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Classic Stage Company Announces Fall 2020 Season; Shares Plans to Resume Production on ASSASSINS

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Upcoming CLASSIC CONVERSATIONS guests will include Ben Brantley, Nataki Garrett, Rufus Norris, Marianne Elliott and More.

Classic Stage Company Announces Fall 2020 Season; Shares Plans to Resume Production on ASSASSINS

Classic Stage Company today announced its Fall 2020 season, in which it scales up two timely new CSC producing initiatives while New York City theaters must remain closed. The organization reveals a robust slate of new episodes in both its virtual Classic Conversations series and the CSC podcast, both of which offer extraordinarily revealing discussions with an array of theater luminaries, often reflecting on the vast crises currently confronting the American theater at large and the best paths forward for the field.

Classic Conversations

When theaters were forced to shut down this spring, CSC quickly adapted its signature series Classic Conversations, with Doyle conducting the interviews remotely and the theater releasing the episodes free of charge. The immediate focus was on cast members from John Doyle's upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins, including Brandon Uranowitz; Will Swenson; Adam Chanler-Berat; Tavi Gevinson; Eddie Cooper; Ethan Slater; Steven Pasquale; Bianca Horn; Wesley Taylor; Andy Grotelueschen; Brad Giovanine, Katrina Yaukey, Whit K. Lee, and Rob Morrison; and Judy Kuhn. Then, this summer, CSC produced a new lineup featuring eminent actors who have collaborated with Doyle and/or CSC on other projects: George Takei, André De Shields, Becky Ann Baker, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, and Heather Headley. Due in part to Doyle's being a fellow artist, a collaborator, and, in many cases, a friend, the series' guests have spoken with remarkable candor about experiences ranging from the pandemic to this year's nationwide protests for racial justice. And because artists and audiences have been unable to convene in-person, the songs the musical theater stars have sung during the conversations have been particularly poignant.

This fall, CSC further expands the Classic Conversations programming, producing episodes featuring eminent critics and influential leaders of institutional theaters, in addition to prominent actors and directors.

Ben Brantley (Co-Chief Theater Critic, The New York Times), on Sept. 17

Tonya Pinkins (Actor, Caroline, or Change), on Sept. 24

Nataki Garrett (Artistic Director, Oregon Shakespeare Festival), on Oct. 1

Rufus Norris (Artistic Director, The National Theatre, London), on Oct. 8

Marianne Elliott (Director, Company, Angels in America), on Oct. 15

Timothy Douglas (Director, Frankenstein at CSC), on Oct. 22

John Weidman (Writer, Assassins), on Nov. 12

Hilton Als (Staff Writer and Former Theatre Critic, The New Yorker), on Nov. 19

Classic Conversations episodes premiere on CSC's YouTube and are available to view afterwards on Facebook and Instagram IGTV.

CSC Podcast

When it launched last year, the CSC Podcast began by providing an inside look at the programming at CSC, with artists involved in the company's productions, considering, in part, what makes a classic, and discussing the contemporary resonances of an ever-widening canon. The first two episodes featured John Doyle, about his staging of The Cradle Will Rock, and Erik Lochtefeld, who played Banquo in Doyle's recent production of Macbeth, about that role and a range of others.

This fall, CSC returns to producing the podcast, widening its scope to include the theater's broader community of artists, and increasing the frequency of production, releasing a new episode each month. These include:

Peter Kim (Associate Producer, NAATCO; and an award-winning Actor), on Sept. 30, coinciding with International Podcast Day

Awoye Timpo (Director and Producer; Founder, CLASSIX, which aims to expand the classical canon through an exploration of dramatic works by Black writers), joined by CLASSIX team member and dramaturg, archivist, and musician, Arminda Thomas, on Oct. 30.

CSC will announce November and December guests soon.

Assassins

CSC plans to resume production on John Doyle's staging of Assassins-which was scheduled to begin performances on April 2 and was nearly sold-out when theaters closed on March 12-as soon as theaters can reopen safely. When the production premieres, it will complete the trilogy of Sondheim/Weidman musicals Doyle has directed. (He has staged their other two collaborations-Pacific Overtures, at CSC in 2017, and Road Show, at The Public Theater in 2008 and London's Menier Chocolate Factory in 2011-to wide acclaim.)

Assassins is a journey through the dark side of the American dream that explores the lives of nine men and women who either killed (or tried to kill) one of the Presidents of the United States.



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