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Thursday, 10 June 2010 16:35

T.R. Knight to Star Opposite Patrick Stewart in Mamet's A LIFE IN THE THEATRE

T.R. KNIGHT

TO STAR OPPOSITE

PATRICK STEWART

 IN

A LIFE IN THE THEATRE

Acclaimed actor T.R. KNIGHT is set to return to the New York stage starring alongside SIR PATRICK STEWART in the Broadway premiere of David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatrein the role of “John”. 

Best known for his SAG Award winning and Emmy nominated role as “Dr. George O’Malley” on the hit ABC drama “Grey’s Anatomy”, T.R. KNIGHT has also appeared on television in the CBS sitcom “Charlie Lawrence”, opposite Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf. A veteran of the stage, Knight has previously appeared on Broadway in the acclaimed 2001 revival of Noises Off!, and the 2003 Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Tartuffe. Off-Broadway, he received a Drama Desk nomination for his performance in the 2003 MCC production of Scattergood, starred in the 2004 production of Julia Jordan’s Boy and This Lime Tree Bower, both at Primary Stages, the 1999 TFNA production of Macbeth at the American Place Theatre, and the Blue Light Theatre Company production of The Hologram Theory, among many others. A native of Minneapolis, MN, he has appeared in numerous productions at the Guthrie Theater, including Amadeus and Ah, Wilderness!.

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A Life in the Theatre will be directed by Neil Pepe, who directed the acclaimed revival of Mamet’s Speed-The-Plow on Broadway last season, and feature scenic design by Santo Loquasto (Race, Glengarry Glen Ross, American Buffalo), lighting design by Kenneth Posner (The Coast of Utopia, Wicked, Hairspray), and costume design by Laura Bauer (Talk Radio, Glengarry Glen Ross, Talk Radio).

Rehearsals are currently slated to begin on August 23rd, 2010, and previews will now begin at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (236 W. 45th St.) on September 23rd, 2010.

A Life in the Theatre made its world premiere at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago in February of 1977 with Mike Nussbaum and Joe Mantegna and directed by Gregory Mosher.    The play first opened off-Broadway on October 20, 1977 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre and ran for 288 performances. That production was directed by Gerald Gutierrez and starred Peter Evans and Ellis Rabb.

Mel Gussow of The New York Times said: “Though the work has serious undertones, it is first of all a comedy – and Mr. Mamet’s language glistens.  His writing is a cross between the elegant and the vernacular, an ironic combination that is uniquely his own…He is an eloquent master of two-part harmony. An abundantly gifted playwright, he brings new life to the theater.”

Describing life in the footlights from an actor’s point of view, A Life in the Theatre focuses on the relationship between two thespians: Robert, an older, experienced performer; and John, a relative newcomer. Though Robert’s guidance is welcomed by John at first, as the play progresses Robert falters as an actor and mentor, and John emerges as a mature actor. Mamet was inspired to write A Life in the Theatre by what he had observed backstage as well as by his own experiences in his early career as an actor.

A Life in the Theatre will be produced on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler, the lead producers of the current Race and recent production of Speed-The-Plow.

Race, David Mamet’s newest play, which he also directed, is currently playing at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre and stars James Spader, Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier and Richard Thomas.

DAVID MAMET is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Glengarry Glen Ross, has also written Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Lakeboat, The Water Engine, The Duck Variations, Reunion, The Blue Hour, The Shawl, Bobby Gould in Hell, Edmond, Romance, The Old Neighborhood and the recent adaptation of The Voysey Inheritance. A two-time Academy Award nominee for The Verdict and Wag the Dog, Mamet’s additional film credits include The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Untouchables, Hoffa, Ronin, The Edge, and We’re No Angels. His nonfiction work includes The Wicked Son, True and False, and Bambi vs. Godzilla.

Mamet’s staging credits include the world premieres of his plays Oleanna, The Cryptogram, Boston Marriage, and Faustus, as well as Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants and Ricky Jay: On the Stem, and various productions for the Atlantic Theater Company and Circle Rep. For motion pictures, he has previously written and directed Redbelt, Spartan, Heist, State and Main, Catastrophe, The Winslow Boy, The Spanish Prisoner, Oleanna, Homicide, Things Change, and House of Games. For television, he has directed numerous episodes of his CBS hit series “The Unit,” for which he also is creator and executive producer. He is a member of New York’s Atlantic Theater Company, which he founded in 1985 with William H. Macy.

