BENNY & JOON Musical, Anna Ziegler's THE WANDERERS and More Slated for The Old Globe's 2017-18 Season
The Old Globe today announced its 2017-2018 Season, which will kick off with the world premiere musical Benny & Joon, with book by Kirsten Guenther, music by Nolan Gasser, and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein. Based on the beloved 1993 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture written by Barry Berman and Lesley McNeil, this delightfully offbeat romantic comedy follows auto mechanic Benny and his eccentric sister Joon, whose lives are turned upside down by new housemate Sam and his off-kilter take on the world. Directed by Jack Cummings III, Benny & Joon will run September 7 - October 22, 2017.
Khaled Hosseini's best-selling novel A Thousand Splendid Suns will come to life as a play in a sweeping and deeply moving adaptation by Ursula Rani Sarma. In the war-torn neighborhoods of 1990s Kabul, beautiful Laila forges an extraordinary and unlikely friendship with Mariam, her new husband's first wife. Summoning the strength to defy a tyrannical society, the two women seek hope and the promise of a better future. Directed by Carey Perloff and in association with American Conservatory Theater, A Thousand Splendid Suns will play at the Globe May 12 - June 17, 2018.
The world premiere of The Wanderers brings playwright Anna Ziegler back to The Old Globe following the success of The Last Match in 2016. Ziegler's funny, insightful, and mysterious new drama, commissioned by the Globe and developed in this year's Powers New Voices Festival, explores the hidden connections between two seemingly disparate couples, drawing audiences into an intriguing puzzle and a deeply sympathetic look at modern love. The Wanderers will be directed by the Globe's Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and will run April 5 - May 6, 2018.
A second world premiere play, José Cruz González's American Mariachi, will take audiences back to the 1970s as two spunky cousins get a wild idea: start an all-girl mariachi band! Directed by Globe favorite and San Diego native James Vásquez (Rich Girl, Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas!) and in association with Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, this heartwarming and hilarious comedy with live music will run March 23 - April 29, 2018.
Karen Zacarías's Native Gardens was developed in the 2017 Powers New Voices Festival and will return next season to make its West Coast premiere. Young power couple Pablo and Tania get their piece of the American dream when they purchase an upscale house, but a disagreement with their next-door neighbors over a property line soon spirals into an all-out war of taste, class, and gardening. Edward Torres (the Globe's Water by the Spoonful) directs this uproarious new comedy, playing May 26 - June 24, 2018.
Two top-notch revivals of world classics will take to the Globe's stages, starting with Oscar Wilde's endlessly entertaining comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. When two carefree bachelors with double lives discover the truth and decide to cause some mischief, silliness ensues with whimsical ingénues, jealous fiancées, indomitable dowagers, and the most famous handbag in theatre history. Maria Aitken will direct the play the London Telegraph calls "the most perfect comedy in the English language." The Importance of Being Earnest will run January 27 - March 4, 2018.
The Globe will also mount Anton Chekhov's masterpiece Uncle Vanya, which has received a Globe-commissioned world premiere translation from Richard Nelson, Richard Pevear, and Larissa Volokhonsky. Vanya and his niece struggle to care for the estate owned by his brother-in-law, a wealthy and celebrated professor. When this local legend announces his plans to sell the estate, the lives of the entire family come undone. Directed by Nelson, Uncle Vanya provides an up-close encounter with a classic of world drama. It will play February 10 - March 11, 2018.
Acclaimed actor and playwright James Lecesne will share his tour-de-force one-man show, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey, with Globe audiences. Looking to get out from behind his desk, brash New Jersey detective Chuck DeSantis takes on the case of missing teenager Leonard Pelkey, and as he digs deeper into the boy's life, Chuck follows clues that lead him to unexpected places. In the course of the play, Lecesne effortlessly brings to life the inhabitants of a colorful seaside town as they awaken to the beauty of being different. Tony Speciale directs this thoroughly entertaining new play, which will run September 30 - October 29, 2017.
Everyone's favorite Green Meanie is back as Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! returns to the Globe for its 20th annual production. James Vásquez once again directs this wonderful, whimsical holiday musical, based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book, November 4 - December 24, 2017. As in years past, The Grinch will also be performed on Saturday, December 9 for children on the autism spectrum and their families, as well as other families with special needs that may appreciate the welcoming and supportive environment this performance provides.
And no Globe season would be complete without William Shakespeare. The fourth annual Globe for All Tour will bring a free professional production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, directed by Jerry Ruiz, to diverse, multigenerational audiences across San Diego County who do not have regular access to the performing arts. Over the past three years, the Globe for All Tour has performed in military bases, homeless shelters, centers for the elderly, correctional facilities, recreation centers, libraries, and other community venues for more than 4,800 audience members, many seeing theatre-and Shakespeare-for the first time. This year's 20-stop tour, which will culminate in two low-cost performances at The Old Globe, will run October 31 - November 18, 2017.
