Detroit Rep Will Stage Two World Premieres in 2010-11

News   Detroit Rep Will Stage Two World Premieres in 2010-11
The Detroit Repertory Theatre's 2010-2011 season will include two world premieres — a coming-of-age tale by Elena Hartwell and a dark political comedy by William Missouri Downs — as well as an established work from Romulus Linney and the Midwest premiere of a family drama by Andrea Lepcio.

A Strange Disappearance of Bees by Hartwell (In Our Name) will run Nov. 4-Dec. 26, with a special performance on New Year's Eve. According to DRT, "Lissa is an orphan. Her no-nonsense surrogate mother is a beekeeper. Her self-assured surrogate father left his thriving rural bakery shop to his longtime partner, the beekeeper, who in turn passed the bakery along to the sensuous, young Lissa. Lissa's passion is focused on the strong presence of a successful young farmer. Lissa's life becomes discombobulated when her surrogate father's long-lost, never-seen, attractive and successful son suddenly enters the bakery shop."

A Lesson Before Dying, adapted by Linney (Going After Cacciato, The Sorrows of Frederick) from the novel by Ernest J. Gaines, will run Jan.13-March 20, 2011. According to DRT, "a young man, Jefferson, is about to be executed for a murder he probably didn't commit. At the trial his lawyer, trying to save his life, called him no more a human being than a hog. In prison, he acts like one, insisting he will be dragged like that hog to his death in the electric chair. His Godmother asks a schoolteacher to teach him to die like a man. The teacher faces both Jefferson and himself as execution day arrives. In 1948 Louisiana, the question is not whether or not young Jefferson will be executed, but how he will face his fate."

Forgiving John Lennon by Downs (The Polish Book of Karma, The "M" Word), "is about political correctness, racial and ethnic profiling and cultural confrontation," according to DRT. "As a joke a student at the radio station of a small liberal arts college informs all Muslim students they must wear identification markers. In the resulting backlash, two progressive professors set out to create a more 'Islam-friendly' campus atmosphere. When an invited Somali poet arrives the professors go out of their way to make her comfortable, but soon their desire for toleration is called into question."

The Midwest premiere of Looking for the Pony by Lepcio (Me You Us Them, Eclipse) will run June 2-June 26, 2011. "The title of Lepcio's play takes its name from an old joke about the child shown a pile of horse manure who happily starts digging because 'there's got to be a pony here somewhere,'" according to DRT. "In this case, the situation in which you have to dig deep to find a bright side is a battle with cancer. When Lauren receives the diagnosis, she turns to her step sister, Eloisa, for support. That way, she theorizes, she can keep life with her husband and their children relatively normal."

The Equity-affiliated Detroit Rep, the city's oldest professional theatre, is located 13103 Woodrow Wilson in Detroit. For more information, call (313) 868-1347 or visit

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