Joan Allen (Room, ABC’s The Family) made her Broadway debut in this play as dancer Anna when it hit the Off-Broadway stage in 1987, and the performance earned her a Tony Award for best actress in a play. Russell will now take over the role in the 2019 revival, while Driver has already been announced as “dangerous, sexy, raw, and demanding” Pale, John Malkovich’s old part. The revival is being directed by Michael Mayer, who won a Tony for Spring Awakening in 2007.
Set in downtown New York in the 1980s, Burn This is the story of four city dwellers whose lives are upended by a young dancer’s accidental death. The spiritual and emotional isolation between Pale and Anna are explored amid their tempestuous relationship after they’re brought together by a personal tragedy.
Russell’s schedule following FX’s The Americans is filling up fast. With the series finale airing in May, the actress has been confirmed for an unspecified role in Star Wars: Episode IX — which has already begun filming — as well as a role Antlers with director Scott Cooper (Black Mass, Hostiles). Now she’s in Burn This, which marks a return to the New York theater world for Russell after making her Off-Broadway stage debut in Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig in 2004.
Russell and Driver also collaborated previously for a live reading of Stephen Belber’s Tape in 2016 with Pablo Schreiber.
With producer David Binder (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) on board, performances of Burn This will commence at a yet-to-be-announced Broadway theater in March 2019. Other casting announcements will be made at a later time.