2019 -2020 Season List
By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Darlene Harris with Fuzz Roark
Sept 13 - Oct 6, 2019
The play portrays a meeting between a parole officer and two ex-convicts, and three women who were childhood friends and had worked in the same factory. The action takes place in a fictional bar in Reading, Pennsylvania. Filled with warm humor and tremendous heart, Sweat tells the story of these friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs while working on the same factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat.
Nottage shifts in time, switching scenes and showing events of eight years earlier. Variety quotes the bartender, Stan, as warning the other characters that "You could wake up tomorrow and all your jobs are in Mexico", to which the characters respond with lethargy and disbelief. Variety described Nottage as going into "the heart of working-class America". Reviews of the play have described the characters as representing blue-collar workers who voted in Donald Trump as President.
The play also examines the disintegration of a friendship, after two of the women – one white, one black – apply for the same management job. The latter character gets the position. But soon the company moves jobs to Mexico. The trade union goes on strike, and company management locks out the workers. The management/worker division begins to separate the friends, and racial tensions separate them further.
MOON OVER BUFFALO
By Ken Ludwig
Directed by Brandon Richards
Oct 25 - Nov 17, 2019
It is the summer of 1953, and George and Charlotte Hay, formerly a couple of Broadway stars, have taken their run-down touring company to Buffalo, New York. In Buffalo they have the intention of running “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “Private Lives” in repertory, all the while grumbling about missed Hollywood opportunities. But on-stage harmony is compromised when George performs an off-stage infidelity, impregnating the company’s ingenue. When Charlotte learns of this, she prepares to run away with the family lawyer, sending lightweight George on a grief-stricken drinking binge. It turns out that Frank Capra is headed to town on a talent scouting mission looking to hire the couple for his swashbuckling Scarlet Pimpernel epic. As a result, the Hay family -- including scornful, deaf mother in law Ethel, determinedly practical daughter Rosalind, and dashing actor Paul, Rosalind’s ex-boyfriend -- must work overtime to get sloppy drunk George into his Cyrano hat and nose…. or is it his Elyot Chase smoking jacket? With the entrance of Rosalind’s fiance, anxious TV weatherman Howard -- one man with two mistaken identities -- and Richard Maynard, the wealthy lawyer hoping to lure Charlotte away to his mansion -- the confusion only intensifies. With a plethora of pratfalls, slamming doors aplenty, and backstage shenanigans, Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo is a fast-paced, hilarious screwball comedy in the old tradition, a throwback farce, a valentine to the stage, and the larger-than-life personalities that inhabit the world of the theatre.
By Larry Shue
Directed by Fuzz Roark
Dec 13 - Dec 22, 2019 and Jan 3 - Jan 12, 2020
The Foreigner is a fun, two-act comedy by American playwright Larry Shue. The story takes place in a fishing lodge in rural Tilghman County, Georgia where two Englishmen, Froggy and Charlie, arrive as guests. The shy Charlie agreed to accompany Froggy on the trip after his sick wife begged him to go. When people at the lodge try to talk to Charlie, however, he remains silent: he is terribly shy, depressed about his wife's illness, and cannot find the words to reply. Froggy claims that Charlie cannot talk because he is a "foreigner" from an exotic country, and does not understand English. Taking the explanation that he's a non-English speaker as fact, the lodge's guests quickly begin revealing their secrets, and Charlie soon discovers scandals amongst some of the residents of the lodge.
THE SHADOW BOX
By Michael Cristofer
Directed by Sharon Weaver
Feb 7 - Mar 1, 2020
Joe, Brian, and Felicity come from different walks of life, different parts of the country, and are in different stages of accepting the things they have in common: they are all dying of cancer, and they are all living out their final days, in company with friends and family, in homey hospice cottages on the green and pleasant grounds of a large California hospital. They are observed, studied, and counseled by an invisible Interviewer as they talk candidly about their emotional and physical struggles, and face interpersonal challenges: Joe’s wife Maggie, in denial about her husband’s impending death, refuses to go inside his cottage; artistic Brian, busy trying to write and paint enough for twelve lifetimes, must mediate between his ex-wife Beverly and his boyfriend Mark; and Felicity, confused and in pain, refuses to die until she gets a visit from her daughter Claire -- a daughter who has been dead for years. Michael Cristofer’s sensitive, emotionally devastating, ground-breaking play exploring the end of life experience won both a Tony Award for Best Play and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1977.
