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PRIVATE JONES World Premiere, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY & More Set for Signature Theatre 2023/24 Season

The season is set to feature Ragtime, HAIR and more.

By: May. 16, 2023
PRIVATE JONES World Premiere, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY & More Set for Signature Theatre 2023/24 Season  Image
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Signature Theatre has announced its 34th season. The upcoming 2023/24 season continues Signature's mission to be the premiere producer of new and innovative musical theater in the country, programming six musicals and one play in a season lineup that includes one world premiere and three DC premieres. More information on the 2023/24 season is available at SigTheatre.org/Subscribe.

"Signature is proud to be a leading force in the American musical theater, whether reimagining beloved classics or bringing new works to the stage," said Signature Theatre Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner. "Our 34th season demonstrates the depth and diversity of Signature's storytelling, featuring ambitious genre-spanning musicals with robust orchestras, lush designs, and large casts, yet perfectly tailored for our intimate performance space. We're also thrilled to feature new works by several important contemporary voices, including Jeff Augustin, Alex Bechtel, The Bengsons, Grace McLean, Eva Steinmetz, Marshall Pailet, and Lauren Yee. Whether reinventing a story you love or introducing you to something new, our goal is to bring our audiences an experience that is invigorating, meaningful and unforgettable."

"We are excited to continue to grow our audiences with Signature's thrilling new season, which we hope will delight our biggest fans and attract those who've never experienced our work before," said Signature Managing Director Maggie Boland. "This season highlights Signature's commitment to sharing a broad spectrum of productions with the community, from our characteristic reinvention of classic musicals to an exhilarating mix of new works. With this range of programming, created by the finest artists working today, Signature is the place for us all to come together to celebrate, engage and connect."

To kick off the season, Associate Artistic Director Ethan Heard (Signature's Pacific Overtures, Which Way to the Stage) will direct the romantic musical The Bridges of Madison County (August 8 - September 17, 2023), with music direction by Laura Bergquist (Allegiance, Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish) and choreography by Kelly Crandall d'Amboise (Signature's She Loves Me, Grand Hotel). Based on the best-selling novel by Robert James Walker and with a gorgeous Tony-Award-winning score by Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years, Parade) and a moving book by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman (The Color Purple, The Secret Garden), The Bridges of Madison County is a ravishing love story about the choices we make. After marrying an American soldier to escape a decimated Italy after World War II, Francesca builds herself a home in Iowa, raising two children and settling into a steady but unremarkable routine. Then one day, she meets Robert, a charismatic photographer, who awakens her passion and changes her life forever.

In The ARK Theatre, Jennifer Chang (Round House Theatre's The Great Leap, LA Opera's On Gold Mountain) will direct the Washington, DC premiere of playwright Lauren Yee's (Cambodian Rock Band, The Great Leap) semi-autobiographical comedy King of the Yees (September 12 - October 22, 2023). When her father goes missing, Lauren must embark on a quest through San Francisco's famous Chinatown, beyond the iconic Dragon's Gate, through a bustling maze of alleys and magical portals, to find him before it's too late. Bitingly funny, heartfelt, and imaginative, King of the Yees is an exuberant epic of rediscovering heritage and becoming a part of, instead of apart from, one's story.

This fall, Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner (Signature's Into the Woods, RENT) will reimagine the expansive musical epic Ragtime (October 24, 2023 - January 7, 2024) for Signature's intimate MAX Theatre. Based on the novel Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow, the production will feature music direction by Jon Kalbfleisch (Signature's Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods) and choreography by Ashleigh King (Signature's Which Way to the Stage, Ford's Grace). With a rapturous Tony Award-winning score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Once on This Island, A Man of No Importance) and a Tony Award-winning book by playwright Terrence McNally (Kiss of the Spider Woman, Master Class), Ragtime is a triumphant musical portrait of America at the turn of the 20th century. The stories of three American families intertwine against the backdrop of a towering slate of historical figures. Together, through a dazzling array of musical styles from the era, they weave a stunning tapestry that reveals both the promise and prejudice of the American experience.

