New Repertory Theatre Announces 2017-2018 Season: Resilience

Featuring nine productions, New Rep's 2017-2018 season includes Ideation, a dark satirical comedy and Boston-area premiere; Oleanna, David Mamet's groundbreaking drama, featuring Johnny Lee Davenport; Man of La Mancha, a revival of the Tony award-winning musical, featuring Maurice Emmanuel Parent; Unveiled, a one-woman show written and performed by Rohina Malik and co-produced with Stoneham Theatre; Statements After an Arrest Under the Immorality Act, and engaging political drama by Athol Fugard; Lonely Planet, an evocative social drama by Steven Dietz; Ripe Frenzy, a site-specific drama and Boston-area premiere; The Bakelite Masterpiece, a riveting historical drama and Boston-area premiere; and Two Jews Walk into a War..., a hilarious existential comedy featuring Jeremiah Kissel.

"The plays in our 2017-2018 season will showcase the remarkable resilience of the human spirit," says Artistic Director Jim Petosa. "Theatre has the power to shed light in dark times, to illuminate and stimulate thought, and to provide a forum for us to come together as a community in conversation. It is our hope that these plays will inspire and engage as New Repertory Theatre continues to be a place where the vital ideas of our time can be discussed freely and openly."

"Our 2016-2017 season was one of our most successful ever, and we owe a great amount of that success to our patrons," says Managing Director Harriet Sheets. "We heard from so many audiences members throughout the year and their passion and enthusiasm for our productions and mission was clear. It is because of that support that the Boston Globe recently called us 'a potent force,' and so we're pleased to share another extraordinary lineup in 2017-2018."

About New Repertory Theatre
New Repertory Theatre is the award-winning, professional theatre company in residence at the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA. For over 30 years, New Rep has been a leader of self-produced theatre in greater Boston, producing contemporary and classic dramas, comedies, and musicals in both the 340-seat MainStage Theater and the 90-seat BlackBox Theater. Annually, New Rep serves over 40,000 patrons, including 2,000 season subscribers. In addition to its mainstage productions, New Rep produces Next Voices, a program dedicated to developing new plays with playwrights through staged readings and world premiere production. Under its Lifelong Enrichment Arts Programs (LEAP), New Rep also produces its Classic Repertory Company, Page To Stage, Insider Experiences, and Spotlight Symposium Series.

New Repertory Theatre'S 2017-2018 SEASON

IDEATION SEP 2-24/2017
by Aaron Loeb MainStage Theater
Directed by Jim Petosa SATIRICAL DARK COMEDY
Boston-area Premiere

In Aaron Loeb's darkly comic psychological thriller, a group of top-tier consultants are tasked with a mysterious project for an unnamed client. The team must come up with a solution to a morally and ethically ambiguous hypothetical-one that threatens to tear them apart. Ideation is a captivating new work that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

by David Mamet MainStage Theater
Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue COMPELLING CLASSIC DRAMA
Featuring Johnny Lee Davenport

It's all about power in David Mamet's groundbreaking drama about political correctness and perception. When John, a professor, tries to help his student Carol, is it a misunderstanding or inherent misogyny that causes trouble? Featuring Johnny Lee Davenport (The Whipping Man, Thurgood), Oleanna crackles with the fiery dialogue of Mamet at his finest.

Book by Dale Wasserman MainStage Theater
Music by Mitch Leigh
Directed by Antonio Ocampo-Guzman
Featuring Maurice Emmanuel Parent

An energetic revival of the Tony-award winning musical, Man of La Mancha features Boston-area favorite Maurice Emmanuel Parent (Ragtime, Cabaret, Camelot) as the eponymous knight errant, Don Quixote, on his quest to dream the impossible dream. Journey along with us and experience this classic musical adventure with your entire family.

UNVEILED JAN 10-28/2018
written and performed by Rohina Malik BlackBox Theater
Co-produced with Stoneham Theatre PROVOCATIVE ONE-WOMAN SHOW

Part of New Rep's Statements of Survival Series

Racism. Hate crimes. Love. Islam. Culture. Language. Life. Five Muslim women in a post-9/11 world serve tea and uncover what lies beneath the veil in this critically acclaimed one-woman show.

Directed by Jim Petosa

Part of New Rep's Statements of Survival Series

In apartheid South Africa, where intimate interracial relationships are illegal, a black man and a white woman share more than just their love, baring all in the face of oppression and uncertainty. Athol Fugard's Statements is a remarkable love story that stands as a strident reminder of the intolerance and cruelty of a not-so-distant past.

