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Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano Set for Roundabout’s <i>True West</i>

Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano Set for Roundabout’s True West

Roundabout Theatre Company has announced a revival of Sam Shepard’s celebrated play True West, set to star two of theatre and Hollywood’s biggest talents. The production, which will be directed by James MacDonald, will feature Ethan Hawke as “Lee” and Paul Dano as “Austin.”  Previews will begin December 27, 2018 with an official opening set for January 24, 2019. The limited engagement will play Broadway’s American Airlines Theatre.

“Opposites attack in Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play about two brothers with more in common than they think. Holed up in their mother’s California house, screenwriter Austin (Dano) and lowlife Lee (Hawke) wrestle with big issues—and each other. Order vs. chaos. Art vs. commerce. Typewriter vs. toaster…Shepard’s rip-roaring classic returns to Broadway, gleefully detonating our misguided myths of family, identity and the American Dream.”

Ethan Hawke is widely known for his many film roles including his Academy Award-nominated performance in Training Day. Other films include Dad, Dead Poet’s Society, Reality Bites, Before Sunrise, Gattaca, Hamlet, and The Magnificent Seven (among myriad others). No stranger to the stage, Hawke has been a regular presence in the New York Theatre scene. At the age of twenty-one, Hawke founded the Malaparte Theater Co., which gave young artists a home to develop their craft for more than five years. The next year, in 1992, Hawke made his Broadway debut in The Seagull. Additionally, he has appeared in Henry IV alongside Richard Easton on Broadway; Buried Child (Steppenwolf); Hurlyburly for which he earned a Lucille Lortel Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor and Drama League Award Nomination for Distinguished Performance (The New Group); Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia for which he was honored with a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Play and Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance (Lincoln Center). In 2010, Hawke directed Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind for which he received a Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Director of a Play as well as recognition in the New York Times and The New Yorker top ten lists of the leading theatre productions in 2010

Paul Dano rose to fame when he appeared in the Academy Award-nominated film Little Miss Sunshine. Since then, he has appeared in many screen projects including 12 Years a Slave, There Will Be Blood, Prisoners, Ruby Sparks, and David Sweat. Paul Dano will make his directorial debut in 2018 with Wildlife which screened at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Dano wrote the adapted screenplay (with Zoe Kazan) from Richard Ford’s American classic. Wildlife stars Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal and centers on the story of a teenage boy who witnesses the decay of his parent’s marriage after their move to Montana. Dano recently wrapped the Showtime limited series Escapre at Dannemora starring alongside Benicio Del Toro and directed by Ben Stiller. In 2007, Dano starred in Ethan Hawke’s off-Broadway directorial debut, Things We Want, alongside Peter Dinklage, Josh Hamilton and Zoe Kazan. Hawke has also acted alongside Dano on film Taking Lives and directed him on stage Things We Want.

Sam Shepard was a prolific American playwright who is famed for his gritty plays that reflect the darker-side of humanity. Among his many honored titles are Fool For Love, Curse of the Starving Class, A Lie of the Mind, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child (1979). . In 1986, Shepard was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy in 1992. He was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame two years later. Shepard appeared in many films including August: Osage County, The Right Stuff and Steel Magnolias. Shepard died in 2017 from complications from ALS.

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.