MET Sets 2014-15 Mainstage Season: CLYBOURNE PARK, THE ELEPHANT MAN & More
Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET) is proud to announce its 2014-2015 Mainstage season. MET's seventeenth mainstage season will run from September of 2014 through June of 2015 and will feature a classic Shakespeare comedy, a German masterpiece, a World Premiere original, and contemporary crowd pleasers. Season subscriptions are on sale now at a special early bird rate. MET Artistic Director Tad Janes shared his excitement about all the plays, "This season brings such great plays to the MET! Two very exciting newer plays, Clybourne Park and Good People, both have a great sense of humor, but also have a real depth of message. The Arsonists is a very funny, bordering on absurd, comedy, and we feature two excellent timeless pieces with The Elephant Man and Twelfth Night. Next season also brings a new MET created piece, brought to us by MET Mainstage writing alumni Reiner Prochaska."
The season will open in September with the Pulitzer Prize (2011 for Drama) and Tony (2012 for Best Play) Award winning Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris. The play, which premiered in New York in 2010, was written in response to Lorraine Hansberry's play A Raisin in the Sun (1959). The action in Act 1 and Act 2 takes place fifty years apart both prior to and following the action in the Hansberry play and addresses race and upward mobility through the gentrification of a Chicago neighborhood. Peter Wray, who most recently directed Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and The Glass Menagerie for Maryland Ensemble Theatre, will direct.
Next up on the Mainstage is Twelfth Night, Shakespeare's classic tale of cross-dressing twins, dancing dukes, and a dashing pair of yellow tights, which takes the audience on a trip to the mystical kingdom of Illyria. Ensemble member Tim Seltzer who last directed The Eight Reindeer Monologues at the MET will direct.
The MET then moves forward in time, from the seventeenth to eighteenth centuries with the World Premiere original holiday tale, A Revolutionary Christmas. This new piece, written by MET company member Reiner Prochaska, tells the story of a family living on a German farm in Frederick during the Revolutionary War. When they end up taking an escaped Hessian soldier captive, the soldier helps them rediscover love, hope, forgiveness, and the meaning of Christmas. Prochaska has previously written numerous shows for the MET, most recently being his adaption of Antigone in 2012. Prochaska's play will be directed by Rep Stage co-Artistic Director Suzanne Beal, as she returns to the MET following last year's successful, The Santaland Diaries.
In February of 2015 the MET will present Alistair Beaton's translation of Max Frisch's The Arsonists. The play follows a respected member of the community willing to do anything for his neighborhood. The great philanthropist is happy to meet his civic duty by giving shelter to two new guests, but when they start filling his attic with petrol drums, will he help them light the fuse? The Arsonists provides a witty commentary on WWII appeasement all while being "chillingly funny" (LA Weekly). Co-founder of the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble and recipient of the United States Artist Fellow Award, Jerry Stropnicky, will helm his first show for Maryland Ensemble Theatre.
Another classic and thought-provoking play will take the stage in April by way of Bernard Pomerance's The Elephant Man. MET Associate Artistic Director Julie Herber will direct the 1979 Tony Award winner for "Best Play". The Elephant Man follows the true and gruesome life of Joseph Merrick, a member of a traveling freak show. The New York Times called it, "An enthralling and luminous play" and Time Magazine raved that it was, "A moving drama, lofted on poetic wings, it nests in the human heart". The play will run on the MET Mainstage beginning in April of next year.
The final show in Maryland Ensemble Theatre's upcoming season is a play about family set in the blue collar Boston neighborhood nicknamed Southie. MET Artistic Director Tad Janes will direct David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People, which tells the story of Margie, an impoverished, single mother who gets fired from her job as a dollar store cashier and has to start reconnecting with old friends as she attempts to network. The play is a profound, yet often witty exploration of class and power in a world where the poor struggle to get a leg up in a climate of ever increasing income equality. Good People will open in late May.
Each show this season will run for four weeks, every Thursday through Sunday at Maryland Ensemble Theatre located at 31 W Patrick Street in downtown Frederick's historic FSK Hotel. The first Thursday performance of each show will be a $5 preview night and the first Sunday performance will be a gala night with a reception preceding the performance catered by downtown Frederick restaurants. All Thursday through Saturday shows will be at 8pm and the first Sundays will be at 7pm with the remaining three Sundays offering matinees at 3pm.
In addition to the Mainstage season, Maryland Ensemble Theatre's family theatre, The Fun Company, will be producing a full season of theater for all ages in addition to the artist residency programs for public schools and the summer Fun Camp. The MET will also be offering two semesters of classes through The Ensemble School and exciting new work through its MET-X productions. The Comedy Pigs return to build on their twenty-one years as one of the region's best sketch and improv troupes. A Christmas Carol will also be returning to the Weinberg and Carroll County Arts Center for another year in what has become a holiday tradition. For more information on the MET's upcoming season or to purchase season tickets you can visit marylandensemble.org or call 301-694-4744.
Photo Credit: Spence Photographics