The actress will star in Theresa Rebeck's "Dead Accounts," a five-character comedy that will be directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien, producers said Thursday.
All eyes were on Holmes' next step as a single woman. Was it to be a big film or a small one? Or more TV? Her decision to return to the physically strenuous eight-show-a-week life of a Broadway stage actress indicates a willingness to jump into the deep end.
Her last appearance on Broadway, which also marked her debut, was in the 2008 production of "All My Sons." The news that she will return to a Times Square stage is also a signal that she may intend to stay in New York City.
Holmes first came to stardom in the teen soap opera "Dawson's Creek," and had roles in such well-regarded films as "The Ice Storm," ''Go" and "Wonder Boys."
After Holmes began dating Cruise, she took a three-year break from acting that concluded with the poorly received heist film "Mad Money." She followed that up with the wedding drama "The Romantics" and small roles in the comedies "The Extra Man" and Adam Sandler's "Jack and Jill," and the thrillers "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" and "The Son of No One." Though she starred in "Batman Begins" in 2005, she pulled out of "The Dark Knight."
Reviews for her work in Arthur Miller's classic 1947 "All My Sons" were mixed, with The Associated Press saying Holmes "has a striking physical presence, although not much vocal variety" and USA Today saying that "at best, she exhibits a girlish exuberance that could serve her well in certain stage roles."
The new Rebeck play, which had its world premiere at the Cincinnati Playhouse this winter, will open on Broadway this fall at the Music Box Theatre. Dates and other casting news will be announced later.
"Dead Accounts" centers on a son who returns to his family's home in Cincinnati flush with money, which raises red flags for his sister, who is living with their elderly parents. Holmes will play the sister role, a not-very-glamorous part for a woman who has lately landed on the cover of every tabloid.
Producers in a statement said the comedy "tackles the timely issues of corporate greed, small town values and whether or not your family will always welcome you back."
Holmes' announcement comes on the heels of word earlier this month that she and her soon-to-be-former husband had reached a divorce agreement. She and Cruise were married in Italy in 2006 and they have a 6-year-old daughter, Suri.
Rebeck, who was a driving force in the first season of NBC's "Smash," has written several plays, including the recent Broadway hits "Seminar" and "Mauritius."