New Edward Albee play a Signature highlight

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

NEW YORK (AP) — The upcoming season at the Signature Theatre will be a fertile one — with new works by David Henry Hwang, Will Eno, Martha Clarke and the much-anticipated world premiere of Edward Albee's new play, "Laying an Egg."

The 2013-2014 Signature season announced Wednesday also includes Ruben Santiago-Hudson starring in August Wilson's one-man show "How I Learned What I Learned" and a new work by Regina Taylor.

"I think it's a really dynamic, eclectic group and mix, and I think it really is representative of what we have to offer as a theater-making community," said James Houghton, the Signature's founding artistic director.

Albee's play, about a middle-aged married woman determined to become pregnant despite a controlling mother and restrictions imposed by her late father's will, is part of the Signature's Legacy Program, which gives its former resident writers the opportunity to return with new work.

Albee, whose other works include "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" ''Seascape" and "The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?" was a resident playwright from 1993-94. His new play will debut this summer.

"Edward is really family," Houghton said, pointing to the 20-year support the Signature has given the prize-winning playwright. "It feels very organic and natural to be working together."

"Laying an Egg" was initially scheduled to be produced last year by the Signature but was postponed when Albee requested more time. It was replaced by a revival of his "The Lady From Dubuque" starring Jane Alexander.

This fall, Clarke's "Cheri" will offer a fusion of theater, live music and dance that Clarke has conceived, directed and choreographed. It features American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Herman Cornejo and prima ballerina Alessandra Ferri, as well as British actor Suzanne Bertish.

Other works include the previously announced Taylor's "--- and Potatoes," about a crossword-loving book publisher struggling to find his purpose in the digital age, and the world premiere of Hwang's "Kung Fu," a new play directed by Leigh Silverman that incorporates dance and music.

Hwang's play, according to a Signature description, is about a young martial artist who comes to America from Hong Kong in the 1960s "with a dream as audacious as his talent: to become the biggest movie star in the world."

Eno returns next year with a new play. His last play, "Title and Deed," a meditation on loneliness and home, was produced by the Signature. And Branden Jacobs-Jenkins also will have a new work making its world premiere next year.

"To me, the season is representative of what we do — it's very dynamic," said Houghton. "I think it's diverse on every level from our most mature artists to fresh new artists coming up, pushing boundaries of what makes theater and what defines theater."

The off-Broadway theater company recently moved into its 75,000-square-foot, Frank Gehry-designed home at the Pershing Square Signature Center on 42nd Street.




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