The Studio Theatre in Washington, DC, will present four area premieres and one world premiere in its 2002-03 mainstage season, including the new-to-DC Privates on Parade by Peter Nichols, The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute, A Class Act (the musical) and The Play About the Baby by Edward Albee.
The world premiere in the season is August Wilson protégé Javon Johnson's Runaway Home, about "a single , African-American mother in Anderson, DC, who must choose between the demands of family and a life of her own." It runs Jan. 1-Feb. 9, 2003, in the Mead.
In the Studio "Secondstage" season, the 2001 Off-Broadway musical, Bat Boy, gets a post-New York staging, as does a yet-to-be announced early play by Edward Albee. Secondstage artistic director Keith Alan Baker will also conceive and direct an original, collaborative "built" work, Gothic: The Byron/Shelley Project, based on the lives of the two Romantic poets.
Here's the Studio's 25th anniversary season at a glance:
- Privates on Parade (Sept. 11-Oct. 20 in the Mead). Studio artistic director Joy Zinoman directs the season-opener, starring Floyd King. The play-with-music is inspired by playwright Peter Nichols' own experience as a member of British song and dance troupe. Sent to Malaya during the Emergency, the innocent Pvt. Steven Flowers is surrounded by colorful wartime characters in a work that "mixes camp entertainment with cultural critique."
- The Shape of Things (Nov. 6-Dec. 15 in the Milton). The London and New York play by Neil LaBute about an art student's rocky romance during a period when she is creating a provocative art piece.
The Play About the Baby (March 26-May 4, 2003 in the Milton). Joy Zinoman directs Edward Albee's four-actor rumination on innocence, experience and loss, featuring Philip Goodwin and Nancy Robinette.
A Class Act (May 14-June 22, 2003 in the Mead). Serge Seiden directs the intimate 2001 musical about people who write musicals, a biography of A Chorus Line lyricist Ed Kleban, who wanted to be known for more than just his lyrics. Trunk songs by composer-lyricist Kleban are used to illuminate the story of friendship, commitment and creativity.
Bat Boy, the Musical (Oct. 17-Nov. 10 in the Secondstage). Keythe Farley, Brian Flemming and Laurence O'Keefe's pop camp fest inspired by tabloid stories about a boy who is half-bat, half-boy. Previous productions have played Los Angeles and Off-Broadway (that latter spawning a cast album).
An early Edward Albee play (March 6-30, 2003). The play is intended to complement the mainstage season's production of The Play About the Baby.
Gothic (July 10-Aug. 3, 2003). Keith Alan Baker conceives and directs the new construction about the poets Byron and Shelley. Baker's past built productions include Kerouac, The Wild Party and Wonderland Alice.
Special attractions in the season include Shakespeare's Villains: A Masterclass in Evil, the rogue's gallery of eight of the Bard's villains, written and performed by Steven Berkoff, in the Milton, Jan. 17-Feb. 2, 2003; and writer-performer Ruben Santiago-Hudson's Lackawanna Blues, a one man portrait of residents of a boarding house and the woman who runs it.
For information about the Studio Theatre season, call (202) 332-3300 or visit studiotheatre.org.