Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge Bringing 'Sea Wall/A Life' to Broadway

Sea Wall Life-Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Joan Marcus

The double bill of monologues by Simon Stephens and Nick Payne will have a nine-week run this summer following the production's sold-out downtown premiere at the Public Theater.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge will return to Broadway this summer, performing companion-piece existential monologues in Carrie Cracknell's acclaimed production of Sea Wall/A Life

Written by Simon Stephens and Nick Payne, respectively, the two single-character one-acts earned strong reviews in a sold-out run at the Public Theater earlier this year. 

Sturridge performs Sea Wall, Stephens' reflection on love and the human need to know the unknowable, while Gyllenhaal performs A Life, Payne's emotional examination of how sons become fathers and the transformative power of love. Both actors are continuing an association that began with previous works by the respective playwrights.

"The longstanding artistic relationship we share and beautiful material from Nick and Simon make this production an especially meaningful collaborative journey," said Gyllenhaal in a statement. "Carrie Cracknell has crafted a true theatrical event from two distinct monologues, which, together, shine a light on the universal experience and heart-filled exploration of the beauty of life and the meaning of love."

Gyllenhaal's production company Nine Stories, along with Ambassador Theatre Group, Seaview Productions, Benjamin Lowy Productions and The Public Theater, will present the transfer, which is set for a nine-week run at the Hudson Theatre. It follows the limited engagement of Burn This, with Adam Driver and Keri Russell, which opened there this week and runs through July 14.

Sea Wall/A Life will begin previews July 26, ahead of an Aug. 8 opening, with performances scheduled through Sept. 26.

"This gorgeous, soul-stirring evening of theater deserves to be seen by as many people as possible," said Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis.

Gyllenhaal made his Broadway debut in 2015 starring opposite Ruth Wilson in Payne's Constellations. His last Broadway appearance was in the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical Sunday in the Park With George in 2017 with Annaleigh Ashford, while Sturridge that same year starred with Olivia Wilde and Reed Birney in the stage adaptation of George Orwell's 1984. Both those productions played the Hudson, making Sea Wall/A Life a return for the actors to a familiar stage.

"Tom and I are incredibly proud to bring this story to Broadway, and to be returning to the beautiful and historic Hudson Theatre," said Gyllenhaal.