You’d be hard-pressed to find a better representation of new and diverse theatre than City Theatre. For their upcoming 2016-17 season, City Theatre has lined up six newer plays by playwrights of varying backgrounds and ethnicities. Ranging from the outrageously absurd to the deeply personal to the soberly poignant, City’s lineup is guaranteed to take its audience on a fantastic journey. Artistic Director Tracy Brigden is more than thrilled to announce their 42nd season. Here is a brief peek at what to expect from them in the upcoming months.
The season opens on an absurd note with Robert Askins’ Hand to God, a dark comedy that recently enjoyed a successful run on Broadway. The play is set in a small Texas town where a church’s youth group is really going to hell. The battle of good and evil is fought both externally and internally, instigated by a foul-mouthed hand puppet named Jerome. Seriously. “It isn’t all heresy and dark humor, though. Robert Askins is a fantastic new voice in the American theater” Brigden assures us.
Hand to God starts previews September 24th and runs through October 16th in City Theatre’s Mainstage.
Next up is the world premiere of Sharon Washington’s new show Feeding the Dragon. A one-woman autobiographical piece, Ms. Washington will take her audience through an animated tale about growing up and her favorite place: the New York Public Library where her father worked. Family secrets and the author’s passion for words promise to capture the audience as she shares a piece of her heart. After seeing Washington’s work in progress at City’s Momentum Festival, we’re excited to see where she’s taken it in the last three months.
Feeding the Dragon starts previews on October 22nd and runs through November 20th in City Theatre’s Lester Hamburg Studio Theatre.
Starting out 2017 is The Royale by Marco Ramirez. Jay Jackson is a heavyweight boxer with eyes on becoming the world champion, but the racist attitudes of 1905 may prevent him from reaching that goal. Jackson fights for his dream in spite of the lack of support and kindness, even if at times he finds himself standing alone. Inspired by the real life of boxer Jack Johnson, this drama is sure to be as intense as three rounds in the ring.
The Royale begins previews on January 21st and runs through February 12th on City Theatre’s Mainstage.
Following that is Jessica Dickey’s The Guard, a time-twisting piece that gives lessons on seizing the day. An experienced museum guard explains to two young artists his personal connections to all the paintings and pieces he’s watched over for years. In doing so he begins a tale that weaves into different time periods, with the likes of Homer and Rembrandt coming alive and proving just how impactful art can be in one’s life. Brigden describes The Guard as “a captivating new work that is going to take you on a magical journey from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art back in time”.
The Guard will begin previews on March 11th running through April 2nd on City Theatre’s Mainstage. Colman Domingo’s Wild with Happy is next, a comedy that seeks to find the humor in grieving. An actor returns home to bury his mother but runs into conflicts while dealing with the antics of his friends and family. The complications lead to a hilarious chase from funeral homes to the “Happiest Place On Earth”, all the while showcasing the humor and madness that result from a loss. This particular show will be directed by City’s Artistic Producer, Reginald Douglas.
Wild with Happy starts previews on April 8th running through May 7th in City Theatre’s Lester Hamburg Studio.
Finally the season closes with Ironbound by Martyna Majok. This somber drama tells the story of a Polish immigrant woman trying to make a living in New Jersey. Set in various years but always at the same bus stop, the play shows a fierce determination and a cynical view of a world that, at times, can be cruel and unforgiving. Brigden considers Ironbound “a quintessential City Theatre play.”
Ironbound begins previews on May 13th running through June 4th on City Theatre’s Mainstage.
All information about dates, show times, company information, and more can be found at City Theatre website (tickets, of course, can be purchased there as well). Do yourself a favor: check out their exciting season. With such a variety of new shows there is bound to be something for everyone to enjoy. And click back here to find reviews of the shows as they premiere.