Emmy Winner Merritt Wever Will Star in 'The Nether' Off-Broadway (Exclusive)

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Merritt Wever

The 'Nurse Jackie' regular heads the cast in the New York premiere of Jennifer Haley's play at MCC Theater

Merritt Wever is going from fighting disease to fighting crime. The Emmy-winning Nurse Jackie star will headline The Nether at MCC Theater, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.

Known for her portrayal of the wide-eyed and hopeful Zoey Barkow on the Showtime series, Wever will star in Jennifer Haley’s thriller, directed by Anne Kauffman, about a futuristic online destination where users can plug in and act out their every desire with no consequences in the real world. But a detective, played by Wever, starts investigating whether thought and intention can become criminal.

Peter Friedman and Tony winner Frank Wood (Side Man) will also appear in the production, which begins previews Feb. 4 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, with opening night set for Feb. 24. The full cast and design team are to be announced.

Wever is returning to the New York stage after appearing in Tony Kushner’s The Illusion in 2011 at Signature Theatre Company and Annie Baker’s adaptation of Uncle Vanya at Soho Rep in 2012. She can currently be seen onscreen in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s critically acclaimed Birdman, which stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone and Zach Galifianakis.

Haley won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Nether, which premiered at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles in 2013. She won an Ovation Award for best original play and an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award. The play had a sold-out run at London's Royal Court Theatre this summer and will transfer to the West End early next year.

The MCC production of Simon Stephens’ Punk Rock, directed by Trip Cullman, is currently in previews at the Lortel, officially opening on Nov. 17. The company's 2014-15 season concludes with Robert Askins’ Permission, directed by Alex Timbers, which is scheduled to start performances April 29. Askins’ hit play Hand to God, which was presented by MCC last season, will transfer to Broadway in April.

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