MARX IN SOHO, SPRING AWAKENING and More Set for Spotlighters Theatre's 55th Season

This season holds a wealth of "theatre magic" for you! A little frightening, and a lot of fun! Spotlighters tackles a variety of genres, and takes our audiences on some dark travels into the world of politics, feuding families and neighbors, gossipy friends, crime, murder and Dungeon & Dragons.

Audrey Herman always believed that theatre was more than entertainment, that it should provoke an audience. This season may frighten you, it may also bring you to tears (sadness and joy) and give you cause to wonder about the humanity around you.

This season also challenges the Spotlighters organization as they begin the process of developing their new home. It will be a year of fundraising, and many decisions and plans about the new home.

"I am excited about the possibilities that a new Community Arts Center will provide for Spotlighters and for the Baltimore community. A larger theatre with the same intimacy and closeness, so you are always, 'part of the action' and a new second theatre, and more room for education and community programs.

"When I look back at the great work of Spotlighters since 1962, I remember that Audrey was focused on bring quality theatre to the community and keeping an open door for new talent - actor, technician, designer - to walk in and see that this 'the-a-ter thing' was all about. Spotlighters continues to be a teaching theatre offering students of all ages a chance to experience theatre.

"This year Spotlighters will need your support as we begin the transition process, if you want to be more intimately involved, please contact the theatre about the many opportunities to assist with production operations, or with our Capital Campaign. Spotlighters is made from the very fiber of the Baltimore community, and you are what gives the theatre its breath.

"Join us this year, as a patron, as a subscriber, as a Donor, as a Partner - I promise you, the magic is real at Spotlighters! Visit www.spotlighters.org and click on NEXT SEASON for more information and to order season tickets!" - Fuzz Roark, Executive Director - Managing/Artistic Director


55th Season Lineup:

MARX IN SOHO
by Howard Zinn
directed by Sherrionne Brown
Sept 2 - 18, 2016 (Three Weeks Only)

Marx is back! The premise of this funny, witty and insightful "play on history" is that Karl Marx has agitated with the authorities of the afterlife for a chance to clear his name. Through a bureaucratic error, though, Marx is sent to Soho in New York, rather than his old stomping ground in London, to make his case.

Howard Zinn, best known for his book, A People's History of the United States, introduces us to Marx's wife, Jenny, his children, the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, and a host of other characters.

Marx in Soho is a brilliant introduction to Marx's life, his analysis of society, and his passion for radical change. Zinn also shows how Marx's ideas are relevant in today's world.
Featuring Phil Gallagher as Karl Marx.

Ten Spot Thursday: Sept 8 - Tickets $10
Talk Back: Sun, Sept 11


DAS BARBECÜ
- a new musical comedy
book & lyrics by Jim Luigs
music by Scott Warrender
directed by Greg Bell
musical direction by Michael W. Tan
Oct 7 - 30, 2016

Wagner's Ring Cycle is spun as a witty Texas fable with five actors playing more than 30 outrageous characters at breakneck speed. Songs run the gamut from Broadway to Texas swing, from jazz to twangy country and western. Mismatched lovers who meet on the day of their shotgun double wedding, three generations of feuding families, a magic ring of power, wild west lariat tricks, a synchronized swimming revue, a song and dance tribute to the joys of guacamole, and the sweetest two step ever to slide across a stage add up to wild comedy.

Ten Spot Thursday: Oct 13 - Tickets $10
Talk Back: Sun, Oct 23


THE GAME'S AFOOT
(or Holmes for the Holidays)
by Ken Ludwig
directed by Fuzz Roark
Nov 18 - Dec 18, 2016

Winner - 2012 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Allen Poe Awards - Best Play!

It is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it's up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays.

A WhoDunnit with twists & turns and murderous pandemonium!

Ten Spot Thursday: Dec 8 - Tickets $10
Talk Back: Sun, Dec 4


THE THREEPENNY OPERA
German adaptation by Bertolt Brecht
music by Kurt Weill
English lyrics by Michael Feingold
directed by Michael Blum
musical direction by Erica Rome
Jan 13 - Feb 5, 2017

Brecht and Weill turned to John Gay's 18th-century The Beggar's Opera to fashion this savage, biting commentary on bourgeois capitalism and modern morality. Set in Victorian London as seen through the lens of 1920s Berlin, a bitter tale is told of the predatory outlaw known as Mack the Knife. He secretly marries the daughter of Soho's underworld boss, but is soon betrayed by his sinister in-laws and sent to prison. After being freed by the police chief's daughter, he is again betrayed - this time by a prostitute - and sentenced to death. At his final hour a reprieve from Queen Victoria herself arrives, thus providing a menacing finale of ferocious irony.