The illustrious The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program will present Shakespeare's classic romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet, directed by San Diego's own Delicia Turner Sonnenberg (the Globe'sSkeleton Crew). It will run November 11 - November 19, 2017. A joint venture of the Globe and USD, the Shiley Graduate Theatre Program trains seven select students in an intensive two-year course of graduate study in classical theatre. Private funding for the Master of Fine Arts in Theatre program has been contributed through a generous endowment established by Donald and Darlene Shiley. Additional support for the program is provided by the Dorothy Brown Endowment Fund and the Louis Yager Cantwell Foundation.
And next summer, the Globe will introduce Dr. Seuss's The Lorax to San Diego audiences. As previously announced, The Old Globe and Children's Theatre Company, in partnership with The Old Vic, will present the show's U.S. premiere, based on the book The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, adapted for the stage by David Greig, with music and lyrics by Charlie Fink, and directed by Max Webster. The silky soft tufts of the Truffula trees are the perfect stuffs to knit the perfect Thneeds. But the first chop, chop of the perilous ax begins the powerful tale of The Lorax. When the last tree of the forest falls, was it worth losing paradise for nothing at all? The most beloved environmental tale of all time, The Lorax will have you singing in Seussian rhymes! Originally produced at The Old Vic Theatre in London, where it was directed by Webster, Dr. Seuss's The Lorax includes puppet design by Finn Caldwell and Nick Barnes, famous for their Tony Award-winning War Horse puppetry design, and choreography by Drew McOnie. Performances will run July 3 - August 12, 2018 as part of the Globe's 2018 Summer Season.
"Our 2017-2018 Season is as varied and exciting as any I've had the privilege to present," said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. "The lineup includes everything that makes The Old Globe one of this country's preeminent theatres: Broadway-caliber musical theatre, sumptuously produced classics, and powerful and innovative world premieres, all created by artists who are working at the very top-rank of the contemporary American and international theatre. It's also a diverse season, in every sense. There are comedies and dramas, familiar and also brand-new forms. And it represents a broad range of cultural perspectives, modeling on our stages the pluralistic America in which we live. This season of work embodies the values of transformation, inclusion, and excellence that are central to the Globe's mission. Each show provides a sparkling, fun, engaging, and vibrant evening of great theatre, offering something for every San Diegan. I can't wait to bring this bounty and variety to our audience."
Season subscriptions offer substantial savings with special subscriber benefits. Subscription packages can be purchased online at www.TheOldGlobe.org, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE [234-5623], or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Subscriptions to the Globe's 2017-2018 Season range from $111 to $685. Single tickets for most shows begin at $30. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 29 years of age and under, seniors, military members, and groups of 10 or more.
The Old Globe'S 2017-2018 SEASON:
September 7 - October 22, 2017 (Opening night: Friday, September 15)
Benny & Joon
A New Musical
Book by Kirsten Guenther
Music by Nolan Gasser
Lyrics by Mindi Dickstein
Based on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture written by Barry Berman and Lesley McNeil
Directed by Jack Cummings III
A delightful world premiere musical based on the beloved offbeat '90s romantic comedy movie. As Joon's sole caretaker, auto mechanic Benny makes sure his eccentric sister lives a comfortable, safe, and predictable life. But when Sam shows up, his off-kilter take on the world-full of classic films, Buster Keaton, and an oddball approach to domestic life-turns everything upside down. With unforgettable characters and a beguiling and tuneful score, Benny & Joon explores what happens when we step out of our comfort zones and take a leap toward love.
Kirsten Guenther (Book, Benny & Joon) is a Bay Area native and previously lived in Paris, where she worked as a Paris correspondent for USATODAY.com and penned the popular weekly column "The Sexy Expat," about an American journalist trying to navigate and date the French. Her current theatre commissions include The Years Between (T. Fellowship) and the new musical Measure of Success (The Rockefeller Foundation Grant). Ms. Guenther wrote the book and lyrics for Little Miss Fix-It (as seen on NBC) and the book for Mrs. Sharp, which won a Richard Rodgers Award and received a workshop at Playwrights Horizons that starred Jane Krakowski, directed by Michael Greif (Rent, Next to Normal, Dear Evan Hansen). Her other musicals include Out of My Head (licensed by Steele Spring Stage Rights) and The Cable Car Nymphomaniac (Bay Area Theatre Award nomination). Ms. Guenther is the recipient of a Johnny Mercer Writers Fellowship, Dramatists Guild Fellowship, and a Lincoln Center Honorarium. She has penned sketches for personalities such as James Franco, Jared Leto, Christopher Walken, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kathie Lee and Hoda, and Steve Buscemi, among others. She holds a B.F.A. in Acting from USC and an M.F.A. from the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at New York University.
