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Breaking News: John Doyle to Direct DEAD POETS SOCIETY Premiere & PACIFIC OVERTURES as Part of Classic Stage's 2016-17 Season

Off-Broadway's acclaimed Classic Stage Company today announced plans for its 2016-17 season, led by incoming Artistic Director John Doyle and Managing Director Jeff Griffin. Doyle, a Tony Award winner for Sweeney Todd and the director of Broadway's highly-praised new production of The Color Purple, assumes the artistic leadership of CSC beginning in July, succeeding Brian Kulick, who has led the company since 2003. For CSC, Doyle has directed Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Passion and Rodgers & Hammerstein's Allegro, and later this season will direct Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt.

Said John Doyle, " It is thrilling to be announcing our new season for CSC. Three great stories written by top writers providing, I hope, variety and continuity. A great American story by the wonderful Tom Schulman, a delightful new addition to David Ives' on-going work for CSC, and a further opportunity to explore the remarkable Sondheim/Weidman collaboration makes me excited for this new adventure"

The new season will launch in October, 2016 with the world premiere of Dead Poets Society, based on the beloved 1989 film. Dead Poets Society is written by Academy Award winner Tom Schulman, adapted from his screenplay, and will be directed by John Doyle. Set at a rigorous all-boys preparatory school renowned for its ancient traditions, where the unconventional Professor Keating inspires his students to defy conformity, and to live passionately. Dead Poets Society will begin performances in October.

In January,2017, CSC will present The Liar, a hilarious farce by David Ives based on the play by Pierre Corneille, and directed by Michael Kahn, about the charming Dorante who cannot tell the truth and the manservant Clinton who cannot tell a lie. The Liar will mark the fifth collaboration between Ives and CSC, following the highly-successful productions of Venus In Fur (in its world premiere), The School for Lies, The Heir Apparent, and his translation of Yasmina Reza's A Spanish Play.

The company will conclude the new season in April, 2017 with a new production of Stephen Sondheim's ground-breaking musical Pacific Overtures, featuring a book by John Weidman, and directed by John Doyle, whose interpretations of several of Sondheim's musicals, including Passion at CSC and Sweeney Todd and Company on Broadway, have garnered wide critical acclaim and numerous awards. In 1853, Commodore Matthew Perry sailed to Japan on a U.S mission to open up trade relations at any cost. Pacific Overtures tells the tale of a samurai and a fisherman who are caught up in the Westernization of the East.

JOHN DOYLE (CSC Artistic Director; Director of Dead Poets Society and Pacific Overtures) joined CSC in 2013 as the company's Associate Director. For CSC, he directed the highly-acclaimed productions of Stephen Sondheim's Passion (2013, Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical) and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Allegro (2014, Drama League Nomination, Best Revival of a Musical). Additional theatre in the US includes: Sweeney Todd (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, Best Director of a Musical; Drama Desk Nomination Outstanding Set Design of a Musical), Company (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Awards Best Musical Revival; Tony and Drama Desk Nominations, Outstanding Director of a Musical), A Catered Affair (Drama League Award, Best Musical Production; Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical), The Visit (Tony Nomination, Best Musical; Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Director of a Musical), Ten Cents A Dance (Williamstown/ McCarter), The Exorcist (The Geffen, LA), Road Show (Public Theater/Menier Chocolate Factory), Where's Charley? and Irma La Douce (Encores!), Wings (Second Stage), A Bed and a Chair (City Center), Kiss Me Kate (Stratford), Caucasian Chalk Circle (ACT), Merrily We Roll Along and The Three Sisters (Cincinnati). In the UK, John has been Artistic Director of four regional theatres - The Worcester Swan; The Cheltenham Everyman; The Liverpool Everyman; The York Theatre Royal; and was also Associate Director of the Watermill Theatre, Newbury. During these residencies, he directed numerous productions of new and classic works. Noteable credits include: Female Parts, Sweeney Todd, Gondoliers, Mack and Mabel (West End), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Regent's Park Open Air Theatre), Oklahoma! (Chichester), Amadeus (Wilton's Music Hall), The Millennium Cycle of Mystery Plays (London) Carmen, Fiddler on the Roof (Watermill) The Wars of the Roses, The Madness of George 111 (York), The White Devil, Othello, Candide (Liverpool). Opera includes Madama Butterfly, The Dialogues of the Carmelites, (Grange Park), Lucia Di Lammermoor (Houston/La Fenice/Sydney Opera House/Scottish Opera), Peter Grimes (Metropolitan Opera, New York), The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (LA Opera, starring Audra McDonald and Patti LuPone). He directed the feature film Main Street (starring Colin Firth and Ellen Burstyn). John is co- author of "Shakespeare for Dummies". He is currently represented on Broadway by the acclaimed production of The Color Purple.

