The season will include new productions of two American classics: Arthur Miller's 1953 play The Crucible and Sondheim and Lapine's 1987 Broadway musical Into the Woods, both of which coincidentally premiered at the Martin Beck Theatre (now the Al Hirschfeld), and both of which will now be directed by Sheader. The Shakespearean repertoire will be represented by productions of Macbeth, re-imagined for audiences of families and school children aged six and over, and The Comedy of Errors.
The 2009 season has broken records, with The Importance of Being Earnest — the first non-Shakespeare play to be programmed at the theatre in recent history – achieving 96.5 percent of capacity, and Hello, Dolly! becoming the highest-grossing production in the history of the theatre. In addition, over 13,500 school children were introduced to the works of Shakespeare and Wilde this year.
According to press materials, Sheader's third season is "one of witches, woods and mistaken identity." The Crucible is being staged "as part of the ongoing expansion of the venue's repertoire, and capitalising on the park's unique atmosphere." It begins performances May 24, and will run continuously to June 19, 2010.
Macbeth will be performed in rep for four weeks from July 3, including two performances on Sundays. A Comedy of Errors will begin performances June 24 and run through July 31, 2010. Into the Woods will play from Aug. 5 through Sept. 11.
Priority booking for 2010 will open Nov. 10 for members, with public booking to follow from Dec. 1. To join the members scheme or book tickets, visit www.openairtheatre.com.