Rochester's Geva Theatre Center Announces 2005-2006 Season of World Premieres and Revivals

Mark Cuddy, Geva Theatre Center's Artistic Director, is proud to announce the much anticipated 2005–2006 Season. The new season features three world premieres, a world-wide hit that began as a "whodunit" at Geva thirty years ago, and the return of one of the most popular musicals in Geva Theatre Center history. The Fall Mainstage Season also kicks-off with noted actor Charles Durning starring in the first Geva production. Durning won a Tony Award for his role as Big Daddy in the 1989 Broadway revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and audiences will remember him from such films as Tootsie and O Brother Where Art Thou?. Durning has earned seven Golden Globe nominations, winning one for the Kennedy's of Massachusetts and has garnered eleven Emmy nominations. Geva's 33rd season will encompass the theatrical history and tradition Geva is known for, as well as break new ground with its showcasing of new works. Geva Theatre Center continues to be one of the premiere cultural organizations in Rochester, and is seen as a leading light among regional theatres in this country.

Commenting on the new repertory, Cuddy states: "We further the Geva mission of producing new American plays with three outstanding premiers written by three of the country's finest emerging playwrights. Each play is keenly tuned to the tempo of our times, and will engage our audience in meaningful ways. The revivals were all chosen because of their special resonance today, and will be freshly experienced through new productions. Finally, we are extremely honored to have Charles Durning bring his extraordinary talent and humanity to the Geva stage. His performance will long be remembered."

Coast to Coast
Written and Performed by Marc Wolf
September 11 – October 2
On The Nextstage
A World Premiere!

When writer/performer Marc Wolf found himself on the West Coast on September 11, 2001, with no way to get home to New York, he started talking to people. Coast to Coast is the story of Wolf's long drive home and the people he interviewed along the way: a soundtrack of life and fear, history and hope, during a time of chaos and questions.

A provocative new play from the author of Another American Asking and Telling.

Morning's at Seven
By Paul Osborn
September 27 – October 30
Directed by Skip Greer
On the Mainstage
Starring noted film actor Charles Durning as Thor.

Cora, Ida, Esther and Arry. Sisters are sisters, no matter what their age, and the Gibbs sisters are more spice than sugar. The four women have always lived within walking distance of one another, but proximity and a lifetime of shared experience don't always add up to easy relationships. Cora and Arry both love Thor. Cora married him, Arry lives upstairs, and Thor is stuck in the middle, as a whole generation of secrets and yearnings unfold in this charming and heartwarming comedy.

Shear Madness
By Paul Portner
Adapted by Bruce Jordan and Marilyn Abrams
November 8 – December 11
Directed by Bruce Jordan
On the Mainstage A zany whodunit – and you, the audience, get to solve the crime! For the world famous musician Isabel Czerny, living above the Shear Madness hair salon can be murder. The concert pianist meets her untimely demise, and everyone on stage has a reason to do her in. You, the audience, have to decide who's guilty and who's not in this hilarious comedy-mystery that's different every night! Seen by over six million people around the country, Shear Madness is one of America's favorite productions.

One of the longest running plays in the American theatre comes back to the place it began. Back in 1976, Geva produced a wacky mystery called Whodunnit?. Rewritten and with a new title, Shear Madness became a runaway hit.

By Morris Panych
January 10 – February 12
Directed by Mark Cuddy
On the Mainstage

A self-professed neurotic named Kemp quits his job at the bank to sit by his dying aunt's bedside. But this is no movie of the week. With wicked humor, sly plot twists and surprising poignancy, two people find that neither one is what the other expected in this deliciously brilliant black comedy. "A devilishly funny play [that] laughs in death's face." (Maclean's Magazine)

Morris Panych, one of Canada's foremost contemporary playwrights, is also a director and actor. His directing credits include work at the Shaw Festival; as an actor, he played a regular role on TV's "The X-Files."

Inherit the Wind
By Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
February 21 – March 26
Directed by Skip Greer
On the Mainstage

An American powerhouse. A high school science instructor is jailed for teaching evolution. His court case becomes a battleground of truth and faith, and freedom itself is on trial in this American classic that's as powerful today as when it premiered a half century ago.

Inherit the Wind had its Broadway debut in 1955, 30 years after the Scopes Monkey Trial that inspired the play.

Iron Kisses
By James Still
March 15 – April 2
On The Nextstage
A World Premiere!

The story of an American family, and the unique relationship between a brother and a sister. Grown up and apart, they try to figure out marriage, divorce, secrets, new loves and old. Theatrical and playful, heartbreaking and funny, two actors play all of the family members in a show that reminds us how people can surprise you – if you let them.

By the author of the Nextstage hit, Looking Over the President's Shoulder.

Splitting Infinity
By Jamie Pachino
April 18 – May 21
Directed by Mark Cuddy
On the Mainstage
A World Premiere!

In this explosive drama that speaks to the mind and the heart, Leigh Sangold, Nobel prize-winning astrophysicist, decides to take on the ultimate scientific experiment: to prove whether God exists. Leigh's pursuit throws into chaos her relationship with the Rabbi who's been her closest friend – and in love with her – since they were kids. A provocative exploration of faith and longing.

The popular hit of Geva's 2004-05 American Voices New Play Reading Series.

Five Guys Named Moe
By Clarke Peters, featuring the music of Louis Jordan
June 13 – July 16
Directed and Choreographed by Pamela Hunt
On the Mainstage

His woman left him, he's broke and it's almost five o'clock in the morning'. But don't be worrying about our hero Nomax. Five guys named Moe pop out of his radio to cajole, wheedle, comfort and jazz him with the whimsical hit songs of Louis Jordan. They'll have you dancing in the aisles, too! One of Geva's all-time greatest hits comes back for its 10th anniversary. Come back again to celebrate with us – and if you weren't around last time come on in and catch the spirit.

Louis Jordan was one of the most popular songwriting talents of the early 20th century, with such hits as "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" and "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby?"

Geva Theatre Center is the most attended regional theatre in New York State, with two busy stages; the 552-seat Mainstage and the 180-seat Nextstage. All productions are created for Rochester, drawing upon talented actors, designers, writers and directors from around the country. 150,000 people – including more than 16,000 students – will attend Geva Theatre Center this season. In addition to its Mainstage, Nextstage and Big Theatre for Little People productions, Geva Theatre Center provides a wide variety of educational, outreach and new play development programs.

For reservations and ticket information, please call the Geva Theatre Center Box Office at 585-232-Geva (4382), TTY: 585-325-1441 or visit Geva's website at

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