Michael Ritchie, artistic director of Center Theatre Group, announced the Douglas season on July 14. The new slate in Culver City, CA, will feature three productions and four offbeat DouglasPlus presentations, running between Oct. 7, 2010, and Aug. 28, 2011.
The seventh season at the Kirk Douglas Theatre will include the world-premiere production of a CTG-commissioned musical Venice, from the creators of the one-man hip-hop musical Clay. This marks the first time that an earlier DouglasPlus workshop has moved to a full production, four-week run in a Douglas season.
The acclaimed Druid Theatre Company and Atlantic Theater Company staging of The Cripple of Inishmaan, directed by Tony Award winner Garry Hynes, will make its L.A. bow as part of a tour.
The critically lauded Off-Broadway comedy-drama about a young widow, This, by Melissa James Gibson, completes the mainstage season.
The DouglasPlus series will feature Tim Crouch's The Author; the new memory piece Juan and John by solo performance artist Roger Guenveur Smith; the theatre collective Rude Mechs' The Method Gun; and for the family, Jamie Adkins' Circus INcognitus. Here's the Kirk Douglas season at a glance:
Book by Eric Rosen
Music by Matt Sax
Lyrics by Matt Sax and Eric Rosen
Additional Music by Curtis Moore
Directed by Eric Rosen
Oct. 7-Nov. 14
"[This] rich story of war, love, betrayal and the quest for peace, boasts a powerful score that fuses elements of hip-hop, R&B and opera. Venice is presented at the Douglas Theatre as a co-production with Kansas City Repertory Theatre where the musical opened in April 2010. It's "set in a not-too-distant future where two brothers clash over how to save their city in the aftermath of a 20-year war. One brother seeks a new era of peace and restoration while the other tries to seize power by keeping the city mired in violence and by derailing his brother's upcoming marriage to a woman whose father had been the city’s president in happier days."
The Cripple of Inishmaan
By Martin McDonagh
A Druid and Atlantic Theater Company Production
Directed by Garry Hynes
April 5–May 1, 2011
"[Featuring] cast members from the theatre company whose home is in Galway, Ireland," Cripple "is set in 1934 on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. [It] tells of the day when the local gossip, Johnnypateenmike, finally stumbles upon news that is exciting. A Hollywood director is coming to the neighboring island of Inishmore to film 'The Man of Aran' and there's a chance some of the locals will be hired. This chance at stardom interests Helen, the village beauty, her brother Bartley and even Babbybobby, but there is no one more eager to audition than Cripple Billy, if only to break away from his overprotective aunts and the bitter tedium of his daily life."
The presentation of The Cripple of Inishmaan at the Douglas is part of an eight-city, 14-week tour of the United States, the biggest U.S. tour undertaken by an Irish company since the 1930s. This will be Druid’s fourth visit to Los Angeles in just three years, having appeared at UCLA Live in 2008 and 2009.
By Melissa James Gibson
Directed by Daniel Aukin
July 31–Aug. 28, 2011
"At the heart of the play is Jane, a single mom in her late 30s who has shut down after her husband's death. Her good friends are determined to lift her out of her inertia with the warmth and love and humor of all their years together, but in the process everyone comes face to face with their own vulnerabilities and tries to make sense of unsettling transitions in life."
Gibson's other plays include [sic] (for which she won an Obie Award for playwriting), Suitcase or, those that resemble flies from a distance, Brooklyn Bridge and Current Nobody. She has written the book and lyrics for Post Office, a new musical commissioned by CTG which had a staged workshop in DouglasPlus last February. She has other commissions from the Atlantic Theater Company and Manhattan Theatre Club.
Here's the DouglasPlus season at a glance:
Jamie Adkins' Circus Incognitus
Jan. 15-23, 2011
Former Pickle Family Circus and Cirque Éloise member Adkins performs in the family-friendly Circus INcognitus, "a show filled with hilarious circus hi-jinks and zany acrobatics as the audience follows Jamie on an adventure about having the courage to try new ideas and not giving up when all goes wrong."
By Tim Crouch
Feb. 16-27, 2011
"Tim Crouch boldly tests the relationship of the audience to the performers and to the material in the play. This production breaks down all four walls of traditional theatre as the audience, seated on the stage with four actors, becomes complicit in the story being told alternately by an 'author' of a successful and shocking play about violent abuse, two actors who had appeared in the play, and a man who saw it."
Juan and John
Created and performed by Roger Guenveur Smith
Sound and video by Marc Anthony Thompson
May 17-29, 2011
"One of the most infamous incidents in baseball is the springboard for a powerful discussion of retribution and forgiveness. Smith recalls an event he witnessed on TV as a youth — the day in August 1965 that Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants repeatedly struck Los Angeles Dodgers catcher John Roseboro in the head with his bat and the bench-clearing brawl that ensued. Marichal and Roseboro eventually reconciled their differences and Smith, in the telling of their story, poignantly draws upon the violent history of the 1960s and also of more personal memories of his parents and his childhood."
The Method Gun
Created by Rude Mechs
Written by Kirk Lynn
Directed by Shawn Sides
June 14-26, 2011
"The Austin-based theatre collective Rude Mechs brings its characteristically inventive, lively and playful approach to theatre" to the Douglas. The Method Gun follows the disciples of the obscure acting teacher Stella Burden long after she has mysteriously moved to South America, leaving behind her acting technique. Her followers begin to question what they have learned and how to finish a project they have been rehearsing for nine years — a version of A Streetcar Named Desire performed without the characters of Blanche, Stanley, Stella and Mitch."
The 2010-11 season is currently available by season ticket memberships only. Visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.