Signature will present its 61st world premiere production this winter, a stunning musical inspired by the true story of a deaf Welsh sniper in World War I. Written and directed by Marshall Pailet (Who's Your Baghdaddy, Triassic Park) and featuring Director of Artistic Sign Language Alexandria Wailes (Broadway's For Colored Girls, Spring Awakening) and choreography by Misha Shields (Who's Your Baghdaddy, Atlantic Theater Company's Wonderland), Private Jones (February 6 - March 10, 2024) is an unexpectedly funny and gripping musical adventure about service, friendship, and the cost of war. Hiding his profound hearing loss, young Gomer Jones fakes his way through enlistment in the army. He becomes a celebrated sniper, but the horrors of the front threaten to expose his secret and destroy his very humanity unless he learns to trust his fellow soldiers to accept who he really is.

Up next in The ARK, Signature will produce the Washington, DC premiere of Penelope (March 5 - April 21, 2024), a wry new musical about the wife of Odysseus directed by the show's co-author Eva Steinmetz (Art Houses: Gary, The Appointment). With music and lyrics by Alex Bechtel (The Appointment, The Light Princess) and a book by Alex Bechtel (The Appointment, The Light Princess), Grace McLean (In the Green, Natasha Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812), and Eva Steinmetz (Art Houses: Gary, The Appointment), Penelope makes it clear: if we're going to talk about the Trojan War, we need a drink. With a glass of bourbon in hand, Penelope takes to the microphone to chronicle those twenty years waiting on the small island kingdom of Ithaca. With soulful music, this witty and thoughtful musical flips the script on the dutiful wife, as Penelope steps out of the background to claim her time in the spotlight.

To start off the summer, Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner will direct the sensational, groundbreaking rock musical HAIR (April 16 - July 7, 2024). The production will be music directed by Mark G. Meadows (Signature's The Color Purple, RENT) and choreographed by Rickey Tripp (Signature's RENT, Broadway's Once on This Island). With book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and a spine-tingling rock score by Galt MacDermot (Two Gentlemen of Verona), HAIR bursts with the jubilant spirit, raging rebellion and psychedelic color of the 1960s. A tribe of long-haired bohemian hippies on the cusp of adulthood champion freedom, pacifism, and joy, but confront a world thrown into chaos when one of their own receives a draft notice for the Vietnam War. HAIR's vibrant, groovy celebration of peace, love and life changed Broadway forever and still resonates today.

To close the season, Timothy Douglas (Signature's The Color Purple, Spunk) will return to Signature to direct the Washington, DC premiere of Where the Mountain Meets the Sea (May 21 - July 7, 2024), a poignant, beautiful musical of parallel journeys from Jeff Augustin (Apple TV+'s The Morning Show, Little Children Dream of God) and The Bengsons (Hundred Days, The Lucky Ones). The production will be music directed by Rob Morrison (Classic Stage Company's Assassins, CSC's Frankenstein). After he learns of his estranged father's death, a son recreates the cross-country trip his Haitian immigrant parents took before he was born. As he traces their journey across America, and bonds with the music his father adored, time blurs and erases the distance between them. Lyrical storytelling and an evocative folk score drive father and son to rediscover love, each other and their everlasting bond.

Signature's Cabaret Series will kick off this summer with Disco Fever (July 25 - August 13, 2023), a syncopated celebration of the music of Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Diana Ross and more. In the fall, Signature salutes the smooth style that launched Sam Cooke, Bill Withers, Otis Redding, and Marvin Gaye in How Sweet It Is: The Men of Soul (November 7 - 19, 2023). December brings back the sold-out hit cabaret Both Sides Now: Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen (December 5 - December 17, 2023) for Signature audiences. The final cabaret of the 2023/24 season is a heartfelt tribute to the acclaimed songwriter Burt Bacharach performed by Signature favorite Nova Y. Payton, That's What Friends Are For: Nova Y. Payton sings Burt Bacharach (January 16 - February 4, 2024).

