Long Wharf Theatre Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein and Managing Director Joshua Borenstein have announced the productions slated for its 49th season.
The Underpants, a play based on Carl Sternheim's Die Hose, written by comedian Steve Martin, will open the mainstage season, running from October 16-November 10. "The Underpants is a wild sex farce, a look at old-fashioned male attitudes towards women," said Edelstein, who plans to direct the production. "It is done with a satiric edge that is right from the mind of Steve Martin — a sense of humor that is really smart and really silly. That's what makes Steve Martin unique."
Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad will then make her Long Wharf directorial debut with August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning Fences, a drama exploring race relations in 1950s America. Edelstein describes the play as "a nostalgia piece…about frustrated ambitions, talented black athletes who realized that it is too late for them." Fences will run on the mainstage from November 27-December 22.
Heidi Schreck (The Madrid) will offer a world premiere of her newest work, The Consultant, playing on Stage II from January 8-February 9, 2014. The play is a comedic drama that depicts the absurdity of contemporary corporate culture and the unlikely relationships that it catalyzes.
Amy Herzog (Belleville) will then bring her Pulitzer Prize-nominated play, 4000 Miles, to the mainstage from February 19-March 16, 2014. The drama follows the relationship between a grandmother and grandson, made unsteady by their vast generational differences.
Next up, Edelstein will direct Long Wharf's second world premiere of the season: The Shadow of the Hummingbird, written by South African playwright Athol Fugard (The Train Driver). Playing on Stage II from March 26-April 27, 2014, the play portrays an 80-year-old man giving advice to his young grandson, offering commentary on living, dying, and how to best live one's life.
Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years will then close the season on Long Wharf's mainstage. The two-person musical follows a couple (Cathy and Jamie) who journey through their unraveling marriage in opposite chronological directions. Helmed by Edelstein, the production is scheduled to run from May 7-June 1, 2014.