THE SAVANNAH DISPUTATION, SEX AND EDUCATION and More Make Up Penguin Rep's 2014 Season
Subscriptions are currently on sale. Single tickets for the 2014 Season will go on sale Friday, April 18.
"We've put together a wide range of engaging, enlightening, and exhilarating opportunities for people to have a great time out at the theatre. It's a season filled with laughter, love, and challenges", says Mr. Brancato, "a rich experience of the human spirit that finds a home at Penguin Rep".
The season will begin with The Savannah Disputation by Evan Smith. According to Mr. Brancato, "it's a heaven-sent comedy about two sisters forced to call in their local priest for backup when a young Barbie doll of an evangelist comes knocking at their door and shaking up their beliefs. Who knew that faith could be such a funny business?"
Directed by Mark Shanahan, The Savannah Disputation will be presented May 16 through June 8.
Next up is the New York premiere of Sex and Education, directed by Mr. Brancato, from June 27 through July 20. "In this daring new comedy by Lissa Levin, we meet Joe Marks, a basketball star whose college scholarship is suddenly in jeopardy when his profanity-laced note to his girlfriend is intercepted during a final exam. We also meet Miss Edwards, his high school teacher on her last day", says Mr. Brancato. "In this hilarious homage to educators everywhere, Miss Edwards uses the note to teach Joe a lesson - on life, love, and the power of words."
Sex and Education, which features "profanity galore", "is for mature adults who don't shock easily and for every high school and college kid who probably won't be shocked in the least!"
Summer 2014 brings The Fabulous Lipitones, a comedy by John Markus (head writer for The Cosby Show) and Mark St. Germain (Freud's Last Session, Becoming Dr. Ruth), in its New York premiere (August 8 - August 31).
When a barbershop quartet tries to bounce back after the loss of one of its prized voices, they are forced to recruit a replacement whose music and culture couldn't be more different from theirs. "This leads to a very funny story - complete with songs -- about what it takes to create real harmony", says Mr. Brancato, "and will leave you singing, smiling, and thinking about how to embrace our differences".
Closing the season will be the New York premiere of Playing the Assassin, described by Mr. Brancato, who will stage it, as "an explosive look at hero worship and sports violence, inspired by a true story. Football heroes seem to be the 'gladiators' of our time, and this story about a compelling meeting between a passionate young TV interviewer and one-time NFL star Frank Baker, who decades before had been dubbed 'The Assassin' for his brutal tackles, is as timely as today's headlines".
Playing the Assassin will be presented September 19 through October 12.
Performance days and times for mainstage productions are: Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 p.m., with matinees on Saturdays at 4:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.
Performances are scheduled at Penguin's intimate, 108-seat theatre, located at 7 Crickettown Road in Stony Point (Rockland County), New York. The theatre, which is converted from an 1880's hay barn, features heating, air conditioning, wheelchair accessible rest rooms and seating, upholstered theatre seats, and plenty of free parking.
Mr. Horn and Mr. Brancato also announced that Penguin Rep's production of Erasmus Fenn's comedy Drop Dead Perfect, which premiered last summer in Stony Point, will be presented Off Broadway by The Peccadillo Theater at Theatre at St. Clement's (423 West 46th Street) from July 16 through August 10.
"Meanwhile," says Mr. Horn, "Angelo Parra's The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith, which also started life at Penguin and has since been presented Off Broadway, at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and in Florida, Cleveland, Ohio, Philadelphia, and Boston, continues to move around the Western Hemisphere". He pointed out that there are productions upcoming at the Royal Manitoba Theatre (Canada) and on the sold-out The Blues Cruise during its tour of the Western Caribbean (January 18 - 25, 2015).
A new series of the popular Monday evening Play With Your Food readings begins June 9 and will be catered by Stony Point's Pasta Cucina Restaurant. (Other dates: July 7, August 18, and September 8).
SUNY Rockland Community College's Cultural Arts Center in Suffern, New York is the venue for three special events. First up on Saturday, September 13 is Character Man, a musical salute to Broadway's memorable character actors starring Jim Brochu, the award-winning creator of Zero Hour, in which he portrayed the great Zero Mostel. "It's filled with great songs along with stories and personal recollections of Mostel, Jack Gilford, Jackie Gleason, George S. Irving, and David Burns, among many others", says Mr. Brancato.
On Saturday, September 27, the Off Broadway comedy musical hit A Jew Grows in Brooklyn will be presented.
On Saturday, October 11, singer Maureen McGovern debuts her brand new show, Sing, My Sisters, Sing, celebrating women singer/songwriters from the 60's to the 80's, including Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox and Laura Nyro, plus a nod to her early singing sisters, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Billie Holiday. "For those who only know Ms. McGovern from her hit single, The Morning After, the theme song from The Poseidon Adventure", says Mr. Brancato, "this will be a dazzling introduction to her amazing range and virtuosity".
Subscriptions to 2014 mainstage productions start as low as $107 for the four plays.
Mr. Horn points out that subscribers save 25 to 33% off single tickets, and that the very best seats in the house go to subscribers before single tickets go on sale. "Bringing friends or family just got easier," says Mr. Horn, "with subscribers receiving $8 off the purchase of additional tickets". Lost or forgotten tickets? "Don't worry", says Mr. Horn. Need to exchange your tickets for a different date? "It's not a problem," says Mr. Horn, stating that only subscribers may exchange their tickets. For no additional charge, patrons can select value-added subscription series that include opening receptions, post-performance discussions among the artists and audience, and pre-show tastings supplied by local restaurants. An additional incentive, says Mr. Horn, "is to dine out at a discount, with select restaurants offering special benefits to Penguin subscribers".
Individual tickets for mainstage productions are priced at $40 (plus an additional service charge of $1.00 per ticket). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more and young people (30 and under).
Tickets for the special events at Rockland Community College, which are all at 8:00 p.m., are priced at $40 each ($35 for Penguin subscribers). There is an additional per ticket service charge of $1.00. Subscriptions to all three special events are priced at $90, a savings of $30.
To order tickets or for further information, visit Penguin Rep's website at www.penguinrep.org or call 845-786-2873.
Under the dynamic leadership of Mr. Brancato and Mr. Horn, Penguin Rep Theatre has grown in 35 years from a summer theatre in a converted 1880's hay barn to become one of the Hudson Valley's most influential nonprofit cultural institutions. Founded in 1977 by Mr. Brancato and Fran Newman-McCarthy, Penguin now reaches tens of thousands of theatergoers, students and artists each year at its home theatre in Stony Point, in New York City and beyond - with plays and productions premiered by Penguin moving to Off Broadway and to stages across the country and around the world.