Producers Philip Morgaman, Emily Miller and Frankie Grande announce the kickoff of a yearlong celebration of prolific playwright and director Garson Kanin beginning July 30th with Dreyfus in Rehearsal. The play, originally written by Jean-Claude Grumberg and adapted by Kanin, marks the first production honoring the late playwright. Additionally, the yearlong tribute will include readings of Kanin's The Rat Race and Peccadillo.
Dreyfus in Rehearsal follows a group of young amateur actors rehearsing a play about Alfred Dreyfus, a French Military Officer who suffered the injustice of religious persecution, written by their ambitious young director. The troupe, struggling to find the relevance of this story to their own lives, are more concerned with their personal dramas, which frustrates their high-strung director. Their placid existence is about to be shaken as anti-Semitism grows in this wryly funny and touching story about finding one's place in a fast-changing world.
Under the direction of Chad Larabee the production features Paul Anthony Stewart (Morris), Lori Wilner (Zina), Bob Ari (Arnold), Ari Butler (Michael), Holly Ann Butler (Myriam), Lee Zarrett (Mendl), Daniel Pollack (Zalman), Teddy Bergman (Dr. Wasselbaum/ Bronislaw), and Timothy Sekk (Yanek).
Paul Anthony Stewart, a Emmy nominee for his work on CBS's "Guiding Light", was last on Broadway as Perchik in the most recent revival of Fiddler on the Roof. Bob Ari, last seen on Broadway in Frost/Nixon, has also appeared in The Constant Wife, Bells Are Ringing and Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Lori Welner most recently appeared in the world premiere of Giant at Signature Theatre and has been seen on Broadway in A Catered Affair, Awake and Sing and Fiddler on the Roof.
The set design for Dreyfus in Rehearsal is by Ken Goldstein; costume design is by David Zyla; lighting design is by Cory Pattak; original music by Matt Gould; fight direction by Joe Travers. Iris D. O'Brien is the production stage manager.
Garson Kanin, esteemed theater and film director as well as a prolific writer, was trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and made his debut in theater as an actor. Kanin quickly adapted to the role of stage director with help from his mentor George Abbott, and soon become a director for RKO Films. His early films include A Man to Remember and My Favorite Wife. While serving in the military during World War II, he co-directed with Carol Reed the documentary The True Glory which won an Academy Award in 1945. He followed this success by writing and directing Born Yesterday. Over the next four decades he wrote 20 plays, including Peccadillo, Remembering Mr. Maugham, The Rat Race and The Smile of the World. He also wrote the English libretto of Fledermaus, for the Metropolitan Opera. With Ruth Gordon, whom he married in 1942, he wrote the Academy-Award nominated screenplays A Double Life, Adam's Rib and Pat and Mike. He continued to write and direct for stage and screen, notably directing the premiere of Frances and Albert Hackett's adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank. Kanin was also a novelist and memoirist. His books include Smash, Hollywood, and Tracy and Hepburn. Ruth Gordon died in 1985, and Kanin married Marian Seldes in 1990. He died at his home in New York in 1999.