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Meryl Streep to Star in Film Version of Master Class

Terrence McNally's play about opera diva Maria Callas will be produced for HBO.

Meryl Streep will star as opera diva Maria Callas in the HBO film adaptation of Terrence McNally's Master Class, directed by Mike Nichols.
(© David Gordon)

Three-time Oscar winner Meryl Streep will star as opera legend Maria Callas in an upcoming HBO film adaptation of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play Master Class, according to the New York Post. Director Mike Nichols, who stands among the elite class of EGOT winners, will helm the project, which is set to begin filming in January.

Nichols and Streep will work together once again, having collaborated on previous projects including Silkwood, Heartburn, Postcards From the Edge, and Angels in America, the HBO miniseries adaptation of Tony Kushner's play. This latest stage-to-screen project comes on the heels of the recent HBO film version of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart.

Master Class debuted on Broadway in 1995 and starred Zoe Caldwell in the leading role that Streep will step into. Caldwell and her costar Audra McDonald (in the supporting role of Sharon Graham) both earned Tony Awards for their performances (the second of McDonald's six wins), and the production won the 1996 Tony for Best Play. A Broadway revival was mounted in 2011, with Tyne Daly in the leading role and Sierra Boggess as Sharon.

Set at the Juilliard School in 1971, Master Class follows renowned opera diva Maria Callas as she teaches her admiring students while simultaneously recalling moments from her own career.