DAVID IVES (Author The Liar) was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play for his play Venus In Fur, which premiered at Classic Stage Company before moving to Broadway. The play has since been produced all over the country and the world, and turned into a film by Roman Polanski that premiered in 2013 at the Cannes Film Festival. Other plays of David Ives that premiered at Classic Stage: The Heir Apparent, New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza (winner of the prestigious Hull-Warriner Award) and The School For Lies (adapted from Molière's Misanthrope), as well as his translation of Yasmina Reza's A Spanish Play. He is well-known for his evenings of one-act comedies All in the Timing and Time Flies. Other works include White Christmas; Polish Joke; and Ancient History. He is the author of three young-adult novels: Monsieur Eek, Scrib, and Voss, and he has adapted 32 American musicals for New York City's beloved Encores! series.

MICHAEL KAHN (Director The Liar). Michael Kahn's work in theatre and opera has been seen on Broadway, off-Broadway, in American regional theatres, and at international venues. He has been the Artistic Director of Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC for nearly three decades. During this time he has directed award-winning classical theatre productions, instituted free Shakespeare performances, and led the Theatre to receive the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award. From 1992-2005, Mr. Kahn was the Richard Rogers Chair of the Drama Division at Juilliard, where he has taught since its founding in 1968. He also served as the Artistic Director of The Acting Company, McCarter Theatre Center, and the American Shakespeare Theatre. He earned a Tony nomination for his direction of Showboat. In 2013 Mr. Kahn was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame and was named an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.

TOM SCHULMAN (Author of Dead Poets Society)) directed the Actors' Studio, West production of Harold Pinter's The Caretaker and wrote the film Dead Poets Society for which he received an Academy Award. He also wrote the screenplays for the films What About Bob?; Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; Medicine Man and Holy Man. He wrote and directed Eight Heads in a Duffel Bag and was an executive producer on Indecent Proposal and Me, Myself and Irene and the writer/producer of Welcome to Mooseport. He co-wrote and co-produced The Anatomy of Hope, a pilot for HBO. Tom served on the board of directors and then as vice president of the Writers Guild of America, West and served on the board of directors and then as president of the Writers Guild Foundation. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in Philosophy and studied at the USC Graduate School of Cinema, the Actors and Directors Lab with Jack Garfein and more recently with director Joan Darling.

STEPHEN SONDHEIM (Music and Lyrics for Pacific Overtures) wrote the music and lyrics for Saturday Night, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, The Frogs, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods, Assassins, Passion and Road Show as well as lyrics for West Side Story, Gypsy and Do I Hear a Waltz? and additional lyrics for Candide. Anthologies of his work include Side by Side by Sondheim, Marry Me a Little, You're Gonna Love Tomorrow and Putting It Together. For films and television, he composed the scores of Stavisky and Reds and wrote songs for Dick Tracy and "Evening Primrose." He co-authored the film The Last of Sheila and the play Getting Away With Murder. Mr. Sondheim is on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, having served as its president from 1973 to 1981.

JOHN WEIDMAN (Book for Pacific Overtures) has written the books for a wide variety of musicals, among them Pacific Overtures, Assassins and Road Show, all with scores by Stephen Sondheim; Contact, co-created with director/choreographer Susan Stroman; Happiness, score by Scott Frankel and Michael Korie, directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman; and Take Flight and Big, scores by Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire. Weidman has written for "Sesame Street," receiving more than a dozen Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing for a Children's series.

CSC is the award-winning Off-Broadway theatre committed to re-imagining the classical repertory for contemporary audiences. For more than 45 years, CSC has been a home for New York's finest established and emerging artists to grapple with the great works of the world's repertory that speak directly to the issues of today. CSC serves an average of 35,000 audience members annually, including more than 4,000 students through its nationally-recognized education programs. Recent productions include: Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children, Euripides' Iphigenia in Aulis, transadapted by Anne Washburn; Marlowe's Doctor Faustus adapted by David Bridel and Andrei Belgrader, starring Chris Noth; Shakespeare's Hamlet starring Peter Sarsgaard; Turgenev's A Month in the Country with Peter Dinklage and Taylor Schilling; Rodgers & Hammerstein's Allegro; Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle with Christopher Lloyd, and Galileo with F. Murray Abraham; Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Passion with Melissa Errico, Judy Kuhn and Ryan Silverman; Chekhov's Ivanov with Ethan Hawke, The Cherry Orchard with Dianne Wiest and John Turturro, Three Sisters with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Hecht, Juliet Rylance and Peter Sarsgaard, Uncle Vanya with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Denis O'Hare and Peter Sarsgaard, and The Seagull with Dianne Wiest and Alan Cumming; David Ives' The Heir Apparent, Venus in Fur with Nina Arianda (Broadway transfer 2011/2012, Tony Award nom., Best Play), The School for Lies with Hamish Linklater, and New Jerusalem with Richard Easton; Unnatural Acts, conceived by Tony Speciale; Anne Carson's An Oresteia; and Shakespeare's The Tempest with Mandy Patinkin, A Midsummer Night's Dream with Bebe Neuwirth, and Richard III, Richard II and Hamlet with Michael Cumpsty. CSC productions have been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theatre awards: Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.

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