Jessica Chastain to Make Her Broadway Debut in ‘The Heiress’

Jessica Chastain will make her Broadway debut this fall in The Heiress.

The play is based on the classic Henry James novel Washington Square and became an Academy Award-winning film.  Written by Ruth Goetz & Augustus Goetz, the show will be directed by Tony Award® nominated playwright and director Moisés Kaufman and will open in the Fall of 2012 at a theatre to be announced.

This production marks 17 years since the celebrated play was last seen on Broadway.  The original production premiered on Broadway in 1947 at the Biltmore Theatre.

A Juilliard graduate, Chastain’s stage work includes the title role of Salome, opposite Al Pacino, Othello at the Public Theater and Rodney’s Wife at Playwrights Horizons.

Paula Wagner, one of the producers said of Chastain: “I was immediately struck by Jessica’s talent and skill when I saw her on stage opposite Al Pacino in Salome. She is an actress with that rare ability to transition effortlessly between the stage and screen. Moisés Kaufman had the vision to see Jessica as the perfect actress to play one of the great psychologically complex female characters.”  The director, Moisés Kaufman, was quoted as saying “Jessica Chastain is a great actress with chameleon-like prowess and enormous emotional intelligence; I think she’s one of the best actresses of her generation. I’m thrilled to be working with her on The Heiress.”

Below is her biography per the press release:

JESSICA CHASTAIN (Catherine Sloper) has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most sought after actors of her generation. Born and raised in Northern California, Chastain attended the Juilliard School in New York City. While there she starred in Romeo and Juliet and went on to receive glowing reviews for her performances in The Cherry Orchard opposite Michelle Williams at Williamstown, and Richard Nelson’s Rodney’s Wife opposite David Strathairn off-Broadway at Playwright’s Horizons. Chastain can most recently be seen starring opposite Brad Pitt and Sean Penn in the drama Tree Of Life, written and directed by Terrence Malick for River Road Productions. The story concerns the loss of innocence as seen through the eyes of the son of the characters played by Chastain and Pitt. The film was shot in Texas in early 2008 and released in May 2011. Chastain also stars as the female lead in Miramax’s The Debt alongside Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington. Chastain is an Israeli Mossad agent sent on a mission to apprehend the WWII Nazi surgeon from the concentration camp who tortured Jewish prisoners. Production took place in Budapest and Tel Aviv. Chastain will also be seen in Ami Mann’s upcoming feature film, Texas Killing Fields. This psychological thriller is based on true events that took place in a small Pennsylvania town in 1973. In this project Jessica will star alongside Sam Worthington and Chloe Moretz. Chastain recently wrapped production on Dreamworks’ adaptation of the best-selling Kathryn Stockett novel The Help playing Celia Foote, an insecure Southern lady constantly trying to fit in with the high society women who reject her. The story centers on black maids working in white households in the early 1960s in Jackson, Miss. Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard and Octavia Spencer are among the cast. The film released in August 2011. Chastain recently wrapped production on Wettest County, opposite Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy. The film was directed by John Hillcoat and produced by Doug Wick. Chastain has also been seen playing the character Virgilia in Coriolanus, a film adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy. The film, shot in Belgrade, Serbia in 2010, also stars Gerard Butler and Ralph Fiennes. This film is set to release in 2011. In 2009, Jessica played the role of Desmonda in the classic play Othello opposite Phillip Seymor Hoffman. Directed by Peter Sellars, the project ran beginning in Vienna, then Germany and finishing in New York. At the senior class Juilliard showcase, Jessica landed a coveted talent deal with Emmy award winning executive producer and writer John Wells, the show runner of “E.R.”, “West Wing” and producer of White Oleander. After completing a pilot for John Wells and director PJ Hogan (My Best Friend’s Wedding), Jessica returned to the stage in the Los Angeles Wadsworth Theatre production of Salome, where Academy Award Winners Estelle Parsons (director) and Al Pacino hand-picked Jessica to play the title role of Salome opposite Pacino. Continuing the collaboration, producer Barry Navidi commenced the film version of Salome entitled Wild Salome directed by Al Pacino, where they filmed behind the scenes and portions of the play’s production. Chastain’s stage work in Salome received enormous critical attention and led to her landing the dynamic title role in Jolene in the Dan Ireland directed production opposite Rupert Friend, Frances Fisher, Dermot Mulroney and Michael Vartan. This adaptation of the E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime) short story Jolene depicts a young woman’s odyssey of relationships over the course of ten years. Chastain won the Best Actress Award at the 2008 Seattle Film Festival for this role. In 2011, Chastain received several nominations and awards for her recent work including the New York Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for the Tree of Life, The Help and Take Shelter. Chastain is also nominated for the Independent Spirit Award in the category of Best Supporting Actress for Take Shelter. Chastain currently lives in California.

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