San Jose Stage Company has announced its 34th season, a slate that is being billed as a “provocative,” “emotionally-charged” and “outrageously funny” exploration of race, identity and politics.
The 2016-17 season will feature Jackie Sibblies Drury’s Obie-winning We Are Proud to Present, presented in association with the African-American Shakespeare Company; Disgraced, the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Ayad Akhtar; the regional premiere of three-time Tony nominee Conor McPherson’s The Night Alive; and the theatre’s international co-commission and co-production of The Memory Stick, by playwright Donal O’Kelly. A summer hit musical will wrap the season, to be announced at a later date.
“This season offers a diverse line-up of powerful stories and strong characters reverberating the truth of today’s world,” said artistic director Randall King in a statement. “We want our work to further tolerance, acceptance, and a greater understanding of one another. And this season strikes that chord, taking us on an incredible journey of self-reflection and exploration.”
Below is the season at a glance as billed by the theatre:
We Are Proud to Present
By Jackie Sibblies Drury, directed by L. Peter Callender
September 28 - October 23 (Opening Night: Saturday, October 1)
In the rehearsal room, a performance piece on a little-known episode of early 20th century genocide in Namibia, Africa takes a jolting turn when the actors – three black and three white – tap into personal resentments and ingrained prejudices. Tensions mount as they expose more of themselves than they ever imagined, unleashing a spiral of conflict as actors unravel strands of history and realize the past is ever-present.
The Night Alive
By Conor McPherson
November 23 – December 18 (Opening Night: Saturday, November 26)
Tommy’s not a bad man. He’s getting by renting a run-down room in his Uncle Maurice’s ramshackle Dublin house and doing his best to avoid his wife and kids rolling from one get-rich-quick scheme to the other with his friend Doc. But when he rescues Aimee, a mysterious woman, escape from squalor seems possible. Together there’s a glimmer of hope they could make something more of their lives. Something extraordinary, perhaps. With inimitable warmth, humor and heart, Conor McPherson’s award-winning play deftly mines humanity found in the most unlikely of situations.
By Ayhad Akhtar, directed by William Ontiveras
February 8 – March 5, 2017 (Opening Night: Saturday, February 11)
Can anyone ever truly escape their past? Amir Kapoor is living the American Dream and quickly climbing the corporate ladder at his powerful Manhattan law firm. But when Amir and his wife Emily, an artist inspired by Islamic painting, host a dinner party for friends and colleagues, the pleasant evening quickly erupts into a volatile cultural debate over race, religion, and class in the modern world.
San Jose Stage Company and Dublin City Arts Office presents The Memory Stick
By Donal O’Kelly
April 5 - April 30, 2017 (Opening Night: Saturday, April 8)
Cultures collide when Bridget, a young Chicagoan, meets a Lakota Sioux and a fellow American from Jersey on an army base in Kandahar, Afghanistan. But it isn’t long before they discover they have more in common than expected as secrets are revealed that ultimately turns one of them into a whistleblower suspect. Mystical Native American and Irish history blends magic, politics and realism in this suspenseful examination of the 1916 Easter Rising.
Season tickets are available by calling the box office at (408) 283-7142 or by ordering online www.thestage.org.