Nolan Gasser (Music, Benny & Joon) is a critically acclaimed composer, pianist, and musicologist, and is most notably the architect of Pandora Radio's Music Genome Project and the company's chief musicologist from its founding in 1999. He holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from Stanford University. His original compositions have been performed in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Salle Pleyel in Paris, and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, among many others. Theatrical projects beyond Benny & Joon include the opera The Secret Garden, commissioned by San Francisco Opera (2013); the oratorio Repast: An Oratorio on the Life of Booker Wright(2015); and the musical Start Me Up, in development. Mr. Nolan's forthcoming book, Why You Like It: The Science and Culture of Musical Taste, will be released in 2018 (Flatiron Books - Macmillan Publishers). He is also the subject of a documentary for the ESPN FiveThirtyEight series The Collectors, entitled "Breaking Music Down to Its Genes" (2015). The film highlights his forthcoming work with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to pilot an "algorithm" to provide personalized musical therapy for cancer patients. Mr. Nolan's TEDx Talk, "Empowering Your Musical Taste," is available on YouTube.
Mindi Dickstein (Lyrics, Benny & Joon) is a lyricist, librettist, and playwright who is perhaps best known as the lyricist for the Broadway musical Little Women (Music Theatre International, Ghostlight Records/Sh-K-Boom Records). She is currently writing lyrics for Benny & Joon (developed at Running Deer Musical Theatre Lab, Theatreworks Silicon Valley, Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, Transport Group, and National Alliance for Musical Theatre 2016),Snow in August (based on the Pete Hamill novel), and Alight Arise Return (The CENTER for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck, Lark Play Development Center), and she is writing book and lyrics for Trip (Playwrights Horizons Steinberg Charitable Trust Commission). Ms. Dickstein's past work includes book for Disney's Toy Story: The Musical and book and lyrics for Notes Across a Small Pond (Bridewell Theatre in London) and Beasts and Saints (Boston Music Theatre Project, ASCAP Foundation Workshop). Her short play Starving to Death in Midtown was produced worldwide as part of the 2015 Climate Change Theatre Action. Her songs have been performed widely, including at Lincoln Center's Hear and Now: Contemporary Lyricists and as part of Dramatists Guild Fund's Great Writers Thank Their Lucky Stars in 2016. Ms. Dickstein's honors include a Jonathan Larson Award, a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Playwriting Fellowships. She received her M.F.A. from and is currently on the faculty of the New York University Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. She is a member of ASCAP and the Dramatists Guild.
Jack Cummings III (Director, Benny & Joon) is the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Transport Group, where he most recently directed William Inge's Picnic and Come Back, Little Sheba in rotating repertory. His favorite Transport Group credits include the world premiere of Queen of the Mist by Michael John LaChiusa (world premiere); See Rock City & Other Destinations by Brad Alexander and Adam Mathias (New York premiere); The Audience (conceiver, world premiere); cul-de-sac by John Cariani (world premiere); Normal by Yvonne Adrian, Tom Kochan, and Cheryl Stern (world premiere); Marcy in the Galaxy by Nancy Shayne (world premiere); and Three Days to See (author/conceiver, world premiere); as well as revivals of I Remember Mama; Hello Again; First Lady Suite; Once Upon a Mattress; Almost, Maine; The Dark at the Top of the Stairs; The Boys in the Band; All the Way Home; and Our Town. His other New York credits include the world premiere of Terrence McNally's And Away We Go (The Pearl Theatre Company), 1,000 Words Come to Mind by Michele Lowe and Scott Richards (Inner Voices Theatre, world premiere), and Arlington by Polly Pen and Victor Lodato (Inner Voices Theatre, world premiere). His regional credits include I Remember Mama (Two River Theater), A Streetcar Named Desire (Gretna Theatre), Violet and The Young Man from Atlanta (Barksdale Theatre), and The Illusion (Nevada Theatre Company). He received his B.A. in International Relations from William and Mary and his M.F.A. in Directing from University of Virginia. He is married to actress Barbara Walsh.
November 4 - December 24, 2017 (Opening night: Thursday, November 9)
Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Book and lyrics by Timothy Mason
Music by Mel Marvin
Original production conceived and directed by Jack O'Brien
Original choreography by John DeLuca
Directed by James Vásquez
Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a wonderful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. Back for its 20th incredible year, the family favorite features the songs "This Time of Year," "Santa for a Day," and "Fah Who Doraze," the delightful carol from the popular animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Celebrate the holidays as the Old Globe Theatre is once again transformed into the snow-covered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who-hash.
As in years past, The Grinch will be performed on Saturday, December 9 at 10:30 a.m. for children on the autism spectrum and their families, as well as other families with special needs that may appreciate the welcoming and supportive environment this performance provides.
