Category Archives: Theatre Announcements

“The Heath” Opens At Merrimack Rep

MRT Presents World Premiere of

New Lauren Gunderson Play,

The Heath

A Play with Original Songs by the Author of Silent Sky, I and You,

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) will present the world premiere of The Heath by Lauren Gunderson, one of the most produced playwrights in America (Silent Sky, I and You, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley) from February 13 to March 10 at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre at Liberty Hall, according to Artistic Director Sean Daniels and Executive Director Bonnie J. Butkas. 

A new play with music about the playwright’s relationship with her grandfather, The Heath is directed by Artistic Director Sean Daniels (The Lion, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Little Orphan Danny). The play includes banjo, four original songs, and several traditional tunes.

In The Heath, Gunderson turns her prodigious storytelling skills on herself as she wrestles with how you make peace with a beloved relative who seems unlike you in every way. This beautiful, funny meditation on her grandfather’s life draws on everything from Shakespeare to Bluegrass in a soul-stirring story of redemption, love, madness, and the science of memory. 

Of The Heath, Gunderson said, “I started the script before my PawPaw died as it occurred to me that the only reference I had for his condition was the literary figure of King Lear. It’s a love letter to him, an apology, and a reckoning, as well as a chance to discover a man I thought I knew so well.

I was inspired to add banjo to the play when I remembered how much PawPaw loved Flatt and Scruggs bluegrass music. It felt like a crazy challenge to myself. The songs are simple but full of emotion and heart. The big ending song, Storm Still, was the most cathartic to write. It really allows me to say, ‘I love you, I miss you, I’m proud of you,’ to my grandfather,” she said.

The cast features Miranda Barnett as Lauren and George Judy as KD, her grandfather, and King Lear. 

A classically trained musician-turned-actor, Barnett has been studying the banjo for the past three months in anticipation of the show. A native and resident of South Carolina, her credits include The Rocky Horror Picture Show; Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike; Sweeney Todd; and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. 

George Judy is the Gresdna A. Doty Professor of Theatre at Louisiana State University, as well as the former head of the MFA Acting Program there and former Artistic Director of Swine Palace, LSU’s Equity theatre-in-residence. He has appeared in numerous Shakespeare productions, including King Lear, The Tempest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Royal National Theatre in London, and the Utah, Texas, and Kentucky Shakespeare festivals, among many other venues. FUN FACT: George Judy was Sean Daniels’ acting coach in college.

The Heath by Lauren Gunderson runs from February 13-March 10, 2019. For more information visit www.mrt.org or contact the MRT Box Office at 978-654-4678.

ArtsEmerson Presents “An Inspector Calls”

J.B. PRIESTLEY’S TIMELESS THRILLER 

AN INSPECTOR CALLS 

ARRIVES IN BOSTON


THE PRODUCTION BRINGS ITS U.S. TOUR TO ARTSEMERSON BY AWARD-WINNING DIRECTOR STEPHEN DALDRY
TWO WEEKS ONLY
MARCH 14 – 24, 2019
EMERSON CUTLER MAJESTIC THEATRE 

Jeff Harmer, Hamish Riddle and Andrew Macklin
(Photo by Mark Douet)

ArtsEmerson, Boston’s leading presenter of contemporary world theatre, is honored to welcome the U.S. tour of J.B. Priestley’s classic theatrical event, An Inspector Calls. Returning to direct his National Theatre masterpiece revival is Stephen Daldry (Oscar-nominated director of The Reader, The Hours and Billy Elliot) who also brings the iconic grand-scale set from the West End to Boston. This production of An Inspector Calls is the longest running revival of a play in history, seen by over 4 million theatergoers worldwide and winning an unprecedented number of awards including three Olivier Awards, four Tony Awards and seven Drama Desk Awards. 

Written at the end of the Second World War and set before the First, the play begins when the mysterious Inspector Goole calls unexpectedly on the prosperous Birling family home, shattering their peaceful family dinner party with his investigations into the death of a young woman. The Telegraph calls it “an Edwardian thriller with a socialist purpose, tinged with a supernatural spin” and The Independent hails “its power and pertinence feel all the more striking.” 

