Regional Roundup: Long Wharf's New Leadership, World Premieres at Asolo, and Off-Broadway Hits Come to Pittsburgh

Regional News   Regional Roundup: Long Wharf's New Leadership, World Premieres at Asolo, and Off-Broadway Hits Come to Pittsburgh
 
Four theatres have recently announced world premieres as part of their 2019–2020 season.
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All across America, regional theatres continue to announce their plans for the upcoming 2019–2020 season. Take a look below at some recently revealed lineups from across the country, including myriad new titles taking center stage.

Long Wharf Theatre (New Haven, CT)
Under the new leadership of Jacob G. Padrón, the 2019–2020 season will start big with a world premiere and won't let up until they're done, staging works that explore racism, immigration, sports, and war.

The world premiere of Ricardo Pérez González's Jim Crow-era On the Grounds of Belonging will debut in October. A yet-to-be-announced modern retelling of a classic will finish 2019.

In 2020, I Am My Own Wife will take audiences to the trenches of WWII Germany. The season ends with two Asian-American stories: The Chinese Lady, a tale of America's first female Chinese immigrant, and The Great Leap, about what happens when China and America meet to play basketball.

Asolo Theatre (Sarasota, FL)

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Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The previously announced world premiere of Knoxville, a musical from Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Anastasia and Once on this Island), headlines the Asolo Theatre season in April 2020. The show is based on Pulitzer Prize winner James Agee's autobiography A Death in the Family and the play it inspired, All the Way Home.

The season begins with The Sound of Music in November and continues in 2020 with Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. Up next is The Lifespan of a Fact and the WWII-set Into the Breeches! Later in the spring, the theatre will present the aforementioned The Great Leap. Concluding the sereason after Knoxville are Hood: A Robin Hood Musical and Snow White, a modern re-telling of the famous fairy tale.

Rep Stage (Columbia, MD)
A world premiere. A regional debut. A classic musical. These are all highlights of the new season for the Rep Stage, housed at Howard Community College in Maryland.

Starting the season in September is Souvenir, the story of Florence Foster Jenkins through the eyes of her accompanist, Cosme McMoon. Up next, in November, is the world premiere of E2 by local playwright Bob Bartlett, which explores the ineffectual policies and actions by England's King Edward II.

In 2020, the regional premiere of Kill Move Paradise will take audiences to a purgatory-type afterlife where the recently deceased await their fate and discuss the world they left behind. The season concludes with Dames at Sea, a classic musical that parodies the story of an ingenue trying to make it big in New York City.

Diane Paulus
Diane Paulus Susan Lapides

McCarter Theatre Center (Princeton, NJ)
Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann celebrates her final go-round at McCarter with a series of plays and musicals that embody traits of her trail-blazing career: female voices, diversity, and artistic creativity.

"I never want to play it safe," said Mann of the upcoming season. "I want to put on unforgettable theatre—real works of art—and that is risky. This season celebrates the rewards of taking risks through a collection of life-affirming stories and experiences that I hope will fill audiences with energy, hope, and joy."

Mann's Gloria: A Life, the Diane Paulus-helmed play about human rights attorney Gloria Steinem currently running Off-Broadway, will kick off the Year of Emily in September, followed by an aptly timed production of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in October. Sticking to the holiday theme to round out 2019 will be A Christmas Carol.

2020 will open with Goodnight Nobody, a play written by one of Mann's early mentees, Rachel Bonds. The season will end with Agatha Christie parody murder-mystery Sleuth and The Refuge Plays, a world premiere by Nathan Alan Davis.

Pittsburgh Public Theatre (Pittsburgh, PA)
Several shows recently seen in New York City will be staged at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre, including American Son, School Girls.

"For our 45th anniversary season, we want to fill The O’Reilly with laughter, music, and compelling stories that both delight and inspire us," Artistic Director Marya Sea Kaminski said. "It’s going to be a dynamic year, with shows that strike a balance between muscle and heart, power and justice, the sweetness and sting of young love."

The season begins, though, with Aaron Sorkin's stage adaptation of A Few Good Men in September. Jocelyn Bioh's School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls' Play, which premiered Off-Broadway in 2017, will be mounted next. Pittsburgh audiences can ring in the new year with Little Shop of Horrors in January, followed by the recent Broadway hit American Son.

The season closes with Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park and The Cake, a Southern-set play in which a cake shop owner's beliefs are put to the test when a friend asks her to bake a cafe for an occasion she doesn't believe in. The Bekah Brunstetter play currently runs Off-Broadway through March 31.

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