The Emmy-nominated Saturday Night Live star will perform in Jane Wagner’s one-woman show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe at the Mark Taper Forum. Directed by Leigh Silverman, the show begins previews on Sept. 21 with an official opening set for Sept. 28, running through Oct. 23. Produced in association with SNL honcho Lorne Michaels and veteran stage producer Bill Damaschke, the show will be presented in association with The Shed.
The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe follows the “seemingly disparate lives of a punk-rock rebel, a socialite, a feminist and a deceptively insightful observer, among many others.” It earned Lily Tomlin a Tony Award for best actress in a play in 1986, and Cecily knows the material well as the new production was originally produced by The Shed in New York last year with her in the starring role.
“I have long been fascinated by the mystical implications of quantum theory,” said Wagner, Tomlin’s wife, in a statement. “In truth, my dream was to get the audience to experience the universality of the deep interconnectedness of all living things — with Trudy as the guide. I wanted us to flash on just that thought — that we’re all connected.”
The creative team includes Christine Jones and Mary Hamrick (scenic co-design), Anita Yavich (costume design), Lap Chi Chu (lighting design), Jeff Gardner (sound design), Joseph Whitmeyer (wig design) and Steve Cuiffo (illusion design) with composition by Andrea “Slim” Allmond. The production stage managers include Michelle Blair, Lora K. Powell and Shawna Voragen.
Wagner has won two Peabodys, four Emmys and a Writer’s Guild Award for her work in television as well as a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Special Award for The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. In 2020, Wagner was honored with the prestigious Lambda Literary Visionary Award for her innovative work.
Strong is best known for her work on SNL where she recently completed a 10th season. She also stars in and produces the Apple TV+ musical series Schmigadoon! Her memoir, This Will All Be Over Soon, was released in the summer of 2021.
Tickets for The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe are currently on sale.