Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley in the transatlantic hit television drama "Downton Abbey," will make his Broadway debut later this year in a revival of “The Heiress,” starring Jessica Chastain. Stevens will play the role of Morris Townsend, a potential suitor for the heroine, Catherine Sloper.
“The Heiress” is expected to begin performances in October, but no official opening date or theater has been announced. David Strathairn is to play Catherine’s father, a strict doctor who has his doubts about Townsend’s intentions.
The revival production is being directed by Moises Kaufman. The play, written by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, is based on the classic novel “Washington Square” by Henry James. The drama was first performed on Broadway in 1947.
Stevens worked in numerous stage productions before hitting it big with “Downton Abbey.” Los Angeles theater audiences may remember that he appeared in a touring production of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” that came to the Ahmanson Theater in 2005. The production, which was staged by Peter Hall, also traveled to the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
The actor’s other stage credits include a West End production of Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia.”
Britain’s “Downton Abbey” is in production for its third season, which is expected to air in the U.S. in early 2013 on PBS, as part of the “Masterpiece” series. Matthew Crawley, Stevens’ character, is the heir to the Downton Abbey estate. In the closing of the second season, he proposed marriage to his distant cousin, Lady Mary Crawley, who accepted.
By coincidence, a well-received staging of “The Heiress” starring Richard Chamberlain, Heather Tom and Julia Duffy is nearing the end of its run at the Pasadena Playhouse.