James Vásquez (Director, Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas!) previously directed The Old Globe's Rich Girl, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show and provided musical staging for the Globe's The Comedy of Errors directed by Scott Ellis, Boeing-Boeing, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. With The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, he has directed Clybourne Park and last year's world premiere of Keith Reddin's Acquainted with the Night. He received Craig Noel Award nominations for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for the world premiere of Harmony, Kansas and the West Coast premiere of [title of show](Diversionary Theatre) and won the award in 2010 for Sweeney Todd (Cygnet Theatre Company). His other recent directing/choreography credits include The Addams Family (Moonlight Stage Productions), West Side Story and Cats (San Diego Musical Theatre), Tell Me on a Sunday (Vista's Broadway Theater), Pippin, the West Coast premiere of Birds of a Feather, and Next Fall (Diversionary), and Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Pageant (Cygnet), as well as developmental workshops at La Jolla Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals. In 2004, Mr. Vásquez founded Daisy 3 Pictures with Mark Holmes and Carrie Preston. Their first two feature films, 29th and Gay and Ready? OK!, played national and international film festivals, with Ready? OK! winning Best Feature Film awards in Seattle, North Carolina, and San Diego. Their latest feature film, That's What She Said, made its world premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Mr. Vásquez is a graduate of The Juilliard School.
January 27 - March 4, 2018 (Opening night: Thursday, February 1)
The Importance of Being Earnest
By Oscar Wilde
Directed by Maria Aitken
Oscar Wilde's wildly entertaining comedy sparkles with dazzling wordplay and hilariously unlikely situations. This "trivial comedy for serious people" features two carefree bachelors, Jack and Algernon, each with a carefully hidden double life. But when Algernon discovers that Jack has been posing as a man named Ernest to escape to the city, he promptly travels to Jack's country estate to pose as the fictional figure himself! Silliness ensues with whimsical ingénues, jealous fiancées, indomitable dowagers, and the most famous handbag in theatre history. The Globe's lavish production of this timeless classic offers the unmissable opportunity to see what the London Telegraph calls "the most perfect comedy in the English language."
Maria Aitken (Director, The Importance of Being Earnest) has directed Tartuffe and Heartbreak House (Resident Ensemble Players), The Cocktail Hour (Guthrie Theater), Bedroom Farce, Private Lives, Educating Rita, The Cocktail Hour, andThe Seagull (Huntington Theatre Company), Man and Boy (Broadway, West End, and tour), The Gift (Melbourne Theatre Company, Geffen Playhouse), Private Lives and As You Like It (Shakespeare Theatre Company, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Quartermaine's Terms (Williamstown Festival Festival), The 39 Steps (Broadway, Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a Play, Olivier Award-winning nine-year West End production, Helpmann Award), Japes (Bay Street Theater), The Mystery of Irma Vep and Happy Family (West End), After the Ball Was Over (The Old Vic), and The Rivals (Court Theatre). Ms. Aitken has taught course in high comedy for four summer programs of British American Drama Academy at Balliol College of University of Oxford and served as visiting lecturer for a semester. At The Juilliard School she taught master classes for two semesters, two Shakespeare productions for first and third years, a final year production, and the Juilliard/The Acting Company tour of She Stoops to Conquer. She has taught master classes at Yale School of Drama since 2010, two semesters of high comedy at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and master classes in high comedy and Noel Coward at Juilliard, Yale, NYU, The Actors Center, Academy for Classical Acting, and Royal National Theatre Studio. Ms. Aitken served as producer of the BBC television series of master classes "Acting in..." featuring Michael Caine, Simon Callow, Brian Cox, Jonathan Miller, Janet Suzman, and herself. As leading actress, she has appeared in the West End productions of Blithe Spirit and Bedroom Farce (National Theatre), Travesties and Waste(Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress), The Happiest Days of Your Life (Royal Shakespeare Company), Humble Boy, Sylvia, Other People's Money, The Vortex, The Women, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You, Design for Living,Private Lives (Olivier Award nomination for Actress of the Year in a Revival), and A Little Night Music. She also appeared in the film A Fish Called Wanda (BAFTA nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role). Ms. Aitken is the author of A Girdle Round the Earth and Style: Acting in High Comedy. She received a Master of Arts from Oxford University, English Language and Literature, and she is a Trustee of the Noel Coward Foundation.
March 23 - April 29, 2018 (Opening night: Thursday, March 29)
By José Cruz González
Directed by James Vásquez
In association with Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company
Spending her days caring for her ailing mother, Lucha yearns to break her monotonous routine. Here's a wild idea: an all-girl mariachi band! But it's the 1970s, and girls can't be mariachis...or can they? As Lucha and her spunky cousin hunt for bandmates, dodge disapproving relatives, and bring Mom along for the ride, they wonder: will the band come together? American Mariachi is a heartwarming and hilarious world premiere comedy about family, progress, and the freedom to dream big that will send your heart soaring and put a bounce in your step with a wave of vibrant, infectious live music.