Signature's special events include the Signature Seminar: Musical Revolution in the Age of Aquarius, a five-part behind-the-scenes seminar with the cast and creative team of HAIR. The seminar will run from March 28 - April 16, 2024. The 2023/24 season will also see the 29th year of Signature in the Schools, an award-winning arts education program provided for free to schools across northern Virginia. The SigWorks: Monday Night New Play Reading series, which promotes the work of DC area playwrights with free readings and discussions, now enters its eighth year and is currently accepting submissions through June 26. Dates and play reading titles will be announced at a later time.

Signature offers flexible subscription options for the 2023/24 season. Season Subscription packages are now on sale. Custom packages can be created for 3-, 4-, 5-, 6- or the full 7-show season. Season subscription package prices begin at $196. Benefits of subscribing include first choice of seats, savings over individual ticket prices, and discounts on extra tickets. Call Signature's Box Office at 703 820 9771 or visit Sigtheatre.org/Subscribe.

Single tickets for the entire season will go on sale mid-July.

SIGNATURE THEATRE'S 2023/24 SEASON LISTINGS
DC Premiere

The Bridges of Madison County

August 8 - September 17, 2023
MAX Theatre

A sweeping musical romance of desire and sacrifice based on the best-selling novel.

After marrying an American soldier to escape a decimated Italy after World War II, Francesca builds herself a home in Iowa, raising two children and settling into a steady but unremarkable routine. Then one day, she meets Robert, a charismatic photographer, who awakens her passion and changes her life forever.

With a gorgeous Tony Award-winning score by Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years, Parade) and a moving book by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Marsha Norman (The Color Purple, The Secret Garden), The Bridges of Madison County is a ravishing love story about the choices we make.

Book by Marsha Norman
Music & Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Based on the novel by Robert James Waller
Orchestrations by Jason Robert Brown
Originally Produced on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Stacey Mindich, Jerry Frankel Gutterman Chernoff, Hunter Arnold, Ken Davenport, Carl Daikeler, Michael DeSantis, Aaron Priest, Libby Adler Mages/Mari Glick Stuart, Scott M. Delman, Independent Presenters Network, Red Mountain Theatre Company, Caiola Productions, Remmel T. Dickinson, Ken Greiner, David Lancaster, Bellanca Smigel Rutter, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Will Trice
With Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures and The Shubert Organization
In association with The Williamstown Theatre Festival
Music Directed by Laura Bergquist
Choreographed by Kelly Crandall d'Amboise
Directed by Ethan Heard

August 8 - September 17, 2023
Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app. 
Pride Night: August 25, 2023
Post-show Discussions: August 30 and September 12, 2023

DC Premiere

King of the Yees

September 12 - October 22, 2023
ARK Theatre

A vibrant, semi-autobiographical comedy about community, culture and the connection between fathers and daughters.

Playwright Lauren Yee (Cambodian Rock Band) is rehearsing her newest show about her father (which she has not told him about), when he joyfully bursts through the doors and interrupts the actors. After he later goes missing, the younger Yee must embark on a quest through San Francisco's famous Chinatown, beyond the iconic Dragon's Gate, through a bustling maze of alleys and magical portals, to find him before it's too late.

Bitingly funny, heartfelt, and imaginative, King of the Yees is an exuberant epic of rediscovering heritage and becoming a part of, instead of apart from, one's story.

By Lauren Yee
Directed by Jennifer Chang

September 12 - October 22, 2023
Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app. 
Pride Night: October 13, 2023
Post-show Discussions: September 27 and October 17, 2023

Ragtime

October 24, 2023 - January 7, 2024
MAX Theatre

The triumphant Tony Award-winning musical portrait of America at the turn of the 20th century.

