CENTERSTAGE Announces 2008 - 2009 Season

Artistic Director Irene Lewis has announced her selections for 2008–09. The season—CENTERSTAGE's 46th—will include classics both modern and antique, a mischievous new comedy, a journey of self-discovery, and a critically acclaimed musical.
 
September 10 - October 5:  The season begins with Thornton Wilder's romantic classic, The Matchmaker—the source material for Hello, Dolly! and the only one of Wilder's major plays never yet produced at CENTERSTAGE. Saucy widow Dolly Gallagher Levi makes a living fixing up lonely hearts, but can she work the same magic for herself and tight-fisted Horace Vandergelder? Maybe so, but it will take wit, wisdom, and generous helpings of cash before young and old alike can find their proper mates. Irene Lewis directs at The Pearlstone Theater.
 
October 22 - November 16: What's the antithesis of marital bliss? George and Martha know, and they make sure their guests do, too. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edward Albee's black comedy of manners (and lack thereof), crashes into our drawing room with all the alcohol, dirty secrets, and compulsions two frustrated couples can muster. Make sure you get ringside seats for this match—the gloves are coming off, and there's no referee. Pending Mr. Albee's required approval, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? plays The Pearlstone Theater.
 
December 10 - January 11: Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's Tony-winning Caroline, or Change sets to music the struggles and aspirations of a well-to-do Southern Jewish family's African-American maid during the turbulent 1960s. During the long days she spends in the laundry room, Caroline sings—and the washer, dryer, radio, and other appliances all go Motown along with her. We're thrilled to announce that Associate Artist E. Faye Butler (Trouble in Mind, Once on This Island, Dinah Was) will be returning for this production, which plays The Pearlstone Theater.
 
January 28 - March 8: CENTERSTAGE welcomes back Lynn Nottage, whose award-winning Intimate Apparel received its world premiere here in 2003 and whose new play By the Way, Meet Vera Stark is part of our First Look: Special Edition Festival this spring. Fabulation, or The Re-education of Undine, a century-later companion to Intimate Apparel, traces upwardly mobile Undine's fall from grace and material wealth as she learns to accept herself and her weaknesses after moving back in with her family in the projects. Nottage's distinctive vision and talent for telling the truth with humor illuminate this sassy comedy, which plays The Head Theater.
 
March 11 - April 5: John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore is a masterstroke of taboo, proof that the classics are classic for a reason. This 17th-century revenge tragedy features a plot redolent of Romeo & Juliet, with a twist of extra-forbidden love—the star-crossed lovers are brother and sister. Irene Lewis directs this startling combination of antique style, poetic grace, and too-modern bloodlust—a play unlike any CENTERSTAGE has tackled before—in The Pearlstone Theater.
 
April 22 - May 31: The season concludes with a new play making its world premiere at this summer's Williamstown Theatre Festival: Theresa Rebeck's The Understudy. A long-lost Kafka play is a surprise Broadway hit, but the real drama's backstage. Rebeck is one of theater's hottest new voices: Mauritius opened on Broadway last year to critical acclaim, and The Scene premiered at the 2006 Humana Fest before a successful run Off Broadway. This tart-but-tender comedy takes an incisive look at one of theater's most underrated roles, at The Head Theater.
 
Membership discounts for the 2008–09 Mainstage season are available now with prices ranging from $60 to $300 for the full season. For more information, visit the CENTERSTAGE Box Office, call 410.332.0033, or go online to members.centerstage.org.

Recently named a Leading National Theater by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, CENTERSTAGE is an artistically driven institution, producing and developing an eclectic repertory in collaboration with renowned theater artists for a diverse audience interested in challenging, bold, thought-provoking work.


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James was first bitten by the theatre bug at the tender young age of 11, when, at the last minute, he was called upon to replace a classmate who, 42nd STREET-like, broke his leg, in a play, of all things, about the skeletal system! It was a trip to New York with his high school drama teacher to see Angela Lansbury in MAME that sealed his fate. As an actor, favorite roles include Sheridan Whiteside in THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, Potiphar in JOSEPH..., Col. Pickering in MY FAIR LADY, and Sancho Panza?s ass in MAN OF LA MANCHA. After spending a summer feeling very conflicted playing both an apostle AND a high priest in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, James' theatre career took a turn toward direction and design, including such varied productions as THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, LOST IN YONKERS, GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER and GRAND HOTEL, SIDE SHOW, THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD and SWEENEY TODD. James holds a Bachelor's degree in English from Towson University, with additional course work in journalism, dramaturgy, scenic design and stage direction. He is living proof that you can be a devout Sondheim fan AND love MAMMA MIA!


 
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