Ciobanu to make U.S. helming debut with 'Oranges'

David Edgar’s two-part drama “Continental Divide” returns from its British tour with a stand at the La Jolla Playhouse, part of the California theater’s 2004 season announced Saturday by artistic director Des McAnuff.

Helmer will be Tony Taccone, artistic director at both Berkeley Repertory Theater and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where “Continental Divide” premiered. “Daughters of the Revolution” and “Mothers Against,” which cover the Democratic and Republican sides of a contempo West Coast gubernatorial campaign, will run May 25-Aug. 1 in the Mandell Weiss Theater.

Brit scribe Edgar is best known in the U.S. for his stage adaptation for the Royal Shakespeare Co. of Dickens’ “Nicholas Nickleby.”

When the plays bowed last March at OSF, Daily Variety said, “The project is a nice reminder that American theaters can do big projects on meaningful topics, and even if ‘Continental Divide’ is not a perfect offering, it’s undoubtedly a rich and worthy one.”

Also on the La Jolla sked is Carlo Gozzi’s comedy “The Love of Three Oranges” (Sept. 28-Oct. 31), directed by Romanian Nona Ciobanu, making her U.S. helming debut. The commedia dell’arte fairy tale is the source of the Prokofiev opera’s libretto. The Playhouse produced Gozzi’s “The Green Bird,” directed by Julie Taymor, during its 1996 season.

The Playhouse also is in negotiations for a new musical, two additional plays and a Page to Stage production.

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