Acclaimed for his brilliantly inventive, best-selling novels (Underworld, White Noise, Libra, Mao II) Don DeLillo turns to the stage with this searing, sexy, and hallucinatory world premiere. Valparaiso centers on a man who finds himself hounded by reporters and talk-show hosts after mistakenly boarding a plane to a mysterious destination. This unnerving experience leads him (and the audience) to profound revelations about human nature and our own culture.
Michael Majeski finds himself in a surprising situation when he thinks he is flying to Valparaiso, Indiana. Through a series of mix-ups, Michael finds himself first flying to Valparaiso, Florida and then eventually lands in Valparaiso, Chile. Even more unexpected is the media onslaught that follows. He finds himself pursued by every kind of interviewer and the object of fascination for the American audience. As his fame grows, Michael’s personal life begins to erode. He and his wife Livia struggle to keep their marriage and their lives in tact despite the growing intensity of the media spotlight. Ultimately, Michael must choose between his sanity and his celebrity.
Valparaiso is presented in association with
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Don DeLillo, author of Valparaiso, was born in New York and attended Fordham University. Since 1971 he has published eleven novels, and he is widely recognized as one of the most distinctive and innovative American writers of our day. His novels include, in chronological order, Americana, End Zone, Great Jones Street, Ratner's Star, Players, Running Dog, White Noise, Libra, Mao II, and the recently published and highly acclaimed Underworld. Libra was adapted by John Malkovich and produced as a play by Steppenwolf Theatre in 1994. Mr. DeLillo's only previous play, The Day Room, was premiered by the American Repertory Theater in 1987, and was published by Knopf.
On Broadway, he directed Richard III with Al Pacino, and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, for which Mr. Pacino won the Tony Award for Best Actor. Regional theatres include the Guthrie Theatre, Alley Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Arizona Theatre Company, Pittsburgh Playhouse, and the Charles de Rochefort Theatre in Paris, where he directed the French premiere of Edward Albee's The Zoo Story.
As the artistic director of the Theatre Company of Boston (TCB) from 1963 to 75, Mr. Wheeler directed over eighty productions. Among these were ten by Pinter, seven by Brecht, five by Albee, nine by Beckett, two by O'Neill, and numerous works by new writers such as Ed Bullins, Jeffrey Bush, John Hawkes, Adrienne Kennedy, and Sam Shepard. Through these productions and others, he helped to launch the careers of then-unknown actors including Paul Benedict, Larry Bryggman, John Cazale, Stockard Channing, Blythe Danner, Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall, Hector Elizondo, Spalding Gray, Paul Guilfoyle, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Jon Voight, Ralph Waite, and James Woods. His film The Local Stigmatic (with Mr. Pacino)—adapted from the play by Heathcote Williams—was presented at the Montreal Film Festival and screened at the Whitney Museum and the MOMA. It will be released in 2006.
Mr. Wheeler's honors include the Elliot Norton Award for his work on Misalliance, the St. Botolph Club Foundation's Award for Distinction in the Performing Arts, and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Award. He has taught and directed at Harvard University, Boston University, MIT, Brandeis, Barnard, Colorado College, and Circle-in-the-Square. He has directed student productions at U.N.C. Chapel Hill, U.C. Irvine and Long Beach, and Évora, Portugal. After receiving his masters at Harvard, Mr. Wheeler trained with José Quintero in New York during the great "O'Neill years" of the 1950's.
Set design by
Set design by
Set Designer Karl Eigsti has been producing designs for Broadway, Off-Broadway, and resident theaters for over four decades. He designed the original productions of John Guare's The House of Blue Leaves, Athol Fugard's Boesman and Lena, and Arthur Miller's The American Clock, as well as for over twenty productions on Broadway, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, and Yentl. He was nominated for a Tony Award and received the Los Angeles Dramalogue Award and the Helen Hayes Award. Mr. Eigsti has designed at most of the major resident theaters in America, including close to forty productions for Arena Stage, and recently the Huntington Theatre's productions of Arcadia and Collected Stories.