South Coast Rep Season Has Three Premieres, Plus Horton Foote, Suzan-Lori Parks, Donald Margulies

News   South Coast Rep Season Has Three Premieres, Plus Horton Foote, Suzan-Lori Parks, Donald Margulies South Coast Repertory's 2011-12 season in Costa Mesa, CA, will feature three world premieres, all of them spawned from SCR Pacific Playwrights Festival earlier this year.

Donald Margulies
Donald Margulies Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The premieres, previously read at this year's PPF, are Catherine Trieschmann's pressure-cooker drama How the World Began, Steven Drukman's family comedy The Prince of Atlantis and Octavio Solis and Adam Gwon's chamber musical, Cloudlands. Works by Horton Foote, August Wilson, Donald Margulies, Suzan-Lori Parks and Molly Smith Metzler are also in the mix.

The coming 48th season was chosen jointly by SCR's new artistic director Marc Masterson and founding artistic directors David Emmes and Martin Benson.

Also planned is the 15th annual Pacific Playwrights Festival, which features five staged readings and two full productions. It runs April 27-29, 2012, with reading titles to be announced.

The 2011-2012 season will also include the 32nd rendition of holiday favorite A Christmas Carol, starring Hal Landon, Jr., Nov. 26-Dec. 24.

SCR's Theatre for Young Audiences season features three productions for the entire family, including the SCR-commissioned musical Jane of the Jungle and the return of the popular character Junie B. Jones, plus the stage adaptation of the book "The Borrowers." Here's the 2011-2012 South Coast Rep season at a glance:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, adapted for the stage by Joseph Hanreddy and J.R. Sullivan, directed by Kyle Donnelly, Sept. 9-Oct. 9, on the Segerstrom Stage
"One of the most popular novels in English literature comes to the stage in a lavish production centered around a bustling, enthusiastic — and discombobulated — family. They're the Bennets — the terribly silly but determined Mrs. Bennet, her bemused but doting husband and their five daughters, all of marriageable age. So imagine the stir when a wealthy young man and his handsome friend turn up in the neighborhood. The daughters are agog, with one exception. The beautiful (and independent) Elizabeth has no interest in the handsome (and enigmatic) Mr. Darcy, who is equally aloof."

How the World Began by Catherine Trieschmann, a world premiere in association with Women's Project Theater, directed by Daniella Topol, Sept. 25-Oct. 16, on the Julianne Argyros Stage
"Plainview, Kansas. This is Bible Belt country, and high school biology teacher Susan Pierce knows the score. A transplant from Manhattan, she arrived here with a desire to start a new life and a willingness to help out in the aftermath of a devastating tornado. Susan tries to tread carefully, but sometimes things fall out of her mouth willy nilly, like that offhanded comment in her biology class about the origins of life. Folks in Plainview get up in arms about that kind of thing."

The Trip to Bountiful by Horton Foote, directed by Martin Benson, Oct. 21-Nov. 20, on the Segerstrom Stage
"Critics and audiences across the breadth of America have lauded this gem of a play about Carrie Watts, an aging widow who wants to go home. Trapped in a tiny apartment in Houston, she yearns for Bountiful, the Gulf Coast town where she grew up and spent the best years of her life. And — latest pension check in hand — she's determined to get there, come hell or high water. The journey is filled with frequent humor and a tenderness that's both heartbreaking and life-affirming. Travel with her in this delicately beautiful play by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, whose work has enriched SCR's stages — and mesmerized its audiences."

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Jerry Patch, directed by John-David Keller, Nov. 26-Dec. 24, on the Segerstrom Stage
"Recapture the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas with this timeless Dickens classic and all your favorite characters — Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family, the Fezziwigs, the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come — and, of course, Ebenezer Scrooge himself."

Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Seret Scott, Jan. 8-29, 2012, on the Julianne Argyros Stage
"This Pulitzer Prize winner about the gritty lives of two street-savvy hustlers resonated through the theatre world. Lincoln and Booth bear the weight of black history — and the names of white men, given to them by their father as a joke before he (like their mother) walked away. Left to their wiles and their bravado, the brothers never stop conning the suckers on the street and, ultimately, each other in this darkly funny hit about family grievances, wounds — and healing."

Elemeno Pea by Molly Smith Metzler, directed by Marc Masterson, Jan. 27-Feb. 26, 2012, on the Segerstrom Stage
"It's just after Labor Day, and Martha's Vineyard has started emptying out, but you can still smell the suntan lotion (the expensive kind). And the expensive life is just what Simone is living these days, as personal assistant to Michaela Kell, trophy wife of an absurdly rich (and often absent) New York ad man. When Simone's older sister, a social worker from blue collar Buffalo, comes to visit, lifestyles — and worlds — collide. This keenly-observed comedy about class, family and the choices that shape who we are unfolds in real time, fast, furious and funny."

