Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stewart, Knight, and Pepe Prepare For Theatre

On Tuesday, one of the producers of A Life In The Theatre, Jeffrey Richards, held a meet and greet for bloggers with Patrick Stewart, T.R. Knight, and director Neil Pepe (a longtime Mamet collaborator). The event was held at the rooftop bar at Hurley's after a last-minute venue change. Though it's a nice place to gather on a warm evening, the setup made it difficult to hear the questions and answers.

A Life In The Theatre is about the relationship between two theater actors, the older and experienced Robert (Stewart) and newcomer John (Knight). Neil Pepe calls the play a "love letter to theater."

It's fitting that Stewart and Knight star, as they share a love for the theater. Before Stewart became known for Star Trek, he was an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Stewart says, "All I ever wanted to be was a stage actor. Everything else that happened to me was an accident." Before Knight made headlines in a Grey's Anatomy controversy, he was doing repertory theater in Minneapolis.

This is the Broadway premiere for a Life in The Theatre. It debuted in Chicago in 1977 and ran off-Broadway that same year. So why now for its Broadway debut? Pepe says that especially now in this age of technology, it's a reminder of what's wonderful about theater. "It's always a good time to do a great play. I can see it being done decades from now," Stewart adds. And as Knight points out, "How ridiculous people can be never changes."

A Life In The Theatre starts previews on September 21 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

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