L.A.'s Taper Season Has Tribes, Phylicia Rashad, Brian Dennehy, David Cromer, A Parallelogram and More
By Kenneth Jones
August 22, 2012
Center Theatre Group's 2013 season at Mark Taper Forum will include the Los Angeles premiere of director David Cromer's acclaimed staging of Nina Raine's family drama Tribes, plus August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone, directed by Phylicia Rashad; A Parallelogram by Clybourne Park Pulitzer Prize winner Bruce Norris; Joe Orton's What the Butler Saw; and Sebastian Barry's The Steward of Christendom starring Brian Dennehy.
The new Taper season will play Feb. 27, 2013, to Jan. 5, 2014. CTG artistic director Michael Ritchie announced the slate of the 46th season on Aug. 22.
Anna D. Shapiro (a Tony Award winner for directing August: Osage County), John Tillinger and Steven Robman are among the directors in the season.
Here's the Taper season at a glance:
By Nina Raine
Directed by David Cromer
The Barrow Street Theatre Production
Feb. 27-April 14, 2013
"A penetrating new comic drama about belonging, family and the value of communication. Nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Play when it premiered in 2010 at the Royal Court Theatre in London, [it] won the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play for its American premiere at the Barrow Street Theatre, where it is currently playing Off-Broadway. At the center of Tribes is Billy, the youngest son of a raucous family of intellectuals obsessed with self expression. As his parents and siblings verbally spar and compete for attention, Billy, who is deaf, catches what he can by lip-reading. When Billy meets Sylvia, a young woman who is an expert at sign language and is losing her hearing, he asks her to teach him how to sign, and for the first time, he is introduced to the deaf community. Billy's life is transformed as a different world is unveiled to him. But when a new door opens, does another have to be closed?"
Joe Turner's Come and Gone
By August Wilson
Directed by Phylicia Rashad
April 24-June 9, 2013
"Phylicia Rashad, who directed the highly acclaimed Ebony Repertory Theatre production of A Raisin in the Sun at the CTG/Kirk Douglas Theatre last season, will direct the second play chronologically in August Wilson's unprecedented series of 10 plays about the black American experience, one in each decade of the 20th century. Joe Turner is set in 1911 in a Pittsburgh boarding house, where tenants come and go, forming a community that is altered time and time again. The daily routine of meals, conversation, gossip, arrivals and departures, and the changes that occur within this fluid grouping of people, is set against a great tide of Americans of African descent, only 50 years out of bondage, who are moving toward the industrial cities of the North in search of economic opportunity, lost family members and new beginnings."
By Bruce Norris
Directed by Anna D. Shapiro
July 10-Aug. 18, 2013
"A darkly comic play, A Parallelogram introduces us to Bee, who believes she has the ability to know what happens in the future. With what appears like a little time-bending she sees how her life, and that of her boyfriend and the world at large, will play out. To the increasing concern of those around her, Bee tries to make sense of this new-found knowledge. Should she try to reinvent destiny? Or is the trajectory of life basically unalterable?"
What the Butler Saw
By Joe Orton
Directed by John Tillinger
Sept. 25-Nov. 3, 2013
"John Tillinger, a leading interpreter of Orton's work, will direct this savagely funny piece, which became the last play written by England's legendary playwright before his untimely death in 1967 at the age of 34. Set in the consulting room of a private psychiatric clinic, the action begins when the very proper Dr. Prentice is interrupted by his wife just as he is about to seduce a beautiful, young woman who is applying for a job as a secretary. As his botched efforts to conceal his actions spiral outrageously out of control, Orton ferociously skewers psychiatry, religion, marriage, morality, government and definitions of gender. In spite of a small body of work that also included television and radio plays, Orton emerged as one of the seminal playwrights of the 20th century — a direct successor to Oscar Wilde, William Congreve and Noel Coward. [His] Entertaining Mr. Sloane and Loot were presented in a repertory directed by Tillinger at the Mark Taper Forum in 1987.
The Steward of Christendom
By Sebastian Barry
Directed by Steven Robman
With Brian Dennehy
Nov. 26, 2013-Jan. 5, 2014
"Two-time Tony Award-winner Brian Dennehy will be featured in The Steward of Christendom, Sebastian Barry's poignant story of a man left behind by history. [The play] is set in the early 1930s at an Irish county mental home, where 75-year-old Thomas Dunne has been committed by his daughter. Here, his mind wanders in and out of lucidity as he remembers his childhood, his wife and children, and his career as the head of Dublin's Metropolitan Police, where he rose through the ranks to the highest position a Catholic could hope to achieve. Dunne was essentially the man with responsibility for the security of Dublin Castle, which was at the very heart of English rule in Ireland. But when Irish independence comes in 1921, followed by a civil war, Dunne's life, once devoted to keeping order, falls apart, and he can no longer make sense of the world around him."
Mark Taper forum is currently presenting John Logan's Red starring Alfred Molina and Jonathan Groff. Read Playbill's Leading Men interview with Groff.
For 2013 subscription information, visit CenterTheatreGroup.org/Taper.