Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal has signed on to be a part of Nick Payne’s If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet which will feature an ensemble cast, according to Hollywood Reporter. This marks Gyllenhaal’s American stage debut. The play is to be produced by Roundabout Theatre Company this summer in its Off Broadway space, the Laura Pels Theatre.
The play was a critical hit when it premiered at London’s Bush Theatre in 2009. The play is a comic drama about a dysfunctional family that’s well-aware of its problems,and the comedy/drama comes from the family’s inability to fix them. The leading role is that of Anna, an overweight teen who is bullied at school. Her mother transfers her to the school where she teaches in an effort to protect her, but it only worsens Anna’s situation. Her father is an environmentalist who is too wrapped up in his work to help. Anna’s estranged uncle, a drifter in the midst of an existential crisis, shows up and forms a friendship with Anna which provides the emotional core of the play. The uncle is to be played by Gyllenhaal.
The play will be directed by Michael Longhurst, and will begin previews on August 24th of this year. The opening is set for September 20th. The rest of the cast will be announced soon.
Gyllenhaal has received massive critical acclaim over the course of his career. He received the Oscar nod for 2006’s Brokeback Mountain, and previously appeared onstage in 2002’s This is Our Youth, a London production helmed by Kenneth Lonergan, starring Hayden Christensen and Anna Paquin. Gyllenhaal will next take the silver screen in David Ayer’s cop drama End of Watch with Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick, and America Ferrera.
Roundabout has also announced the world-premiere of Bad Jews, a comedy by Joshua Elias Harmon to be directed by Daniel Aukin. The play was announced as a part of the company’s 2012-2013 season, and will open under Roundabout’s Underground, a brand dedicated to emerging artists.
No word on whether or not Jake Gyllenhaal will ever reprise his role of Prince Dastan from 2010’s Prince of Persia: Sands of Time in hypothetical sequels (we love Gyllenhaal, but that movie was not so good). Stage will likely be a good fit for the talented actor.