Ten Spot Thursday: Jan 19 - Tickets $10
Talk Back: Sun, Jan 29


THE WOMEN
by Clare Boothe Luce
directed by Fuzz Roark
Feb 24 - Mar 19, 2017

The plot centers on a 1939 group of gossipy high-society women who spend their days at the beauty salon and haunting fashion shows. The sweet, happily-wedded Mary Haines finds her marriage in trouble when shop-girl Crystal Allen gets her hooks into Mary's man. Naturally, this situation becomes the hot talk among Mary's catty friends, especially the scandalmonger Sylvia Fowler, who has little room to talk. But with a bit of guts and daring, Mary snatches her man right back from Crystal's clutches. Snappy, witty dialogue, helps send the humor over the top.

An all female cast. . . and it's all about the men!

Ten Spot Thursday: Mar 2 - Tickets $10
Talk Back: Sun, Mar 12


THE WIZ
book by William F. Brown
music & lyrics by Charlie Smalls
adapted from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
directed by Tracie M. Jiggetts
Apr 7 - 30, 2017

Everyone knows the story, but now it's a new fantasy for today -- mysterious, opulent and fanciful!

Dorothy is swept up by a cyclone and transplanted to the land of Oz - landing on top of the Wicked Witch of the East; the puzzled Dorothy is greeted by munchkins who sing to her about the Wiz, a powerful wizard living in Emerald City who can help her get home. On her journey down the yellow brick road, she encounters a garbage-stuffed scarecrow in a junkyard, a broken-down tin man caught in the decay of an old park, and a cowardly lion posing as a stone statue. The quartet faces numerous obstacles including a gaggle of motorcycle henchman on their way to the Wiz - who orders them to kill the Wicked Witch of the West (a sweatshop tyrant) before he will grant their wishes.

Ten Spot Thursday: Apr 13 - Tickets $10
Talk Back: Sun, Apr 23


SHE KILLS MONSTERS
by Qui Nguyen
directed by Stephanie Miller
May 26 - June 18, 2017

WINNER - 2013 AATE Distinguished Play Award

A comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games, She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans as she leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly's Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly's refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and 90s pop culture, acclaimed young playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.

Ten Spot Thursday: June 1 - Tickets $10
Talk Back: Sun, June 11


SPRING AWAKENING
book & lyrics by Steven Sater
music by Duncan Sheik
based on the work by Frank Wedekind
directed by Erin Riley
musical direction by Michael Tan
July 7 - 30, 2017

Based on the German play Spring Awakening (1891) by Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening tells the story of teenagers discovering the inner and outer tumult of teenage sexuality.

It's 1891, and grown-ups hold all the cards.

Headstrong Melchior and naive Wendla stumble into each others' arms, passionate and curious; while anxious Moritz struggles to live up to the stringent expectations of society. With only each other for guidance, this group travels the fraught and rocky path of adolescence, discovering their bodies, their minds, and themselves along the way. An electric, vibrant celebration of youth and rebellion, Spring Awakening fuses issues of morality, sexuality, and
rock and roll into a story that packs a powerful emotional punch.

Ten Spot Thursday: July 13 - Tickets $10
Talk Back: Sun, July 23


VINEGAR TOM
by Caryl Churchill
directed by Fuzz Roark
Aug 11 - 27, 2017

The play tells of Alice, who is in her twenties and living in a small village. Alice and her mother Joan are accused of witchcraft after an altercation with their neighbors, followed by several mishaps upon their neighbors' farm - supposedly the result of Joan's "witchcraft". It is later implied that Vinegar Tom, Joan's cat, may have been behind it all.

The plot includes witchcraft, some slating of the Christian faith, and the oppression of women. Churchill, uses this script to display how much control men have in society and how women have historically been treated as chattel, taught to be subservient to men. Betty, one of the play's characters, is classed as mad or ill simply because she does not want to marry. The play also outlines society's rejection of people who do not conform to the mainstream, or who are "different".

They are coming for you, . . . do you know what for?

Ten Spot Thursday: Aug 17 - Tickets $10
Talk Back: Sun, Aug 20


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