The new season, under artistic director Joe Dowling, will kick off Sept. 11 with the world premiere of Marsha Norman's The Master Butchers Singing Club. Francesca Zambello (Little House on the Prairie) will direct a cast led by Lee Mark Nelson, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Katie Guentzel and Sheila Tousey. The play, according to the Guthrie, is described as such: "Bookended by the two World Wars, The Master Butchers Singing Club, a moving story of tradition, family, love and loss, follows the life of Fidelis Waldvogel and his family, as well as Delphine Watzka and her partner Cyprian, as they adjust in their separate lives in the small town of Argus, North Dakota. As Fidelis and Delphine's lives intertwine, the play chronicles ordinary small-town citizens as they encounter the extraordinary events — both in their insular world and in the larger world — that come to define their lives."
Other highlights of the season include the Broadway and Off-Broadway hit The 39 Steps, a comedic take on Hitchcock's 1935 classic thriller; Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, under the direction of the Royal Shakespeare Company's Jonathan Munby; George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man; the classic American comedy Arsenic and Old Lace, directed by artistic director Dowling; Yasmina Reza's 2009 Tony Award-winning Best Play, God of Carnage; Gilbert & Sullivan's musically mirthful H.M.S. Pinafore, also under the direction of Dowling; a new version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol by British playwright Crispin Whittell; and more.
New season subscriptions range in price from $56 to $532 and go on sale July 19. Single tickets for The Master Butchers Singing Club go on sale Aug. 1. Single tickets for A Christmas Carol go on sale Sept. 7. Single tickets for all other shows on the McGuire Proscenium and Wurtele Thrust stages go on sale Aug. 15. Single ticket prices for these shows range from $24 to $69. For more information or to purchase tickets or season subscriptions, call the Guthrie Theater Box Office at (612) 377-2224 or toll-free (877) 44 STAGE. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.guthrietheater.org.
The new season, according to the Guthrie, follows:
On the Wurtele Thrust Stage
Sept. 11 – Nov. 6, 2010
The Master Butchers Singing Club
based upon the novel by Louise Erdrich
directed by Francesca Zambello
Bookended by the two World Wars, The Master Butchers Singing Club, a moving story of tradition, family, love and loss, follows the life of Fidelis Waldvogel and his family, as well as Delphine Watzka and her partner Cyprian, as they adjust in their separate lives in the small town of Argus, North Dakota. As Fidelis and Delphine’s lives intertwine, the play chronicles ordinary small-town citizens as they encounter the extraordinary events — both in their insular world and in the larger world — that come to define their lives.
Nov. 19 – Dec. 30, 2010
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
adapted by Crispin Whittell
directed by Joe Dowling
The Guthrie returns to this holiday favorite, in an all new production with a script by British playwright Crispin Whittell and directed for the first time by Joe Dowling.
Jan. 29 – March 27, 2011
The Winter’s Tale
directed by Jonathan Munby
The Winter’s Tale, with its improbable twists and turns, signals Shakespeare’s mature and inspired creativity. This broadly appealing romance dazzles and delights with a lovely range of poetic and dramatic invention. As is often the case in Shakespeare’s writings, this is a universe where time and space intermingle freely, as do rash impulses, hasty decisions, second thoughts and tardy recognitions of the truth. Jonathan Munby, whose credits include productions at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Donmar Warehouse and Washington D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company, makes his Guthrie directing debut.
April 9 – June 5, 2011
Arsenic and Old Lace
by Joseph Kesselring
directed by Joe Dowling
An American classic, Arsenic and Old Lace is nothing short of a perfectly written farcical black comedy. Spinster sisters Abby and Martha Brewster are devoted to charity and family. But the sisters have taken on another project as well – befriending lonely older gentlemen and then poisoning them with arsenic-laced elderberry wine. To mark the 70th anniversary of a play The New York Times called “so funny that none of us will ever forget it,” the Guthrie presents this uproarious comedy for the first time since 1975.
