Serenbe Playhouse, the Georgia regional theatre that garnered national recognition for its site-specific outdoor stagings of classic and contemporary musicals, will dedicate its 10th anniversary season to works depicting turning points in American history.
Artistic Director Brian Clowdus launched the non-profit theatre in 2008, devising seasons of shows that utilize the natural settings of the self-sustaining Serenbe community to re-imagine how audiences experience and interact with some of the most celebrated classic and contemporary musicals of our time.
In addition to his 2018 staging of the Tony-winning musical Titanic that incorporated an actual sinking of the luxury liner each night on one of Serenbe’s lakes, Clowdus received critical acclaim for his re-envsioning of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel within an actual carnival, Grease at a drive-in movie, and a 2016 production of Miss Saigon that landed a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter mid-show.
"We will be returning to our roots with stories that will shake to the core and speak to our past, present, and future," Clowdus said. "This will be our boldest and most ambitious season to date with three full-scale, larger-than-life Broadway musicals and a world-premiere adaptation in our six-show season. In a time where the country remains divided, I look forward to celebrating our Tenth Anniversary Season with stories that examine our similarities rather than our differences... after all, we can never go back to before, and it's time to truly let the sun shine!"
Shenandoah, the 1975 Broadway musical about a family swept up in the American Civil War, will open the season March 13–April 7, 2019. Clowdus will direct the immersive production that audiences will experience within an actual Civil War reenactment.
Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Terrence McNally’s Tony-winning 1998 musical Ragtime, based on E.L. Doctorow’s novel about the American cultural melting pot at the turn of the 20th century, will follow May 8–June 9.
Serenbe will also revive the 1968 counter-culture musical Hair to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival. The Galt MacDermott–Gerome Ragni–James Rado musical was also staged during Serenbe’s fourth season and returns in a newly conceived incarnation.
Closing the season is a world-premiere adaptation of Pocahontas, written by Native American playwright Kara Morrison that will depict a more authentic and historically accurate account of the Native American woman. Performances will run July 3-August 18.