Having secured a new space, the nonprofit WPA Theatre begins its 23rd season on April 6 with Jonathan Sheffer's Blood on the Dining Room Floor. The show opens officially April 16 and will run through May 7.
Based on the writings of Gertrude Stein, Blood on the Dining Room Floor is a musical theatre work. Originally commissioned by the WPA, the play earned the American Academy of Arts and Letters' 1999 Richard Rodgers Award.
Both music and libretto for Blood are by Eos Orchestra artistic director Jonathan Sheffer. Adobe Theatre Company director and co-founder Jeremy Dobrish will direct the show.
As reported in October, the WPA had planned to initiate its new season this month after losing its theatre space and closing last July. At that time, WPA artistic director Kyle Rennick was negotiating for temporary stage space and had planned to reopen WPA in February. Details on WPA's new space arrangement are expected soon.
The nonprofit theatre company has built a solid reputation even though recent WPA seasons were less spectacular than those of years past. Formed 22 years ago, WPA has produced more than 90 plays, with 13 of them receiving commercial transfers, including Gorey Stories, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Nuts, Album, The Freak, the Key Exchange, Little Shop of Horrors, Steel Magnolias, The Night Hank Williams Died, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset, Jeffrey, and the Boys in the Band. In addition, nine WPA plays have gone on to become feature films including Key Exchange, Little Shop of Horrors, The Whales of August, Nuts, Fresh Horses, Steel Magnolias, Jeffrey, North Shore Fish, and The Trading Post.
Tickets for Blood on the Dining Room Floor are $40. The WPA production will run at the Peter Norton Space, 555 West 42nd Street at 11th Avenue in New York City. For information and tickets call (212) 244 7529.
-- By Murdoch McBride