José Cruz González (Playwright, American Mariachi) has written the plays American Mariachi and Sunsets & Margaritas (Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company), September Shoes (Geva Theatre Center), Curious (Teatro del Pueblo), The San Patricios (Pacific Conservatory Theatre), Among the Darkest Shadows (Wharton Center for Performing Arts), The Highest Heaven (Childsplay), The Long Road Today (South Coast Repertory), and The Astronaut Farmworker (La Jolla Playhouse). Mr. González has written for "Paz," the Emmy Award-nominated television series produced by Discovery Kids for The Learning Channel. The Astronaut Farmworker was a 2016 PEN Center USA Literary Award Finalist. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at The Kennedy Center. A collection of his plays, Nine Plays by José Cruz González: Magical Realism and Mature Themes in Theatre for Young Audienceswas published by the University of Texas Press in 2009. He is a professor at California State University, Los Angeles and a member of the Dramatists Guild and TYA/USA. He is a Playwright-in-Residence at Childsplay in Tempe, Arizona.
James Vásquez (Director, American Mariachi) Previously directed The Old Globe's Rich Girl, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, and Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show and provided musical staging for the Globe's The Comedy of Errors directed by Scott Ellis, Boeing-Boeing, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. With The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program, he has directed Clybourne Park and last year's world premiere of Keith Reddin's Acquainted with the Night. He received Craig Noel Award nominations for Outstanding Direction of a Musical for the world premiere of Harmony, Kansas and the West Coast premiere of [title of show] (Diversionary Theatre) and won the award in 2010 for Sweeney Todd (Cygnet Theatre Company). His other recent directing/choreography credits include The Addams Family (Moonlight Stage Productions), West Side Story and Cats (San Diego Musical Theatre), Tell Me on a Sunday (Vista's Broadway Theater), Pippin, the West Coast premiere of Birds of a Feather, and Next Fall (Diversionary), and Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Pageant (Cygnet), as well as developmental workshops at La Jolla Playhouse and Goodspeed Musicals. In 2004, Mr. Vásquez founded Daisy 3 Pictures with Mark Holmes and Carrie Preston. Their first two feature films, 29th and Gay and Ready? OK!, played national and international film festivals, withReady? OK! winning Best Feature Film awards in Seattle, North Carolina, and San Diego. Their latest feature film, That's What She Said, made its world premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Mr. Vásquez is a graduate of The Juilliard School.
Denver Center for the Performing Arts (Co-Producer, American Mariachi), the nation's largest not-for-profit theatre organization, is dedicated to creating unforgettable shared experiences through beloved Broadway musicals, world-class plays, educational programs, and inspired events. As one of the DCPA's six lines of programming, the Tony Award-winning DCPA Theatre Company has offered 420 productions in its 38 seasons, of which 140 were new works for the American theatre.
May 12 - June 17, 2018 (Opening night: Thursday, May 17)
Southern California premiere
A Thousand Splendid Suns
By Ursula Rani Sarma
Adapted from the novel by Khaled Hosseini
Directed by Carey Perloff
In association with American Conservatory Theater
A sweeping and deeply moving theatrical adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's best-selling novel. The epic story of three generations of Afghan women and their remarkable resilience, A Thousand Splendid Suns is set in the war-torn neighborhoods of 1990s Kabul. When battle upends her family, beautiful Laila must seek shelter, first in the home and then in the arms of her older neighbor. Soon she forges an extraordinary and unlikely friendship with Mariam, her new husband's first wife. Summoning the strength to defy a tyrannical society, the two women seek hope and the promise of a better future. Adapted for the stage by acclaimed Irish-Indian playwright Ursula Rani Sarma, this breathtaking new production features music from renowned composer David Coulter. The Huffington Post says, "There's no denying the play's power as well as the beauty of its staging and its exquisite musical backdrop," while the San Francisco Chronicleheralds its "epic splendor," writing that it "dazzles with its opulence and humanity."
Ursula Rani Sarma (Playwright, A Thousand Splendid Suns) is an award-winning writer of Irish-Indian descent. She has written plays for Abbey Theatre/National Theatre of Ireland, American Conservatory Theater, Ambassador Theatre Group, Traverse Theatre, Paines Plough, and the BBC, among many other companies. Her recent productions include Joanne (Clean Break/Soho Theatre), Débris (Théâtre La Licorne), The Ripple Effect (Ambassador Theatre Group/London Cultural Olympiad), Yerma (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Riot (A.C.T. Young Conservatory/Theatre Royal Bath), The Dark Things (Traverse Theatre), and Birdsong (Abbey Theatre). Ms. Sarma has been writer-in-residence for Paines Plough, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and the National Theatre, among others. She is currently developing plays for Abbey Theatre, Traverse Theatre, and Djinn Theatre Company. For the screen, her work includes Raw, Red Rock, Anywhere But Here, and Judge Dee. She is currently adapting the book Henry's Demons for BBC One and writing an original drama entitled Guardian for Channel 4.