The stories of three American families intertwine against the backdrop of a towering slate of historical figures. Together, through a dazzling array of musical styles from the era, they weave a stunning tapestry that reveals both the promise and prejudice of the American experience.

In the tradition of Titanic, West Side Story and Into the Woods, Signature reinvents this expansive epic for its trademark intimate space.

Book by Terrence McNally
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Based on the novel Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow
Music Directed by Jon Kalbfleisch
Choreographed by Ashleigh King
Directed by Matthew Gardiner

October 24, 2023 - January 7, 2024
Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app. 
Pride Night: December 1, 2023
Post-show Discussions: November 14 and December 6, 2023

World Premiere

Private Jones

February 6 - March 10, 2024
MAX Theatre

A world premiere musical inspired by the true story of a deaf Welsh sniper in World War I.

Hiding his profound hearing loss, young Gomer Jones fakes his way through enlistment in the army. He becomes a celebrated sniper, but the horrors of the front threaten to expose his secret and destroy his very humanity unless he learns to trust his fellow soldiers to accept who he really is.

With an innovative soundscape and a sweeping original score, Private Jones is an unexpectedly funny and gripping musical adventure about service, friendship, and the cost of war.

The production will be performed in spoken English as well as some American Sign Language and British Sign Language.

Written and Directed by Marshall Pailet
Director of Artistic Sign Language Alexandria Wailes
Choreographed by Misha Shields

February 6 - March 10, 2024
Open captions to the sides of the stage and dynamic captions will be shown at every performance. Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app.
Pride Night: February 23, 2024
Post-show Discussions: February 27 and March 6, 2024
ASL Interpreted Performances: February 22, February 27 and March 10

New work at Signature Theatre is sponsored by Dan and Gloria Logan.

DC Premiere

Penelope

March 5 - April 21, 2024
ARK Theatre

If we're going to talk about the Trojan War, we need a drink.

Penelope, the wife of Odysseus, is fed up and has some things she wants to say. With glass of bourbon in hand, she takes the microphone to chronicle those twenty years waiting on the small island kingdom of Ithaca.

With soulful music, this witty and thoughtful musical flips the script on the dutiful wife, as Penelope steps out of the background to claim her time in the spotlight.

Music & Lyrics by Alex Bechtel
Book by Alex Bechtel, Grace McLean & Eva Steinmetz
Based on writings in The Odyssey by Homer
Directed by Eva Steinmetz

March 5 - April 21, 2024
Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app.
Pride Night: April 5, 2024
Post-show Discussions: March 19 and April 10, 2024

HAIR

April 16 - July 7, 2024
MAX Theatre

The sensational, groundbreaking rock musical bursts with the jubilant spirit, raging rebellion and psychedelic color of the 1960s.

A tribe of long-haired bohemian hippies on the cusp of adulthood champion freedom, pacifism, and joy, but confront a world thrown into chaos when one of their own receives a draft notice for the Vietnam War.

With chart-topping hits such as "Aquarius," "Let the Sunshine In," and "Good Morning, Starshine," HAIR's vibrant, groovy celebration of peace, love and life changed Broadway forever and still resonates today.

Book and Lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado
Music by Galt MacDermot
Produced for the Broadway Stage by Michael Butler
Originally Produced by the New York Shakespeare Theatre Festival
Music Directed by Mark G. Meadows
Choreographed by Rickey Tripp
Directed by Matthew Gardiner

April 16 - July 7, 2024
Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app.
Pride Night: June 7, 2024
Post-show Discussions: May 8 and June 11, 2024

DC Premiere

Where the Mountain Meets the Sea

May 21 - July 7, 2024
ARK Theatre

A poignant, beautiful musical of parallel journeys from the writer of Apple TV+'s The Morning Show and directed by Timothy Douglas (Signature's The Color Purple).

