Amy Herzog's "4000 Miles" follows the bumpy relationship between a feisty nonagenarian and her directionless grandson, who turns up by surprise one day at her New York home.
The play, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama this year, debuted in New York in 2011 in a production by Lincoln Center. It will make its local debut at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, opening Oct. 25.
Herzog said in a recent phone interview that the character of Vera Joseph, a 91-year-old radical who has become a semi-recluse in her Greenwich Village apartment, was inspired by her own grandmother, whom she described as a hard-line leftist.
"She was a real Communist. She thought hippies were a kind of watered-down version of that," Herzog said.
"4000 Miles" will receive a new production at SCR directed by David Emmes, one of the founders of the company. The cast hasn't been announced yet.
Herzog is married to the accomplished theater director Sam Gold, though he has never directed one of her plays, at least not yet. "It's just never happened. There's no particular reason why," she said.
The theatrical power couple lives in Brooklyn with their toddler daughter.
Herzog has worked as a theater actress and said her experience performing onstage has helped her as a writer.
"You realize there are lines that you write that could never be said by an actor," she said.
Since "4000 Miles" opened, Herzog has written "The Great God Pan," an ensemble drama that revolves around accusations of sexual abuse. It opened at New York's Playwrights Horizons late last year. Her recent play "Belleville," about an American couple living in Paris, ran earlier this year at New York Theatre Workshop.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times