Inclusive Dates: 1999
Roundabout Theatre Company produced N. Richard Nash's The Rainmaker at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, with previews starting October 21, 1999, opening night on November 11, 1999 and closing night January 23, 2000.
Writing for the New York Times, Ben Brantley said "As fables of life-altering love go, this prototype now has all the electricity of a manual typewritter. But if it's told by the right tellers, it can still generate sentimental goose bumps, and one can only be grateful that Woody Harrelson and Jayne Atkinson have been assigned that task in the Roundabout Theatre Company's smooth, mild-mannered revival of The Rainmaker...As Lizzie Curry and Starbuck, the plain midlands farm woman and the fancy dream peddler who meet during a drought in the 1930s, these first-class actors find freshening currents." (New York Times, November 12, 1999)
Directed by Scott Ellis with set design by James Noone, costume design by Jess Goldstein, lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski, sound design by Brian Ronan, original music by Louis Rosen, hair design by David Brian Brown, and special effects design by Gregory Meeh.
Jayne Atkinson played the part of Lizzie Curry, Jerry Hardin played the part of H.C. Curry, John Bedford Lloyd played the part of Noah Curry, David Aaron Baker played the part of Jim Curry, Randle Mell played the part of File, Bernie McInerney played the part of Sheriff Thomas, Woody Harrelson played the part of Bill Starbuck; farmhands played by Eric Axen, Scott McTyer Cowart, David Harbour, Brian Ibsen, Rey Lucas, Jimmi Simpson, Dustin Tucker and Jason Winther. Understudies: Bernie McInerney, Mark Zimmerman, Scott McTyer Cowart, Jimmi Simpson.
"Set in the West at a time of drought, The Rainmaker by N. Richard Nash is a quintessential American story of disillusionment and rediscovered hope. At rise we are introduced to the Curry ranch and it is made clear to us that it had once been a prosperous home. The house, as described by the author, is "a place where gentle, kindly people who have an uneducated but profound true sense of beauty have lived in love of one another." It is not long, however, before we see how the drought has affected this family. It soon becomes clear that the loss of crops and livestock is mirrored by an inner drought - one that has perhaps persisted longer than the weather." [Roundabout Theatre Company, Page to Stage Production Guide]
The Rainmaker was written by N. Richard Nash in the 1950s and opened in 1954 at the Cort Theatre in New York City. The play was adapted into a film by the same name in 1956, starring Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn. The musical, 110 In the Shade, is based on the play.
Production files consist of 18 folders providing considerable context for the production, including casting session notes, author's agreement, Nederlander agreement, stage design details, rehearsal and performance reports, press file and education documents. Also present is a playbill, direct mailer flyers and ticket stubs from the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
Digital files for the production include:
Costume sketches (13 color jpgs)
Education Study Guide (PDF and word documents with text)
Lighting Design Channel Hook Up (PDF) and scans of lighting plots (TIF)
Playbill (jpg scans)
Press (TIF and PDF)
Production Photographs (Select jpgs and TIF)
Show Art (PDF window card)
Set Design (PDF of 9 photographs of set model)
Oversize files contain artwork demos and mock ups.
Access Restrictions: Open and available for research by appointment only.
Preferred Citation: The Rainmaker (1999), Roundabout Theatre Company Archives
Library of Congress Subject Heading Nash, N. Richard. RainmakerRoundabout Theatre CompanyHaimes, ToddRichard, EllenHarrelson, WoodyAtkinson, JayneBaker, David Aaron, 1963-Hardin, JerryLloyd, John BedfordMcInerney, BernieMell, RandleHarbour, David, 1975-Noone, JamesMeeh, GregoryGoldstein, JessKaczorowski, PeterRosen, Louis, 1955-Ellis, ScottWilliamstown Theatre FestivalRKO/Nederlander ProductionsDust Bowl Era, 1931-1939