Actress Laura Linney, a 5-time Tony Award nominee, will return to the stage in New York as a member of the cast of Summer, 1976, according to multiple outlets. The play is new, written by Pulitzer Prize winning writer David Auburn, and is expected to open in preview in the spring of 2023.

The play will be staged at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater by the Manhattan Theater Club. Plans had been for Summer, 1976 to debut in the fall of 2022 Off Broadway, but Linney’s committment to join the cast as one of the leads has put those plans on hold, with plans that its opening be delayed to spring and moved to Broadway, according to Michael Paulson in the New York Times. It tells the story of a friendship that grows between two women during the celebration of America’s bicentennial.

Daniel Sullivan will direct the play, which will be his third time working with Linney and helming the production of a work penned by Auburn, having won a Tony for his work directing Proof – which won Auburn the Pulitzer – as well as The Columnist in 2012.

Linney is a veteran of both stage and screen, having made her Broadway debut in 1990 and receiving Tony nominations for performances in The Crucible (2002), Sight Unseen (2004), Time Stands Still (2010), My Name is Lucy Barton (2020), and the 2017 revival of The Little Foxes. She was nominated for Academy Awards for Kinsey (2004), You Can Count On Me (2000), and The Savages (2007), and has won Emmy Awards for performances on Wild Iris (2001), Frasier (2003-04), and HBO’s John Adams miniseries (2008). She is also well known for her roles in the film The Truman Show and Netflix series Ozark.

Other casting for the play has not yet been announced. The Manhattan Theater Club described the work as “about an unexpected friendship between two Ohio women, “a fiercely iconoclastic artist and single mom” played by Linney, and “a free-spirited yet naïve young housewife.” The characters “navigate motherhood, ambition and intimacy, and help each other discover their own independence.”

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Photo: Laura Linney at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Jan. 18, 2009, during the inaugural opening ceremonies. Credit Donna Lou Morgan, U.S. Navy – via Wikimedia Commons

Last Updated on September 1, 2022 advertisement