Every day is opening night.

‘A Confederacy of Dunces’ Announces Complete Casting in Boston World Premiere


For O+M

National Press Representative

Rick Miramontez / Pete Sanders

rick@oandmco.com / pete@oandmco.com


For Huntington Theatre Company

Desiree Barry



For Publicity and Artist Photos













(BOSTON) – The Huntington Theatre Company presents the world premiere production of A Confederacy of Dunces, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by John Kennedy Toole, directed by David Esbjornson (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and All My Sons) and featuring Nick Offerman of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.”  Performances begin November 11, 2015 and will run through December 13, 2015 at the BU Theatre / Avenue of the Arts.


Nick Offerman stars as the larger-than-life character Ignatius J. Reilly: overweight, arrogant, eccentric, and still living with his mother in 1960s New Orleans.  Called the Don Quixote of the French Quarter, Ignatius has a singular outlook on life.  His farcical odyssey includes a riot in a department store and a raid on a strip club, and stints working at a pants factory and as a hot dog vendor.  A Confederacy of Dunces is a hilarious, wild ride, filled with colorful characters and comic misadventures. The Washington Post says A Confederacy of Dunces is, “An epic comedy. A rumbling, roaring avalanche of a book.”


Nick Offerman (“Parks and Recreation”) plays Ignatius J. Reilly, who still lives with his mother, Irene Reilly, played by Anita Gillette (Moonstruck and “30 Rock”) in New Orleans. The band of characters in his life include Burma Jones played by Philip James Brannon (Bootycandy Off Broadway), Dorian Greene and Mr. Gonzales played by Arnie Burton (The 39 Steps at the Huntington and on Broadway), Lana Lee and Myrna played by Stephanie DiMaggio (All My Sons at the Huntington), Mr. Watson played by Lonnie Farmer (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner at the Huntington), Miss Trixie played by Julie Halston (On the Town and You Can’t Take it With You on Broadway), Officer Mancuso played by Paul Melendy (Ryan Landry’s “M” at the Huntington), Darlene played by Talene Monahon (The Wild Party Off Broadway), Claude Robichaux played by Ed Peed (The Importance of Being Earnest at Moonbox Productions), Gus Levy and Sergeant played by Steve Rosen (Guys and Dolls on Broadway), Santa Battaglia played by Lusia Strus (50 First Dates), Mrs. Levy and George played by Stacey Yen (Eager to Lose Off Broadway), cop and music direction by Wayne Barker (Peter and the Starcatcher on Broadway), and Clyde and trombonist played by David L. Harris (performances with Newport Jazz Festival and the Apollo Theatre).


The Huntington’s production of A Confederacy of Dunces features scenic design by Ricardo Hernandez (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess on Broadway), costume design by Michael Krass (Awake and Sing! at the Huntington and After Miss Julie on Broadway), lighting design by Scott Zielinski (Ah, Wilderness! at the Huntington and Cloud Nine Off Broadway), sound design is co-designed by Mark Bennett (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and The Seagull at the Huntington) and Charles Coes (associate sound design for The Elephant Man on Broadway), original music by Mark Bennett, and projection design by Sven Ortel (Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Off Broadway). Production stage manager is Emily F. McMullen and stage manager is Kevin Schlagle.


Casting for the production by Telsey + Company (Karyn Casl, CSA and Will Cantler, CSA) and Alaine Alldaffer.


A Confederacy of Dunces is an iconic novel with an incredible cult following,” says Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois.  “It’s a privilege to work with playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, the brilliant and profoundly funny Nick Offerman, and our friend director David Esbjornson, and to be the first to share this exciting new play with Boston audiences.”


“Adapting John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces into a play has been like wrestling Ignatius Riley to the stage,” says adapter Jeffrey Hatcher. “The book is famously picaresque, episodic, and digressive, but the digressions are often the point.  What I think we’ve arrived at is a play that focuses on the characters – Ignatius, his mother Mrs. Reilly, Burma Jones, Myrna Minkoff – without losing any of the book’s color and atmosphere and humor.”


This worldwide bestselling novel, published by LSU press, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981.


A Confederacy of Dunces is presented in cooperation with a team of developmental partners including Robert Guza, John Hardy, LSU Press, and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh.


A Confederacy of Dunces is supported by Huntington Season Sponsors Carol G. Deane and J. David Wimberly.


Jeffrey Hatcher (Adapter) is the author of numerous plays including Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Three Viewings, A Picasso, Scotland Road, Murder by Poe, The Spy, and Neddy.  He wrote the book for the Broadway musical Never Gonna Dance, and the adaptations of Tuesdays with Morrie and The Turn of the Screw Off Broadway.  His work has been performed at theatres across the country, including the Guthrie Theater, The Old Globe, Yale Repertory Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Play House, CATCO, South Coast Rep, Arizona Theater Company, San Jose Rep, The Empty Space, Indiana Rep, Children’s Theater Company, History Theater, Madison Rep, Intiman, Illusion, Denver Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Rep, Repertory Theater of St. Louis, Actors Theater of Louisville, Philadelphia Theater Company, Commonweal Theater, Asolo, City Theater, Studio Arena, and dozens more. His film and television work includes Stage Beauty, Casanova, The Duchess, and episodes of “Columbo.” He is the recipient of the 2013 IVEY Lifetime Achievement Award, Rosenthal New Play Prize, Frankel Award, Charles MacArthur Fellowship Award, Barrymore Award for Best New Play (A Picasso), and LA Critics Circle Award for Best Adaptation (Cousin Bette).  He is a member and/or alumnus of The Playwrights Center, the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild, and New Dramatists.


David Esbjornson (Director) previously directed Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and All My Sons at the Huntington. His directing premieres include Driving Miss Daisy (Broadway, London, and Australia), Edward Albee’s The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? (Broadway) and The Play about the Baby (Off Broadway), Arthur Miller’s The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (Broadway) and Resurrection Blues (Guthrie Theater), Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (world premiere), and Perestroika (first staged presentation, Eureka Theatre), and Homebody/Kabul (London), Neal Bell’s Therese Raquin (Classic Stage Company), In the Blood (The Public Theater/NYSF), and Tuesdays with Morrie (Minetta Lane Theatre). His revivals include Lady From Dubuque (Signature Theatre and Seattle Repertory Theatre), Death of a Salesman (Gate Theatre, Dublin), Hamlet (Theatre for a New Audience), Measure for Measure and Much Ado About Nothing and The Normal Heart (The Public Theater/NYSF), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Summer and Smoke (Guthrie Theater), Twelfth Night, Mud, and Drowning (Signature Theatre), A Few Good Men (London’s West End), Endgame, The Maids, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, and The Entertainer (Classic Stage Company), and Farmyard (New York Theatre Workshop). He is the recipient of two Obie Awards for Outstanding Direction, a What’s On Stage Award, two Lucille Lortel Awards, a Los Angeles Critics Award, a Friends of New York Theatre Award for Best Director, seven Bay Area Critics Awards, seven Connecticut Critics Awards, a TCG Directing Fellowship, and others. He previously served as artistic director of Classic Stage Company in New York City and Seattle Repertory Theatre, and is the current chair of Rutgers University Theatre Program.



Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award and named Best of Boston 2013 and 2014 by Boston magazine, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso and in residence at Boston University, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.


# # #