Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles will return to in-person performances this September with a re-imagined, 25th anniversary 2021–2022 season that now includes the West Coast premieres of Paradise Blue, Power of Sail, and TRAYF. Those productions join the previously announced The Enigmatist, Man of God, and a vehicle for Tony and Emmy winner Bryan Cranston.
“The Geffen 25th anniversary season we announced in March of 2020 sought to honor the past and look toward a bright future,” said Artistic Director Matt Shakman. “That bright future ended up encompassing seven wonderful virtual shows that allowed us to stay connected to audiences. Now, after a year and a half of closed doors, we are overwhelmed with joy that we will be back in our beautiful theatre.”
The season will begin in the small-scale Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater with The Enigmatist (September 14–October 30) from David Kwong, who returns to the Geffen after the virtual Inside the Box ran during the playhouse’s pandemic-inspired Stayhouse series. The immersive puzzle and cryptology experience played NYC in 2018 and 2019.
Next up is Tony nominee Dominique Morisseau’s Paradise Blue (November 9–December 12) at the Gil Cates Theater. Stori Ayers directs the play, which debuted Off-Broadway in 2018 after a 2015 world premiere at Williamstown Theatre Festival. The drama looks at a community facing changes in Detroit’s gentrifying Blackbottom neighborhood in 1949. An audio production dropped earlier this year as part of WTF’s Audible season.
The season continues in the Gil Cates with Cranston leading the cast of Paul Grellong’s Power of Sail (February 1–March 13, 2022). The cast also features Amy Brenneman, Hugo Armstrong, Tedra Millan, and Seth Numrich, with Soulpepper Theatre Artistic Director Weyni Mengesha directing and Daryl Roth producing. Cranston was originally set to direct an untitled production at the Geffen, but will now star instead in this tale of a Harvard professor who finds himself in hot water after inviting an incendiary white nationalist to speak at his annual symposium.
Next up, Lindsay Joelle’s TRAYF (March 1–April 10) will play at the Audrey Skirball Kenis. Directed by Maggie Burrows, this buddy road trip buddy comedy is an ode to the turbulence of youth, the universal feeling of not fitting in, and the faith and friends that see us through.
Finally, Anna Ouyang Moench’s Man of God (May 24–July 3) will return to open at the Audrey Skirball Kenis after a production was canceled the day before opening night in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The play, also directed by Burrows, follows four girls in a Korean Christian youth group traveling to Bangkok who make a startling discovery.
Additional casting, creative teams, and two more productions to be performed in the Gil Cates will be announced at a later date.