The Neil LaBute play The Shape of Things will be given a livestream reading Friday night to benefit The Actors Fund, with LaBute himself taking part in an after-show Q&A to tell “a few war stories about the show.”
The 2001 play premiered in London, later revived Off Broadway and was adapted in 2003 as a film starring Paul Rudd and Rachel Weisz. The cast for the benefit reading is Tony winner Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Tim Realbuto (Yes), Jonah Platt (Wicked) and Katie Rose Clarke (Miss Saigon).
Performing from their homes across the country, Realbuto will play Adam, a social misfit who works at a museum, and Hall will play Evelyn, a passionate and outspoken art student. As Evelyn changes Adam for the “better”, his two best friends Phillip (Platt) and Jenny (Clarke) begin to wonder if Evelyn is a good influence or the downfall of their friend. As the four young students become emotionally and romantically involved with each other, a web of lies, love, and betrayal unfold all in the name of art.
Alison Tanney, who runs The Theater Enthusiast podcast, will produce and direct the benefit event.
LaBute, whose other plays include, among others, Reasons To Be Pretty and Fat Pig and TV and film scripts including Van Helsing and In The Company of Men, will join the cast in a post-show Q&A moderated by Tanney. The announcement states that the playwright is “looking forward to watching this new production, providing background context, and telling a few war stories about the show.”
The virtual reading begins at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, May 8 and can be viewed at TheShapeOfThingsActorsFund.com. The livestream is free, with a $5 donation to the Actors Fund suggested. Donations can be made to the Actors Fund and its efforts to aid entertainment workers during the COVID-19 pandemic at www.ActorsFund.org/TheShapeOfThings.