A couple of world premieres are also in the mix at the four-venue resident theatre known for its commitment to contemporary plays that have been seen elsewhere.
The Habit of Art
By Alan Bennett
Directed by David Muse
Starring Ted van Griethuysen
Sept. 7-Oct. 16, 2011
"Deep in the bowels of London's National Theatre, rehearsals for a new play go apace: Benjamin Britten is having trouble with his latest opera and seeks out his collaborator, poet W. H. Auden, after a 25-year separation. Between visits by a rent boy and a biographer — briefly mistaken for the rent boy — these aging artists wrestle with their desires, their jealousies, the ephemeral connection between creativity and inspiration, and all the reasons their friendship fell apart. Wistful and filthily funny, the latest play from the award-winning writer of The History Boys examines creativity, desire, and the tenacity of the artistic spirit."
The Golden Dragon
By Roland Schimmelpfennig
Translated by David Tushingham
Nov. 2-Dec. 11, 2011
"In the cramped kitchen of an Asian restaurant, four cooks pull the tooth of a young Chinese co-worker. His tooth ends up in the Thai soup of a flight attendant — who overhears the fight of a young couple who live above the restaurant, whose fighting disturbs the shopkeeper of the dry goods store next door to the restaurant, who is more connected to the young Chinese man than anyone suspects. A kaleidoscopic look at a globalized world, this play by one of Germany's most innovative and adventurous writers unfolds in brief and fierce comic scenes. Five actors cross age, race, and gender to play 15 characters in this vicious, poetic, and surprisingly moving investigation of how intertwined our lives really are."
Time Stands Still
By Donald Margulies
Jan. 4-Feb. 12, 2012
"This searing drama follows Sarah Goodwin, a globe-trotting photojournalist, who returns home from the battlefields of Iraq after she's badly injured while covering a story. When her reporter-boyfriend James makes a pitch for domesticity, Sarah must choose between the thrilling but dangerous life she craves and the physically safe but emotionally perilous life she doesn't quite understand. This gritty and compelling story from Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies questions whether certain desires and images can ever really be erased." Sucker Punch
By Roy Williams
Feb. 29-April 8, 2012
"When Leon and Troy are caught breaking in to a north London boxing gym, the owner puts the aspiring black boxers to work rather than turning them over to the police. When race riots erupt in the neighborhood, a split-second betrayal changes both boys' lives. From the north London streets to the World Championship, the two former friends must ultimately step into the ring and face who they've become — champions or sell outs? Kinetic, comedic, and emotionally bruising, Williams' masterwork blasts open the experience of being young, black, and ambitious in 1980s London."
By Leslye Headland
May 23-July 1, 2012
"Ten years out of high school, three unhappy friends show up not-quite-invited to their classmate's luxe hotel room the night before her wedding. Half a bathtub of champagne later, the former prom queen is melting down, the nice-girl cokehead is on a mission to mend the mauled wedding dress, and the mastermind behind the carnage is a lacerating maid of honor whose picture-perfect life is less stable than she'd have it seem. A smash hit Off Broadway, Leslye Headland's savage and insightful play is an aria to the anxiety and self-loathing of a generation."
Written and Performed by Lauren Weedman
Directed by Allison Narver
Nov. 30-Dec. 18, 2011
"Based on Lauren Weedman's experiences working as a volunteer advocate in a Southern California prison for women. Weedman's job is to listen, but talking is what she does best, with occasionally disastrous and frequently hilarious results. She plays dozens of characters, switching from prostitute to parole office, addict to editor with nuance and empathy. With one foot in Hollywood and the other in jail, the former Daily Show correspondent careens wildly between the two worlds, taking us on a poignant, entertaining, and completely unforgettable ride."
The Animals and Children Take to the Streets
Written and performed by 1927
"Trust no one. Suspect even your own shadow. Welcome to the infamous Bayou Mansions, a sprawling, stinking tenement block where curtain-twitchers and peeping toms live side by side. When Agnes Eaves and her daughter arrive to save the lost souls, is it a sign for hope? Or has the real horror only just begun? With live music, witty performances, and stunning interaction between animation and live actors, The Animals and Children Take to the Streets is a charming, ghoulish, and otherworldly little show from acclaimed London company 1927 — a graphic novel burst into life."
THE LAB SERIES
By Duncan Macmillan
Sept. 28-Oct. 16, 2011
"In a time of global anxiety, terrorism, and erratic weather, a couple tries to face their future — but is running out of time. Duncan Macmillan's chamber drama offers an intimate look at how two people navigate chance, change, and consequence. This world premiere piece inaugurates a series dedicated to stripped-down productions of invigorating new work."
THE STUDIO 2NDSTAGE
Astro Boy and The God of Comics
Created and directed by Natsu Onoda Power
Feb. 15-March 11, 2012
"A highly visual, retro-sci-fi performance about the 1960s animation series Astro Boy and its creator Osamu Tezuka. The play combines Tezuka's life, the history of Japanese animation, and the fictional world of Astro Boy, a crime-fighting boy robot. This high/low-tech multimedia extravaganza, featuring on-stage drawing, interactive video, and 1960s-style animation is created for The Studio 2ndStage."
The Big Meal
By Dan LeFranc
April 25-May 20, 2012
"Five generations share the moments, both epic and intimate, that make a life. From the excitement and awkwardness of a first date to the grief of watching a parent fade, The Big Meal portrays the arc of a family's experience from a single restaurant table at a chain restaurant. From one of America's fast-rising playwrights, this quirky and heartfelt play took Chicago by storm last winter."
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
By Alex Timbers
Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman
Directed by Keith Alan Baker
July 11-Aug. 5, 2012
"This rowdy and irreverent musical imagines President Andrew 'Old Hickory' Jackson as a rock star, following young Jackson from his boyhood home to the spotlight of the White House and beyond. Whether fighting 'injuns' or seducing the ladies, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson showcases one of the nation's most notorious presidents in all his ass-kicking glory. This political, satirical spectacle questions how important it is to be a great leader when you're already hot and popular. American history has never been this sexy."
For more information, visit studiotheatre.org.