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Signature signs up Fornes

Esbjornson to helm season opener

Obie-winning Maria Irene Fornes will be the playwright in residence for Signature Theatre Co.’s 1999-00 Off Broadway season. Slate will consist of two full-length and two one act plays by the Cuban-born scribe.

The season will kick off Sept. 14 with a pair of one acts, to be directed by David Esbjornson. The short pieces — “Drowning,” inspired by a Chekhov short story, and the Obie-winning “Mud,” centering on a woman’s quest for intellectual growth out of the confusion of a sexual triangle — will run through Oct. 10.

The Gotham preem of “Enter the Night” is set for Nov. 23 and will run through Dec. 19. A director for the legiter, which concerns truths revealed by a breakdown of sexual conventions, has yet to be confirmed.

Signature’s season will close with the world premiere of Fornes’ latest work. The still untitled play based on the apparent suicide in the late 1960s of New York ballet dancer Freddy Urco will run Feb. 8 to March 5.

In addition to eight Obies, Fornes is a recipient of an National Endowment for the Arts Distinguished Artists Award, a Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Literary Award and a New York state governor’s arts honor.

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