Emmy Award winners Richard Schiff of NBC's "West Wing" and Patricia Wettig of "thirtysomething" will star in the American premiere of "Nightfall" on the Vassar/New York Stage and Film Powerhouse main stage from Wednesday, June 27, through Saturday, July 7.
In "Nightfall," written by Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith and directed by Max Mayer, a stranger leads two desperate suburban parents through a searing reexamination of their daughter's disappearance. "Nightfall" was produced by the Playbox Theatre Company in Melbourne, Australia, and the Sydney Theatre Company. "Art and Soul," a short play, was produced by the Melbourne Theatre Company last year.
Murray-Smith's "Honour" was read by Meryl Streep in a special presentation at the Powerhouse and was subsequently produced in Brisbane, Australia, before moving on to Broadway in 1998. Murray-Smith, winner of the 1996 Premier's Literary Award for Drama, has written several plays, screenplays, operas, prose, short stories, and essays.
Schiff, perhaps best known as Toby on "West Wing," appeared in "Lucky Numbers," "Whatever It Takes," and "Gun Shy," among other film roles. In television, he has made guest appearances on "Roswell," "Ally McBeal," "The Practice," "Murphy Brown," "L.A. Law," and "NYPD Blue," among many others.
Wettig continues to make a strong impression with her roles in television, film, and theater. Wettig starred in CBS's "Nothing But the Truth" as a woman who falls in love with a murder suspect. Her film credits include "City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold" with Billy Crystal, "Me and Veronica" starring opposite Elizabeth McGovern, "City Slickers," and Irwin Winkler's "Guilty by Suspicion" opposite Robert DeNiro and Annette Benning. In 1988, 1990, and 1991, Wettig received Emmy's for best supporting actor for her work on "thirtysomething." Her television credits include Stephen King's "Langoliers" and appearances on "St. Elsewhere," "L.A. Law," "Hill Street Blues," and "Police Story." Wettig returns to the Powerhouse where, in 1990, she costarred with Estelle Parsons in "My Mother Said I Never Should," written by Charlotte Keatley and directed by Wettig's husband Ken Olin. Her play, "Headlong," was featured at the Readings Festival at Vassar this year.
Mayer is a producing director and co-founder of New York Stage and Film. He directed world or New York premieres of Lee Blessing's "Chesapeake," Eric Overmyer's "Dark Rapture," George F. Walker's "Nothing Sacred," "Filthy Rich, "Escape from Happiness," and "Tough!" in addition to plays by John Patrick Shanley, Andrew Bergman, Alex Gersten, and Deborah Pryor. His first feature film, "Better Living," opened in New York and Los Angeles last year.
"Nightfall" kicks off the Powerhouse's 17th summer season. Since its founding in 1985, the Powerhouse summer theater program at Vassar has fostered the work of emerging and established artists, including Jon Robin Baitz, John Patrick Shanley, Beth Henley, Steve Martin, and Nicky Silver, produced new works by some of the nation's most innovative young playwrights, and trained aspiring actors, directors, and designers for theater careers.
Single ticket prices for mainstage productions are $25. Season tickets are also available. For more information call the box office at (845) 437-7235/5599 or, for a taped message on show times, call the Special Info Line at (845) 437-7645 or visit the web site at http://powerhouse.vassar.edu/.