Playwright Richard Greenberg will be back at California's South Coast Repertory Theatre in season 2001-02 alongside new plays from Horton Foote, Annie Weisman and Lucinda Coxon and new construction plans for the theatre. In the upcoming year, the company will produce one less play on both the main and second stage in order to prepare the space for expansion into a three-theatre complex with the new addition of the 336-seat Judie Argyros Stage.
Before the bulldozers arrive, however, Greenberg, who has premiered five SCR commissioned works at the theatre, brings the West Coast premiere of his latest, The Dazzle to the Second Stage March 26-April 28, 2002. This comedy, which first had its premiere with New York Stage and Film, is the story of American eccentrics' Langley and Homer Collyer, a successful pianist and his equally wealthy brother live in isolation until they bring a beautiful young socialite home one night. Greenberg is also the author of The Extra Man, Night and Her Stars, Three Days of Rain, Hurrah at Last and South Coast Rep's 2000 entry, Everett Beekin.
Foote premieres another Texas tale in Getting Frankie Married and Afterwards, running on the Main Stage March 29-May 5, 2002, with Martin Benson directing. In this play, Mrs. Willis, the grand matriarch at the center of her clan, is dying, but she refuses to go until her bachelor son Fred is married. He's willing if his longtime sweetheart Frankie will consent, but there's a secret in his past that may derail their plans. Foote wrote the Pultizer Prize and Tony winner The Young Man from Atlanta as well as the Academy Award-winning screenplays to "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Tender Mercies."
Weisman, whose cheerleading comedy Be Agressive will debut at La Jolla Playhouse in 2001, brings her Hold Please to the Second Stage Sept. 18-Oct. 21, 2001. Hold Please features four women in the workplace trying to understand their place or where they going (i.e.: retirement) while they face the prospect of a new boss. What will he - or she - demand?
Coxon is known in her native England for Waiting at the Water's Edge and a stage adaptation of "The Ice Palace." Nostalgia, commissioned by SCR, takes place on a farm in South Wales where magical things are happening. Two farmers hear a siren's song, which may or may not have something to do with the woman across the way who is loved by one man and hated by the other. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, arrives on the scene to figure out the foreboding in the woods, but even the greatest literary detective may not be able to understand the emotional and physical entanglements. Loretta Greco directs Nostalgia, running on the Second Stage Oct. 30-Dec. 2. For this season's revivals, South Coast Rep has three very different comedies - novelist W. Someret Maugham's popular drawing room play, The Circle, Harold Pinter's bizzare and amusing The Homecoming and the Moliere classic The School for Wives. The Circle, running Aug. 31-Oct. 7, 2001 with Warner Snook at the helm, gently mocks the infidelities of mankind while exposing one generation's inability to learn from the past one as a young artistocrat, whose mother ran away with another man, finds his own wife poised to do the same. The Homecoming, set in a seedy North London house occupied by four single men who are tempted by the presense of their brother's wife, runs Oct. 12-Nov. 18, 2001 with Benson directing. David Chambers will direct The School for Wives Jan. 4-Feb. 10, 2002.
Two more slots have not been announced. The Mainstage play will run Feb. 15-March 24, 2002. The Second Stage production will run Jan. 22-Feb. 24, 2002.
With the Christmas season, SCR will again stage their popular A Christmas Carol (Nov. 24-Dec. 24, 2001) and the eighth staging of La Posada Magica (Dec. 7-23, 2001).
South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. For season subscriptions ($238-$52), call (714) 708-5555. South Coast Repertory is on the web at http://www.scr.org.
— By Christine Ehren