Please note, this production contains nudity.

by Steven Dietz BlackBox Theater

Part of New Rep's Statements of Survival Series

In a revival to commemorate its 25th anniversary, Lonely Planet tells the story of two friends during the height of the AIDS epidemic in America. While Carl is able to see beyond the confines of Jody's map store, Jody refuses to acknowledge what's happening. In Lonely Planet, playwright Steven Dietz crafts a humorous and touching play about friendship, loss, and hope.

by Jennifer Barclay Site-Specific Location TBD
Directed by Bridget Kathleen O'Leary STRIKING POLITICAL DRAMA
Boston-area Premiere

Part of New Rep's Statements of Survival Series

Winner of the National New Play Network's 2016 Smith Prize for Political Theatre, Ripe Frenzy brings us to Tavistown, New York, where a recent tragedy has rocked the community to its core. Narrator and town historian, Zoe, recounts the days leading up to the incident, as the high school prepares for the semi-annual production of Thornton Wilder's Our Town. Jennifer Barclay's Ripe Frenzy is a stunning new play about community in the wake of unspeakable devastation.

by Kate Cayley MainStage Theater
Boston-area Premiere

At the end of World War II, artist Han van Meegeren sits in a prison cell accused of selling a long-lost Vermeer to the Nazis. A crime tantamount to treason, van Meegeren contends that the painting was a forgery, which he skillfully produced and aged with a special treatment of the plastic known as Bakelite. Now he must create another masterpiece in front of his jailer, art historian Geert Piller, to save his life. The Bakelite Masterpiece is a dynamic and compelling new work from playwright Kate Cayley.

by Seth Rozin MainStage Theater

What do you do if you're the last two Jews in Afghanistan? You re-write the Torah, of course! Ishaq and Zeblyan are on a mission to save Judaism in Kabul by rebuilding their synagogue and keeping the faith alive, but only if they don't kill each other first. Jeremiah Kissel (Fiddler on the Roof, Broken Glass, The King of Second Avenue) stars in this Vaudeville-inspired play, doing his best in a shtick-y situation.

New Repertory Theatre produces plays that speak powerfully to the vital ideas of our time.

What we do:
Through the passion and electricity of live theater performed to the highest standards of excellence, New Rep seeks to spark community conversations on crucial contemporary issues.
Our work expands and challenges the human spirit of both artists and audiences. We present world premieres, contemporary plays and classic works in several intimate settings. Our productions are designed to be accessible to all. We are committed to education and enrichment for learners of all ages, with a special dedication to the creation of innovative in-school programming and outreach to underserved audiences. We embrace theater as the basis for enduring connections with our community and as a springboard for meaningful civic engagement.
New Rep is an active advocate for the arts and a major voice in the national dialogue defining the role of theater in our culture.

Jim Petosa (Artistic Director) joined New Repertory Theatre as an award-winning theatre artist, educator, and leader in 2012. He has served as Director of the School of Theatre, College of Fine Arts, at Boston University since 2002, and Artistic Director of Maryland's Olney Theatre Center for the Arts and its National Players educational touring company (1994-2012). While at Boston University, he established the Boston Center for American Performance (BCAP), the professional production extension of the Boston University School of Theatre, in 2008. Throughout the Northeast, Mr. Petosa has directed for numerous institutions, including Brecht on Brecht, Good, Freud's Last Session, The Testament of Mary, Broken Glass, Assassins, On the Verge, The Elephant Man (IRNE Nomination), Amadeus, Three Viewings, The Last Five Years, and Opus at New Rep. In Boston, his work was nominated for two IRNE awards for A Question of Mercy (BCAP). He has served as one of three artistic leaders for the Potomac Theatre Project (PTP/NYC) since 1987. In Maryland, his work earned over 25 Helen Hayes Award nominations as well as the award for outstanding direction of a musical for Jacques Brel is Alive and Well... His production of Look! We Have Come Through! was nominated for the Charles MacArthur Award for outstanding new play, and he earned the Montgomery County Executive's Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Award for Outstanding Artist/Scholar. A member of Actors' Equity Association, Mr. Petosa has served on the executive board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for StageSource. Originally from New Jersey, he was educated at The Catholic University of America and resides in Quincy.

Harriet Sheets (Managing Director) joined New Repertory Theatre in 2000. During her tenure, Ms. Sheets has successfully managed the theatre's increasing operational budget, and moved the company from Newton Highlands to Watertown's Arsenal Center for the Arts. Prior to New Rep, she was the General Manager at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, where she worked for nine years. Ms. Sheets began as an Actors' Equity Association Stage Manager, working at North Shore Music Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Opera Company of Boston and others. Originally from Arizona, she holds a BFA from Arizona State University and resides in Methuen.

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