June 18 – Aug. 28, 2011
Gilbert and Sullivan’s
directed by Joe Dowling
H.M.S. Pinafore, Gilbert and Sullivan’s first major success, provides a farcical look at the mixing of social classes and the failure of idealistic socialism when put into practice. With a plot imbued with mirth and silliness, a surprise disclosure changes relationships dramatically near the end of the story. But fear not: it all works out in the end. Joe Dowling directs the Guthrie’s first production of H.M.S. Pinafore following up on his wildly successful 2004 production of The Pirates of Penzance.
On the McGuire Proscenium Stage
Sept. 29 – Oct. 17, 2010
The Guthrie Theater’s WorldStage Series presents
The Tricycle Theatre’s production of
The Great Game: Afghanistan
by Richard Bean, Lee Blessing, David Edgar, David Greig, Amit Gupta, Ron Hutchinson, Stephen Jeffreys, Abi Morgan, Ben Ockrent, Simon Stephens, Colin Teevan and Joy Wilkinson
directed by Nicolas Kent and Indhu Rubasingham
This ambitious theatrical experience, recently nominated for a prestigious Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement, from London’s Tricycle Theatre explores Afghan culture and history in an enthralling three-part event.
Oct. 30 – Dec. 19, 2010
The 39 Steps
adapted by Patrick Barlow
from the novel by John Buchan
from the movie of Alfred Hitchcock
licensed by ITV Global Entertainment Limited
and an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon
directed by Joel Sass
Combining spy thriller with farcical comedy and ingenious theatrical invention, The 39 Steps is an engaging, fast-paced whodunit that celebrates the magic of theater. Closely following the storyline of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film, the play demands the sort of inventive, creative staging Joel Sass is known for. Most remarkably, the play’s more than 150 characters are brought to life by a cast of only four actors! With sly nods to the art and tricks of live theater, The 39 Steps is a hilarious theatrical experience.
Jan. 8 – 30, 2011
The Acting Company
in association with the Guthrie Theater presents
by William Shakespeare
directed by Penny Metropulos
The Comedy of Errors
by William Shakespeare
directed by Ian Belknap
The Guthrie and The Acting Company reunite for the third year with The Comedy of Errors, a hilarious tale of multiple mistaken identities, and Romeo and Juliet, the story of star-crossed teenage love returning after an earlier run in 2010. Like past productions, the casts will be made up of a young company of actors, many of whom will come from two of the Guthrie’s actor training programs: A Guthrie Experience for Actors in Training and the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater B.F.A. Actor Training Program.
Feb. 10 – March 6, 2011
Penumbra Theatre Company’s
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
directed by Lou Bellamy
It’s 1927 and the fiery blues legend Gertrude “Ma” Rainey has a golden opportunity to lay down a hit record with her virtuoso band. Inside a cramped Chicago recording studio, the agony and rage bound up in the blues gets amplified when a young talent threatens to dethrone the queen.
March 19 – May 15, 2011
Arms and the Man
In Shaw’s lighthearted poke in the eye to idealizing love, war and patriotism, Arms and the Man contrasts the practical military knowledge of a Swiss mercenary – who knows that old soldiers carry food in their holsters and young ones pistols – with the romantic posturing of a Bulgarian soldier who becomes a hero by leading an improbably successful, and stupid, cavalry charge.
May 28 – Aug. 7, 2011
God of Carnage
by Yasmina Reza
translated by Christopher Hampton
directed by John Miller-Stephany
God of Carnage is a self-proclaimed “comedy of manners ... without manners” in which the parents of two boys involved in a playground scuffle meet to discuss, logically and amiably, how to deal with the boys. As the evening goes on, the meeting degenerates into the four parents spiraling into irrational arguments, and their discussion falls into the loaded topics of misogyny, racial prejudice and homophobia. The insults they throw at each other are priceless. Loyalty becomes a disposable commodity as spouses turn on spouses and new alliances are formed and dissolved.