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Neil LaBute Out as Playwright-in-Residence at Off Broadway’s MCC Theater

MCC Theater, the non-profit, Off Broadway theater company where Neil LaBute has been a playwright-in-residence for several years, has abruptly terminated its relationship with the writer-director, cancelling an upcoming production of a LaBute play and ending his residency.

The play, “Reasons to Be Pretty Happy,” a sequel to LaBute plays “Reasons to Be Pretty” and “Reasons to Be Happy,” was on MCC’s 2017-18 schedule in a run that would have begun performances in August. No explanation was given for the cancellation or the termination of the residency, both of which were announced in a brief statement from the company. No further elaboration was offered by staffers.

MCC has had a long relationship with LaBute, who over 15 years has premiered 10 of his plays with the Off Broadway company. Plays including “Fat Pig,” “The Distance From Here,” and “Reasons to Be Pretty” all bowed at MCC, with the latter moving to Broadway in 2009. The writer’s most recent outing at theater, “All the Ways to Say I Love You,” had a run in fall 2016 that starred Judith Light.

MCC said it would announce a production that would replace “Reasons to Be Pretty Happy” in the coming weeks. The company’s current offering, JC Lee’s “Relevance” with Jayne Houdyshell and Pascale Armand, is now running at the Lucille Lortel Theater.

The Geffen Playhouse in L.A. recently announced it would stage LaBute’s “Fat Pig” in a production that would star Chrissy Metz. When asked if that production was at all jeopardized, a rep for the Geffen said the theater wouldn’t comment at this time.

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