Khaled Hosseini (Author, A Thousand Splendid Suns) was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. In 1976, his family relocated to Paris. They were ready to return to Kabul in 1980, but by then the Soviet invasion was underway, so the Hosseini family moved to San Jose, California. Mr. Hosseini went on to become a doctor, practicing medicine as an internist between 1996 and 2004. He is the author of three award-winning and internationally best-selling novels: The Kite Runner (2003), A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007), and And the Mountains Echoed (2013). In 2006, Mr. Hosseini was named a Goodwill Envoy to the United Nations Refugee Agency. After a trip to Afghanistan in this position, he was inspired to establish The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a not-for-profit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
Carey Perloff (Director, A Thousand Splendid Suns) is celebrating her 25th season as Artistic Director of American Conservatory Theater, where she has overseen a huge growth in the quality and scope of A.C.T.'s work; helped to rebuild the earthquake-damaged Geary Theater and the new Strand Theater in Central Market; and forged collaborations between A.C.T. and theatres across the United States and Canada. Known for innovative productions of classics and championing new writing and new forms of theatre, Ms. Perloff has directed classical plays from around the world, 10 plays by Tom Stoppard (including the American premieres of The Invention of Love and Indian Ink, also at Roundabout Theatre Company, and two productions of Arcadia), and many productions by favorite contemporary writers such as Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, José Rivera, and Philip Kan Gotanda. Her favorite productions include Hecuba, Mary Stuart, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, The Tosca Café, The Voysey Inheritance, Scorched, and Underneath the Lintel. Ms. Perloff is also an award-winning playwright. Her recent play Kinship premiered at the Théâtre de Paris in 2014; Higher won the 2011 Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation Theatre Visions Fund Award; and Luminescence Dating premiered in New York at Ensemble Studio Theatre. Ms. Perloff's book, Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater (City Lights Foundation Books), was selected as San Francisco Public Library's One City One Book selection for 2016. Before joining A.C.T., she was Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company in New York, where she directed the premiere of Ezra Pound's Elektra, the American premiere of Pinter's Mountain Language, and many classic works. Named a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government, Ms. Perloff received a B.A. Phi Beta Kappa in Classics and Comparative Literature from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford.
American Conservatory Theater (Co-Producer, A Thousand Splendid Suns), San Francisco's Tony Award-winning not-for-profit theatre, nurtures the art of live theatre through Dynamic Productions, intensive actor training, and engagement with the community. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Carey Perloff, the company embraces its responsibility to conserve, renew, and reinvent its rich theatrical traditions while exploring new artistic forms and communities. Founded by William Ball, A.C.T. opened its first San Francisco season in 1967. It has since performed more than 350 productions to more than 7 million people. Ms. Perloff's 24-year tenure has been marked by new translations and groundbreaking classical works colliding with exceptional contemporary theatre, Bay Area stories, cross-disciplinary performances, and international collaborations. A.C.T.'s 50-year-old Conservatory features its Master of Fine Arts actor training program; the Summer Training Congress, which attracts students worldwide; and the San Francisco Semester, a study-abroad opportunity for undergraduates. Other programs include the Young Conservatory for students aged 8-19; Studio A.C.T., theatre study for adults; and the Professional Development Training Program for corporate employees' business performance skills. A.C.T. also brings theatre-based arts education to 12,000 Bay Area students a year. With its increased presence in the Central Market neighborhood marked by the renovation of The Strand Theater, A.C.T. plays a leadership role in securing the future of theatre for San Francisco and the nation.
September 30 - October 29, 2017 (Opening night: Thursday, October 5)
The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey
Written and performed by James Lecesne
Directed by Tony Speciale
Chuck DeSantis is a brash New Jersey detective eager for a case that gets him out from behind his desk. On one extraordinary day, he finds it: the disappearance of teenager Leonard Pelkey. Digging deeper and deeper into Leonard's life, Chuck follows clues that lead him to unexpected places and show him how one boy's bravery can light the way toward truth. James Lecesne delivers a solo tour de force, effortlessly bringing to life the inhabitants of a colorful seaside town as they awaken to the beauty of being different. The New York Times called Lecesne one of "the most talented solo performers of his (or any) generation" and said The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey "leaves you beaming with joy."
James Lecesne (Playwright and Performer, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey) wrote the short film Trevor, which won an Academy Award and inspired the founding of The Trevor Project, the only nationwide 24-hour suicide prevention and crisis intervention lifeline for LGBTQ youth. He created The Road Home: Stories of Children of War, which was presented at the International Peace Initiative at The Hague. He adapted Armistead Maupin's Further Tales of the City for Showtime (Emmy Award nomination), and he was a writer on the series "Will & Grace." He has written three novels for young adults and created The Letter Q, a collection of letters by Queer writers written to their younger selves. As an actor, he has appeared on television in "Sex and the City"; on Broadway in Gore Vidal's The Best Man; and Off Broadway in The Boys in the Band, Cloud 9, One Man Band, and Word of Mouth (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards). Mr. Lecesne won awards from the Off Broadway Alliance, United Solo Theatre Festival, and Outer Critic Circle for his performance in The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey. The New York Times ranked him "among the most talented solo performers of his (or any) generation." jameslecesne.com.
