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DRACULA, RENT, And MIDDLETON HEIGHTS Announced for The Umbrella Stage Co. 2022-2023 Season

The Company's first full-length commissioned play receives its world premiere following COVID postponement.

DRACULA, RENT, And MIDDLETON HEIGHTS Announced for The Umbrella Stage Co. 2022-2023 Season

The Umbrella Stage Company returns this fall with a line-up featuring iconic characters and stories in a series of productions that enable the Company to celebrate the full range of its renovated space.

The season opens in the Black Box with a new, re-envisioned Dracula (9/30/22 - 10/23/22) for our times subtitled "a feminist revenge fantasy, really". Kate Hamill - one of the most produced playwrights in America in recent years - tackles the 125 year old tale with the perspective of the #MeToo movement and a fearless theatricality.

The Main Stage (Theater144) plays host to two award-winning musicals: Jonathan Larson's RENT and the adaptation of Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Both shows were change-making, celebrating gender, sexual, and racial diversity on stage. For almost 30 years RENT (11/11/22 - 12/4/22) has inspired generations of audiences to choose love over fear and to live without regret. And, with a Tony Award-winning musical score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music and blues, The Color Purple (5/12/23 - 6/4/23) has become an intensely moving American classic, a joyous testament to the healing power of love.

The Company is thrilled to have been able to reschedule last season's planned premiere of a new, commissioned, full-length play by Hortense Gerardo. Against a backdrop that takes us from the tumultuous 1960's to the first decades of the new millennium, we follow a family of Filipino immigrants as they assimilate to their new life in a fictional midwestern suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. With a wry and darkly comic voice, Gerardo shares the Asian American Pacific Islander experience and the raw, loving honesty that is family and the pursuit of the American dream. Middleton Heights will premiere in the Black Box in March 2023 (3/31/23 - 4/23/23).

The Umbrella Stage Company continued its community-based process for selecting its season productions. Titles are researched and considered by a diverse panel of Umbrella community members including performers, directors, designers, Board Directors and staff members. All are encouraged to contribute personal perspectives and varied points of view.

"Many of these stories and pieces have earned a place in audiences' hearts and minds over the years. In our discussions we felt it was time for them to be revisited, to look at them with fresh eyes and to get to know them again, today. The season offers audiences an opportunity to return to the theater to see something they may be familiar with, but presented in a new and exciting way," says The Umbrella Stage's Artistic Director, Brian Boruta.

An additional production is still to be announced for January/February, 2023. Plans for The Umbrella's traditional holiday programming in December are forthcoming.

Partnerships and Collaborations

In addition to the regular season and in partnership with global publisher Barefoot Books, The Umbrella's Main Stage Theater144 will host a production of The Boy Who Grew Flowers by the Manhattan-based Treehouse Shakers (9/22-24/22). As one of New York's only theater and dance companies creating original work for young audiences, Treehouse Shakers creates inventive and engaging performances for young audiences that nurture creative thought and inspire dialogue. The Boy Who Grew Flowers is adapted from the book by Jen Wojtowicz and tells the story of Rink, a young boy who lives atop Lonesome Mountain with his family and sprouts beautiful flowers every full moon. Incorporating shadow puppetry, original music, and movement, the play incorporates themes of diversity, creating empathy, and celebrating individualism. Appropriate for ages 5-10. The play is part of Barefoot Books' 30th Anniversary celebration and will be presented alongside an interactive gallery exhibit also at The Umbrella.

And the Concord Film Project returns to full programming and a full-time home at The Umbrella beginning in the fall. Each month will feature a new title from the best of drama, comedy, international, and documentary films to be announced in the coming months.

The Umbrella is ADA accessible, a proud partner in the Massachusetts Cultural Council's EBT Card-to-Culture program, and provides free parking and free admission to its visual arts galleries. Subscriptions will go on sale August 1 and single tickets will be released in coordination with each production. For more information, see https://TheUmbrellaArts.org/Boxoffice

Dracula

A Feminist Revenge Fantasy, Really

Based on the novel by Bram Stoker

By Kate Hamill

9/30-10/23 (Opening: 10/1 8PM)

Rent

Book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson

11/11-12/4 (Opening: 11/12 8PM)

Middleton Heights

World premiere of The Umbrella's first full-length play commission

By Hortense Gerardo

3/31-4/23 (Opening: 4/2 3PM, no performance on 4/1)

The Color Purple

Based on the novel by Alice Walker

By Marsha Norman, with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray

5/12-6/4 (Press Opening: 5/13 8PM)




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