Mamet’s staging credits include the world premieres of his plays Oleanna, The Cryptogram, Boston Marriage, and Faustus, as well as Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants and Ricky Jay: On the Stem, and various productions for the Atlantic Theater Company and Circle Rep. For motion pictures, he has previously written and directed Redbelt, Spartan, Heist, State and Main, Catastrophe, The Winslow Boy, The Spanish Prisoner, Oleanna, Homicide, Things Change, and House of Games. For television, he has directed numerous episodes of his CBS hit series “The Unit,” for which he also is creator and executive producer.

PATRICK STEWART last appeared on Broadway in the title role of Rupert Goold’s 2008 modern retelling of Macbeth, for which he earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Play.  Since leaving Broadway in May 2008, Stewart starred in a dual role as “Claudius” and “The Ghost” in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Hamlet, winning an Olivier Award for his performance; as well as opposite Sir Ian McKellen in a sold-out 2009 West End production of Samuel Beckett's tragicomedy Waiting for Godot.  The pairing of the two actors won the award for Theatre Event of the Year at the 2010 What’s on Stage Awards.

Stewart most recently appeared on stage at The Chichester Festival Theatre in Edward Bond’s Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death, the fictional tale of William Shakespeare’s last days as he finds himself faced with the prospect of losing the land he bought with the money made from his plays. 

In addition, Stewart’s award-winning roles in both Hamlet and Macbeth will air as part of PBS’ “Great Performances” television series on April 28 and a to-be-determined fall date, respectively.  Both adaptations recreate the tone and atmosphere of the original stage productions in a film-style interpretation shot in HD and on location.

In 2010, Sir Patrick received a knighthood for services to drama in the New Year Honour’s list.

NEIL PEPE has been the Artistic Director of the award-winning Atlantic Theater Company since 1992. Under Mr. Pepe's direction the Atlantic has garnered four Tony awards, six Obie awards and numerous others. He simultaneously directed both the acclaimed, sold-out world premiere of Academy Award® winning filmmaker Ethan Coen’s Almost an Evening at Atlantic Stage 2 (and the subsequent commercial transfer to The Theatres at 45 Bleecker Street), and the world premiere of Jez Butterworth’s Parlour Song at Atlantic’s main stage Linda Gross Theatre. Pepe staged a double-bill of Atlantic co-founder David Mamet’s plays – The Duck Variations and the world-premiere of Keep Your Pantheon at the Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles.  He directed Harold Pinter's first and most recent plays, The Room and Celebration at Atlantic and staged the world premiere of David Mamet's new play Romance in 2005, also at the Atlantic. He directed the world premiere of Howard Korder's Sea Of Tranquility in Spring of 2004 as well as the American premiere of Jez Butterworth's The Night Heron in the Fall of 2003 at the Atlantic. Mr. Butterworth and Mr. Pepe also collaborated on the critically acclaimed New York premiere of Butterworth's play Mojo (Drama League Award nomination). Mr. Pepe directed the last major revival of David Mamet's American Buffalo, starring William H. Macy, Phillip Baker Hall and Mark Webber, which had its initial run at the Donmar Warehouse in London before moving to a sold-out run in New York. In the Fall of 2002, he directed the American premiere of the award-winning Joe Penhall play Blue/Orange starring Harold Perrineau, Glenn Fitzgerald and Zjelko Ivanek. Other notable productions include The Beginning Of August by Tom Donaghy starring Mary Steenburgen (South Coast Repertory and Atlantic), the World Premiere of Eric Bogosian's Red Angel starring Mr. Bogosian at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Refuge by Jessica Goldberg at Playwrights' Horizons, Zinnie Harris' Further Than The Furthest Thing at Manhattan Theatre Club, Wolf Lullaby by Hilary Bell, Clean by Edwin Sanchez, and Shaker Heights by Quincy Long (Outer Critic' Circle Award nomination), all at the Atlantic.  Pepe most recently directed on Broadway, David Mamet’s acclaimed revival of Speed-The-Plow at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre.  

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