Tony Speciale (Director, The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey) is the Artistic Director of Abingdon Theatre Company in New York. He conceived, co-authored, and directed the world premiere of Unnatural Acts (Classic Stage Company, Drama Desk Award nomination, GLAAD Media Award nomination). His New York credits include The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Westside Theatre, Dixon Place), A Midsummer Night's Dream featuring Bebe Neuwirth, Christina Ricci, and Taylor Mac (Classic Stage Company), Handbook for An American Revolutionary (The Gym at Judson), and Stet (Abingdon). His regional credits include The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey (Kirk Douglas Theatre), Barry Manilow's Harmony (ALLIANCE THEATRE, Ahmanson Theatre), and Romeo and Juliet (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Mr. Speciale served four seasons as Associate Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company, holds an M.F.A. in Directing from Columbia University, and is the proud recipient of a Princess Grace Theater Honorarium and Suzi Bass Award. tonyspeciale.com.
February 10 - March 11, 2018 (Opening night: Thursday, February 15)
Globe-commissioned world premiere translation
Translated by Richard Nelson, Richard Pevear, and Larissa Volokhonsky
Directed by Richard Nelson
An exhilarating revival that pairs one of the greatest plays ever written with the world's most celebrated translators of Russian literature. Vanya and his niece Sonya struggle to care for the estate owned by Vanya's brother-in-law, a wealthy and celebrated professor. When this local legend returns with a beautiful new wife and announces his plans to sell the estate, hidden passions explode and the lives of the entire family come undone. This Globe-commissioned world premiere translation provides an up-close encounter with a classic of world drama that every theatre-lover must see.
Richard Pevear (Translator, Uncle Vanya) was born in Boston, grew up on Long Island, attended Allegheny College (B.A., 1964) and University of Virginia (M.A., 1965). After a stint as a college teacher, he moved to the Maine coast and eventually to New York City, where he worked as a freelance writer, editor, and translator, as well as a cabinetmaker. He has published two collections of poetry, many essays and reviews, and some 30 books translated from French, Italian, and Russian.
Larissa Volokhonsky (Translator, Uncle Vanya) was born in Leningrad, attended Leningrad State University, and upon graduating joined a scientific team whose work took her to the east of Russia, to Kamchatka and Sakhalin Island. She immigrated to Israel in 1973 and to the United States in 1975, where she attended Yale Divinity School and St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. Soon after settling in New York City, she was married to Richard Pevear, and a few years later they moved to France with their two children.
Together, Mr. Pevear and Ms. Volokhonsky have translated 20 books from Russian, including works by Leo Tolstoy, Mikhail Bulgakov, Nikolai Gogol, Anton Chekhov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Boris Pasternak. Their translation of Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov received the PEN Translation Prize for 1991, and their translation of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina was awarded the same prize in 2002. In 2006 they were awarded the first Efim Etkind International Translation Prize by the European Graduate School of St. Petersburg.
Richard Nelson (Translator and Director, Uncle Vanya) has written the plays The Gabriel Plays (Women of a Certain Age, What Did You Expect?, Hungry), Oblivion, Nikolai and the Others, The Apple Family Plays (That Hopey Changey Thing, Sweet and Sad,Regular Singing), Farewell to the Theatre, Conversations in Tusculum, Frank's Home, How Shakespeare Won the West, Rodney's Wife, Franny's Way, Madame Melville, Goodnight Children Everywhere (Olivier Award for Best New Play), The General from America, New England, Two Shakespearean Actors (Tony Award nomination for Best Play), Some Americans Abroad (Olivier nomination for Best New Comedy), and others. His musicals include James Joyce's The Dead with Shaun Davey (Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical) and My Life with Albertine with Ricky Ian Gordon. He has adapted and/or translated numerous classical and contemporary plays. His films include Hyde Park on Hudson directed by Roger Michell, director (Focus Features), Ethan Frome(Miramax), and Sensibility and Sense ("American Playhouse"). He is an honorary associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, a recipient of the Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Laura Pels "Master Playwright" Award.
April 5 - May 6, 2018 (Opening night: Thursday, April 12)
Globe-commissioned world premiere
By Anna Ziegler
Directed by Barry Edelstein
A Globe-commissioned world premiere from the celebrated writer of The Last Match. Esther and Yoni are shy young Orthodox Jews embarking on an arranged marriage, despite barely knowing each other. Abe and Julia are high-profile celebrities embarking on a dangerously flirtatious correspondence, despite being married to other people. On the surface, the lives of these two couples couldn't be more different. But Anna Ziegler's funny, insightful, and mysterious new drama explores the hidden connections between seemingly disparate people, drawing audiences into an intriguing puzzle and a deeply sympathetic look at modern love.
