South Coast Repertory Announces 2015-16 Season
Thirteen-Play Season Includes One Man, Two Guvnors; Amadeus; Abundance; The Madwoman in the Volvo; A Year With Frog and Toad; And Five World Premieres
COSTA MESA, Calif. (April 27, 2015) – South Coast Repertory’s 2015-16 season will take audiences— theatrically speaking—from Brighton, England, in the swinging ‘60s (Richard Bean’s One Man, Two Guvnors) to 18th-century Austria (Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus) to the American Wild West (Beth Henley’s Abundance). In addition, the season will delve into the lives of artist Mark Rothko (Red by John Logan) and writer Sandra Tsing Loh (in her adaptation of her memoir, The Madwoman in the Volvo).
SCR, which leads the nation in the commissioning and production of new plays, also will produce five world premieres in 2015-16. The season is rounded out with three Theatre for Young Audiences productions, including A Year With Frog and Toad. Season subscriptions are now available; single tickets will go on sale on Aug. 1. Find more information online at www.scr.org.
“Our new season is big, bold and theatrical,” said Artistic Director Marc Masterson. “Audiences will find 2015-16 to be filled with incredible stories in a wide variety of styles told by SCR’s great actors, directors and designers.”
Managing Director Paula Tomei added, “The range of work we’re offering next season is both compelling and entertaining. Each production will connect with our audiences in distinct and diverse ways, engaging all of us in fresh, theatrical adventures.”
Masterson called out points of interest for productions in the company’s 52nd season:
ON THE SEGERSTROM STAGE
- One Man, Two Guvnors
by Richard Bean
based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni
with songs by Grant Olding
directed by David Ivers
Sept. 11-Oct. 11, Segerstrom Stage
Reviewers from London (“deliriously daft and diabolically joke-stuffed”— Independent) to Los Angeles (“criminally funny”—Hollywood Reporter) have raved about this delicious farce set in swinging ’60s Brighton. Francis, a failed skiffle player with an insatiable appetite, finds himself in the employ of both Roscoe, who is really his own twin sister (in disguise), and Stanley, a well-bred twit (who actually killed the real Roscoe). And that’s only the beginning. In this adaptation of The Servant of Two Masters, food flies, pants drop and madness abounds, to the tunes of a live band (minus its skiffle). This is a co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre.
- Said Masterson: “A big farce is a great way to enjoy a ridiculous and entertaining night out.”
by Beth Henley
directed by Martin Benson
Oct. 16-Nov. 15, Segerstrom Stage.
1860. A stagecoach pulls into a station in the middle of the Wyoming Territory. Off step two mail-order brides, one innocent and wide-eyed, the other spunky and assertive. For the next quarter of a century, they struggle with the twists and turns of fate and the complex nature of friendship, ferociously clinging to their dreams in this irony-studded story about what women seek (and get) from men. Originally produced by South Coast Repertory 25 years ago, this Western drama by Pulitzer Prize-winner Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart) has found a new life, both here and in New York, where The New York Times said its revival “makes you realize how much you’ve missed a playwright’s voice.”
- Masterson: “Beth Henley is an SCR favorite and, with Founding Artistic Director Martin Benson guiding the show, great things are in store.”
by John Logan
directed by David Emmes
Jan. 22-Feb. 21, 2016, Segerstrom Stage
“What do you see?” Mark Rothko, Abstract Expressionist, living legend and uncompromising bad boy asks Ken, his seemingly naïve new assistant. It’s 1958, and Rothko is at the height of his glory. In a converted gym deep in New York City’s Bowery, he has begun work on the biggest commission in the history of modern art—and everything is at stake. Rothko’s movement has stomped out Cubism, but Pop Art looms threateningly on the horizon. As canvases are stretched, paint mixed and feverishly applied, Ken’s answers turn into questions, becoming more probing—and provoking—with each brush stroke in this heart-stopping Tony Award winner about the nature of art and artists.
- Masterson: “This is one of the great plays of the past decade and we will have a terrific cast of SCR favorites directed by Founding Artistic Director David Emmes.”
- Future Thinking*
by Eliza Clark
directed by Lila Neugebauer
March 25-April 24, 2016, Segerstrom Stage
Part of the 19th Annual Pacific Playwrights Festival
Chiara is a spoiled starlet. Peter is a pet photographer. He’s also Chiara’s obsessed, middle-aged stalker-fan, who believes there’s another dimension, where he and Chiara can live happily. Last year at Comic Con, he gave her a vial of his blood. That got him a restraining order, but it didn’t keep him away. It’s Comic Con time again, and Peter’s in trouble. He got too close to Chiara’s booth and is being held by a security guard who dreams of being a real cop. All Chiara wants is for her stage mom and her bodyguard to get lost—preferably, together. Everyone has a fantasy, and soon they’ll collide—with each other and reality.
- Masterson: “This comedy has a poignancy and wisdom that audiences will love. The world premiere was developed through our Pacific Playwrights Festival.”
by Peter Shaffer
directed by Kent Nicholson
May 6-June 5, 2016, Segerstrom Stage
Swelling with the glorious music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, this psychological mystery has played to thunderous applause the world over. The New York Post raved that its Broadway premiere was “a total, iridescent triumph.” Vienna, 1791: the city of drama, intrigue and scandal is abuzz with the arrival of a young Mozart, who can write an opera a week but can’t control his exuberant giggling and notorious libido. Antonio Salieri—until now the royal court’s most lauded musician—recognizes Mozart’s genius, calling him “God’s magic flute.” Pious, wicked and soon to be guilt-ridden, Salieri tries everything to subvert the success of this enfant terrible. Will that include murder?
