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Neil LaBute Terminated by Off Broadway’s MCC Theater, Upcoming Play Canceled

”Reasons to Be Pretty Happy“ was scheduled to run this summer

Off Broadway’s nonprofit MCC Theater has abruptly ended its longtime relationship with award-winning writer-director Neil LaBute, canceling an upcoming production of his new play “Reasons to Be Pretty Happy” that was scheduled to run this summer.

“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 issued Thursday. “The Theater will be announcing a new play to complete the current season in the coming weeks.”

Reps for the theater offered no further explanation for the abrupt termination, and LaBute’s manager did not immediately return requests for comment.

“Reasons to Be Pretty Happy,” which was scheduled to begin this August under the direction of Leigh Silverman, was a sequel to two of LaBute’s previous plays, “Reasons to Be Happy” and “Reasons to Be Pretty.”

The latter earned LaBute a Tony nomination for Best Play in 2009.

Another LaBute play, “Fat Pig,” is scheduled to be staged at L.A.’s Geffen Playhouse this spring.

A rep for Geffen Playhouse declined to comment.

LaBute burst onto the scene in the 1990s as a playwright and filmmaker, and his 1997 debut feature, “In the Company of Men,” earned him awards at Sundance and the Independent Spirit Awards.

Other film credits include “Your Friends & Neighbors, “The Shape of Things” and “Possession.”