Christopher Hampton
(© Heidi Bohnenkamp)
Christopher Hampton
(© Heidi Bohnenkamp)
Director Joe Dowling today announced the three plays that will comprise the Guthrie's 2012 celebration of British playwright, screenwriter and director Christopher Hampton.

In addition to the previously reported Guthrie commission of Appomattox, a new play based upon Hampton's original 2007 opera collaboration with composer Philip Glass, the Guthrie will present Tales from Hollywood and Total Eclipse.

Appomattox is an American epic spanning a century, with the action in the first act dealing with the final week of the Civil War and the immediate aftermath of the treaty signed in April 1865 at the Appomattox Court House; the second act takes place 100 years later, addressing the still-contentious issue of racial suppression against the backdrop of the Civil Rights era. It will be staged on the Guthrie's McGuire Proscenium Stage.

Tales from Hollywood dramatizes the lives in Los Angeles of prominent European writers and intellectuals who fled the spread of Nazism in Germany, including Bertolt Brecht and Thomas and Heinrich Mann. It will play on the Guthrie's Wurtele Thrust Stage. Total Eclipse depicts the dramatic and destructive relationship between the young 19th-century poet Arthur Rimbaud and his older mentor Paul Verlaine. Hampton adapted the play into a screenplay for the 1995 film of the same name starring Leonardo DiCaprio and David Thewlis. It will play in the Guthrie's Dowling Studio.

In addition, Hampton will teach a Master Class on adapting works for the stage on September 24 and appear for an "In Conversation" with artistic director Joe Dowling on Monday, October 15 on the Guthrie's Wurtele Thrust Stage. Hampton will also participate in a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) session on October 16.

Hampton is a prolific British playwright, screenwriter and film director who has earned high praise for his work. His plays, musicals and translations have garnered four Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, four Evening Standard Awards, and the New York Theatre Critics Circle Award. He won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons, and most recently, garnered an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of Ian McEwan's Atonement.

For more information on the Christopher Hampton Celebration, click here.