Anna Ziegler (Playwright, The Wanderers) has written the plays The Wanderers (The Old Globe's 2017 Powers New Voices Festival), The Last Match (The Old Globe, City Theatre, upcoming in 2017 at Roundabout Theatre Company; Craig Noel Award nominee for Outstanding New Play), Photograph 51 (directed on the West End in 2015 by Michael Grandage and starring Nicole Kidman; WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Play; previously produced at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and Theater J, among others), Actually (upcoming in 2017 at Geffen Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Manhattan Theatre Club), Boy (Keen Company/Ensemble Studio Theatre; Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award nominee), A Delicate Ship (The Playwrights Realm, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Another Way Home (Theater J, Magic Theatre), Dov and Ali (Theatre503, The Playwrights Realm), The Minotaur (Rorschach Theatre, Synchronicity Theatre), and BFF (WET Productions at DR2 Theatre). She has been commissioned by The Old Globe, Manhattan Theatre Club, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Virginia Stage Company, and New Georges. Her plays have been developed at Sundance Institute Theatre Lab, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Cape Cod Theatre Project, New York Stage and Film, The Araca Group, Old Vic New Voices, and Soho Rep.'s Writer/Director Lab, among others. Her plays are published by Dramatists Play Service; a collection entitled Anna Ziegler: Plays One is published by Oberon Books. She is currently developing a television series for AMC/Sundance and a screenplay for Scott Free Productions. Ms. Ziegler is a graduate of Yale College and holds an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from Tisch School of the Arts.
Barry Edelstein (Director, The Wanderers) is a stage director, producer, author, and educator. Recognized as one of the leading American authorities on the works of Shakespeare, he has directed nearly half of the Bard's plays. His Globe directing credits include The Winter's Tale, Othello, The Twenty-seventh Man, the world premiere of Rain, and Picasso at the Lapin Agile. He also directed All's Well That Ends Well as the inaugural production of the Globe for All community tour. As Director of the Shakespeare Initiative at The Public Theater (2008-2012), Mr. Edelstein oversaw all of the company's Shakespearean productions as well as its educational, community outreach, and artist-training programs. At The Public, he staged the world premiere of The Twenty-seventh Man, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, Timon of Athens, and Steve Martin's WASP and Other Plays. He was also Associate Producer of The Public's Broadway production ofThe Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino. From 1998 to 2003 he was Artistic Director of Classic Stage Company. Mr. Edelstein's other Shakespearean directorial credits include The Winter's Tale at Classic Stage Company; As You Like It starring Gwyneth Paltrow; and Richard III starring John Turturro. His additional credits include the Lucille Lortel Award-winning revival of Arthur Miller's All My Sons; the world premiere of Steve Martin's The Underpants, which he commissioned; and Molière's The Misanthrope starring Uma Thurman in her stage debut. Mr. Edelstein has taught Shakespearean acting at The Juilliard School, New York University's Graduate Acting Program, and the University of Southern California. His book Thinking Shakespeare is the standard text on American Shakespearean acting. He is also the author of Bardisms: Shakespeare for All Occasions. He is a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.
May 26 - June 24, 2018 (Opening night: Thursday, May 31)
West Coast premiere
By Karen Zacarías
Directed by Edward Torres
Young power couple Pablo and Tania get their piece of the American dream when they purchase an upscale house in a historic neighborhood. But a disagreement with their next-door neighbors Virginia and Frank over the property line that separates their backyards soon spirals into an all-out war of taste, class, and gardening. The hedgerow becomes the site of a Culture Clash and friendly neighbors turn into flower-flinging enemies in the West Coast premiere of Karen Zacarías's uproarious Native Gardens.
Karen Zacarías (Playwright, Native Gardens) was recently hailed by American Theatre magazine as one of the most produced playwrights in the U.S. Her play Destiny of Desire is currently playing at Goodman Theatre and is slated for Oregon Shakespeare Festival next year. Her play Native Gardens is slated for 10 productions in the next year including Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, Trinity Repertory Company, Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, and others. She is proud to be Arena Stage's first resident playwright. Her other plays include Mariela in the Desert, Legacy of Light, The Book Club Play, The Sins of Sor Juana, the adaptations of Just Like Us, How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, Into the Beautiful North, OLIVÉRio: A Brazilian Twist, Ella Enchanted the Musical, and many more. She collaborated on the libretto for Sleepy Hollow and Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises for The Washington Ballet at The Kennedy Center, and she has written 10 theatre-for-young-audience musicals with composer Deborah Wicks La Puma. Her plays have been produced at The Kennedy Center, Goodman Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Guthrie Theater, Cincinn
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