Characters with thorns, plucked from history in all their contrariness, have been an abiding source of inspiration for Doug Wright. A Marquis de Sade in extremis was the central figure in “Quills,” which won Mr. Wright an Obie Award in 1996.
Conversations with the transgender, Nazi-surviving German antiquarian Charlotte von Mahlsdorf formed the basis for his “I Am My Own Wife” (2003), for which he received both a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award. Now, Mr. Wright is taking on Henrik Ibsen, that uncompromising father of the modern drama, with “Posterity.” Opening on Tuesday in an Atlantic Theater Company production, “Posterity” finds this literary lion (John Noble) at the end of his career, but presumably still roaring, as he confronts his imminent death while posing for the Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland (Hamish Linklater). Mr. Wright directs.
(In previews, closes April 5; Linda Gross Theater, 336 West 20th Street, 866-811-4111, atlantictheater.org.)