Blackfriars Theatre Announces 2019-2020 Season

Blackfriars Theatre Announces 2019-2020 Season

Blackfriars Theatre is proud to announce its much anticipated 70th Anniversary Season. The 2019-2020 Season boasts a wide array of diverse, impactful stories - highlighting everything from the Detroit riots of 1967, to the celestial discoveries made by women at Harvard in the 19th-century. Artistic & Managing Director, Danny Hoskins, has lovingly assembled a season that celebrates the organization's history of artistry in the Rochester community.

"This season will not only mark a historical milestone for the company, but cap off a five-year reinvention process where Blackfriars has worked tirelessly to celebrate local artistry, champion community outreach and enrich the lives of our patrons and artists," notes Hoskins. "Over the past four years, Blackfriars has expanded opportunity to our local artists, engaging with over 250 new designers, directors, actors, crew and volunteers. We've partnered with over 30 new community organizations, artistic companies, downtown businesses and neighborhood programs and have welcomed over a thousand new patrons, subscribers and donors in this short period of time."

The theatre has seen record growth across the past four years in the areas of audience outreach, development, staff expansion, and community partnerships, with hopes to expand upon that growth this season. Blackfriars continues to partner with Nazareth College Visual Design and Communication students to provide all season artwork, which will be presented in full this April. Media sponsors on the 2019-2020 season include Warm 101.3 and CITY Newspaper, with additional show sponsorship from ESL Federal Credit Union, Parisi & Bellavia LLC, Salena's Mexican Restaurant, Nox Cocktail Lounge, and Get Caked Bakery. The organization looks forward to collaborating with a wide variety of cultural and nonprofit organizations, including the American Cancer Society.

Danny Hoskins is grateful for each success the local, nonprofit theatre has come to know. "To see the arts thrive so vividly within an organization that has called downtown Rochester its home for 70 years is a testament to the rich and vibrant love our community has for this company. We are deeply grateful to our home town and to our patrons and artists and thrilled to be able to be such a large and integral part of our city's artistic fabric."


The Blackfriars Theatre Summer Intensive - A training program for the next generation of artists

Conceived by Rebecca Feldman, Music & Lyrics by William Finn, Book by Rachel Sheinkin, Additional Materials by Jay Reiss

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents
July 12-21, 2019vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.


Music & Lyrics by Frank Loesser, Book by Jo Swerling & Abe Burrows
August 30-September 15, 2019

Guys and DollsSet in Damon Runyon's mythical New York City, fellow gambler, Sky Masterson, for the dough, and Sky ends up chasing the straight-laced missionary, Sarah Brown, as a result. Guys and Dolls is an oddball romantic comedy. Gambler, Nathan Detroit, tries to find the cash to set up the biggest craps game in town while the authorities breathe down his neck; meanwhile, his girlfriend and nightclub performer, Adelaide, laments that they've been engaged for fourteen years. Nathan turns to takes us from the heart of Times Square to the cafes of Havana, Cuba, and even into the sewers of New York City, but eventually everyone ends up right where they belong.


Written by Dominique Morisseau

October 18 - November 3, 2019
In 1967 Detroit, Motown music is getting the party started, and Chelle and her brother Lank are making ends meet by turning their basement into an after-hours joint. But when a mysterious woman finds her way into their lives, the siblings clash over much more than the family business. As their pent-up feelings erupt, so does their city, and they find themselves caught in the middle of the '67 riots.


By Rick Elice, Music by Wayne Barker, Based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson December 13-31, 2019

A young orphan and his mates are shipped off from Victorian England to a distant island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They know nothing of the mysterious trunk in the captain's cabin, which contains a precious, otherworldly cargo. At sea, the boys are discovered by a precocious young girl named Molly, a Starcatcher-in-training who realizes that the trunk's precious cargo is starstuff, a celestial substance so powerful that it must never fall into the wrong hands. When the ship is taken over by pirates - led by the fearsome Black Stache, a villain determined to claim the trunk and its treasure for his own - the journey quickly becomes a thrilling adventure.


Music by Tom Kitt, Book & Lyrics by Brian Yorkey

February 7-23, 2020

Dad's an architect; Mom rushes to pack lunches and pour cereal; their daughter and son are bright, wise-cracking teens, appearing to be a typical American family. And yet their lives are anything but normal because the mother has been battling manic depression for 16 yearsNext to Normal takes audiences into the minds and hearts of each character, presenting their family's story with love, sympathy .and heart.


Written by Lauren Gunderson

March 27-April 11, 2020

When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she isn't allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women "computers," charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in "girl hours" and has no time for the women's probing theories. The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt explores a woman's place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women's ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Henrietta Leavitt and her female peers believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth.


Written by Tim Firth, Based on the Miramax Motion Picture by Juliette Towhidi & Tim Firth

May 15-31, 2020

When Annie's husband John dies of leukemia, she and best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. They manage to persuade four fellow WI members to pose nude with them for an "alternative" calendar, with a little help from hospital porter and amateur photographer Lawrence. The news of the women's charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the small village of Knapeley in the Yorkshire Dales. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie's friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame.

2019-2020 Season Subscriptions are on sale now. Blackfriars offers five affordable and flexible options, ranging from $90 to $186. Every option offers our subscribers more savings than if they were to purchase single tickets. Full Season Subscriptions (regular and senior discounted) include all six season shows and range from $132 to $186 with exclusive benefits. Full Season Subscriptions are the only subscriptions that guarantee choice of show date and seating at time of purchase. They also include ticket insurance, which allows you free exchanges and the ability to redeem unused tickets. Flex Pass Subscriptions and the Show Day Pass give you added flexibility and a deeper discount. Three or four show Flex Passes ($90 or $120) allow you to pick and choose your titles from the six-show season. The Show Day Pass gives you the deepest discount for all six shows ($141) and allows you to book on the day-of only. For more information on subscribing to the 2019-2020 Season, please visit: If you have any questions about becoming a subscriber, please don't hesitate to contact the Box Office at (585) 454-1260 - open Monday-Friday 12:00 p.m - 4 p.m., and one hour prior to show time.

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