Tony-winning Lion King director Julie Taymor, whose last Broadway outing was the much-in-the-news Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, has posted an audition notice with an updated time frame for a planned Broadway revival of the 1988 Tony-winning Best Play, M. Butterfly.
The notice, posted on the Actors' Equity Association website, said the production is seeking a performer for the central role of Song Liling. The New York audition date has been set for January 4, 2017, from 3 to 6 PM. The notice says rehearsals will start in late August 2017 and the production will begin Broadway performances in autumn 2017. A previous audition notice said performances would begin in spring 2017.
Actors must be at least 18 years old; nudity is required. The notice specifies that “no prior professional experience is necessary.”
Hwang’s play is based on a real-life account of a French diplomat in communist China who carried on an affair for many years with a Chinese “woman” opera singer, Song Liling, who turned out to be a man—and a spy. How the diplomat was fooled—and how he fooled himself—is the essence of the story.
Taymor had teased the project in The New York Post during the summer, saying “Oh, I’m coming back, but it hasn’t been announced yet. But you’ll see me next spring or next winter … People are spending so much time on their computers and phones. Theatre’s got something those things don’t have — it’s got scale and it’s got dimension. Virtual reality? I’d rather be there with a bunch of people and have the virtual reality [be] reality around me!”
On August 9, columnist Michael Riedel added an unsourced follow-up, saying, “Taymor’s been working this summer with playwright David Henry Hwang on what sources say is a ‘stunning’ visual concept for the production, which aims to open on Broadway sometime next year.”
The original production starred John Lithgow and B.D. Wong. No casting was mentioned for the upcoming production.
According to the notice, the revival will be produced by Nelle Nugent, Steve Traxler, Kenneth Teaton, and Ben Feldman. GM is Richards/Climan. Casting is by Telsey + Company.
Taymor's other Broadway credits include The Green Bird and Juan Darien.
(Updated December 12, 2016)
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