Tomorrow night Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal will make his American stage debut in British playwright Nick Payne’s If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet. The production, which has moved to the U.S. after a critically acclaimed 2009 run in London, begins previews tomorrow at The Roundabout Theatre in New York.
Payne, who has been called “an original talent” by The Guardian, has written a dark comedy that follows a family “stuck somewhere between knowing what the problem is... and doing something about it.” The play unfolds as Anna (played by Anna Funke), an overweight teenager who has been ceaselessly bullied for her weight, transfers to the school where her mother teaches in order to protect her. The transfer however, proves to be no help at all for Anna and it isn’t until her estranged uncle (played by Gyllenhaal) arrives unannounced that Anna is able to truly connect with someone.
Michael Longhurst makes his New York directorial debut after directing Nick Payne’s Constellations at the Royal Court Theatre. If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Tony Award-winner Brian F. O’Byrne, Michelle Gomez, and Anna Funke and will open on September 20, 2012.
Gyllenhaal, who has not been on the stage since his 2002 London stage debut in Kenneth Lonergan’s This Is Our Youth opposite Anna Paquin, spoke to The New York Times recently about the demands of acting onstage. “I want to come home at the end of the day and be wiped out and feel I’ve torn my heart out from acting and feel fulfilled. At this point I don’t have the desire to do anything other than projects that make me feel that way.”
If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet has a strict 13 week run through November 25 at the Harold and Miriam Steinburg Center for Theatre / Laura Pels Theatre. Ticket information can be found here.