Ethan Hawke and Paul Dano will square off in a new Broadway production of Sam Shepard’s True West, the Roundabout Theatre Company announced today. They’ll be directed by James Macdonald, whose acclaimed production of Lucy Kirkwood’s The Children recently closed off-Broadway.
Hawke and Dano will play Lee and Austin, respectively, the battling brothers of the late Shepard’s modern classic. True West will being previews on December 27, with an official opening of the limited engagement set for January 24 at the Roundabout’s American Airlines Theatre.
Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1983, the play follows the two brothers as they’re holed up in their mom’s California home. Dano’s Austin is the well-educated screenwriter and younger brother to lowlife Lee (Hawke). As described by Roundabout, the brothers “wrestle with big issues — and each other. Order vs. chaos. Art vs. commerce. Typewriter vs. toaster. … Shepard’s rip-roaring classic returns to Broadway, gleefully detonating our misguided myths of family, identity and the American Dream.”
The remaining cast and creative team will be unveiled shortly, said Roundabout’s artistic director and CEO Todd Haimes in making today’s announcement.
The production will be a reunion for Hawke and Dano, who co-starred in the 2004 film Taking Lives. Hawke also directed Dano on stage in a 2007 off-Broadway production of Jonathan Marc Sherman’s Things We Want.
Hawke’s work with Shepard includes directing the playwright’s A Lie of the Mind off-Broadway in 2010. The actor performed in a 1995 Steppenwolf production of Shepard’s Buried Child.
As for Dano, the production will be a theatrical homecoming: He made his Broadway debut at age 11 in Roundabout’s 1995 revival of A Month in the Country starring Helen Mirren.