The coming season marks the first full season in The Playhouse in the Overture Center for the Arts. Richard Corley is Madison Rep's artistic director, and begins his fourth season in the fall.
"After looking over our choices for next year, we decided that it was time to put our energy into five rather than six plays," Corley said in a statement. "Though this means the fine play The Retreat from Moscow will have to wait, we believe this new line-up will allow us to bring higher quality and greater attention to detail to the superb plays Muskie Love, Bad Dates, Anna Christie, Talley's Folly and Home. In Madison's highly competitive arts marketplace, Madison Repertory Theatre is seeking to define our work not by quantity but by quality. We will also be able to give the Madison New Play Festival, now in its fourth year and growing, a slot all its own — something we have wanted to do for some time."
This November, the Madison New Play Festival will take place in The Playhouse "and celebrate the art of the playwright by once again bringing plays-in-process to our stage."
The fest will focus on plays by Wisconsin writers "with themes that celebrate our great state."
Muskie Love by Dave Hudson and Paul Libman, directed by Pam Kriger, launches the season Sept. 22-Oct. 15. It's billed as "a musical comedy that finds love pulling hard on the line in Green Bay — and not only for the beloved Packers. Two rival fishing guides, Bea and Ben, are lured into romance by the clever plotting of young sweethearts Claude and Sarah, and Bea's witty uncle, Roy. Loosely based on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Muskie Love is a homegrown Wisconsin delight by the winners of the Richard Rodgers Award." The staging will feature Doug Mancheski and Lee Becker, last seen at Madison Rep in Guys on Ice.
The Madison New Play Festival Oct. 31-Nov. 12 will include Lombardi: When Pride Still Mattered, Eric Simonson's adaptation of David Maraniss' biography of legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi; and Main-Traveled Roads, James Kaplan and Dave Hudson's new musical about Wisconsin pioneer life, based on the book "Main-Traveled Roads" by Wisconsin-born novelist Hamlin Garland. The latter is billed as a "musical homage to Wisconsin farmers, farm girls and the dreamers who made the Midwest what it is today."
The slate also includes Kate Buckley directing Bad Dates, the solo play by Theresa Rebeck, featuring Martie Sanders; Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie, directed by Richard Corley, featuring Carrie Coon and Craig Spidel; Lanford Wilson's Talley's Folly, directed by Corley and featuring Colleen Madden and James Ridge; and Home, Samm-Art Williams' Tony Award-nominated Home, directed by Ron OJ Parson and featuring Patrick Sims, the play about a North Carolina lad whose idealistic world falls apart.
For more information about Madison Rep, Madison's only professional resident Equity troupe, visit www.madisonrep.org.