‘The Minutes,’ by Tracy Letts, Is Coming to Broadway

Tracy Letts is a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright (“August: Osage County”) and a Tony Award winning actor (“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”).

But he’s never served in local government.

So when he decided to write a pointed comedy set in a municipal building, he turned to the great archive of all things contemporary: YouTube.

“I spent hundreds of unbelievably boring hours watching City Council meetings,” he said. “It’s horrifying.”

It was also fruitful.

The play that resulted, “The Minutes,” won praise when it first ran at Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago, where performance began in 2017. The play was a finalist for a Pulitzer last year.

And next year, the 90-minute, 11-actor play is coming to Broadway.

“The Minutes,” directed by Anna D. Shapiro and produced by Jeffrey Richards and Steve Traxler, will begin performances in February. Neither a cast nor a theater has been announced.

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The play is one of two by Mr. Letts slated to run on Broadway this season; the other is “Linda Vista,” which is to be presented this fall by Second Stage Theater. He has had two previous plays on Broadway — “August: Osage County” in 2007, and “Superior Donuts” in 2009 — and is currently starring on Broadway in a revival of “All My Sons.”

The producer Scott Rudin had previously announced an intention to bring “The Minutes” to Broadway, but is no longer attached.

“I wrote three plays in quick succession — ‘Mary Page Marlowe’ and ‘Linda Vista’ and ‘The Minutes,’ and it’s been a job to get them to New York — they’ve all had their bumps in the road,” Mr. Letts said. “But I’m really happy ‘The Minutes’ is coming to Broadway, and happy about the timing, because it’s politically themed, and as we round the curve here into 2020, I know a lot of people are interested in the topic.”

The play, set in a fictional town called Big Cherry, explores the fractious American political scene through the dynamics of a government meeting. Mr. Letts began work on it before the 2016 election, and finished afterward.

“The play is not about Trump or Trumpism — I don’t find him a particularly complicated figure — but it is about this contentious moment we’re having in American politics in the last few years,” Mr. Letts said. “It addresses, I hope, how we got here, and what might be some of the underlying problems and original sins.”

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