Theaters locks down 2011-12 season
New plays by Ethan Coen, John Patrick Shanley and Adam Rapp are among the offerings on tap for the 2011-12 season at Off Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company.Coen’s latest, “Happy Hour,” is his third collection of short plays to bow at the Atlantic, following “Almost an Evening” and “Offices.” Both of those were helmed by Atlantic a.d. Neil Pepe, who also directs “Happy Hour.” Storylines of the short comedies center, respectively, on a bitter barfly, a potential romance and a suicidal business traveler. Another one-act by Coen will be seen this season in “Relatively Speaking,” set to open on Broadway in the fall. Shanley’s “Sleeping Demon” reps the third installment of the scribe’s “Church and State” trilogy, which included Pulitzer and Tony winner “Doubt” and its follow-up, “Defiance.” No director has yet been set for the play, about a Bronx borough prexy’s confrontation with a minister. The latest by the prolific Rapp (“The Edge of our Bodies,” “The Hallway Trilogy”), “Dreams of Flying Dreams of Falling,” tells a surreal story about a pair of well-to-do American families. Pepe directs. Also on tap is “CQ/CX,” a new play by Gabe McKinley (“Extinction”) loosely based on the Jayson Blair scandal at the New York Times, as well as Fernanda Coppel’s “Chimichangas and Zoloft,” about a woman who flees her family in the wake of her 40th birthday. Jaime Castaneda directs the latter at Atlantic Stage 2, the troupe’s smaller venue. Most of the season’s shows will be staged at venues usually associated with other Off Broadway orgs while renovations at the Atlantic’s mainstage space, the Linda Gross Theater, continue. “Sleeping Demon,” skedded for the end of the season, will inaugurate the newly completed venue. Lineup of productions joins the previously announced fall offering “Bluebird,” a Simon Russell Beale starrer about a London taxi driver. Gaye Taylor Upchurch helmes the Simon Stephens play, set for a run at Atlantic Stage 2. “Bluebird” opens Aug. 22, with further dates for the 2011-12 season yet to be announced.