South Coast Rep's New Season Has Four World Premieres, Plus Lear, Heiress, Frayn and Ruhl | Playbill

Related Articles
News South Coast Rep's New Season Has Four World Premieres, Plus Lear, Heiress, Frayn and Ruhl A Daniel Sullivan-directed King Lear and four world premieres will punctuate South Coast Repertory's 45th season in 2008-09.
Daniel Sullivan
Daniel Sullivan Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The season in Costa Mesa, CA, begins with the world premiere of An Italian Straw Hat, an SCR-commissioned musical by John Strand and Dennis McCarthy. This new take on the Eugene Labiche romantic farce will play Sept. 5-Oct. 5 on the Segerstrom Stage.

Emmy Award-winning composer Dennis McCarthy (various "Star Trek" projects) teams up with Charles MacArthur prize winner John Strand (Tom Walker, Lovers and Executioners) and director Stefan Novinski for "the rollicking new musical." An Italian Straw Hat was presented as a staged reading at the 2007 Pacific Playwrights Festival, directed by Novinski.

The season also includes SCR-commissioned world premieres by Amy Freed, Lauren Gunderson and John Kolvenbach, Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone, and the classics The Heiress and Noises Off.

The 2008-2009 SCR season also includes:

  • Dead Man's Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl (Sept. 21-Oct. 12) Julianne Argyros Stage. "Ruhl's fantastical play about a woman who answers a mysterious cell phone." Bart DeLorenzo (Shipwrecked! An Entertainment) directs.
  • The Heiress by Ruth Goetz and Augustus Goetz (Oct. 17–Nov. 16) Segerstrom Stage. SCR artistic director Martin Benson stages "the classic play about a widower and his daughter in 1850s New York. Loosely based on the Henry James novel 'Washington Square,' The Heiress is a psychological drama of love, innocence and betrayal."
  • You, Nero by Amy Freed (Jan. 4-25, 2009) Julianne Argyros Stage. The world premiere of Pulitzer Prize nominee Freed's new comedy "about the infamous Roman emperor who decides to commission a play that could be the Colosseum's biggest hit ever — if its hapless author lives to tell the tale." Commissioned by SCR, You, Nero was directed by Sharon Ott as a staged reading at this season's Pacific Playwrights Festival. Ott returns to direct.
  • Noises Off by Michael Frayn (Feb. 6–March 8, 2009) Segerstrom Stage. Frayn's "irresistible comedic masterpiece follows the on and off stage antics of an inept acting troupe as they stumble from bumbling dress rehearsal to disastrous closing night." Warner Shook directs.
  • Goldfish by John Kolvenbach (March 15-April 5, 2009) Julianne Argyros Stage. An SCR-commissioned world premiere, "Kolvenbach's bittersweet comedy about love lost and found" received a staged reading at this year's Pacific Playwrights Festival under the direction of Loretta Greco. Greco returns to direct.
  • A World Premiere to be announced (April 3–May 3, 2009) on the Segerstrom Stage. The production will be part of the 2009 Pacific Playwrights Festival.
  • Emilie – The Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life at the Petit Théâtre at Cirey Tonight by Lauren Gunderson (April 19–May 10, 2009) Julianne Argyros Stage. This "highly theatrical rediscovery of one of history's most interesting women — the 18th century Parisian Emilie du Châtelet — and her lifelong affair with the Enlightenment superstar Voltaire" was presented as a staged reading at this season's Pacific Playwright's Festival. Kate Whoriskey directed the reading and will also stage the full production.
  • King Lear by William Shakespeare (May 15–June 14, 2009) Segerstrom Stage. Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan (Proof) returns to SCR to direct Shakespeare's masterpiece. The 2008-2009 season will also include the holiday favorites A Christmas Carol and La Posada Mágica (The Magical Journey). A Christmas Carol will be presented on the Segerstrom Stage Nov. 29-Dec. 27. La Posada Mágica, celebrating its 15th season, will be presented on the Julianne Argyros Stage Dec. 11–23.

    SCR's Theatre for Young Audiences season features three productions for the entire family, on the Julianne Argyros Stage: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, based on the book by Judy Blume, adapted for the stage by Bruce Mason and directed by Jessica Kubzansky; A Year with Frog and Toad, music by Robert Reale, book and lyrics by Willie Reale, based on the books by Arnold Lobel, directed by Nick DeGruccio directs; The Brand New Kid, based on the children's book by Katie Couric, music by Michael Friedman, book by Melanie Marnich, lyrics by Michael Friedman and Melanie Marnich, directed by Shelley Butler.

    The Pacific Playwrights Festival will take place May 1–3 and will feature presentations of seven new plays.

    SCR's 2008-2009 NewSCRipts season consists of Monday-evening readings of plays by emerging and established writers.

    Single tickets go on sale Aug. 11.

    For subscription information, call (714) 708-5555 or visit


    Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory is under the artistic direction of David Emmes and Martin Benson. Founded in 1964, SCR is "committed to theatre that illuminates the compelling personal and social issues of our time, not only on its stages but through its education and outreach programs." While its productions "represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new play development program, including the Pacific Playwrights Festival."

    Located in Costa Mesa, CA, in 2002 SCR opened the Folino Theater Center, an expanded three-theatre complex that includes the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.

    Today’s Most Popular News:

    Blocking belongs
    on the stage,
    not on websites.

    Our website is made possible by
    displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

    Please consider supporting us by
    whitelisting with your ad blocker.
    Thank you!