After he learns of his estranged father's death, a son recreates the cross-country trip his Haitian immigrant parents took before he was born. As he traces their journey across America, and bonds with the music his father adored, time blurs and erases the distance between them.

Lyrical storytelling and an evocative folk score drive father and son to rediscover love, each other and their everlasting bond.

Written by Jeff Augustin
Music by The Bengsons
Music Directed by Rob Morrison
Directed by Timothy Douglas

May 21 - July 7, 2024
Closed captions will be available for every show via the GalaPro app.
Pride Night: June 28, 2024
Post-show Discussions: June 5 and June 25, 2024

Cabaret Series

Disco Fever

July 25 - August 13, 2023
Get ready to dance to the nightlife rhythms of disco! The music of Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Diana Ross, The Bee Gees and more comes alive to the syncopated beat of "Stayin' Alive," "Hot Stuff," "Last Dance," "I Will Survive" and "We Are Family."

How Sweet It Is: The Men of Soul
November 7 - November 19, 2023
Groove to the classic soul of "(Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay," "Let's Get it On," "Try a Little Tenderness" and "A Change is Gonna Come" as Signature salutes the smooth style that brought America Sam Cooke, Bill Withers, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye.

Both Sides Now: Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen

December 5 - December 17, 2023
The sold-out cabaret featuring Robbie Schaefer and Danielle Wertz returns for an encore performance! Celebrate longtime friends and one-time lovers Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen's mutual influence on each other's work with some of their beloved chart-toppers including "Case of You," "Hallelujah," "Big Yellow Taxi," "Suzanne," and many other unforgettable tunes that defined a generation.

That's What Friends Are For: Nova Y. Payton sings Burt Bacharach

January 16 - February 4, 2024
The incomparable Nova Y. Payton sings the repertoire of acclaimed tunesmith Burt Bacharach, whose six-decade career produced the hit musical Promises, Promises as well as chart-topping pop songs including "I Say A Little Prayer," "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" and "What the World Needs Now is Love."

Special Events

Signature Seminar: Musical Revolution in the Age of Aquarius

March 28 - April 16, 2024
HAIR exploded onto the Broadway scene in 1968 to create a new genre - the rock musical. Relive the 1960s and go behind the scenes in this five-part series to experience the music, style and the counterculture that continues to inspire fifty years later. Meet director Matthew Gardiner and the creative team, see the designs, and watch the show come to life in an exciting in-depth exploration of the musical that defined a generation.


SigWorks: Monday Night New Play Reading Series

Dates TBA
SigWorks: Monday Night New Play Readings is an initiative which highlights and supports the work of DC-area play­wrights. This series is an opportunity for playwrights, actors, directors, and patrons to explore new plays in a fun and infor­mal environment. Each reading will be followed by a dialogue with the audience and the artists. Come hear a new play still in development and enjoy food and drink specials from Ali's Bar. Dates and plays for SigWorks to be announced at a later time.

ABOUT SIGNATURE

Signature Theatre is a Tony Award®-winning regional theater that broadens and brightens the region's cultural landscape with its bold productions of challenging new and established works and engaging education and outreach programs. Founded in 1989 by Eric Schaeffer and Donna Migliaccio, and currently under the leadership of Managing Director Maggie Boland and Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner, musical theater is Signature's "signature," and the Theatre is renowned for its definitive Sondheim productions, inventive adaptations of overlooked or forgotten works, and investment in fresh new projects. Signature combines Broadway-caliber productions with intimate playing spaces and aims to be a leading force in U.S. musical theater.

Since its inception, the Theatre has produced 60 world premiere works-including 19 new musical commissions. Signature opens its doors to more than 100,000 people annually from the Washington, DC region and beyond and reaches more than 10,000 students every year through its innovative education programs, including the award-winning initiative Signature in the Schools. Signature has won 134 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the Washington, DC region's professional theater and has been honored with 482 nominations.





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