Guthrie Lab bows Blessing’s ‘Body’

McSweeny will direct Herrmann, Learned, O'Neill in play

Lee Blessing’s “A Body of Water” will have its world preem next month as the final production of the Guthrie Theater Lab’s 2004-05 season.

Ethan McSweeny directs a cast including Edward Herrmann, Michael Learned and Michelle O’Neill.

Previews begin June 11 for a June 15 opening; production runs through July 3 at the Minneapolis theater.

“A Body of Water” is the final full production in the Guthrie Lab before the theater moves to its new home in 2006.

Scribe Blessing and director McSweeny have worked together often, with McSweeny directing workshops or productions of Blessing’s “A Walk in the Woods,” “Cobb” and “The Scottish Play,” among others.

“A Body of Water” begins with Moss and Avis awakening one morning wearing unfamiliar clothing in an unfamiliar house. They don’t know how they got there or who they are. Over several visits, a woman named Wren, their only contact with the outside world, fills in their stories, but each time the tale changes radically.

“One of the pleasures I take in this play is that it manages to send its spectators on the same sort of unwilling voyage Moss and Avis seem to be on,” Blessing said. “First they must learn a reality from the ground up, then they’re told that reality doesn’t exist. They learn a new reality, only to have that one destroyed as well. It seems to me we all do this in life. Or rather this is what life does to us.”

Creative team includes Michael Sims, sets; Rich Hamson, costumes; Matthew Reinert, lighting; Michael Roth, sound; and Amy Wegener, dramaturg.

For more information or tickets, visit www.guthrietheater.org

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