“Daldry’s triumphant An Inspector Calls is the kind of treat we are always looking to bring to ArtsEmerson’s audiences,” says ArtsEmerson artistic director David Dower. “Like earlier productions of revivals like A Trip to Bountiful and Beauty Queen of Leenane, this one delivers a time-tested play in a definitive, visionary staging that exhilarates as much for being familiar as for being entirely unexpected. Each captures the full power of theater’s ability to lift us out of the toil and turmoil of our day yet still leave us deeply attuned to our connection to each other. It’s been two decades since it first conquered the world, but my first encounter lingers as an unforgettable experience at the theater and I can’t wait for Inspector Goole’s return visit.” 

Hailed as the theatrical event of its generation, winning more awards than any other production in history, An Inspector Calls has thrilled more than 4 million people worldwide.
When Inspector Goole arrives unexpectedly at the prosperous Birling family home, their peaceful dinner party is shattered by his investigations into the death of a young working-class woman. His startling revelations shake the very foundations of their lives and challenge audiences to question their own consciences. 

The production runs two weeks at the Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre, located at 219 Tremont Street in downtown Boston. Tickets may be purchased online at www.ArtsEmerson.org, by phone at 617.824.8400, or in person at the box office.

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SpeakEasy Stage Company Presents The Boston Regional Theatre Premiere Of The Tony Award-Winning Musical ONCE.

March 1 – 30, 2019, in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St. in Boston’s South End.ONCE

 

Nile Scott Hawver and MacKenzie Lesser-Roy
Photo by Maggie Hall Photography

Based on the 2007 Irish film written and directed by John Carney, ONCE employs an exceptional ensemble of actor-musicians to tell the story of an unlikely romance between a down-on-his-luck Dublin street musician and a determined Czech immigrant who inspires him to dream.  Featuring a book by Enda Walsh, and music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, ONCE is a charming tale that reminds us of the importance of pursuing our dreams and the power music has to connect us all.  

SpeakEasy General Manager Paul Melone will direct this production of ONCE. Winner of two Elliot Norton Awards for his direction of the musicals Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (2013) and Adding Machine: A Musical (2010), Mr. Melone also directed the company’s Boston premieres of  Carrie: The Musical; reasons to be pretty; The Little Dog Laughed; Fat Pig; The Moonlight Room; Our Lady of 121st Street; and The Shape of Things. 

Also on the artistic team are Steven Ladd Jones (music director) and Ilyse Robins (choreographer).

Nile Scott Hawver and Mackenzie Lesser-Roy will play the lead roles of Guy and Girl.  Jacob Brandt, Billy Butler, Clara Cochran, Chris Coffey, Reagan Gardiner, Billy Meleady, Robert X. Newman, Marta Rymer, Stephen Shore, Jeff Song, Kathy St. George, and Ellie van Amerongen make-up the ensemble of actor-musicians. 

ONCE got its start with a workshop production at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA in April 2011. The show then transferred to the New York Theatre Workshop where it opened in December 2011. Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti originated the roles of Guy and Girl for this Off-Broadway production, which was helmed by John Tiffany. This same team took the show to Broadway, where it opened on March 18, 2012, winning 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical. Since that time, audiences around the globe have had the opportunity to enjoy ONCE, which has played in Dublin, the West End, Australia, Seoul, South Korea, Toronto, and across the United States.  

ONCE will run for five weeks, from March 1 – 30, 2019, in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St. in Boston’s South End.

For tickets or more information, the public is invited to call the box office at 617.933.8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com .                 