Elton John & Tim Rice's AIDA
Directed by Michael Blum
In collaboration with Baltimore Design School for costumes and set design
Mar 20 - Apr 12, 2020
Winner of four 2000 Tony Awards, Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida is an epic tale of love, loyalty and betrayal, chronicling the love triangle between Aida, a Nubian princess stolen from her country, Amneris, an Egyptian princess, and Radames, the soldier they both love.
An enslaved Nubian princess, Aida, finds her heart entangled with Radames, an Egyptian soldier who is betrothed to the Pharaoh's daughter, Amneris. As their forbidden love blossoms, Aida is forced to weigh her heart against the responsibility that she faces as the leader of her people. Aida and Radames' love for one another becomes a shining example of true devotion that ultimately transcends the vast cultural differences between their warring nations, heralding a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity.
A MIDSUMMER GENDER-FLUID DREAM (An adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream)
Directed by Lanoree Blake
May 1 - May 24, 2020
In A Midsummer Night's Dream, residents of Athens mix with fairies from a local forest, with comic results. In the city, Theseus, Duke of Athens, is to marry Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. Bottom the weaver and his friends rehearse in the woods a play they hope to stage for the wedding celebrations.
Four young Athenians are in a romantic tangle. Lysander and Demetrius love Hermia; she loves Lysander and her friend Helena loves Demetrius. Hermia’s father, Egeus, commands Hermia to marry Demetrius, and Theseus supports the father’s right. All four young Athenians end up in the woods, where Robin Goodfellow, who serves the fairy king Oberon, puts flower juice on the eyes of Lysander, and then Demetrius, unintentionally causing both to love Helena. Oberon, who is quarreling with his wife, Titania, uses the flower juice on her eyes. She falls in love with Bottom, who now, thanks to Robin Goodfellow, wears an ass's head.
As the lovers sleep, Robin Goodfellow restores Lysander's love for Hermia, so that now each young woman is matched with the man she loves. Oberon disenchants Titania and removes Bottom’s ass’s head. The two young couples join the royal couple in getting married, and Bottom rejoins his friends to perform the play.
By Tim Acito (Book, Music and Lyrics)
Additional book & lyrics by Alexander Dinelaris
Directed by Stephen Foreman
June 12 - July 5, 2020
Welcome to Heartsville High, set in a world where everyone is gay–well, almost everyone! The big-man-on-campus is the chess champion, and the captain of the football team is made cool by being cast as the lead in the school musical. The students write a controversial show called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” about straight people in the military, which becomes the catalyst for a young man and woman to fall in love. Enter Zanna, a magical, musical fairy who, with a wave of his wand, brings true love to one and all!
DINNER WITH FRIENDS
By Donald Margulies
Directed by Darlene Harris
July 24 - Aug 16, 2020
Gabe and Karen, a happily married, middle-aged couple, live in Connecticut. They have been friends with Tom and Beth, another married couple, for many years. In fact, it was Gabe and Karen who introduced their friends in the first place. While having dinner at Gabe and Karen's home, Beth tearfully reveals that she is getting a divorce from Tom, who has been unfaithful.
Tom, who had been away on business, finds out that Beth has told their friends about the looming divorce, and hastens to Gabe and Karen's home. Tom and Beth had planned to tell their friends about their breakup together, but Tom now believes that Beth unfairly has presented herself as the wronged party, and feels he must present his own side of the story.
The time flashes back 12 years to a vacation home on Martha's Vineyard, when Karen and Gabe introduce Beth to Tom. Over the course of the play, both couples are seen at different ages and stages of their lives. Tom and Beth's breakup affects Gabe and Karen, who first feel compelled to choose sides, and then begin to question the strength of their own seemingly tranquil marriage. They also begin to see the real meaning behind their friendships with Tom and Beth.