The United States regional premiere of Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Tony-nominated play, “The Motherf***er with the Hat” will highlight the 2011-2012 season at Hartford’s Theatreworks, which will also feature productions of several recently-successful Broadway premieres, announced Steve Campo, Theaterwork’s founder and Artistic Director..
The season opens with the Guirgis play, from October 14 through December 4, and will be directed by Tazewell Thompson, who recently directed David Mamet’s “Race” at the downtown Hartford venue. The play is described as a high-octane, verbal cage match about love, drugs, sex, recovery and, of course, the misplaced haberdashery. The play received generally unanimous raves from New York critics and paid back its investors during its run, which concluded this past July. Theaterworks will be staging the work before any other regional theater in the country.
From January 20 through February 26, 2012, the theater will be offering “The Sty of the Blind Pig” by Philip Hayes Dean, also to be directed by Thompson. Theaterworks reports that “this rich family drama, set in South Side Chicago in the late 1950’s, looks back at a world that is changing, and ahead towards greater change still to come.” Time magazine has described this work as “eloquent, powerful, moving and beautiful.”
That will be followed by John Logan’s play “Red” which won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play. Thompson will direct this tale about expressionist painter Mark Rothko who lands the biggest commission in the history of modern art, to design a set of murals for the new Four Seasons Restaurant. This sets in motion a crisis of conscience as well as a discussion of what an artist owes to his own legacy. “Red” will run from March 23 through May 13.
“Time Stands Still” by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Donald Margulies of New Haven will run from June 1 through July 15 under the direction of Rob Ruggiero, who directed the current production of Theresa Rebeck’s “The Understudy” at Theaterworks and “Show Boat” at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam. According to the theater, the play focuses on Sarah and James, a photojournalist and a foreign correspondent, respectively, who try to find happiness in a world gone crazy as it impacts their own desire for adventure and professional growth.
The final play of the season will be Neil LaBute’s “Reasons to be Pretty,” running from August 10 through September 30, 2012. Ruggerio will again direct. The play deals with four friends who become mired in questions of trust and infidelity resulting from a disagreement over the power of the description “pretty.” It was nominated for a 2009 Tony Award as Best Play.
For information and to subscribe, call 860.527.7838 or visit the company’s website. Theaterworks is located in City Arts on Pearl at 233 Pearl Street in downtown Hartford.
To keep up to date regarding theatrical events in western Massachusetts, visit the Springfield Arts Examiner.