ArtsEmerson Presents “American Moor” Directed By Kim Weild 

KEITH HAMILTON COBB’S AWARD-WINNING EXPLORATION OF SHAKESPEARE, RACE, AND AMERICA RETURNS TO BOSTON 

TWO WEEKS OF PERFORMANCES, APRIL 10 – 21, 2019 AT 

THE EMERSON PARAMOUNT CENTER 

Keith Hamilton Cobb
Photos by C. Hovde and Chris Lang

ArtsEmersonwill host the return of the award- winning American Moorwritten and performed by Keith Hamilton Cobb, an urgent solo work examining the experience and perspective of black men in America through the metaphor of William Shakespeare’s character, Othello. The 2018 IRNE and Elliot Norton award-winning play received wide-spread acclaim from Boston audiences and critics – American Moorplays ArtsEmerson for two weeks of performances, April 10–21, at the Emerson Paramount Center Robert J. Orchard Stage. 

American Moorchallenges the capacity of theatre to fulfill the human longing to be fully visible and embraced; it’s a show that poses the question “who gets to perform Shakespeare?” while exploring the inequities of life as a black actor and life as a black man. The Boston Globe’s Don Aucoin calls it “a deep-from-the-heart spellbinder [that] is ablisteringly eloquent and penetrating meditation on the ever-urgent matter of race in America

“Keith’s got something timelessly entertaining, powerfully urgent and deeply disruptive to say with American Moor,” says ArtsEmerson artistic director David Dower. “In his first appearance in Boston he struck a chord that still reverberates. Just like we’ve done with Daniel Beaty’s Mr. Joy, Melinda Lopez’ Mala, and with companies like Whistler in the Dark, Arlekin Players, and Bedlam, we’re delighted to create the opportunity for more people to experience an award- winning production. Keith and Kim have continued to evolve the show since last we saw it here, as well, so even its fans will find surprises that reward a repeat visit. With Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Othello having just wrapped a visit to A.R.T., it’s a perfect time to confront the complexities of that play, its title character, and the American culture — Keith is absolutely burning to take us there.” 

American Moorwas previously presented in Boston in 2017 by O.W.I 7:30pm

For more information:
Online: ArtsEmerson.org
Phone: 617-824-8400
In Person: Paramount Center Box Office, open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-6pm (also open on Sunday 2/3 beginning at 12noon)

Seaglass Chorale Call For Singers

Seaglass Chorale Seeking Singers For Upcoming Concert

Seaglass Performing Arts Chorale, conducted by Artistic Director and Founder Jean Strazdes, is seeking singers to join its musical community in preparation for its 2019 concert performance of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. The April 28, 2019 performance will be the premiere concert at the new Performing Arts Center at Sanford High School in Sanford. The Chorale will be collaborating with the Chamber Singers of Sanford High School under the direction of Jane Kirton.

The first rehearsal for Carmina Burana will be at 5:30 pm on Sunday, January 13th, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church on Storer Street in Kennebunk.

For more information, stop in on Sunday, January 13th, or call 985-8747. You can also check their website at seaglassperformingarts.org or visit us on Facebook.
Seaglass Chorale is a non-auditioned chorus.
Seaglass Performing Arts
Post Office Box 265, Kennebunk, ME 04043 Seaglassperformingarts.org
Seaglass is a 501c3 non-profit organization

MANUAL CINEMA RETURNS TO BOSTON WITH THE END OF TV

COMPANY BRINGS ITS INNOVATIVE AND CINEMATIC STORYTELLING BACK TO ARTSEMERSON
JANUARY 16 – 27, 2019
EMERSON PARAMOUNT CENTER
ROBERT J. ORCHARD STAGE 

(Photo Credit: Judy Sirota Rosenthal)

ArtsEmerson, Boston’s leading presenter of contemporary world theatre, is excited to announce the return of Manual Cinema with their production, The End of TV.After thrilling Boston audiences with Ada/Ava in 2018, the ingenious artists of Manual Cinema cast a theatrical spell through live-action silhouettes, video feeds, overhead projection and a five-piece band performing an original score with their new creation. 

