SCR to Stage Premiere of ‘Abundance’

Times Staff Writer

South Coast Repertory will stage the world premiere of Beth Henley’s “Abundance” to launch its first California Play Festival in the spring, the Costa Mesa theater announced Wednesday.

The play, about two mail-order brides who come to the Wyoming Territory during the late 1860s, will replace the previously canceled “Infinity’s House” and will open April 21 on the Mainstage.

“This is the first play Beth has set outside her native Mississippi,” producing artistic director David Emmes said in a press release.


Henley, who lives in Los Angeles, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1981 for her first full-length play, “Crimes of the Heart.” In 1985, SCR launched the world premiere of her play, “The Debutante Ball,” which went on to New York and is scheduled this summer for a production in London.

Henley, 35, also has written “The Wake of Jamie Foster,” “The Miss Firecracker Contest” and “The Lucky Spot.” She also co-wrote the screenplay of “True Stories” with David Byrne and Stephen Tobolowsky.

But she is best-known for “Crimes of the Heart,” which ran on Broadway for 535 performances, played the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, toured the country and was made into a movie in 1986.

Ron Lagomarsino, 36, will direct “Abundance.” In 1986, he staged SCR’s West Coast premiere of “The Foreigner” by Larry Shue and, in 1987, its world premiere of “Birds” by Losa Loomer.

A veteran director, Lagomarsino staged Alfred Uhry’s “Driving Miss Daisy,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. He did the original production at Playwrights Horizons in New York as well as the Broadway and touring versions.