Maryland Ensemble Theatre Announces 2013-14 Season
Maryland Ensemble Theatre (MET) has announced its 2013-2014 mainstage season. MET's sixteenth mainstage season will run from September of 2013 through June of 2014 and will feature a British comic classic, an American masterpiece and several contemporary crowd pleasers. MET Artistic Director Tad Janes believes that each of the six mainstage shows in MET's upcoming season will help, "build on the strong reputation we have earned over the past decade and a half as a destination for challenging, entertaining, professional theater."
The season will open on September 5 with a seriously silly show biz satire. Completely Hollywood (abridged), written by ReEd Martin and Austin Tichenor(additional material by Dominic Conti) will be directed by MET Associate Artistic Director Gene' Fouche'. "This will be the fourth play we have produced by this team of playwrights. The Reduced Shakespeare Company wrote The Complete Shakespeare (abridged), The Complete History of America (abridged), and The Complete Bible (abridged), all of which we've produced and I directed for MET", said Fouche'. "I'm drawn to shows that are more physical. Our audiences seem to appreciate their brand of comedy and it's done with a great deal of improvisation, so it's not unusual for people to see the show multiple times and find something new each time they come." Completely Hollywood (abridged) cuts through the celluloid to condense the 186 greatest films in Hollywood history into a complete compilation of classic cinematic clichés. The show will run through September 29th on the MET mainstage.
From comedy to more comedy, the second show in MET's season is a classic that is considered, "still one of the funniest plays in the English language" (The Hollywood Reporter). The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde will run on the MET stage from October 17 through November 10. The show will be directed by Joe Bradywho made his debut directing at the MET last season with It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play. Brady returns to direct the story of multiple mistaken identities, both deliberate and unintentional, and what ultimately becomes a hilarious exercise in keeping everyone's name and pseudonym straight. First performed in 1895, Wilde's most popular play is considered his wittiest and finest comedy.
It seems only appropriate to keep the smiles coming with our holiday offering,Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris. The outlandish and true, chronicles of Sedaris' experience as Crumpet the Elf in Macy's Santaland display, this hilarious cult classic features comic encounters during the height of the holiday crunch. Produced previously by Maryland Ensemble back in 2003 the show will offer audiences that saw the previous production the chance to catch up with both Crumpet the Elf and the artistic team of Rona Mensah as Sedaris' alter ego and Suzanne Beal as the show's director who previously collaborated on the project a decade ago. "It is such a privilege to be able to work with Rona on Santaland again, I loved the wonderful characters she created from the text and, of course, David Sedaris is one of the premier humorists of our time", said Beal speaking of her leading lady and Sedaris, the NPR humorist and best-selling author of Me Talk Pretty One Day. "His acerbic wit and apt observations along with Rona's exceptional skills as a performer will definitely perk up this year's holiday season." The show will run from December 5 through 29 on the MET mainstage.
Beginning February 13, 2014 the MET will present the modern classic Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee. Perhaps as well know today for Mike Nichols' film adaptation featuring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton back in 1966, recent productions have proven the play, "has lost none of its searing psychological power over the years" (Entertainment Weekly) and that, "Albee's marital-warfare masterwork remains in a class of its own." (The Hollywood Reporter) The dark comedy portrays husband and wife George and Martha in a searing night of dangerous fun and games. By the evening's end, a stunning, almost unbearable revelation provides a climax that has shocked audiences for years. Peter Wray who most recently directed another American classic for MET, The Glass Menagerie, returns to helm the show that will run through March 9, 2014
Another dark but comic tale takes the stage in April by way of Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore. The Olivier Award winner for "Best New Comedy" in 2003 will be directed by MET Artistic Director Tad Janes. McDonagh is the author of recent Broadway hits such as The Pillowman and A Behanding in Spokane, and has also famous written and directed the films In Bruges and more recently Seven Psychopaths. The Lieutenant of Inishmore was first produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in London in 2001. The Financial Times called it McDonagh's "blackest, funniest, most violent, most absurd play to date." The Irish dark comedy will play on the MET mainstage from April 10 through May 4, 2014.
The final show in Maryland Ensemble Theatre's upcoming season is a comedy about marriage, intimacy, and electricity. In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) marks the return of playwright Sarah Ruhl to the MET mainstage who's play Dead Man's Cell Phone was produced by MET in 2011. MET Associate Artistic Director Julie Herber will direct In The Next Room which tells the story of a seemingly perfect, well-to-do Victorian home, and the proper gentleman and scientist Dr. Givings who has innocently invented an extraordinary new device for treating "hysteria". Set in the 1880s at the dawn of the age of electricity, the play centers on a doctor and his wife and how his new therapy affects their entire household. Herber, the show's director, commented, "I've performed in Dead Man's Cell Phone and designed for Eurydice(HOOD) and have come to really enjoy Sarah Ruhl as a playwright. I'm quite fond of her mix of poetic whimsy and deeper psychological explorations, so I'm excited to tackle one of her pieces from a director's eye. I find this play wonderfully insightful into a varieties of the female psyche and appreciate that humor can help us delve into that." In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) will run from May 29 through June 22 at MET.
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 throughSaturday shows will be at 8pm and the first and last Sundays will be at 7pm with the middle two Sundays offering matinees at 2pm.
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 including the return off the Laugh Stationseries. The Comedy Pigs return to build on their twenty years as one of the regions 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 you can visitmarylandensemble.org or call 301-694-4744.