Posted by Artistic Director Robert Falls
Few new plays have moved me as profoundly or touched me as deeply as Brett C. Leonard’s The Long Red Road. With unflinching and sometimes savage honesty, Brett explores the deeply fractured relationship of two brothers, each of whom has spent years dealing with the aftermath of a horrific accident. Without denying the very real flaws that infect many of the play’s characters, Brett is able to take us beyond their sometimes violent exteriors to explore their achingly vulnerable humanity. Alternately shocking and poetic, The Long Red Road is a stunningly affecting work, one that I have wanted to bring to the Owen stage since I first encountered it nearly two years ago.
Chicago last experienced Brett’s compelling work in 2005 when his play Guinea Pig Solo received rave reviews from critics, who hailed him as “a passionately engaged writer with a poetic soul, a gift for bristling dialogue, a pitch-black comic sensibility and an almost Orwellian view of the world” (Chicago Sun-Times). Like Guinea Pig Solo, The Long Red Road comes to us from the LAByrinth Theatre Company in New York, an off-Broadway theater that has become the artistic home of such other extraordinary writers as José Rivera, Stephen Adly Guirgis and John Patrick Shanley. Early in his LAByrinth tenure, Brett began a close working relationship with company member Philip Seymour Hoffman, who directed the first reading of The Long Red Road several years ago. Phil has remained an important part of the development of the play ever since, as has Tom Hardy, one of London’s most electrifying acting talents, for whom Brett created the central role of Sammy. I am extremely pleased that all three of these artists are part of this premiere production, joined by an outstanding group of actors and designers from around the country.
As I have often said, I strongly feel that new works are the lifeblood of any theater company. I am proud indeed to add Brett C. Leonard’s The Long Red Road to the distinguished list of plays that have gotten their start at Goodman Theatre.
We hope you are as excited as we are about The Long Red Road! Please share your questions and comments with us, below.