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New York apartment building

Synopsis of Collected Stories
A respected short-story writer and teacher in her mid-fifties, Ruth Steiner has carved out a comfortable life for herself in a Greenwich Village apartment she has occupied for decades. Lisa Morrison is a callow yet talented 26-year-old graduate student and aspiring writer, a child of suburban privilege, when she meets Ruth and offers to become her assistant. Over six years, in as many scenes, Collected Stories eavesdrops on Ruth and Lisa as their relationship evolves (from mentor/protégée to loving friends to adversaries) and ultimately disintegrates -- touching on issues of age, artistic license, and betrayal.

Performance History
Kandis Chappell and Suzanne Cryer
Collected Stories was commissioned and first produced by South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California. Its world premiere there was in October, 1996. It starred Kandis Chappell as Ruth and Suzanne Cryer as Lisa, and was directed by Lisa Peterson.

It was given the Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards for Best Original Play (also known as the Ted Schmitt Award) and Best Production of a Play; the play was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist (shortlisted in April 1997).

Collected Stories had its New York premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club's Stage I in May, 1997. Maria Tucci played Ruth, and Debra Messing played Lisa. Lisa Peterson again directed. It was a Drama Desk Award nominee for Best Play, and a finalist for the Dramatists Guild/Hull-Warriner Award for Best Play.

Its commercial Off-Broadway run at the Lucille Lortel Theater began in August, 1998 and ended in February, 1999. It starred Uta Hagen as Ruth and Lorca Simons as Lisa. The production was directed by William Carden.

The Los Angeles production, at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, premiered in May, 1999. Directed by Gil Cates, it starred Linda Lavin as Ruth and Samantha Mathis as Lisa. It received the Los Angeles Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play.

The London production, with Helen Mirren as Ruth and Anne-Marie Duff as Lisa, opened in September, 1999 at the Royal Haymarket Theatre. Howard Davies was the director.

Collected Stories has been produced throughout the U.S. and in cities around the world-including Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Amsterdam, Sydney, Melbourne, Copenhagen, Paris, Sao Paolo, Berlin, Vienna, and Warsaw.


Samantha Mathis and Linda Lavin
Samantha Mathis as Lisa Morrison and Linda Lavin as Ruth Steiner


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