Geva will warm up winter 2009 with the world-premiere play, The House in Hydesville, on the Mainstage. This fall, Geva's 180-seat Nextstage will house the premiere of Paul Scott Goodman's new musical, Rooms, directed by Scott Schwartz.
Dan O'Brien's suspenseful The House in Hydesville, inspired by real people and events, will run Jan. 13-Feb. 8, 2009. Skip Greer will direct.
According to Geva, which recently announced its 2008-09 season, the new play is set in the winter of 1848, when "the Fox family moved from Rochester to a small cottage among the farm fields of Hydesville, southeast of the city. Soon after the move, they began to hear strange sounds — rapping in the walls — and to hear tales of a long-ago murder in the house. Where was the knocking coming from? What secrets did the house hold within its walls? Sometimes the most intense hauntings come from within our own houses."
Geva reports that the Fox Sisters became huge celebrities of the Spiritualist movement at a time of great religious fervor in America. The play is billed as "a dark tale of a new American landscape."
The musical Rooms, Sept. 19-Oct. 26 in the Nextstage series, has music and lyrics by Bright Lights, Big City creator Paul Scott Goodman and a book by Goodman and his wife, Miriam Goodman. (Rooms was seen in a developmental production at the New York Musical Theatre Festival in 2005). The world premiere co-production with MetroStage is about Monica, a self-described Scottish-Jewish princess, who has dreams of musical stardom and talent to match. Ian is a hard-drinking Catholic rock-n-roller. According to Geva, "They meet, sparks fly and what begins as a partnership leads to passion as they travel the road to success from Glasgow to London to New York. But when they blow their big break at CBGB's in New York, their careers and their love are both on the line."
Geva artistic director Mark Cuddy announced a 2008-09 season that will also include:
Evie's Waltz, Carter W, Lewis' "taut drama of an American family suspended between the possibilities of violence and wisdom," in the age of school violence, directed by Tim Ocel, April 24-May 24, 2009, on the Nextstage. *
Geva Theatre Center is Rochester's leading professional theatre and "the most attended regional theatre in New York State." Founded in 1972, Geva attracts over 160,000 patrons annually, including more than 16,000 students. The 552-seat Elaine P. Wilson Mainstage offers a wide variety of shows, from musicals to American and world classics. The 180-seat Ron & Donna Fielding Nextstage is home to Geva Comedy Improv, American Voices New Play Reading Series, Hibernatus Interruptus Festival of New Plays, and to celebrate Geva's 35th Anniversary, TheatreFest.
For more information, visit www.gevatheatre.org.