Indie film starlet Greta Gerwig (best known for her work in Frances Ha and Greenberg) is kicking off the summer with two projects outside her comfort zone — a lead role in How I Met Your Dad, the spin-off to the recently ended How I Met Your Mother, and her stage debut as Becky in MCC Theater’s production of The Village Bike, a play by English playwright Penelope Skinner, directed by Sam Gold (Fun Home, The Realistic Joneses).
“[How I Met Your Dad] is going great. We don’t know if it’s picked up yet, but we’re working on big outlets for the season if it does, so it’s kind of happening simultaneously to this,” Gerwig told BuzzFeed. “It’s intense, but it’s also, like, the greatest summer ever. I’m really enjoying it.”
Gerwig is replacing Maggie Gyllenhaal (who reportedly had scheduling conflicts) as the lead in Skinner’s play, which debuted in 2011 at the Royal Court Theatre in London, won the 2011 George Devine Award, and had an extended sellout run. The play, as Sam Gold told BuzzFeed, “is about a couple whose anxieties about having a baby take them in very different directions.” The play revolves around Becky, a young woman dealing with sexual frustration during the course of her pregnancy.
“I think I had an idea, originally it was, weirdly, just about someone on a bike — that was sort of the visual image, and then the story developed into something about female sexual identity and it had different kind of forms,” said Penelope Skinner, who has been rewriting the play ever since its debut.
“I just instantly saw that it had this specific voice and sense of humor and tone and it’s very particular with the words — I think it felt like a major work. I think that’s exciting and scary as an actor, but mostly just thrilling,” said Gerwig.
The Village Bike will begin previews at the Lucille Lortel Theater on May 22 with an official opening scheduled on June 10.