Jake Gyllenhaal Set to Take Off-Broadway Bow

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Jake Gyllenhaal

The Oscar-nominated actor will make his American stage debut this year in British playwright Nick Payne's comic drama "If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet."

NEW YORK -- Jake Gyllenhaal has signed on as part of the ensemble cast of Nick Payne's play, If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet, which Roundabout Theatre Company will produce late this summer in its Off Broadway space, the Laura Pels Theatre.

A critical hit in its 2009 premiere at London's Bush Theatre, Payne's comic drama is about an off-kilter family who knows what the problems are, but not how to fix them. At the center of the story is Anna, an overweight teenager being bullied at school. In order to protect her, the girl's mother transfers her to to the school where she teaches, but that makes the situation worse. Her dad is an environmentalist too busy trying to save the planet to help. But when her estranged uncle, a heartbroken drifter played by Gyllenhaal, shows up, their unexpected friendship may be just what Anna needs.

Directed by Michael Longhurst, the play begins previews Aug. 24, with official opening set for Sept. 20. The three remaining cast members and design team will be announced shortly.

An Oscar nominee in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain, Gyllenhaal previously appeared onstage in a 2002 London production of Kenneth Lonergan's This is Our Youth, opposite Hayden Christensen and Anna Paquin. His next screen appearance will be in David Ayer's South Central L.A. cop drama End of Watch, in which he stars with Michael PenaAnna Kendrick and America Ferrera.

As part of the company's 2012-13 season, Roundabout also announced the world-premiere of Joshua Elias Harmon's comedy, Bad Jews. Directed by Daniel Aukin, the play opens in October under the Roundabout Underground banner devoted to emerging artists.