MCC Theater announced plans today to produce a staged reading of Playwright-in-Residence Neil LaBute’s The Mercy Seat at the Lucille Lortel Theatre on June 17. The one-night-only event, celebrating LaBute’s ten years of collaboration with the company, will feature two-time Emmy Award winner and MCC Theater board member Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) and Broadway veteran Paul Rudd (Grace). Tickets will go on sale to the general public on May 7, with proceeds benefiting MCC’s literary programs such as Playwrights’ Coalition and free PlayLab reading series. Advance tickets are already available to MCC patrons and will be available to MCC subscribers on April 30.
The Mercy Seat takes place on September 12, 2001, the day after the attacks on New York City’s Twin Towers. Rudd plays a married man who is believed to have been among the 9/11 victims. He and his boss/mistress (Margulies) are found hiding in her apartment, trying to decide whether to return to their lives or to run away and start fresh. Originally produced in 2002, The Mercy Seat was the first collaboration between LaBute and MCC. In the past decade, the company has gone on to produce seven of his new plays including Reasons to Be Pretty in 2008 and its forthcoming companion piece, Reasons to Be Happy, coming to the stage this spring.