Mathew Wright – Artistic Director Note
What makes a hero? The first storytellers told tales of great heroes who would leave and learn and sometimes come back to save them. Comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell spent his entire career deciphering where these myths came from and why the stories we tell now are the stories we’ve always told. What he found was deceptively simple:
We are each of us the hero of our own life’s journey.
The movement out of the shelter of the womb and into the light happens again in the journey out of the village and into the world, and continuously throughout our lives in the never-ending movement out of the past and into the future.
This season we will encounter a diverse cast of parents and children – the two parties involved in this fundamental hero’s journey. We will meet fathers and daughters and mothers and sons; children bereft of parents and parents bereft of children; and all of them moving together and separately out of the past and into the future in ways that are every bit as complex and harrowing as the journeys the first heroes took in the tales the first storytellers told.
How are we to navigate this seemingly uncharted path? In his seminal book The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell said:
“We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path. […] Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world.”
Join us for a season of incredible theater and a journey we can’t wait to take with you.
Single tickets on sale August 5, 2016
September 7 – September 25, 2016
By Jim Leonard
Music by Beth Thonrley and Rob Cairns
Co-presented with ACT Theatre and Circle X Theatre Co.
Welcome to Club Abu, the darkest party in Baghdad. An incendiary rock musical that pulls back the curtain of one of the greatest moral challenges we have faced as a nation and sets it to a wicked irreverent back beat.
Bad Apples is a rock musical inspired by the real-life prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Bad Apples seeks to answer the simple question: How in God’s name did this happen? Two soldiers ended up pregnant by fellow soldier Charles Graner; both women wanted to marry him, competed with each other to win his love, and enthusiastically tortured prisoners together, documenting most of it in pictures that later leaked and shocked the world.
Who were the victims? Who were the villains? Is sadism part of being human? Normal for war? Normal for love? Was Abu really an aberration brought on by a few “bad apples” or does it speak to something deeper in our national psyche? Bad Apples is not a history play. It digs deeper than the facts, exploring a twisted theatrical world inspired by a fictionalized Abu Ghraib.
“Nothing I can tell you about this play does it justice, except come ready to be rocked. Leave your judgments, and your kids, at home.” —Huffington Post
September 22 – October 23, 2016
By Henrik Ibsen
Adaptation by Richard Eyre
2014 Olivier Award Winning Best Revival
Illuminated with fresh poetry and dark humor in a stunning new adaptation from acclaimed British director Richard Eyre, Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts was seen as a scandalous work when it was first performed in 1892. The story follows the widow Helene Alving as she tries to start her life anew after the death of her philandering husband. She is determined that her son Oswald will not follow the same path through life as his father, but when Oswald returns home from a trip to France, she discovers that she may already be too late.
“Searingly in this version, possibly the best you’ll ever see, “Ghosts” remains the great historical example of a single play’s power to disturb.” — The New York Times
“Director Richard Eyre‘s new adaptation thrillingly conveys the play’s devastating power, bringing this vintage play to moving, harrowing life.” — The Hollywood Reporter
“Richard Eyre’s crisp, deft adaptation is both bold and intimate, and has the streamlined speediness of a Greek tragedy and the tension of a thriller.” — The Guardian
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER
November 17 – December 27, 2016
By Rick Elice
Music by Wayne Barker
Based on the novel by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
2012 Winner of Five Tony Awards
2012 Nominee of Ten Tony Awards, including Best Play
When starcatcher-in-training Molly meets an orphan boy longing for a home, they embark on the adventure of a lifetime to protect a precious cargo. In this Tony Award-winning, magical and hilarious play with music, a dozen brilliant actors play more than 100 unforgettable characters. Peter and the Starcatcher uses ingenious stagecraft and the limitless possibilities of imagination to finally reveal the origins of Peter Pan, Wendy, the Lost Boys, their piratical nemesis, Captain Hook – and a far-off place known as Neverland.