Sight Unseen by Donald Margulies, directed by David Emmes, March 11-April 1, 2012, on the Julianne Argyros Stage
"In this OBIE Award-winning play, Jonathan Waxman is the art scene's new visionary, with a waiting list to buy paintings he has yet to paint. In London for his first European show, Waxman is under the gun. He could be spurned, causing the American art world to re-evaluate his work. Or he could be further lionized, causing more demand and greater expectations. Either way, something is missing. On impulse, he escapes to the country to search for the woman who was his first love and early inspiration and maybe to get back in touch with the past — and those feelings that made him an artist in the first place."

The Prince of Atlantis by Steven Drukman, a world premiere, March 30-April 29, 2012, on the Segerstrom Stage
"Things aren't going so well for Joey Colletti, one of the biggest seafood importers in the East. He got into a little trouble with his company and landed in a minimum security prison. To add to his woes, after 30 years, the son Joey never knew wants to meet him. In prison? Maybe his brother Kevin can put the kid off for nine months — until Joey gets out. But Kevin has a couple of problems of his own. Set in the Down the Lake section of Boston, where the jargon is all their own, and so is the bombast, this tender — and funny — play is all about family, loyalty and love."

Cloudlands by Octavio Solis and Adam Gwon, a world premiere chamber musical, April 15-May 6, 2012, on the Julianne Argyros Stage
"Monica takes photos of clouds and pastes them in a book, like a girl in love who secretly captures things before they're gone. Hidden from other eyes, her cloud book is filled with unsolved mysteries, some as ephemeral as the clouds themselves. Unable to resist their lure, and urged on by an inquiring friend, Monica uncovers a labyrinth of secrets about her mother, her father and the stranger who connects them all. Stunningly beautiful songs fill this powerful drama that examines the many faces of love — from innocent to forbidden — by two brilliant artists, working together for the first time."

Jitney by August Wilson, May 11-June 10, 2012, Segerstrom Stage
"The August Wilson drama is set in the 1970s, when urban renewal threatens a storefront gypsy cab station, where the drivers share their funny stories about the day's fares and meddle in each other's lives. Cronies drop in, fights break out, a son faces his father after 20 years in prison, lovers make up, and just as we get to know them, Wilson asks us to look again."

Theatre for Young Audiences Season

Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! by Allison Gregory from the books by Barbara Park, directed by Casey Stangl, Nov. 4-20, on the Julianne Argyros Stage
"Junie B. is back! We couldn't let another season pass without a return visit from the world's funniest first grader — yes, she's in first grade now, but so is her nemesis Tattletale May. And, with the holidays coming, Santa is watching Junie B. like a hawk. (She sure hopes he didn't see her throw grass in May's hair.) To make things worse, when she draws a name for the Secret Santa gift party, it's May! Even though Junie B. and her stuffed elephant Philip Johnny Bob talk it over and decide a lump of coal is the perfect gift for May, Junie B. will steal your heart — and brighten your spirits — with her last-minute choice."

The Borrowers by Mary Norton, adapted for the stage by Charles Way, directed by Shelley Butler, Feb. 10-26, 2012, on the Julianne Argyros Stage
"In this enchanting new play based on an award-winning classic of children's literature, Arrietty lives a quiet life with her parents in a warm and cozy home. But, like any fourteen-year-old girl, she longs for the big wide world. And that world is really enormous for Arrietty because she's only four inches tall, and home is beneath the floorboards with scary 'human beans' living just above. One day she's allowed to go above to 'borrow' a few necessities and meets a human boy. But when he accidentally reveals their hiding place, her little family has to flee to the great outdoors, where she sees her first sunrise, gets surprised by a crow and spends the night in a shoe. Arrietty's adventure has begun!"

Jane of the Jungle, book and lyrics by Karen Zacarias, music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, directed by Juliette Carrillo, May 25-June 10, 2012, on the Julianne Argyros Stage
"Jane is an ordinary suburban girl, complete with a really nice mom and a bratty little brother. But Jane is on the verge of some big changes. Middle school is looming, and that's both exciting and a little scary. And yet nothing compares with the jolt she gets when she wakes up one morning to discover she has acquired spots, furry ears and a tail! Not only that, but her neighborhood seems to be turning into a jungle! This delightfully inventive new musical takes a wild and wonderful approach to everything kids have to go through before they're truly 'grown up.'"

Season tickets are currently available by subscription only, and may be purchased online at www.scr.org.

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