Friday, January 3, 2014

THE SULLIVAN PROJECT Blends Daniel Sullivan, David Auburn and Jake Weber

Daniel Sullivan
Illinois Theatre, a producing arm of the University of Illinois Department of Theatre, is shedding some light on "The Sullivan Project," a theater event scheduled for a week of performances in early February.

The Department of Theatre at U of I had previously announced that this would be the inaugural year of the Sullivan Project, named for Daniel Sullivan, who is the Swanlund Endowed Chair and a Professor of Theatre at U of I Urbana-Champaign. He is also a one of New York's most in-demand directors, a Tony Award winner for his direction of Proof, by David Auburn, and a Tony nominee for directing plays like Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire, The Sisters Rosensweig by Wendy Wasserstein, and a 2011 production of The Merchant of Venice. Other than the fact that Sullivan would be at the helm, details were scant. All we knew was that this Sullivan Project would "gather professional artists from across the country to produce a new play."

Now we know that the new play in question is called Lost Lake and it was written by David Auburn. A press release sent out today tells us, "The latest work from the author of Proof, which received both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Broadway’s Tony Award, Lost Lake was developed by the author in a residency funded by Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference in the summer of 2013 (Preston Whiteway, Executive Director; Wendy C. Goldberg, Artistic Director).

"In Lost Lake, Veronica, who lives in New York City, finds herself at a crossroads in life and decides to offer her children a respite from city life in a ramshackle cabin far from the distractions of her urban milieu. When she leases a vacation home, she meets Hogan, the property owner who is facing challenges of his own—challenges that will have an impact on Veronica’s chances of time away from it all."

Jake Weber
We also have some excellent casting news. Jake Weber, someone I saw turn in a terrific performance in a terrific production of Tom Stoppard's Hapgood at the Williamstown Theater Festival last summer, who is perhaps better known for playing the hot husband in TV's Medium, will play Hogan, the challenged "property owner," while Opal Alladin will take the role of Veronica. Alladin appeared in the movie United 93 as well as an October episode of The Michael J. Fox Show, and she has extensive stage credits, including Romeo and Juliet for New York's Public Theater, Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play at the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia and Anne Marie Healy's What Once We Felt as part of a new play initiative from Lincoln Center.

Opal Alladin
Weber and Alladin share an Alan Ayckbourn connection, since she was in Ayckbourn's My Wonderful Day in Philadelphia, and he played all five Rivetti brothers in a Broadway production of A Small Family Business at the Music Box Theatre.

Scenic designer J. Michael Griggs joins costume designer James Berton Harris, a longtime U of I professor as well as a prominent costume designer with credits on both coasts, lighting designer Robert Perry and Bradford Chapin, a sound designer and audio engineer who has designed several productions with Illinois Theatre, on the design team.

Rehearsals begin next week in Urbana, with performances of Lost Lake scheduled for February 5-9 at 7:30 pm and 2 pm matinees on the 8th and 9th. For ticket information, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment