As the Fountain Theatre heads into its 27th season, the offerings for 2017-2018 zoom in on new plays with strong social messages. The season starts with an urgent warning against the proposed policies of the Trump administration, and continues with work concentrated on themes of social justice, tolerance, government, and the need to connect. “The Fountain has always been committed to speaking out for social justice and inclusion,” says Fountain co-artistic director Stephen Sachs. “These are disturbing and tumultuous times—for our local intimate theatre community in Los Angeles and our nation. The Fountain is a place for theatre to serve as a vehicle for public discourse: to express outrage, compassion, and hope.”
The newest play by Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan (The Kentucky Cycle, All The Way) will see its world premiere at The Fountain. Building the Wall is set in the not-so-distant future, and the Trump administration has carried out the campaign promise and rounded up immigrants like cattle. A writer interviews the supervisor of an imagined private prison in this examination of the future of the United States and the question of personal responsibility in a world turned upside down. Directed by Michael Michetti, the show runs March 18–21.
The Center Theatre Group will remount the Fountain’s award-winning 2015 production, Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine and adapted for the stage by Stephen Sachs. Directed by Shirely Jo Finney, this will be presented as part of the CTG’s Block Party: Celebrating Los Angeles Theatre at the Kirk Douglas Theatre beginning previews April 28 and running through May 7. The production, based on Rankine’s poetry, merges multiple art forms to resonate on the struggle against racism in America.
Following Citizen will be Runaway Home by Jeremy J. Kamps. Another world premiere, this piece looks back to three years after Hurricane Katrina. The story follows a mother and daughter as runaway Kali begins the quest to dig through the wreckage of her former life.
In the fall, The Fountain will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Chaim Potok’s novel The Chosen with the L.A. adaptation by Aaron Posner. From director Simon Levy, the story about two young Jewish boys bonded by one common love strikes at the heart.
Fountain Theatre co-artistic director Deborah Lawlor will be presenting the world premiere of Freddie at Los Angeles City College. This hybrid dance/theatre work directed by Frances Loy is set in Greenwich Village in 1964 and based on a true story of a young lady who falls in love with a talented ballet dancer in this multimedia theatrical experience.
In the spring of 2018, The Fountain will present the world premiere of Arrival and Departure, based on Brief Encounter and adapted for the stage by Stephen Sachs. When a deaf man and a deaf woman, married but not to each other, meet in a train station, the love that develops is one for the ages.