Neil LaBute Getting the Boot from MCC Theatre or Vice Versa?
A few semesters ago, I taught LaBute’s play Fat Pig in my freshmen composition courses. I was familiar with the author’s work in film, and I was hungry to expose students to contemporary dramatic writing. When I came across Fat Pig, newly published at the time, I figured I couldn’t go wrong. Sadly, I knew the title alone would be adequate bait to compel college freshmen to at least glance at what lay beneath the cover. So shoot me, but it did work. LaBute’s frank, sarcastic, crass, and profane dialogue struck a chord with students, as did the issues the play deals with–peer pressure, body image, dating, and personal integrity. They also appreciated the fact that Jeremy Piven had been cast as the leading man, Tom, in the 2004 production at the Lucille Lortel Theater in NYC. According to an article in the New York Post from June 17th, Ashton Kutcher is being considered for the role of Tom in an upcoming broadway production of the play.
According to a post yesterday on The Guardian’s “Theatre Blog,” LaBute, who has been playwright in residence at MCC Theatre in New York for the past seven seasons, may now be in need of a new home to house his creative wares. A brief article in the NYT yesterday also addresses this matter, stating simply that LaBute’s anticipated religious play, The Break of Noon, is no longer on MCC’s fall lineup, though the quotes from MCC Executive Director, Blake West, suggest the explanation for this may lie with LaBute, not MCC.
Here is a link to an interesting interview with LaBute from NYT Magazine this past March. It provides more personal insight into the ever elusive LaBute as well as some commentary on his most recent play, Reasons to Be Pretty, which, incidentally, is the third in a trilogy of plays exploring “beauty,” of which Fat Pig was the first.
Here is a link to LaBute’s plays with synopses and premiere information.
Here is a link to LaBute’s film credits on IMDB. He wrote the screenplay for the 2002 film adaptation of A.S. Byatt’s novel, Possession, a great watch and a great read respectively.