“The most exhilarating Broadway storytelling in decades!” – The New York Times
“Charming and inventive…Peter and the Starcatcher is the gold standard!” – The New York Post
“Miraculous. Spectacle, wit and joy spill out of this production like treasure from a magic pocket.” – New York Magazine
MOTHERS AND SONS
January 19 – February 11, 2017
by Terrence McNally
2014 Tony Award Nominated Best Play
2014 Drama League Nominated Outstanding Play
By turns smartly funny and powerfully resonant, this latest play from acclaimed dramatist Terrence McNally (Love! Valour! Compassion!, Corpus Christi, Master Class) portrays a woman who pays an unexpected visit to the New York apartment of her late son’s partner, who is now married to another man and has a young son. Challenged to face how society has changed around her, generations collide as she revisits the past and begins to see the life her son might have led.
“Terrence McNally is a probing and enduring dramatist. A resonant elegy for a ravaged generation, MOTHERS AND SONS wears its significance defiantly.” — The New York Times
“Eloquent, exceptionally timely and intensely resonant. A moving reflection on a changed America.” — The Chicago Tribune
“A masterpiece. Terrence McNally is one of the greatest contemporary playwrights the theatre world has yet produced. MOTHERS AND SONS is profound. Heartbreaking. Triumphant.” — The New York Observer
MILK LIKE SUGAR
March 2 – March 25, 2017
By Kirsten Greenidge
2012 Obie Award Winner
2011 Edgerton Foundation Winner (New American Play Award)
2011 San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Award Winner (Outstanding New Play)
It is Annie Desmond’s sixteenth birthday and her friends have decided to help her celebrate in style, complete with a brand new tattoo. Before her special night is over, however, Annie and her friends enter into a life altering pact. When Annie tries to make good on her promise to her friends, she is forced to take a good look at the world that surrounds her. She befriends Malik, who promises a bright future, and Keera, whose evangelical leanings inspire Annie in a way her young parents have not been able to do. In the end Annie’s choices propel her onto an irreversible path in this story that combines wit, poetry, and hope.
“A distinctive view of a matter of vital currency, crisply delineated characters who reveal more layers as the play proceeds, richly funny vernacular dialogue… Milk Like Sugar delivers piercing glimpses of the way underachievement and unhappiness are passed down from generation to generation.” – The New York Times
“Kirsten Greenidge’s fast-talking, victim-taking New York debut.” – Entertainment Weekly
“The title refers to the sweet powdered milk that offers far more flavor than nutritional value. But the tart Milk Like Sugar offers plenty of both!” – The New York Post
April 20 – May 14, 2017
By Bryony Lavery
2004 Tony Award Nominated Best Play
2004 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play
One evening ten-year-old Rhona goes missing. Her mother, Nancy, retreats into a state of frozen hope. Agnetha, an American academic, comes to England to research a thesis: “Serial Killing—A Forgivable Act?” Then there’s Ralph, a loner who’s looking for some distraction. Drawn together by horrific circumstances, these three embark on a long, dark journey which finally curves upward into the light. Angry, humane and compassionate, FROZEN is an extraordinary play that entwines the lives of a murderer, the mother of one of his victims and his psychologist to explore our capacity for forgiveness, remorse and change after an act that would seem to rule them out entirely.
“…[a] fine play…so concentrated and unflinching that at times it takes your breath away.” — Observer (London).
“A major play…thrilling, humane and timely.” —Times (London).
“…[a] big, brave, compassionate play about grief, revenge, forgiveness and bearing the unbearable.” — Guardian (London).
“Consistently surprising and even bravely comic…The almost thriller-like promise of the play’s climactic confrontation is like a time-bomb ticking in the back of your head.” — Independent (London).
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – A Musical Thriller
June 1 – July 1, 2017
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
Based on an adaptation by Christopher Bond
1979 Winner of 8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Book, Score, and Lyrics
Stephen Sondheim’s bloody masterpiece Sweeney Todd, a worldwide success since its Broadway premiere in 1979, tells the tale of an unjustly exiled barber returning to 19th century London to seek vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop, above which he opens a new barber practice. Mrs. Lovett’s luck sharply shifts when Todd’s thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up.
“There is more artistic energy, creative personality and plain excitement than in a dozen average musicals. Mr. Sondheim has composed an endlessly inventive, highly expressive score that works indivisibly from his brilliant and abrasive lyrics.” – The New York Times
“Sweeney Todd is above all cracking high class entertainment with a pulsating score and a fascinatingly lurid cast of characters that is at times little more than a singing freak show though it is none the worse for that.” – The Independent
“Must be seen by anyone who cares about the gifts and risks of Broadway at its best.” – Newsweek