Hawke soars to Off Broadway

Actor to direct 'Things We Want'

Ethan Hawke will make his Off Broadway directing debut with the world premiere of Jonathan Marc Sherman’s play, “Things We Want,” as part of the New Group’s 2007-08 season, starting previews Oct. 7.

No cast has been set for the dark comedy, which deals with three brothers struggling to cope after the suicide of both their parents.

Also included in the compnay’s lineup is the U.S. premiere in January of Mike Leigh’s play “Two Thousand Years,” in which escalating tensions in a North London Jewish family mirror those in the Middle East. New Group a.d. Scott Elliott will stage the production, continuing a collaboration with Leigh that has extended across four plays, most recently “Abigail’s Party.”

Leigh’s first new play in more than a decade, “Two Thousand Years” premiered in London at the National Theater in 2005.

Final play in the New Group season is Kevin Elyot’s “Mouth to Mouth,” to be directed by Mark Brokaw in spring. Premiered at the Royal Court in 2001, the play centers on an emotionally constricted writer suffering from a serious illness. New Group staged Elyot’s “My Night With Reg” as part of its 1996-97 season.

Hawke previously worked with New Group in the cast of “Hurlyburly,” the hit revival of the David Rabe play, helmed by Elliott in 2005. He received a Tony nomination for featured actor last season for Lincoln Center Theater’s production of “The Coast of Utopia.”

“Things We Want” will kick off the New Group’s 12th season, its sixth in residence at the Acorn on Theater Row.

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