Canadian Stage has scored a major casting coup in signing Molly Parker to play the lead in Harper Regan by Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephens, the Star has learned.
Parker, the B.C.-born actress known for series such as Deadwood and House of Cards, will star in the play’s Canadian premiere beginning March 1 at the Bluma Appel Theatre.
The timing is fortuitous as Parker starts performances just two days after the Feb. 27 premiere of Season 3 of House of Cards, the popular Netflix series in which Parker plays congresswoman Jackie Sharp.
Advance buzz is positioning Parker as the major antagonist to President Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, in the upcoming season, which should give the actress and her character an even higher profile.
Harper Regan tells the story of a woman (Parker) who struggles to balance a variety of problems in her personal and professional lives. Her father’s illness serves as a catalyst and she mysteriously vanishes one night, leaving her husband, her daughter and her job behind.
Author Stephens is also represented in London and on Broadway with the hit play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Harper Regan will mark the first time any of his plays have been produced in Canada.
Parker, 42, was born in Maple Ridge, B.C., and began as a dancer and stage performer before embarking on a distinguished career in film and television.
Her early career included such controversial roles as a lesbian military officer in TV movie Serving in Silence and a necrophiliac in the feature film Kissed, for which she won a Genie Award.
She has appeared on numerous series, including Twitch City, Swingtown, The Firm, Shattered and Deadwood as a widowed upper class woman who inherits a gold claim from her murdered husband.
Harper Regan will be directed by Matthew Jocelyn, Canadian Stage’s artistic and general director.
It will mark Parker’s first appearance onstage in 18 years.
It runs at the Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., from March 1 through 22. Go to canadianstage.com or phone 416-368-3110 for information.