New Guthrie season has a Hitchcockian twist

Guthrie Theater
The Guthrie Theater, in downtown Minneapolis.
MPR photo/Tom Weber

The Guthrie Theater will present 14 plays, including three U.S. premieres, in its 2011-2012 season announced Monday.

The season includes "Over the Rainbow," about Judy Garland's final performances, a new musical adaptation of "Roman Holiday" and a new adaptation of the short story upon which Alfred Hitchcock based "The Birds."

Guthrie Artistic Director Joe Dowling says the season also includes works by William Shakespeare, Noel Coward and Tennessee Williams.

"The balance between the classics, the contemporary, the new and so on -- I think is what we feel is fulfilling the promise of the new building," Dowling said.

A mixture of the new and classic might be "The Birds," adapted by Connor McPherson.

Joe Dowling
Joe Dowling
Ann Marsden

"He's taken the original Daphne Du Maurier story on which Hitchcock based his film, and he's gone back to the story and created this play which is all set in this house where the birds are attacking. And so it's much more of a psychological play," Dowling explained.

The season includes a production by Penumbra Theater of "Amen Corner," and a new production of "The Burial at Thebes" by Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney. Dowling is slated to direct Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing."

The season begins in September.

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