Guthrie Will Celebrate Work of Christopher Hampton in 2012

News   Guthrie Will Celebrate Work of Christopher Hampton in 2012
Guthrie artistic director Joe Dowling announced July 6 that the Guthrie Theater will kick off its 50th anniversary season with a three-play celebration of British playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton.

Christopher Hampton
Christopher Hampton Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp

A Guthrie commission of Appomattox, a new play based on Hampton's original 2007 opera collaboration with composer Philip Glass, will be presented in fall 2012 alongside two of Hampton’s other works, which will be announced at a later date.

Appomattox, according to the Guthrie, "deals with the final week of the Civil War and the immediate aftermath of the treaty signed in April 1865, while also considering the fact that 100 years later, the root cause of the Civil War, the suppression of one race by another, had still not been satisfactorily addressed and is still, to this day, a more than contentious issue."

“Since the end of our successful Tony Kushner Celebration in 2009, our audiences have been eagerly awaiting this announcement,” Dowling said in a statement. “Christopher is an exciting, informative and innovative writer, and a supreme stylist of his generation. The wonderful theatricality and witty banter of his work will offer our audiences the same potential for discussion and engagement that they so enjoyed in our celebration of Tony.”

“I have had great relations with the Guthrie and Minneapolis since the days of Garland Wright,” added Hampton, “and eagerly look forward to revisiting two of my earlier plays, as well as premiering a new play, which will be my first on an entirely American theme.”

Hampton's adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award-winning comedy God of Carnage is playing the Guthrie's McGuire Proscenium Stage through Aug. 7, 2011. Christopher Hampton's plays, musicals and translations have garnered four Tony Awards, three Olivier Awards, four Evening Standard Awards and the New York Theatre Critics Circle Award, while recognition for his film and television work has included an Academy Award, two British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards, a Writer's Guild of America Award, the Prix Italia and a Special Jury Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Hampton is most famous for penning his 1987 Tony-nominated play Les Liaisons Dangereuses and the subsequent screenplay "Dangerous Liaisons," for which he won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He also won two Tony Awards for his work on the 1995 musical Sunset Boulevard, including Best Book of a Musical (with Don Black), and Best Original Musical Score – sharing lyric credit with Don Black and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. His plays, which have been performed both in the West End and on Broadway, include Total Eclipse, The Philanthropist and Tales from Hollywood. He has translated Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage, Art, The Unexpected Man, Conversations After a Burial and Life x 3.

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