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Guthrie’s 50th Season Mix Of Classic, Contemporary

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(credit: Amanda Ortland)

(credit: Amanda Ortland)

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A celebration of acclaimed playwright Christopher Hampton, a production of a Eugene O’Neill classic and a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama highlight the 50th season lineup announced Monday by Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater.

“The 50th anniversary needs to be a time to look forward as well as looking back. And rather than dwelling in some kind of nostalgic haze about the 50th, we’re looking at contemporary work and moving the artistic life of the theater forward,” Guthrie Director Joe Dowling told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

The Guthrie announced 11 main-stage productions for the 2012-2013 season at its three-stage complex on the Minneapolis riverfront. The productions include Guthrie’s first production of O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” his autobiographical drama about a morphine-addicted mother, her miserly husband and their two sons. Bruce Norris’ 2011 Pulitzer winner “Clybourne Park” also will be showcased. It is an examination of race relations and modern gentrification written in response to Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” which tells of a black family trying to escape their Chicago neighborhood for a new home.

The lineup also includes a previously announced celebration of Hampton. The British playwright, screenwriter and director is writing a new play for the Guthrie, “Appomattox,” which ranges from the last week of the Civil War to the 1960s civil rights era. The Guthrie also will stage his “Tales From Hollywood,” based on the lives of German intellectuals such as Bertolt Brecht and Thomas Mann who escaped the Nazi regime to find a new life in America.

The works of Hampton, who may be best known for his “Dangerous Liaisons,” kicks off in September. In 2009, the Guthrie celebrated the works of playwright Tony Kushner (“Angels In America”).

Other highlights of the Guthrie’s new season include “The Servant of Two Masters,” a commedia dell’arte classic starring Theatre de la Jeune Lune veteran Steve Epp; Jon Robin Baitz’s “Other Desert Cities,” a drama about an affluent California couple facing memories of a tragic family event; and the world premiere of Crispin Whittell’s “The Primrose Path,” based on an Ivan Turgenev novel about a member of 19th century Russian gentry who escapes his adulterous wife to return to the country.

Propeller, an all-male British company, will perform Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” and “The Taming of the Shrew” in repertory at the Guthrie.

And, Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” will return for its 38th year at the Guthrie.

New season subscriptions range from $70 to $625 and go on sale June 21.

The Tony Award-winning Guthrie was founded in Minneapolis in 1963 by the late Irish stage director Sir Tyrone Guthrie. The Guthrie moved to a $125 million shiny-blue building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel in 2006.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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