Billy Crudup will star in the Vineyard Theatre’s world premiere production of Harry Clarke, a new play by Obie Award-winner David Cale (Lillian) and directed by Leigh Silverman (Sweet Charity). In a unique partnership, the Vineyard is producing the play in association with Audible, the world’s largest seller and producer of digital spoken-word entertainment.
The show is slated to begin performances October 26 and open November 21, launching the estimable off-Broadway company’s 35th season, according to co-artistic directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern.
“Harry Clarke will mark the Vineyard’s third artistic collaboration with Billy Crudup,” Aibel and Stern said in announcing the project. “He is an artist of extraordinary talent, imagination and intelligence, who embodies each role with fierce commitment.” A New York stage veteran, Crudup won the 2007 Tony Award for best featured actor in a play, for his performance in Tom Stoppard’s The Coast of Utopia.
Audible will record and produce Crudup’s performance as an audio play, available to Audible members in early 2018. The collaboration with The Vineyard is part of the company’s larger effort to identify and nurture emerging playwrights and expose outstanding performances of their works to millions of Audible listeners. In May Audible announced a $5 million fund dedicated to the commissioning and development of innovative English-language works from playwrights around the globe, supporting the creation of one- and two-person audio plays driven by language and voice.
“This innovative partnership with Audible will make Vineyard Theatre’s production of Harry Clarke available to millions of people beyond our 138-seat theater in Union Square,” said Vineyard managing director Suzanne Appel. “As we aim to expand our impact and bring unique voices to a new generation of theater lovers, using technology to reach beyond our local community only makes sense. How we all experience culture is changing and Audible creates an unparalleled audio experience for their listeners.”
Described as “a sexually charged and wickedly funny one-man thriller,” Harry Clarke is the story of a shy Midwestern man leading an outrageous double life as the cocky Londoner of the title. Moving to New York City and presenting himself as an Englishman, he charms his way into a wealthy family’s life as the seductive and precocious Harry, whose increasingly risky and dangerous behavior threatens to undo more than his persona.
Added Audible chief content officer Andy Gaies, “In keeping with Audible’s core commitment to elevating listening experiences through powerful performances of brilliantly composed words, we are thrilled to help present Harry Clarke and bring it to a rapidly growing audience of Audible listeners.”
Crudup is represented by CAA and Lighthouse Management and Media.