Schmucks, Scorched, Hysteria and Stoppard to Play Philly's Wilma

News   Schmucks, Scorched, Hysteria and Stoppard to Play Philly's Wilma
The Wilma Theater's co-artistic directors Blanka Zizka and Jiri Zizka announced May 8 that Tom Stoppard's Rock 'n' Roll — a play set partly in the Zizkas' homeland — would open their 2008-09 season in Philadelphia.

"With half of the play taking place in former Czechoslovakia, Rock 'n' Roll brings us back to one of the defining moments in our lives when we left Czechoslovakia in 1976," stated Blanka Zizka. "Tom himself was born in Czechoslovakia, and he has long been impressed by our personal story of immigrants coming to a foreign place, knowing nobody, and creating a theatre. It is the perfect play to mark our 30th anniversary season."

Performances play Sept. 17-Oct. 19. Blanka Zizka directs.

Roy Smiles' comic fantasy, Schmucks, directed by Jiri Zizka, makes its U.S. premiere at the Wilma Dec. 3, 2008-Jan. 4, 2009. It's a 1965-set "tale of a fictitious meeting between two comic icons, Groucho Marx and Lenny Bruce."

Lebanese-born playwright Wajdi Mouawad's drama, Scorched, translated by Linda Gaboriau and directed by Blanka Zizka, makes its Philadelphia premiere Feb. 25-March 29, 2009. It's billed as "a tour-de-force epic mystery depicting one woman's moral conviction to interrupt the cycle of war and revenge."

Scorched has had over 100 productions in French-speaking countries; the Wilma's production will mark its second production in the U.S. Closing the season will be Terry Johnson's Olivier Award winner for Best New Comedy, Hysteria, based on an historical meeting between Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dalí. "An explosive comedy, this production full of surrealist imagery will feature the Wilma's trademark excellence in design," with a set by Mimi Lien, who won a Barrymore Award for Outrage at the Wilma in 2005.

Jiri Zizka directs the Philadelphia premiere May 13-June 14, 2009.

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Single tickets for the 2008-2009 season go on sale Aug. 1.

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