Carmen Jones, a Terrence McNally Premiere, and More Set for Classic Stage's 50th Anniversary Season

Off-Broadway News   Carmen Jones, a Terrence McNally Premiere, and More Set for Classic Stage's 50th Anniversary Season The 2017–2018 season will also include the Off-Broadway company’s first production of a Tennessee Williams play.
Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte in the 1954 film version of <i>Carmen Jones  </i>
Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte in the 1954 film version of Carmen Jones 20th Century Fox

Classic Stage Company has announced its 50th anniversary season—the second under Tony-winning Artistic Director John Doyle. The forthcoming Off-Broadway lineup is divided into three acts: Act I: Shakespeare, Act II: Americans (featuring the work of Terrence McNally and Tennessee Williams), and Act III: Musical Theater. Among the productions included is a revival of Oscar Hammerstein II's Carmen Jones, helmed by Doyle.

John Doyle Sardis HR05.jpg
John Doyle

The season will launch in September with Shakespeare's As You Like It, featuring original music by Stephen Schwartz. The co-production with the Bay Street Theater is directed and designed by Doyle and is reset in the Jazz Age. The team also includes associate set designer David Arsenault and costume designer Ann Hould Ward.

Another Shakespeare comedy will follow in November: Twelfth Night, presented by Fiasco Theater (the team behind the recent stripped-down revival of Into the Woods).

Wicked’s Stephen Schwartz Will Compose Music for John Doyle-Directed As You Like It

The New Year will launch in January 2018 with the world premiere of Terrence McNally's Fire & Air. Directed by Doyle, the new work explores the rich history of Sergei Diaghilev's touring Russian ballet company: the Ballets Russes.

In April 2018, CSC will present Tennessee Williams' Summer and Smoke as a co-production with Off-Broadway's Transport Group. Directed by Transport Group Artistic Director Jack Cummings III, the Williams classic is set in turn-of-the-century Mississippi, where a minister's daughter walks the line between piety and sensuality with the neighborhood doctor who grew up next door. The production will mark the first Williams play to be produced by CSC.

The season will conclude in June 2018 with Hammerstein and Georges Bizet's Carmen Jones, marking the first major New York revival of the work since its Broadway debut 75 years ago. Using the score from Bizet’s opera, this adaptation by Hammerstein resets the story with an all African-American cast and concerns parachute maker Carmen Jones, who wages a quarrel involving an airman and a boxer as the Second World War rages. The 1954 film adaptation starred Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte. Doyle directs the new staging.

In a statement, Doyle said, “This season marks an extraordinary moment in our history: our 50th year of performances. Since 1967, CSC has engaged the most enthralling and challenging works of the world in an active examination of what makes a classic a classic. It is a pursuit that continues to captivate us. In this year of both looking back and looking ahead, we are delighted to present a season of three distinctive acts, which we hope will both enrich and broaden one’s idea of the classic: Shakespeare, Americans, and Musical Theater.”

CSC will also present two productions for young audiences next season: Drew Petersen's The Stowaway, based on the plays of Shakespeare, in November 2017 for ages five and older, as well as Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in March 2018 for ages 12 and older.

Casting, additional creative team members, and performance dates will be announced at a later time. Visit ClassicStageCompany.org for more information.

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