Blythe Danner and scribes Donald Margulies and David Auburn have lined up world premieres as part of the Manhattan Theater Club’s 2014-15 season, a lineup that sees the Gotham nonprofit partnering with L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse and Chicago’s Goodman Theater.
Margulies, who won a Pulitzer for “Dinner with Friends,” returns to MTC with the debut of “The Country House,” which will star Danner in a Chekhov-inspired comedy about a family of creative types reuniting at a summer home in the Berkshires. Daniel Sullivan (“The Merchant of Venice”) directs the production, which will play June 3-July 13 at the Geffen prior to its berth on MTC’s Broadway stage, where it starts previews Sept. 9 ahead of an Oct. 2 opening.
Project reunites creatives who have made a habit of working at MTC in the past. Margulies’ plays “Sight Unseen,” “Brooklyn Boy,” “Time Stands Still” and “Collected Stories” have all played Broadway in MTC productions, while Sullivan has helmed outings at the theater including “Proof,” “Rabbit Hole” and “Time Stands Still.” Danner worked with the troupe last season, starring in the Off Broadway preem of Amanda Peet’s “Commons of Pensacola.”
Later in the season, Sullivan will reunite with “Proof” scribe Auburn for “Lost Lake,” getting its world premiere at MTC’s Off Broadway space, City Center Stage I. Production, starting previews Oct. 21 ahead of a Nov. 11 opening, centers on a frazzled mother and the owner of the lakeside house she rents for a family vacation.
Next spring, MTC will team with the Goodman for “The World of Extreme Happiness,” a new play by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig (“Lidless”) about a rural Chinese woman whose ambitions for self-improvement in the big city put her up against a series of darkly comic obstacles. Directed by Eric Ting, the production starts at the Goodman for a Sept. 13-Oct. 12 run, then moves on to MTC’s Stage I, opening there Feb. 24.
Further titles on the MTC slate remain to be set. “World of Extreme Happiness” is part of a Goodman lineup that also includes the world premiere of “The Upstairs Concierge” by Kristoffer Diaz and an encore run of Noah Haidle’s “Smokefall,” along with shows including Gina Gionfriddo’s “Rapture, Blister, Burn,” August Wilson’s “Two Trains Running” and Regina Taylor’s “Stop. Reset.”