Neil LaBute Fired as Playwright-in-Residence at Leading Off-Broadway Theater

Neil LaBute - 2017 Summer Shorts Party - Getty - H 2018
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MCC Theater cut ties with the Tony nominee and canceled the production of his latest play, 'Reasons to be Pretty Happy.'

MCC Theater, a top-tier off-Broadway company in New York City, has canceled the latest production from Tony-nominated playwright-in-residence Neil LaBute.

"MCC Theater is canceling the upcoming production of Reasons to be Pretty Happy by Neil LaBute and is terminating his tenure as its playwright-in-residence, effective immediately," the theater said in a statement. "The Theater will be announcing a new play to complete the current season in the coming weeks."

When asked for clarification by The Hollywood Reporter as to the reason for the decision, MCC had no further statement.

LeBute's play Fat Pig was scheduled to run at the Los Angeles' Geffen Playhouse, with an announced premiere date of May 16 with This Is Us star Chrissy Metz in the lead. However, on Feb. 26, Geffen announced it would be replacing Fat Pig with Amanda Peet’s Our Very Own Carlin McCullough, debuting this summer.

LaBute has premiered 10 of his plays at MCC, the most recent being in 2016 with All the Ways to Say I Love You, starring Tony Award-winner Judith Light. LaBute had a 15-year collaboration with the company, during which he premiered many of his best-known works, such as Mercy Seat, Fat Pig and Reasons to Be Pretty, the latter going on to Broadway and landing a nomination for best play at the 2009 Tony Awards.

That 2008 play was followed in 2013 by a sequel, Reasons to be Happy. The canceled MCC production, Reasons to be Pretty Happy, was to be the completion of a trilogy.

On March 1, Audible will present an audio play version of All the Ways to Say I Love You, in which Light will reprise her role.

Founded in 1986, MCC has long been a magnet for top talent on and off the stage, producing such plays as Rebecca Gilman's The Glory of Living, a 2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist; and Margaret Edson's Wit, which won the Pulitzer in 1999.

Feb. 26, 3:03 p.m. Updated with information that Geffen Playhouse has canceled production of LaBute's Fat Pig.