Mark Taper season features plays by Daniel Beaty, Joe Orton

The new season at the Mark Taper Forum will feature this year's Tony-winning play as well as world-premieres by Daniel Beaty and Jordan Harrison and the postponed revival of Joe Orton’s "What the Butler Saw," the Center Theatre Group announced Tuesday.

The season, which starts in February, will offer six productions, up from five in the current season.

The 2014 season opens with Christopher Durang's "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" (Feb. 9-March 9), the 2013 Tony-winner for best play. Tony nominee Nicholas Martin will direct the Chekhov-inspired comedy set in modern-day, small-town Pennsylvania.

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Obie-winner Beaty's world premiere production of "The Tallest Tree in the Forest" (April 19-May 25) chronicles the life of actor-turned-activist Paul Robeson. Beaty will play Robeson, as well as dozens of characters who crossed Robeson’s path as he became a civil-rights activist during the McCarthy era.

Another Tony-winner, director Pam MacKinnon ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," will take the helm of the world premiere of Jordan Harrison's drama “Marjorie Prime” (Sept. 21-Oct. 19), which unfolds as an ailing mother and her children sift through love and loss.

MacKinnon helmed the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Clybourne Park" at the Taper as well as on Broadway in 2011.

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The U.S. premiere of “The Last Confession” (June 7-July 6) starring David Suchet and Brian Bedford will be seen at the Ahmanson Theatre. Set in the Vatican corridors in the late '70s, Roger Crane's thriller explores the sudden death and proposed liberal reforms of Pope John Paul I.

Off-Broadway's "Buyer & Cellar" (July 13-Aug. 17) makes its West Coast premiere starring "Ugly Betty's" Michael Urie as a struggling actor who takes a job in the basement of a Hollywood megastar.

Joe Orton’s farce “What the Butler Saw” (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) wraps the season. The production was slated to open in September but CTG had to push the revival because of scheduling conflicts.

John Tillinger directs the British playwright's last work, a comedy set in a private psychiatric clinic, which was completed shortly before Orton’s death in 1967 at the age of 34.


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