Debra Winger, who was nominated for three Academy Awards for starring roles in the films “An Officer and A Gentleman” (1982), “Terms of Endearment” (1983) and “Shadowlands” (1993) - but is probably best know for her co-starring opposite John Travolta in “Urban Cowboy” (1980) - will now be making her Broadway debut.
The producers Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Howard & Janet Kagan issued a press release that announced Ms. Winger will be appearing in the American premiere of David Mamet’s new play “The Anarchist,” which will also be directed by the playwright and will open Sunday, Dec. 2 at a Shubert Theater to be announced.
Ms. Winger has appeared on the stage before, including appearances in “How I Learned to Drive” and “Ivanov” at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts and “The Exonerated” in New York but this will be the first time on the Great White Way.
She will co-star with two-time Tony Award winner Patti Lupone in Mr. Mamet’s two-character play, in which Ms. Winger plays a prison warden and Ms. Lupone an inmate. Ms. Winger is taking over a role that was originally slated for Laurie Metcalf, who withdrew because of scheduling problems.
Ms. Winger was in countless iconic roles in the 1980’s and then left films making in the 1990’s. Her absence from the screen inspired Rosanna Arquette’s candid 2003 documentary, “Searching for Debra Winger,” where Ms. Winger, leading a somewhat reclusive life in upstate New York, talked about some of her reasons for leaving the film industry, particularly the trials and tribulations of Hollywood and the stress of conforming to images of beauty and weight.
Ms. Winger has more recently appeared in television, including in her husband, Arliss Howard’s film of Larry Brown’s story collection, “Big Bad Love,” which she also produced, and television appearances in the film “Dawn Anna,” also directed by her husband, which accorded her an Emmy nomination. More recently she’s appeared in the HBO series, “In Treatment” and Jonathan Demme’s “Rachel Getting Married” (2005) and “Lola Versus,” which has just been released.
Ms. Winger has worked with many acclaimed directors of the age, including Bernardo Bertolucci in “The Sheltering Sky” (1990) and Costa Gavras in "Betrayed" (1998).
She has been active in social issues and works for several public health organizations. She consulted creatively on the Academy Award nominated documentary “Gasland” (2011) and is an advocate for sustainable farming and veteran’s affairs around her home in upstate New York.
The press release, which came from Jeffrey Richards Associates, said Ms. Winger is “delighted” to be acting in a Broadway play.