Classic Stage Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Doyle, has unveiled its 2018-2019 lineup.
The Off-Broadway company's 51st season will feature Bertolt Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, a blistering commentary on Adolf Hitler that will be given renewed significance in a production from Tony winner Doyle; August Strindberg’s Miss Julie and The Dance of Death; and Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock, a show that was famously shut down by federal authorities in 1937 fearing its pro-labor stance.
Completing the season will be Play On! next summer, a festival of 39 readings from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Shakespeare translation project. OSF commissioned 36 playwrights—more than half are women and more than half are playwrights of color, each paired with a dramaturg—to translate Shakespeare’s canon into contemporary modern English as part of the project.
“The greatest gift of the classical repertoire is the opportunity to work on theatre pieces of enduring relevance. This coming season, I hope, reflects the world we live in today,” commented Doyle in a statement. “An epic Brecht play about the rise of Arturo Ui, a fictional mobster; two intimate Strindberg plays of conflict, dysfunction and deep-rooted anger; a landmark American musical set in the political mayhem of ’Steeltown, USA’; and the opportunity to hear Shakespeare’s canon from a collaborative 17th century and contemporary viewpoint in partnership with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I’m excited to begin our second half century on our journey of keeping the classics alive.”
Kicking off the season in late October will be The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, translated by George Tabori and directed by Doyle. Written in 1941 but set in 1930s Chicago, Brecht’s play criticized the rise of totalitarianism in Germany and was one of the Berliner Ensemble’s greatest box-office successes.
Next up will be the repertory productions of Strindberg’s plays Miss Julie and The Dance of Death, beginning in January 2019, followed by Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock beginning in March.
For more information on Classic Stage Company, call (212) 677-4210, visit the theatre in person at 136 East 13th Street, or go to ClassicStage.org.