LIGHTNING FROM HEAVEN, THE GOLDEN YEAR and More Set for WorkShop Theater's 19th Season
WorkShop Theater Company, the Innovative Theatre Award–winning and Drama Desk Award–nominated theater company focused on developing new work, has announced its 19th season, featuring Gary Giovannetti's Tarragona, Scott C. Sickles' Lightning from Heaven, and Daniel Damiano's The Golden Year. Additionally, WorkShop Theater will present at least four Plays-in-Process (PIP) productions, several staged readings, two short-play festivals, and some very special events.
Artistic Director Scott C. Sickles states, "We are excited that the playwrights, including myself, have made great use of the WorkShop's developmental process, having gone through our various stages of WorkShopping productions (readings and PIPs). We are all devoted to writing and presenting the best plays we can, and it shows. It is a very romantic season: Tarragona is a hilarious adventure about a man who leaves everything behind and jumps feet first into a life of passion. Lightning from Heaven chronicles a 14-year-long love affair between dissident artists in the Soviet Union, where the stakes could not have been higher. The Golden Year wraps up our season with an older couple whose simple trials and tribulations amount to a great love story."
The production season commences with the PIP of Philip Hall's Life on the Mississippi, directed by SusannA Frazer – a musical adaptation of Mark Twain's memoir chronicling his youthful quest to become a steamboat pilot. Presented by WorkShop Theater Company's Musical Theater Wing, Life on the Mississippi will run in the Jewel Box Theater September 12–22, 2012. The second PIP is John McKinney's The Chekhov Dreams, directed by Leslie Kincaid Burby. What do a melancholic writer, his deceased fiancée, his party animal brother, a young acting student, and Anton Chekhov have in common? You'd be surprised. In this new romance, true love never dies – and that's the problem. The Chekhov Dreams, also in the Jewel Box Theater, runs October 11–27, 2012.
"A Play-in-Process is a bare-bones production of a work in progress that occurs after the play has undergone a staged reading," explains Sickles. "The PIP allows the playwright a better idea of what is working in a play and what aspects of the story still need to be addressed. They help determine which plays will be selected for our Main Stage seasons."
Opening September 27th, Gary Giovannetti's Tarragona, directed by Elysa Marden, will be the first Main Stage performance of the season. A frustrated New York office drone, stuck in a nowhere job, in a romance-free life, accidentally receives an email from a mysterious woman in Spain…and his adventure begins! The show runs through October 20th on WorkShop's Main Stage Theater.
Artistic Director Scott C. Sickles' Lightning from Heaven, directed by Thomas Coté, is the second Main Stage production, running February 14–March 9, 2013. Doctor Zhivago: Before the celebrated novel and the classic film, there were poet Boris Pasternak, his muse, Olga Ivinskaya, and the government that did not want their story to be told.
The Main Stage finale is Daniel Damiano's The Golden Year, directed by Kathy Gail MacGowan, running June 6–29, 2013. After decades of hard work, Joe and Jean are finally retiring... Together... At the same time... For richer or poorer... For better or worse....
Additional programming for the season has already included a staged reading of Mr. Damiano's The Golden Year, and will feature a staged reading of Ken Jaworowski's Wingwoman directed by Thomas Coté on August 23–25, 2012. In this comedy from the writer of Interchange, a woman who professionally helps men break the ice with "the right
woman" realizes her latest client is "the right man"! Cold Snaps 2012, the new edition of our annual Winter One-Act Festival of new short plays by WorkShop playwrights, will run December 6–15, 2012. In the spring, the You Are Here! Festival will present WorkShop playwrights' new short plays inspired by real places, running May 2–18, 2013.
October 28–31, 2012, just in time for Halloween, WorkShop Theater will remount Mitch Giannunzio's Lizzie Borden at Eight o'Clock, directed by Kenneth Tigar and starring Ellen Barry. Over 100 years have passed, but Lizzie Borden continues to haunt the imagination. Did she or did she not commit the brutal murders of 1892?
For early 2013, WorkShop has planned staged readings of David M. Mead's new drama Army Royalty, Thomas H. Diggs and Jay D'Amico's musical The Fairy Hoax, and two classical plays: a new adaptation of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale and George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and
Cleopatra, both from WorkShop's Classical Theater Wing. WorkShop will once again hold a weeklong celebration of the Bard's birthday with its 10th Annual Will-A-Thon; will revive its reading series of Canadian plays, Unknown Country; and present two additional PIP productions, one of which will be Jen Makholm and Ian Wehrle's Relent: An Indie Musical. On the heels of their highly successful production Rumpelstiltskin of last year, they will also mount a second children's theater production in February, running in repertory with Mr. Sickles' Lightning from Heaven.
WorkShop Theater Company's mission is to provide a creative home for a diverse group of playwrights, directors, and actors. WorkShop has developed hundreds of plays, among them Eddie Antar's NY Times Critics' Pick, Drama Desk–nominated, and NY Innovative Theatre Award–winning hit The Navigator ("cruises in entertainingly high gear" – NY Times) and Ken Jaworowski's Interchange (NY Times Critics' Pick). Another WorkShop play, Allan Knee's The Man Who Was Peter Pan, became the acclaimed film Finding Neverland, which received an Academy Award nomination for its screenplay by David Magee and was produced by Nellie Bellflower – both of whom are WorkShop Theater Company alumni.