It’s shaping up to be an innovative year for Throughline Theatre Company. After producing four shows a year at the Grey Box Theatre for the last five years, they’ve had to find a new space. Michael McBurney, Throughline’s Public Relations Director, says the company is excited about being in a new space. They will be performing their shows this year at the Henry Heymann Theatre in Oakland. Due to the space switch, they will only be performing two mainstage shows this season, but there will be a third show with a fun new format!
Throughline’s theme for this season is “The Fair Sex,” which follows up their 2016 theme of “Can You Trust the Government?” When asked if current events have been inspiring their recent themes, McBurney says they’ve definitely been taking the cultural environment into consideration. This year, theatre goers can expect to see shows about gender, sex, and equality. And while there will be comedy throughout each show, the underlying message will be easy to spot.
Both mainstage shows will run over two weeks on a Friday/Saturday then Thursday/Friday/Saturday schedule. Each Saturday will have a matinee performance as well as an evening one. The first Saturday of each show will be a “pay what you can” day for those who are tight on money. Throughline is also working on new ways to engage groups related to the theme. “We’re trying to branch out for what Throughline can offer to folks,” McBurney says. If you have a group that would be interested in working with Throughline on a special evening or group engagement, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the Next Room (Or the Vibrator Play) by Sarah Ruhl
Set in the 19th century, this show tells the story of a family who is struggling with intimacy, as was the case for many families in the era. The husband, a doctor, has created a wonderful new invention that runs on electricity and can cure women of “hysteria.” The play provides heartfelt moments as well as spotlighting the lives of several women who are affected by this new machine.
In the Next Room will be directed by Abigail Liz-Perlis, who also directed the company’s acclaimed version of Everyman a few years ago. The show will run June 16-24, and there will be a talkback on Friday, June 23rd, immediately following the show.
Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill
This is a story of sexual exploration, social and racial roles in society, and soap opera-esque flip-flopping of relationships. The play is set in British colonial Africa for the first act and London for the second. Twenty-five years pass between the acts, and the actors all play different roles in the second act. It’s a highly amusing tale of men and women and their scandalous exploits, and ultimately about accepting people as they are.
Cloud 9 will be directed by Edwin Lee Gibson, who is a new member of Throughline’s board. The show will run August 11-19.
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
For the third show of Throughline’s season, they’ll be delivering an exciting one night only live-read podcast recording of Shakespeare’s classic comedy. This well known show about love and deceit will be read by Throughline actors for a live audience as it’s recorded to be released as a podcast. This event will be happening at the Glitter Box Theatre sometime in September, so stay tuned to Throughline’s social media outlets for news about this event!
For more information about Throughline and what they’re up to, check out their website here.
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