Lucas Hnath’s Hillary and Clinton is set to open on Broadway April 18, but on the other side of the country, he's telling a story about another influential woman: his mother. Center Theatre Group's world premiere production of his newest play, Dana H., will star Deirdre O’Connell as the writer’s mother. Previews begin May 26 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, where opening night is set for June 2.
Dana Higginbotham, a nondenominational hospital chaplain and Hnath’s mother, sat down with Steve Cosson to tell her story about the five-month journey as a captive of a mentally ill ex-convict she had attempted to help. Hnath then adapted the interviews into a theatrical experience.
O’Connell has appeared on stage in various productions, including the 1986 Broadway revival of The Front Page and the 1991 Off-Broadway production of Love and Anger. She last appeared on Broadway in 2012's Magic/Bird, and, in 2018, was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her performance in Fulfillment Center.
Dana H. will be directed by Les Waters. The production will also feature set design by Andrew Boyce, lighting and supertitle design by Paul Toben, costume design by Janice Pytel, and sound design by Mikhail Fiksel.
The play, originally commissioned by the New York-based The Civilians and Chicago's Goodman Theatre, will subsequently play the latter this fall.