Epic Theatre's 2014-15 Season to Focus on Relationships, Featuring BAD JEWS and More
Epic Theatre Company's just-announced 2014-2015 season, opening in October, will include works by playwrights including Ruhl, Chekhov, Harmon, and more. This is Epic's third full season, and second season as the resident theater company of the Artists Exchange in Cranston. The upcoming season will feature nine plays, including six Rhode Island Premieres.
"After a successful season of bold drama, I felt it was time to change things up a bit," says Artistic Director Kevin Broccoli, "We're still going to be undertaking adventurous and enterprising work, but I wanted to add more humor into the mix. We're doing that by focusing on relationships-families, friendships, and love. I think there's a lot more light in this upcoming season."
The 2014-2015 Season kicks off with Jeffrey Hatcher's Compleat Female Stage Beauty. It takes place during the 1600's, when only men were allowed onstage. Edward Kynaston, the most famous portrayer of women's roles, finds himself out of a job when a talented young woman works her way into the theater. "I think season openers should have a little bit of everything in them," says Broccoli, "And this play certainly fits that criteria. It's funny, touching, and it features an amazing ensemble of characters. It's the perfect show to usher in an exciting new year of theater."
In October, they present Diana Son's powerful and heartfelt Stop Kiss. When a young woman moves to New York to start a new life, she enters into a friendship with another woman that will soon turn into something neither of them expected. Soon, their relationship will set them on a path that will lead to violence, and ultimately, love.
The Rhode Island premiere of The Busy World is Hushed, by Keith Bunin will be playing in their intimate blackbox space in November. Hannah is a minister with a son who won't settle down and a new assistant who has his own demons. When she realizes the two young men might be able to keep each other safe, she takes matters into her own hands. "We were supposed to present this play last season, but scheduling got in the way. This is one of my bucket list shows. I couldn't be happier that we're finally going to be able to bring it to Rhode Island."
They will welcome in the new year with a unique comedy by a new playwright-This by Melissa James Gibson. Jane is a single mother and widower who is trying to put her life back together without much help from her dysfunctional group of friends. When a party game turns everyone in her circle against each other, Jane and her friends have to take a long, hard look at themselves.
Epic hopes to "heat up the winter" with a Southern mystery written by the "master of gothic charm." The Jacksonian by Beth Henley takes place at a rundown motel in a town with lots of secrets. The play begins with a young girl informing the audience that a murder has taken place, but you won't find out until the end whodunit or who did it to who. "It's a little bit like Twin Peaks meets Flannery O'Connor. It's one of the weirdest things I've ever read-I can't wait to start working on it."
Last year's biggest off-Broadway hit will land in Rhode Island when Joshua Harmon's Bad Jews premieres at Epic. After Daphna's grandfather dies, her cousin brings home a shiksa girlfriend and claims ownership over Grandpa's Chai necklace, even though Daphna wants it for herself. What follows is an all-out brawl over tradition, religion, and family ties. "I've never been so appalled by a set of characters while laughing so hard at what they were saying. It's a theatrical explosion."
In April, Chekhov's Three Sisters get a fresh and funny adaptation by the one and only Sarah Ruhl. "If you told me that one day Epic would be producing Three Sisters, I'd have said you were crazy. Leave it to Sarah Ruhl to come up with such a clear and entertaining that adaptation-one that demanded to be performed. It's going to change the way you look at the play."
Zoe Kazan's Absalom will be receiving its Rhode Island Premiere in the spring. It's the story of a family of writers who clash when their patriarch decides to publish a tell-all, dragging all their skeletons out of the closet. Everything comes to a head over one dramatic weekend at the family lake house. "This play packs a serious punch. The twists and turns keep coming until the very last moment. Kazan writes like someone well beyond her years."
To conclude the season, Epic will be presenting another Sarah Ruhl adaptation, but a very different kind of play. Orlando, based on the novel by Virginia Woolf, and adapted by Ruhl, is the perfect theatrical dessert. After three centuries on Earth, Orlando finds that he's been turned into a woman. Poetical, romantic, and filled with Ruhl's trademark wit and imagination, Orlando promises to be a true celebration.
For tickets or to purchase an Epic Theatre membership, go to www.artists-exchange.org.