Hartford Stage, under the leadership of Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts, today announced the cast of Abundance by Beth Henley, directed by Jenn Thompson, on stage from April 4 through April 28. Press night is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10. Opening night is at 8 p.m. Friday, April 12.
From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Crimes of the Heart comes a breathtaking tall tale. Wickedly funny and deeply touching, Abundance follows the adventures of Bess and Macon, two mail-order brides, on their twenty-five year journey across the American frontier and revels in their lifelong friendship - a bond strong enough to withstand a kidnapping, outrageous catastrophes - and even husbands.
Playwright Beth Henley, most famous for her dark comedies about modern Southern women, won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for a Tony Award for Crimes of the Heart. She was also nominated for a 1987 Academy Award for her screenplay adaptation of the same play. A Mississippi native, often considered a writer of the Southern Gothic genre, her other plays include The Miss Firecracker Contest, Am I Blue, The Lucky Spot, and The Wake of Jamey Foster. Henley's other screenplays include Miss Firecracker (adaptation of her play), Nobody's Fool, and the cult favorite True Stories, a collaboration with David Byrne and The Talking Heads. The Miss Firecracker Contest is scheduled for a revival on Broadway this year. Her latest play, The Jacksonian, played last year at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
The cast of Abundance will include Monique Vukovic (Buddy Cop 2, Atlantic Theater Company and Housebreaking, Cherry Lane Theatre) as Bess, Brenda Withers (Cyrano, Folger Theatre and The Tempest, The Pearl Theatre Company) as Macon, Kevin Kelly (Henry V, Two River Theater Company and Richard III, The Public Theater) as William, James Knight (Measure for Measure, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and Alive and Well, The Old Globe) as Jack and John Leonard Thompson (The Pitmen Painters in Palm Beach and Crime and Punishment, Center Stage) as Elmore.
Director Jenn Thompson serves as Co-Artistic Director at The Actors Company Theater in New York, where her credits include Lost in Yonkers (2012 Drama Desk nomination for Best Revival of a Play) and Tennessee Williams' The Eccentricities of a Nightingale (The New York Times "Top Ten for Theatre 2008"). She served as Producing Director for several seasons at Connecticut's River Rep at the Ivoryton Playhouse.
For tickets, call Hartford Stage at 860.527.5151 or visit hartfordstage.org.
Hartford Stage, since its founding in 1963, has been known for innovative revivals of classics and the development of important new works, including 65 World or American premieres. Recent work includes Quiara Alegria Hudes' Water by the Spoonful, winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Horton Foote's The Orphans' Home Cycle which had a celebrated run at the Signature Theatre in New York during the 2009-2010 season; a landmark production of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird; the premieres of Michael Kramer's Divine Rivalry; and Daniel Beaty's Resurrection (later retitled Through the Night, which had a successful run off-Broadway during the 2010-11 season). In 1998 the theatre launched an unprecedented ten-year retrospective of Tennessee Williams, which included the premiere of three plays. Other new work includes the premieres of Eve Ensler's Necessary Targets, Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo, Matthew Barber's Enchanted April (which transferred to Broadway), Matthew Lombardo's Tea at Five, and many others. The theatre has earned numerous distinguished honors, including a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the Margo Jones Award, OBIE awards, New York Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards. In 2005 Hartford Stage was awarded The Hartford Courant's Tapestry Award recognizing its outstanding work in diversity, and in 2008 it was awarded the Bank of America Neighborhood Builder's Award recognizing its excellence in building community in Greater Hartford. Hartford Stage is currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts.