Joe Dowling to Depart Guthrie Theater Following 2014-15 Season; Season Details Announced

News   Joe Dowling to Depart Guthrie Theater Following 2014-15 Season; Season Details Announced
After 20 years of leadership, Guthrie Theater artistic director Joe Dowling will step down from that position following the 2014-15 season, which has just been announced.

Joe Dowling
Joe Dowling

Dowling's final season at the helm of the renowned theatre includes first-time Guthrie productions of plays by A.R. Gurney, Anne Washburn and Sarah Ruhl, three productions directed by Dowling, the Guthrie debut of writer and director Mary Zimmerman, as well as an all-American musical slated for summer.

“I am tremendously proud of the lineup this season, as it brings together artists whose work I’ve long admired with tremendous plays that I know will resonate with our audience.” Dowling said in a statement. “And the opportunity to revisit three of my absolute favorite plays as a director is, indeed, a thrill.”

Since he became the Guthrie’s artistic director in 1995, Dowling has directed more than 45 productions and has cultivated relationships with artists including Angela Bassett, David Esbjornson, John Guare, T.R. Knight, Ethan McSweeney, Arthur Miller, Marsha Norman, Lisa Peterson, Mark Rylance and Courtney Vance, among others. As a result of his vision, the Guthrie built its three-theatre complex on the banks of the Mississippi River, a facility which has allowed the Guthrie to broaden its repertoire and provide audiences with a range of productions year-round, serving approximately 400,000 patrons each year.

The upcoming season-at-a-glance follows:

On the Wurtele Thrust Stage

Sept. 13 – Oct. 26, 2014
The Heidi Chronicles
by Wendy Wasserstein
Opening Night: Sept. 19
"Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, The Heidi Chronicles traces the coming of age of Heidi Holland from high school in the radical ‘60s to her career as an art historian in the heartless ‘80s. With wit, grace and authenticity Wasserstein examines the changing role of women, the progress of a generation, and the trials we as individuals all face as we wrestle with the big question: What should we do with our lives?"

Nov. 13 – Dec. 28, 2014
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
adapted by Crispin Whittell
directed by Joe Chvala
Opening Night: Nov. 19
"In addition to the nine plays of the subscription season and studio productions, the Guthrie will present its 40th annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the perennial favorite that received a new adaptation by Crispin Whittell in 2010 and continues the Guthrie’s holiday tradition for families across the region."

Feb. 7 – March 29, 2015
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
by William Shakespeare
directed by Joe Dowling and David Bolger
Opening Night: Feb. 13
"Joe Dowling collaborates with director and choreographer David Bolger to direct a reimagined take on Shakespeare’s joyous romantic comedy. The play cleverly weaves four stories in a moonlit forest on a midsummer night: the marriage of the Athenian duke to the Amazon queen; the warring Oberon and Titania, king and queen of the fairies; the follies of four lovers in a forest; and the comical efforts of working men and women to stage a play for the royal wedding."

April 11 – May 24, 2015
The Crucible
by Arthur Miller
directed by Joe Dowling
Opening Night: April 17
"It is 1692 and a dark magic possesses Salem. The God-fearing citizens are on their guard and no one is beyond suspicion. As investigations into witchcraft reach their height, a woman points a finger at Elizabeth, the blameless wife of John Proctor. But Proctor finds he cannot save Elizabeth without unearthing his own black sin. Arthur Miller’s Tony Award-winning play addresses notions of faith and uncertainty, and truth and deception."

June 20 – Aug. 23, 2015
Meredith Willson’s The Music Man
book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson
story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey
directed by John Miller-Stephany
Opening Night: June 26
"Fast-talking traveling salesman 'Professor' Harold Hill lands in River City, Iowa ready to charm the locals into buying instruments and uniforms for a boys band he promises to lead. But his money making scheme crumbles when he falls for Marian the librarian, who transforms him into an honest man." On the McGuire Proscenium Stage

Sept. 9 – Oct. 19, 2014
The White Snake
written and directed by Mary Zimmerman
based on the classic Chinese fable
Opening Night: Sept. 12
"It’s a beloved ancient Chinese story: girl meets boy and falls head over heels. The only problem is that the girl is a white serpent from the spirit world and to win her love’s heart she must come down from the mountain and take human form. With live music, puppetry and visual metaphors, Tony Award-winner Mary Zimmerman brings a fable to life in an enchanting theatrical spectacle."

Nov. 22, 2014 – Jan. 4, 2015
The Cocktail Hour
by A.R. Gurney
directed by Maria Aitken
Opening Night: Nov. 28
"It’s the 1970s in Buffalo and John arrives for dinner at his parents’ home carrying the script of his soon-to-be produced play, depicting his uptight, upper-crust WASP family. Just as the martinis flow over a comically extended cocktail session, so do the revelations and recriminations. With its booze-fueled banter, A.R. Gurney (Love Letters) offers a heartfelt comedy of manners about the ties that bind."

March 31 – May 10, 2015
The Guthrie Theater in a co-production with American Conservatory Theater presents
Mr. Burns, a post-electric play
by Anne Washburn
score by Michael Friedman
lyrics by Anne Washburn
directed by Mark Rucker
Opening Night: April 4
"What will endure when the cataclysm arrives—when society crumbles and we’re faced with the task of rebuilding? Anne Washburn’s outrageous new comedy, a paean to live theater and to the resilience of Bart Simpson through the ages, is an ingenious exploration of how the pop culture of one era might evolve into the mythology of another. Mr. Burns, a post-electric play was named one of the Top Ten Plays of 2013 by The New York Times."

May 23 – June 28, 2015
Juno and the Paycock
by Sean O’Casey
directed by Joe Dowling
Opening Night: May 29
"Jack Boyle, known as the 'paycock,' is out of work and spends time drinking and playing cards while Juno, the matriarch, attempts to keep the family together amidst political unrest. When they learn of an inheritance from a relative, the money is spent before it arrives. Will they transcend the events that conspire to keep them in their place? Juno and the Paycock offers a poetically comic and tragic portrait of a family in Dublin following the Irish Civil War."

July 18 – Aug. 30, 2015
Stage Kiss
by Sarah Ruhl
directed by Casey Stangl
Opening Night: July 24
"Does art imitate life? Or is it the other way around? When two actors with a history are thrown together as romantic leads in a forgotten 1930s melodrama, they quickly lose touch with reality as the story onstage follows them offstage. From Pulitzer finalist Sarah Ruhl (In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play)) comes a charming tale about what happens when lovers share a stage kiss—or when actors share a real one."

For more information or to purchase tickets or season subscriptions, call the Guthrie Theater Box Office (612) 377-2224 or visit

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