- Masterson: “This story was made for the stage and we’re excited to bring it back to audiences in a fresh and reimagined production.”
ON THE JULIANNE ARGYROS STAGE
by Qui Nguyen
directed by May Adrales
Oct. 4-25, Julianne Argyros Stage
In a Vietnamese refugee camp in the middle of Arkansas, a man (who plans to catch a plane to Guam and hop a boat back home to Vietnam) meets a woman (who doesn’t like greasy American food and listening to Elvis, but knows when there’s no home to go back to) and an unlikely romance begins. Using his hip-hop, comic-book style that Variety calls “infectious fun”—and skipping back and forth from the fall of Saigon to the here and now—Qui Nguyen gets up close and personal to tell the story that led to ... Qui Nguyen.
- Masterson: “Qui’s new play is hysterical, personal, and inspired by his residency in Orange County. This play grew out of our CrossRoads play commissioning program that focused on bringing writers into contact with our local community.”
- The Madwoman in the Volvo*
by Sandra Tsing Loh
directed by Lisa Peterson
Jan. 3-24, 2016, Julianne Argyros Stage
In ancient times, tribal women went alone to caves during menopause. Today, the 50 million menopausal women in America turn to cheery self-help books. As for Loh and her friends, they are determined not to go quietly into their sixth decade but instead opt for a desert festival of debauchery and half-nude stoners! “Burning Man” is only one hilarious side trip on this bumper car ride through mid-life “madness.” Based on the NPR commentator’s enormously popular memoir that Booklist calls “hilarious, comforting and enlightening.”
- Masterson: “Sandra adapted her best-selling memoir for the stage and lays her life bare with her usual wit and wisdom.”
- Going to a Place where you Already Are*
by Bekah Brunstetter
directed by Marc Masterson
March 6-27, 2016, Julianne Argyros Stage
Is there a heaven? Joe says no; it’s all a bunch of hokum. His wife, Roberta, has always claimed to agree. But lately she’s beginning to wonder, especially when they find themselves in church a lot, having reached the age when funerals are more frequent than weddings. Their granddaughter, Ellie, doesn’t have time in her own busy life to ponder the after-life. But when mortality confronts them, her grandmother’s claim to have gone to heaven and back doesn’t sound so crazy after all. With thoughtful storytelling and quiet wit, Brunstetter looks at beginnings, endings—and an enigmatic angel.
- Masterson: “Bekah’s play is simple, clear and theatrical—it explores the meaning of life, death and celestial beings.”
- To Be Announced*
April 10-May 1, 2016, Julianne Argyros Stage
A World Premiere
Part of the 19th annual Pacific Playwrights Festival.
THEATRE FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES
- A Year With Frog and Toad
music by Robert Reale
book and lyrics by Willie Reale
based on the books by Arnold Lobel
Nov. 6-22, Theatre for Young Audiences, Julianne Argyros Stage
Oh, what fun! Caldecott and Newbery award winner Arnold Lobel’s beguiling stories come to life onstage—complete with foot-tapping music. Frog, Toad and their friends plant a garden, fly kites, swim in the pond (but turn away because Toad looks funny in a bathing suit) and skip rope with a large and terrible frog. Or sometimes they just like to settle down in a warm house and sip a bowl of soup. This song-filled year in the life of two charming woodland characters was a Broadway hit that captivated children, adults, and critics.
by Greg Banks
based on the story by Carlo Collodi
Feb. 5-21, 2016, Theatre for Young Audiences, Julianne Argyros Stage
The world’s favorite little wooden boy comes to life like never before! In this new, highly theatrical adaptation, four actors play all the roles to tell the story of the misbehaving puppet on his way to becoming a real boy. Get set for lots of clowning and physical comedy, and don’t be surprised when everyday objects like paintbrushes and ladders are transformed (by the actors’ imaginations and the audiences’) into all the necessary props and costumes. Along the way, Pinocchio still learns valuable lessons about love and family—and what it means to be human.
- The Light Princess
adapted from the fairy tale by George MacDonald
music & lyrics by Mike Pettry
book by Lila Rose Kaplan
May 20-June 5, 2016, Theatre for Young Audiences, Julianne Argyros Stage
She can fly! That’s the good part. The bad part is she can’t land. The Princess has no gravity—and no gravitas. Free from sadness and fear, she also doesn’t know how to love, thanks to a witch’s curse (there’s always a curse). And if the King and Queen can’t give her gravity before she’s sixteen, she’ll never come to earth. Maybe the Prince who wants to be a rock star will find an answer—his lyrics are lousy, but his heart’s in the right place.
The season also features the annual production of the Orange County holiday favorite, A Christmas Carol, Nov. 27-Dec. 27, with Hal Landon Jr. and directed by John-David Keller. Single tickets will go on sale to the public in August. All dates and plays are subject to change.
The 19th annual Pacific Playwrights Festival will feature seven bold new plays during three days— including staged readings and full productions— April 22-24, 2016. The festival attracts theatre professionals from across the nation, drawn by the chance to be the first to see some of the best new plays in the country. To date, PPF has presented 117 new works by 91 playwrights.
Season subscriptions go on sale June 1 and may be purchased online, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or in person at the SCR box office. Packages range from $144 to $320 on the Segerstrom Stage and Julianne Argyros Stage. Theatre for Young Audiences subscriptions range from $48 to $90.
Single tickets will be available to the public on Aug. 1 and range from $22 to $77 for the Segerstrom Stage and Argyros Stage. Theatre for Young Audiences single tickets range from $21 to $36. All dates and plays are subject to change. More information about the 52nd season is available online: www.scr.org.
ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. www.scr.org