‘Exorcist’ play to star Chamberlain, Shields

Dan Brown, author of “The Da Vinci Code,” waves as he appears on the Italian State RAI TV program “Che Tempo che Fa,” in December 2009 in Milan. Brown made a rare public appearance May 18 in Portsmouth, N.H., sharing stories about writing, moviemaking, science, religion and more. The author, who grew up in New Hampshire, spoke at a benefit for The Music Hall’s “Writers on a New England Stage” series.

LOS ANGELES — Richard Chamberlain and Brooke Shields have two of the lead roles in a new stage version of William Peter Blatty’s “The Exorcist,” which is scheduled to open July 11 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.

Chamberlain will play Father Merrin, the priest who attempts to exorcise a little girl possessed by a demon. The role was played by Max von Sydow in the 1973 film version of Blatty’s book.

Shields will take on the role of Chris MacNeil, an actress and the girl’s mother, who was played by Ellen Burstyn in the movie.

The role of Regan MacNeil, the possessed young girl, will be played by Emily Yetter, an adult actress. The film Regan was played by Linda Blair.

The role of Father Damien Karras, the priest who assists with the exorcism, will be played by David Wilson Barnes.

“The Exorcist” is set to begin previews on July 3 and will run through Aug. 12.