Leslie Ayvazian's Nine Armenians, Terrence McNally's Master Class, and Robert Alexander's A Preface to the Alien Garden will complete the 1998-99 season at Providence, Rhode Island's Trinity Repertory Company. Armenians replaces a previously announced production of David Mamet's Cryptogram. Spokesperson Emily Atkinson said that the move was an artistic decision and had nothing to do with attaining the rights to Mamet's drama.
Trinity Artistic Director Oskar Eustis will direct Nine Armenians (Sept. 25-Nov. 8), Ayvazian's touching story about three generations of an Armenian-American family. The play will open Trinity's downstairs theatre.
Also in the downstairs space will be A Preface to the Alien Garden (Feb. 26-Apr. 3, 1999), a new play about inner-city, "gangsta" life. Playwright Robert Alexander explores the rituals and mores of the infamous "Crips" gang. No director has been selected.
In the upstairs theatre, veteran Trinity actress Barbara Meek will play Maria Callas in McNally's Master Class (Apr. 9-May 16, 1999). Meek played one of the Delany sisters in last year's Trinity production of Having Our Say, and her appearance in Master Class is thought to be the first time an African-American actress has played Callas.
Previously announced for the 1998-99 season in the upstairs theatre are Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's classic musical The Threepenny Opera (Sept. 4-Oct. 11), directed by Alan MacVey; and Shakespeare's comedy As You Like It (Jan. 29-Mar. 7, 1999), directed by Eustis. Scheduled for the downstairs theatre are Shaw's take on the Joan of Arc legend, St. Joan (Dec. 4, 1998-Jan. 17, 1999), directed by Amanda Dehnert; and Can't Pay? Won't Pay! (May 7-Jun. 20, 1999), one of the better known works of 1997 Nobel Prize-winning Italian dramatist Dario Fo. For information, call (401) 351-4242.
--By Robert Simonson