Noah Haidle's Smokefall Will Premiere at South Coast Rep in 2013; Season Announced

By Kenneth Jones
23 May 2012

The world premiere of Noah Haidle's Smokefall will appear in South Coast Repertory's first season under new artistic director Marc Masterson. A second new play in the 29th season will be announced later.



Masterson's 2012-13 season — the 49th — at the resident theatre in Costa Mesa, CA, will also include works by Alan Ayckbourn, Sarah Ruhl, Bill Cain, Amanda Dehnert, David Henry Hwang, Samuel D. Hunter and Stephen Adly Guirgis.

Smokefall, which will be seen in March 29-April 28, 2013, as part of SCR's Pacific Playwrights Festival, is a co-production with Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Haidle's plays include Rag and Bone and Mr. Marmalade. Anne Kauffman will direct. Here's how SCR bills the play (aiming for SCR's Segerstrom Stage): "Two new souls are about to enter the world — Violet is pregnant with twins. Her daughter, the most beautiful girl in Grand Rapids, stopped speaking when there was nothing left to say. Her elderly father has only fleeting memories, but they're always loving and often funny. Her husband will soon drive away and not return. So theirs is a future that remembers the past, and it's filled with surprise. This time-bending world premiere is a lyrical, unpredictable and ineffably beautiful meditation on the mystery and fragility of life."

The 2012-13 season also includes the 33rd staging of A Christmas Carol starring Hal Landon Jr., Nov. 24-Dec. 24.

The 16th annual Pacific Playwrights Festival, a collection of new-play readings and two full productions, will run April 26-28, 2013.

SCR's Theatre for Young Audiences season will feature three children's stories: Robin Hood, Anastasia Krupnik and The Night Fairy.

Here's SCR's 2012-13 season at a glance:

Absurd Person Singular
By Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by David Emmes
Sept. 7-Oct. 7
Segerstrom Stage

"England's most prolific and pithy playwright — and one of SCR's most popular — outdoes himself this time by setting a party in the living room but keeping the drama in the kitchen. Three kitchens, in fact, on three successive Christmas Eves when relationships change, fortunes soar and then dive and the social kaleidoscope gets all shook up. Add an off-stage couple whose jokes are really bad, some of the most ingenious failed suicide attempts ever devised and lots of gin, and you've got a ferociously funny farce with very sharp teeth. Take a bite!"

Eurydice
By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Marc Masterson
Sept. 23-Oct. 14
Julianne Argyros Stage

"It's one of the greatest love stories of all time. And in this lushly inventive reimagining of the classic myth, Eurydice and her musician-lover, Orpheus, are a modern couple — playful, charming and rapturously happy. On their wedding day, Eurydice wanders off, enticed by a letter from her deceased father, only to find herself reunited with him in a visually stunning underworld. But Eurydice must re-learn human language in order to remember all she left behind and, ultimately, choose between two worlds in this whimsical and breathtaking story of the power and fragility of love."

How to Write a New Book for the Bible
By Bill Cain
Directed by Kent Nicholson
Oct. 19-Nov. 18
Segerstrom Stage

"A play about a family so appealing you will want to find a comfortable chair and settle down in their living room. When Bill comes back home to care for his often maddening (but always funny) mother, he tells the family story as it unfolds — in evocative flashbacks. The memories are both bitter and sweet, for this is a family with its own set of commandments. They squabble, yes, but even their arguments are beguiling. Theirs is a timeless tale."

A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens, adapted by Jerry Patch
Directed by John-David Keller
Nov. 24-Dec. 24
Segerstrom Stage

"Recapture the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas with this cherished Dickens classic and all your favorite characters — Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family, the Fezziwigs, the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come — and, of course, Ebenezer Scrooge himself."

The Motherf**ker With the Hat
By Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Michael John Garcés
Jan. 6-27, 2013
Julianne Argyros Stage

"Set smack in the middle of New York's mean streets, this Broadway hit is exhilarating, hilarious — and totally irreverent. Recently sprung from prison, Jackie has an AA sponsor and is back with Veronica, the love of his life since eighth grade. The problem is, Veronica can't shake her drug habit, and she refuses to answer when he asks about 'the man hat that-ain't-my-hat' on their bedside table. But Jackie is a survivor, and if he sometimes loses sight of his goal, he never loses his decency, in this devastating examination of acceptance, loyalty and love."

Chinglish
By David Henry Hwang
Directed by Leigh Silverman
A co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Jan. 25-Feb. 24, 2013
Segerstrom Stage

"Daniel's family sign company is in trouble, but he has a great idea: score a fat contract in China, where signs for English-speaking tourists are mangled by hilarious mis-translations. But he forgets the first rule: always bring your own translator because business deals involve much more than wining and dining. And when Daniel falls in love with a beautiful bureaucrat, even feelings take on different meanings. The repartee is fast and funny and the timing is spot-on in this East-West comedy that embraces both sides of the cultural divide."

The Whale
By Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by Martin Benson
March 10-31, 2013
Julianne Argyros Stage

"Charlie is different from most of us. First, he's an online writing teacher with one friend, a nurse who nearly kills him with kindness, and one acquaintance, a troubled young missionary who's determined to rescue his soul. Second, he's in bad health but refuses to be hospitalized. Oh, and third, he weighs in at 500 pounds. When his estranged daughter turns up suddenly, Charlie makes a deal to buy her time, if not her affections. He hopes their connection will give her life — and his — meaning at last."

A World Premiere To Be Announced
April 14-May 5, 2013
Julianne Argyros Stage

 

The Verona Project
Words and Music by Amanda Dehnert
Directed by Amanda Dehnert
May 10-June 9, 2013
Segerstrom Stage

"Rewrite Shakespeare? Sacrilege! Unless it's The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and the trailblazing creator is Amanda Dehnert. The gents are still Proteus and Valentine, and they're still struggling with first love, but in this freshly hip version they're also figuring out who they are and want to become. One love interest is now a boy, the other is a free spirit who grows geraniums in her oven — and they're all in a rock band. In a setting that's part theatre and part concert, the players are young, somewhat motley, somewhat eclectic and totally wonderful."

For season tickets, visit scr.org.

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Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is now under the leadership of artistic director Marc Masterson and managing director Paula Tomei.