The season will also include four new American plays by Stella Fawn Ragsdale, Branden Jacob-Jenkins, Mona Mansour and Laura Marks (all produced in collaboration with the Public Theater Emerging Writers Group), and Ella Hickson's new play Boys, co-produced with Southampton's Nuffield Theatre and Headlong Theatre.
In a press statement, Steven Atkinson, artistic director of HighTide, commented, "As a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England this is the first time that the Festival has had core funding. These eighteen plays are a huge expansion from our historical four. They present a wide range of new writing, from full production to work in progress, and experimentations in form including promenade performances and audio headset productions."
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, written and performed by Mike Daisey and directed by Jean-Michele Gregory, illuminates how the late, former CEO of Apple and his obsessions shape our lives, while sharing stories of his own travels to China to investigate the factories where millions toil to make iPhones, iPods and iPads.
The festival will also showcase a series of new American plays in the late-night cabaret space of the Rifle Hall, curated from the Emerging Writers’ Group at the Public Theater, New York City. The plays are Stella Fawn Ragsdale's Perish, to be directed by Rob Drummer; Monsa Mansour's The Hour of Feeling, to be directed by Richard Fitch; Laura Marks's Bethany, to be directed by Steven Atkinson; and Branden Jacob-Jenkins's Neighbors, to be directed by Melanie Spencer.
Ella Hickson's Boys will receive its world premiere, directed by Headlong associate director Robert Icke in a HighTide Festival Theatre /Nuffield Theatre Southampton /Headlong Production. "It's finals day for the Class of 2011. Benny, Mack, Timp and Cam are due out of their five bedroom flat tomorrow morning; five bedrooms, five chairs, four boys - and one hell of a party. Stepping into a world that doesn’t want them, these boys start to wonder whether there's any point in getting any older," according to press notes. After HighTide, it will tour to Southampton (May 16-26) and London's Soho Theatre (May 30-June 16). For full details on the rest of the season, or to book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7566 9767 or visit www.hightide.org.uk.