Trio of world premieres lined up

A world preem from “Proof” scribe David Auburn and a David Hyde Pierce topliner are among the offerings on tap for the 2011-12 season at Manhattan Theater Club.

Auburn’s “The Columnist,” lined up for a debut at MTC’s Main Stem venue, centers on Joseph Alsop, the real-life Washington columnist. Play is the first of Auburn’s to hit MTC since “Proof,” which went on to a Rialto run and scored the Putlitzer and the Tony.

Director of the production, which begins previews Jan. 4 ahead of a Jan. 26 opening at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, has yet to be announced.

Pierce, whose last outing with MTC was in the 2009 Broadway revival of “Accent on Youth,” will star in the Off Broadway world preem of “Close Up Space.” New comedy by Molly Smith Metzler, whose play “Elemeno Pea” stirred interest earlier this year at the Humana Festival of New Plays, follows a book editor (Pierce) juggling struggles that include a looming deadline and an angry daughter. Leigh Silverman (“Well”) directs the show, starting previews Dec. 1 and opening Dec. 19.

Also lined up for MTC’s Off Broadway space at City Center is “We Live Here,” a world preem by thesp-scribe Zoe Kazan. Story is set over a wedding weekend, when the new boyfriend of the bride’s younger sister prompts aftershocks within the bride’s family. No helmer is yet set for the show, previewing Sept. 22 for a Oct. 12 opening.

MTC’s sked will include three more shows.

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