Arena Stage has revealed the schedule for their upcoming 2022-2023 season, which includes a world premiere musical, a new staging of an epic, landmark work, and more.
The season will begin with the world premiere of the musical American Prophet. Created by Charles Randolph-Wright and Grammy Award winner Marcus Hummon, American Prophet will star Cornelius Smith Jr. (ABC’s Scandal, All My Children) as the abolitionist, orator, and statesman Frederick Douglass, running July 15–August 28 in the Kreeger Theater.
“Arena Stage has been my artistic home for over 20 years,” said Randolph-Wright when he received the American Artist Award from Arena Stage earlier this year. “I am proud to be part of a theatre that has been diverse and inclusive since its inception. It’s a place that has emboldened me to try any and everything.”
The season continues with Holiday, a romantic comedy by Philip Barry and directed by Anita Maynard-Losh. Running October 8–November 6 on the Fichandler Stage, the work tells the story of a Wall Street lawyer looking forward to an early retirement once he's made enough money, a plan at odds with those of his well-to-do fiancée. The 1920s-set comedy was adapted for the screen in 1938 starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.
Sanctuary City, a new play from 2018 Pulitzer winner Martyna Majok that previously enjoyed a successful run Off-Broadway, is the third offering of the season, running October 21–November 7 in the Kreeger Theater. Majok's work follows two DREAMers fighting to establish a place for themselves in America.
Looking forward to 2023, Arena will present Brooke Maxwell and Jacob Richmond's cult favorite musical Ride the Cyclone in the Kreeger Theater January 13–February 19, 2023 in a co-production with McCarter Theatre Center directed by Sarah Rasmussen. A tragicomedy, the musical follows six teenagers who attempt to sing their way back to life after a freak amusement park accident. The musical has previously played productions in Canada, Off-Broadway, Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, and Minneapolis, and released a world premiere cast recording last year.
The High Ground, Arena's first Power Play of the season, takes place during the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Running February 10–April 2, 2023 in the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle, the play is written by Nathan Alan Davis and direcyed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian.
Next up is a new in-the-round staging of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, helmed by Hungarian director and filmmaker János Szász on the Fichandler Stage March 24–April 23, 2023. Szász's new staging of Kushner's epic play about living through the AIDS crisis will mark the 30th anniversary of the work's Broadway premiere.
The season will come to a close with Exclusion, the second Power Play of the season, which follows a female scholar who becomes overwhelmed while defending the authenticity of her best-selling book on the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 after it is optioned for, and becomes, a hit TV show. Written by Kenneth Lin, Exclusion will run May 7–June 25, 2023 in the Kreeger Theater.
“Reflective of our shared experience, our 2022-2023 Season is one of surviving and thriving,” said Arena Artistic Director Molly Smith. “It’s an affirmation of community bonds and identities, which keep us going, not just every day, but during the most complex of times. The work you will see on our stages are a mix of classic and modern, comedy and drama, musicals and music-filled, and all the absolute best in their classes.”
For more information, visit ArenaStage.org.