The world premiere of Pulitzer-finalist playwright Nathan Englander's What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank begins at San Diego's The Old Globe September. Opening night is set for September 18, and the run will continue through October 23 at the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre.
The cast is led by Rebecca Creskoff (Losing Louie, Claws) and Sophie von Haselberg (Billy & Ray), along with Greg Hildreth (Company, Frozen), Joshua Malina (A Few Good Men, The West Eing), and Nathan Salstone (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child).
Adapted from Englander's Pulitzer-finalist short story of the same name, the play follows two high school friends who, after years apart, reunite at a dinner party with their respective husbands that goes off the rails. Creskoff will star as Debbie, with von Haselberg as Lauren, Hildreth as Mark, Malina as Phil, and Salstone as Trevor.
Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein directs, leading a creative team that includes scenic designer Paul Tate dePoo, costume designer Katherine Roth, lighting designer Russell H. Champa, and sound designer and composer Lindsay Jones. Casting is by Caparelliotis Casting, and Alyssa Escalante is production stage manager.
"It’s a special privilege to deepen the Globe’s relationship, and mine, with Nathan Englander and his writing for the stage," said Edelstein in an earlier statement. "Our collaboration on his play The Twenty-Seventh Man was a highlight of my directing career, and the distinctive voice, sensibility, and emotional power of that play are present as well in What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank. And this play is funny—very funny. ... Englander dives deep into the contemporary Jewish experience in America and Israel, and in that specific world finds universal themes of what it means to sustain a friendship over time, how we share our traditions with our children, and, most of all, how insanely exhausting it is to be alive right now. In the brilliant hands of an acting company of uncommon skill and comic experience, it will be an exhilarating night in the theatre."
Englander's The Twenty-Seventh Man, also adapted for the stage from a short story, premiered Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in 2012, making its West Coast premiere at The Old Globe in 2015. His story collections include For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, and also also written the novels The Ministry of Special Cases and Dinner at the Center of the Earth.