Set in a post-industrial Rust Belt city in the 1990s and told through a collection of original 70’s R&B-inspired art pop songs, The End of TV explores the quest to find meaning amongst the increasingly constant barrage of commercial images and advertising white-noise. Manual Cinema combines handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic techniques, and innovative sound and music to create this immersive experience for audiences. Chicago Tribune calls it “the very retro-coolest and most creatively compulsive show.” 

“I love the imagination of artists, and the artists of Manual Cinema specifically,” says ArtsEmerson artistic director David Dower. “They’ve invented a form out of the simplest of tools, animated it with the pure joy and abandon found in child’s play, and the result is fresh, fun, and surprisingly moving. The techniques here will be familiar to fans of their earlier work, but they continued to evolve their style with The End of TV, introducing new elements to the mix. And they’ve harnessed it to a timely story that sweeps over us and carries us away. I’m so happy they were able to come back so soon after their debut at ArtsEmerson last season.” 

The End of TV depicts the promise and decline of the American rust belt, through the stories of Flo and Louise, both residents of a fictional Midwestern city. Flo is an elderly white woman who was once a supervisor at the thriving local auto plant. Now succumbing to dementia, the memories of her life are tangled with television commercials and the “call now” demands of QVC. Louise, a young black woman laid off from her job when the same local auto plant closes, meets Flo when she takes a job as a Meals-on-Wheels driver. An unlikely relationship grows as Flo approaches the end of her life and Louise prepares for the invention of a new one. Their story is intercut with commercials and TV programs, the constant background of their environment. 

The End of TVruns just two weeks at the Emerson Paramount Center’s Robert J. Orchard Stage located at 559 Washington Street in downtown Boston. For more information go to www.ArtsEmerson.org, by phone at 617.824.8400, or in person at the box office.

“The Wolves” Opens At The Lyric Stage January 11

An all-girls soccer team . . . fierce in competition and in life.

The Wolves

by Sarah DeLappe

Directed by A. Nora Long

At The Lyric Stage January 11 Through February 3

Left quad. Right quad. Lunge. A girls’ indoor soccer team warms up. From the safety of their suburban stretch circle, the team navigates big questions and wages tiny battles with all the vigor of a pack of adolescent warriors. As the author says, “I wanted to see a portrait of teenage girls as human beings – as complicated, nuanced, very idiosyncratic people, athletes and daughters and students and scholars and people who are trying actively to figure out who they are in this changing world around them.

The Wolves runs at the Lyric Stage, Copley Square, Boston from January 11 through February 3. 

www.lyricstage.com  617.585.5678

Box Office: 617-585-5678

ox Office: 617-585-5678

“A Doll’s House, Part 2” Opens At Huntington Theatre

Huntington Theatre Company Presents The Hit Broadway Comedy 

A Doll’s House, Part 2

The 2017 Tony Award nominee for Best Play and the most-produced play of the 2018-2019 season, A Doll’s House, Part 2 makes its Boston debut at the Huntington Theatre Company at the Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre (264 Huntington Avenue, Boston) in a co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Written by Tony Award nominee Lucas Hnath and directed by Obie Award winner Les Waters, performances will run January 4 through February 3.

Nora famously slammed the door on her marriage, leaving her husband and children behind in Ibsen’s groundbreaking classic, but what happened to the iconic heroine next? Named one of TIME Magazine’s Top 10 of 2017, A Doll’s House, Part 2 imagines her 15 years later as a successful writer and independent woman. Nora is urgently seeking to finalize her divorce, but first her estranged family has grievances to air.

This smart and sophisticated new comedy raises fascinating questions about marriage and the ways the roles of women have – and haven’t – changed. Audiences will enjoy this “smart, funny, and utterly engrossing play” (The New York Times) regardless of their familiarity with Ibsen’s play and the undeniable legacy Nora’s exit left behind.

Thanks to his “audacious Broadway debut” (The Hollywood Reporter) with A Doll’s House, Part 2, Lucas Hnath has become the most produced playwright in the country this season. Next for Hnath is his highly anticipated return to Broadway with Hillary and Clinton which opens this spring.

