Prepare to voyage into Unexplored Territory -- courtesy of Washington DC's Studio Theatre, which has picked five offbeat and unusual plays to fill its 2000-01 season. The "Unexplored Territory" Season starts Sept. 6 with Morris Panych's Vigil, running through Oct. 15, with Joy Zinoman directing.
Vigil is a two-person play that concentrates on an inheritance seeking eccentric and his ailing aunt. Through strange circumstances their relationship grows into something at once unexpected, funny and tender. Starring in this black comedy are DC favorite Floyd King (Love! Valour! Compassion!, The Lisbon Traviata) and The Studio rookie Diana Sowle.
Sets are provided by Russell Metheny, with costumes by Helen Huang, lights by Michael Giannitti, sound by Neil McFadden, and props by Susan Senita Bradshaw.
Panych's play not only begins the season at The Studio, but also starts the series titled "The Canada Project." In the three-part series, Canada's performance artist Daniel MacIvor stars in da da kamera's In On It, following the season opener. The 'project' concludes Nov. 30-Dec. 3 with a reading series at Studio's Secondstage of new Canadian works; Michel Tremblay's Les Bellessoeurs and Judith Thompson's Perfect Pie.
The Studio's "Unexplored Territory" Season continues Nov. 1- Dec. 10 with Nilo Cruz's Two Sisters and a Piano about two siblings who speak out against Castro in Cuba when the Soviet Union is dismantling. Marsha Norman's Trudy Blue runs Jan. 3-Feb. 11, 2001. The Pulitzer Prize winning author of 'Night Mother delves into the life of novelist Ginger Andrews and her alter-ego, Trudy Blue. Last season's Off Broadway production of Trudy Blue, by the Manhattan Class Company, starred Polly Draper. Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love about the life of scholar-poet A.E. Housman will dwell the Studio March 28-May 6. And closing the five play season will be August Wilson's Jitney. Currently enjoying a commercial transfer in New York, Jitney is one of Wilson's "decade" plays, this one set in 1970s Pittsburgh and dealing with father-and-son relationships.
Two special events featuring performance artists will also be a part of the 2000-2001 season at the DC theater. Daniel MacIvor writes and directs himself in da da kamera's doppelganger dramedy In On It, which will play Nov. 19-26. And Paul Zaloom will return to the Studio Feb. 2-18 with his one-madcap-man show Velvetville.
For tickets to Vigil or any of the Studio shows, at 1333 P Street in Washington, DC, call (202) 332-3300 or visit their website at www.studiotheatre.org.
-- by Ernio Hernandez