Considered one of the most esteemed contemporary American playwrights of our time, Lanford Wilson’s Book of Days will be presented at Sydney’s New Theatre in an Australian Premiere for a limited season from 8 July.
In the parochial backwater of Dublin, Missouri, where life revolves around the cheese factory, the fundamentalist church and the community theatre, book-keeper Ruth lands the title role in a production of George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan.
When a prominent local businessman is violently killed, Ruth suspects foul play. She begins a determined quest to uncover the truth of his death, pitting her in direct conflict with powerful forces and unconsciously mirroring the character she is playing on stage: Shaw’s crusading, fearless Joan of Arc.
A comedy, a tragedy and a murder-mystery, Book of Days explores questions of morality and redemption, identity and community, and the threat posed by the religious right.
With echoes of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, the films of David Lynch and the poetic naturalism of Tennessee Williams, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson digs deep into the moral degeneracy of a small town, balancing comic observation and dramatic conflict with lyrical and politically-charged storytelling to illuminate the disparate ways people behave at a moment of crisis.
Lanford Wilson was an award-winning American dramatist, writer of 22 plays and co-founder of the Circle Repertory Theatre in New York, which became the leading producer of new American plays. He is often grouped with fellow dramatists David Rabe, David Mamet and Sam Shepard in being responsible for a new and muscular ‘Mid-American’ voice in the 1970s/80s.
Nominated three times for the Tony Award, and winning the Obie Award five times, his plays include: Talley’s Folly (winner of the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), Fifth of July (Tony Award nomination for Best Play, 1981), and Burn This. Wilson died in 2011.
Director: Elsie Edgerton-Till Featuring: Gael Ballantyne, Amelia Cuninghame, Simon Davey, Kate Fraser, Jeannie Gee, Mark Langham, Brendan Miles, Alex Norton , Alyssan Russell, Geoff Sirmai, Joel Spreadborough, Kyle Walmsley Assistant Director: Michele Brandenburger Set Designer: Georgia Hopkins Lighting Designer: Alex Berlage Costume Designer: Jacqui Schofield Musical Director: Cassady Maddox Production Manager/Stage Manager: Jo Jewitt
Book of Days
New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown
Season: 8 July – 9 August 2014
Bookings: (02) 9519 3403 or online at: www.newtheatre.org.au
For more information, visit: www.newtheatre.org.au for details.
Image: courtesy of New Theatre