run) which combines two plays: Full Frontal Nudity and Prelude & Liebestod. Joe Calarco (Summer of the Swans) then reteams with up-and-coming playwright Julia Jordan on the world premiere of her latest work Boy(set to play at the 45 St. space, April-June, 2004).

Tickets to Strictly Academic at Primary Stages, at 354 W. 45 St., can be purchased by calling (212) 333-4052. For more information, visit

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