Talley's Folley: Broadway revival to star Richard Schiff and Robin Wright


Talley's Folley, the classic Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Lanford Wilson ('Burn This,' 'Fifth of July,' 'Balm in Gilead') will have its first-ever Broadway revival as part of the 2010-2011 Season. The production will begin previews in spring 2011, with exact dates and a theater to be announced.

Talley's Folley will be directed by five-time Tony Award-nominated director Marshall W. Mason (for Wilson’s 'Talley’s Folly,' 'Fifth of July' and 'Angels Fall,' plus 'Knock Knock' and 'As Is'), who directed the original World Premiere production.

The production will star veteran film and stage actor and Emmy Award winner Richard Schiff (Toby Zeigler on “The West Wing,” over 50 films including "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," most recently seen on stage in New York in 'The Exonerated' and on London’s West End in 'Underneath the Lintel') and three-time Screen Actors Guild Award nominee and Golden Globe nominee Robin Wright ("Forrest Gump," "The Princess Bride," "Hurlyburly," the recent "State of Play" and "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee"). Both Schiff and Wright will be making their Broadway debuts.

Talley's Folley is a two-character comedy that unfolds on the 4th of July near the end of World War II in the romantic setting of a moonlit boat house in rural Missouri. Sally Talley (Ms. Wright) is the daughter of a prominent local family who is being courted by an unlikely suitor, Matt Friedman (Mr. Schiff), a Jewish accountant from St. Louis. Both are rebels against the conventions of the turbulent times, and finding each other may be their only chance for happiness.

The production will feature scenic design by Tony Award winner John Lee Beatty (the original Talley's Folley, costume design by Jennifer von Mayrhauser and lighting design by Phil Monat. Beatty and von Mayrhauser designed the original acclaimed scenic and costume designs for the World Premiere production.

Talley's Folley had its Broadway Premiere on Valentine’s Day, 14 Feb 1980, following a 1979 Off-Broadway production under the auspices of The Circle Repertory Company. Mason directed a cast that starred Judd Hirsch and Trish Hawkins at The Brooks Atkinson Theatre, where it ran for 286 performances and won both the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 1979-80 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play.

The new Broadway producers (Phil Monat, T. Richard Fitzgerald and Randall L. Wreghitt ) joined with The McCarter Theatre to present a production of the play in the fall of 2008, also featuring direction by Mason, starring Schiff and featuring the iconic original designs by Beatty and von Mayrhauser. Exact dates and a theater for Talley's Folley will be announced in the coming months.

A prolific writer of experimental and traditional drama, Lanford Wilson is one of the most commercially-successful playwrights of all time. Considered a major contributor to American theater, and father of the genre that has become known as “lyric realism,” he has enjoyed success both on and Off-Broadway and his works are among the most regularly produced plays in regional, college and community theaters. He remains an important voice in American playwriting, as evidenced by the continued productions of his plays, especially the modern classics 'Balm in Gilead,' 'Fifth of July' and 'Burn This.'

Mr. Wilson’s 44-year collaboration with director Marshall W. Mason has been certified as the longest collaboration between a writer and director in the history of the American theater. Together they co-founded (as Playwright-in-Residence and Artistic Director, respectively), the legendary Circle Repertory Company. Their collaboration on new works extends from the original production of 'Balm in Gilead' in 1965 to the world premiere of 'Book of Days' in 2000. Mason has directed twelve plays on Broadway that have earned him five Tony nominations for Best Director, including the original production of Talley's Folley.

Richard SchiffRobin Wright