“We are thrilled to bring this hilariously eloquent play to Boston – a playful debate on marriage, gender roles, and what makes up the modern mating dance,” says Peter DuBois, Huntington Artistic Director. “Somehow Lucas Hnath has made it possible to take one of the most familiar pieces of dramatic literature in history and breathe new and exciting life into its iconic characters. Under the skillful direction of Les Waters, this company brilliantly highlights the relevance of this play in our society today with a stealth balance of humor and empathy.”

Hailed as a “classic for our time and for the ages” by The San Francisco Chronicle, this production of A Doll’s House, Part 2  features frequent Huntington favorite Nancy E. Carroll (Ripcord, Present Laughter at the Huntington) as Anne Marie, Mary Beth Fisher as Nora (How Shakespeare Won the West and The Birthday Party at the Huntington), John Judd as Torvald (Shining City at the Huntington), and Nikki Massoud (Huntington debut) as Emmy.

huntingtontheatre.org     617 266 0800

Small Mouth Sounds

                                           

SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS

Opens At SpeakEasy January 4

            From January 4 through February 2, 2019, SpeakEasy Stage will proudly present the Boston Premiere of the hit Off-Broadway comedy SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS by Bess Wohl. 

Heralded as one of the Top Ten Plays of 2015 by The New York Times, SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS follows six strangers on a spiritual retreat for what they hope will be a life-changing week.  In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, they struggle to abandon technology and embrace silence under the tutelage of an unseen guru, who is having her own challenges with inner peace.  Though it employs very little dialogue, there is definitely nothing quiet about SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS, a luminous and compassionate new play that asks how we address life’s biggest questions when words fail us. 

SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS is the work of playwright Bess Wohl, a graduate of Harvard and the Yale School Drama whose roster of plays includes American Hero; BarcelonaTouchedInCats Talk Back; and the original musical Pretty Filthy (in collaboration with Michael Friedman and The Civilians). Her work has been produced or developed at Second Stage, Ars Nova, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Geffen Playhouse, and others.  Bess also writes for film and television and has developed projects for HBO, ABC, USA, Disney, Paramount, and others.  

M. Bevin O’Gara will return to Boston to direct the Boston Premiere of SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS. A former Associate Producer for the Huntington Theatre, Ms. O’Gara is currently the Producing Artistic Director of the Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, NY. Her many directing credits include: The Bridges of Madison County, appropriate, A Future Perfect, Tribes (Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards for Best Production), and Clybourne Park (SpeakEasy Stage);  GirlfriendIronbound, the world premiere of Brawler, and Brahman/i  (Kitchen Theatre); The Who and The What, Milk Like Sugar (Elliot Norton Award nomination for Best Production), and Becoming Cuba (Huntington Theatre); You for Me for You, Love Person, and The Pain and the Itch (Company One).  

Norton Award-winners Barlow Adamson, Marianna Bassham, and Nael Nacer headline an all-star Boston cast that also includes Kerry A. Dowling, Celeste Oliva, Sam Simahk, and Gigi Watson.  

SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS will run for five weeks, from January 4th through February 2, in the Roberts Studio Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston’s South End.

For tickets or more information, the public is invited to call the box office at 617.933.8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com .                 

A Wassail Festival

Seaglass Performing Arts 25th Anniversary Season Winter Concerts 

Saturday, December 1, 2018
South Congregational Church, Kennebunkport, Maine 7:00 pm 

Sunday, December 2, 2108 Holy Parish Church, Sanford, Maine 3:00 pm 

Seaglass Chorale’s 25th anniversary concert season will begin with its first of two performances of “A Wassail Festival” on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at South Congregational Church in Kennebunkport at 7:00 pm. The concert is a musical feast celebrating twenty-five years of Seaglass. A second performance will take place on Sunday, December 3rd, at Holy Parish Church in Sanford at 3:00 pm. 

Tickets may be purchased on line at seaglassperformingarts.org (go to “Concerts and Events” and use your credit card), at Morse Hardware on Post Road in Wells (see Sally Morse), or from any Seaglass Chorale member.