Geva Theatre Center Announces Changes to 19-20 Season and Unveils 20-21 Season

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Geva Theatre Center Announces Changes to 19-20 Season and Unveils 20-21 Season

In the midst of our necessary response to state and national mandates preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus by suspending all public gatherings, Geva Theatre Center announces that all remaining productions of the 2019-2020 Season will be postponed or cancelled. Geva's productions of Once and Cry It Out, that were running when attendance restrictions were put in place, will be available to view soon on the streaming channel BroadwayHD. The world premiere production of Looks Like Pretty, which was in rehearsal until March 14, has been suspended. The theatre hopes to present this production in July. Where Did We Sit on the Bus?, the final scheduled production of the Fielding Studio Series, will be rescheduled for another time next season. The production of Vietgone that was to close out the season cannot be rescheduled at this time, and the theatre has had to cancel it outright. Events such as the Regional Writers Showcase, the Young Writers Showcase and the final play of the Hornets' Nest series have likewise been cancelled.

Geva Theatre Center's Artistic Director, Mark Cuddy, and Executive Director, Christopher Mannelli, want our region to know that brighter days are ahead. They have announced the ten major productions and two festivals of the much anticipated 2020-2021 Season, the non-profit theatre's 48th year of making exceptional professional theatre in Rochester.

Since Geva's 2014-2015 Season, ESL Federal Credit Union has sponsored the Wilson Stage Series, and continues its commitment as the Sponsor for the Geva Theatre Center 2020-2021 Season. Dr. Dawn Lipson will serve as Honorary Season Producer.

The Wilson Stage will feature a celebration of air-guitar competition, a fresh take on a classic tale of horror, a new comedy about scandal and selling enlightenment, a Tony Award-winning musical with Caribbean flair, a thriller set in 2013 Kabul, and a musical celebration of country legend Johnny Cash.

Geva also announces the return of the theatre's magical production of Dickens' classic tale of redemption, the KeyBank production of A Christmas Carol, Rochester's favorite holiday tradition.

Geva will present a full line-up in the Fielding Stage throughout 2020-2021, sponsored in part by the Gouvernet Arts Fund at The Rochester Area Community Foundation: nurturing new plays in the Festival of New Theatre, and an eclectic range of contemporary plays in the Fielding Studio Series. Additionally, the Fielding Stage will again be a venue for the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival.

"We all want to come together to celebrate the special experience of live, professional theatre," stated Artistic Director Mark Cuddy. "The new season holds great joy and hope within its varied selections and now, more than ever, it will provide a gathering place to build community once again."

"We are so thankful to all of our patrons for the outpouring of support we have seen," commented Executive Director, Christopher Mannelli. "At this time, donations and support from the Rochester community are critical to bring this next season to life on our stage."

"We are fortunate to have Geva Theatre Center in our community because its impactful, thought-provoking productions provide exposure to theatre for so many," said Faheem Masood, President and CEO of ESL Federal Credit Union. "High-quality, affordable theatre is not always so accessible. But for more than 47 years, Geva has been instrumental to the arts and cultural experience in Rochester, ensuring that theatre can be enjoyed by all. ESL is honored to support such a vital community institution that exposes so many to the arts and culture that Greater Rochester is known for."

Since 1973, the not-for-profit Geva Theatre Center has been Rochester's professional theatre home, offering patrons the opportunity to enjoy the work of the country's top artists in an intimate setting right in their own community.

Because professional regional theatre cannot be sustained on ticket-sales alone, Geva Theatre Center thanks those generous individuals and businesses that have already committed to making the 2020-2021 Season a memorable one: ESL Federal Credit Union, Dr. Dawn Lipson, The Gouvernet Arts Fund at the Rochester Area Community Foundation, Rockcastle Florist, All-Occasions Catering, immaginé Photography, Julia K Caters, ROC Brewing, Tasteful Connections Catering, The Vesper, and Tasteful Connections

Subscriptions for the full 9-play 2020-2021 Season are on sale now from $222. The Wilson Stage Series and Fielding Studio Series may each be purchased separately, from $126 and $96, respectively. Subscribing is easy, flexible and affordable. Subscribers enjoy the best seats at the best prices, plus a host of exclusive benefits like ticket-exchange privileges, priority advance booking and discounts, money-saving coupons to area restaurants, free coat check and more. For more information on subscribing to Geva's 2020-2021 Season visit: Subscribers to the 2020-2021 Season may purchase tickets for A Christmas Carol beginning July 15, 2020. Tickets to all individual shows (excl. A Christmas Carol) will go on sale to the general public on July 15, 2020. Tickets to A Christmas Carol will go on sale to the general public beginning Monday, September 21. All plays, artists, schedules and prices are subject to change.

2020-2021 Season

Wilson Stage Series


By Chelsea Marcantel

Directed by Skip Greer

September 1 - October 4, 2020

"What does air guitar teach? Everything we need to rock is already inside us."

When Nina enters her first air guitar competition, she thinks winning will be a breeze. When she meets up with a group of loveable air-guitar nerds, each hell-bent on becoming the next champion, she learns there is more to this fringe hobby than meets the eye. As Nina gets drawn deeper into the scene, she discovers what achieving "airness" really means.

Wilson Stage Series



By David Catlin

Directed by Mark Cuddy

October 14 - November 15, 2020

"This is a story about a spark- the spark that creates light. A spark that leads to Life."

On a dark and stormy night, Mary Shelley weaves a tale of horror, power and experimentation as she takes her friends (Percy Shelley and Lord Byron among them), on an eerie journey they will never forget. Told from the perspective of the fascinating, radical woman who created Frankenstein, this unique and highly immersive retelling of the gothic novel offers an exciting new take on the classic horror story.

Fielding Studio Series


By Lloyd Suh

Directed by

A production of the Kitchen Theatre, Ithaca

October 28 - November 15, 2020

"It is human nature to be curious. Curiosity is evolution. You want to look at me. You want to understand more about the world."

In 1834, a young Chinese girl is brought to the United States from Beijing, put on display for the American public and billed as "The Chinese Lady." For over 45 years, she is toured around the US as a side-show act, accompanied by the man who knew her best. In this piercing, poetic tale, based on the true story of Afong Moy, playwright Lloyd Suh examines the impacts of the white gaze and explores the mystery surrounding Moy's later years.

Wilson Stage Series


By Dipika Guha

Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh

A Co-production with Pittsburgh Public Theater

January 19 - February 14, 2021

"Here at Jojomon, when we share our goals we improve ourselves."

Corporate yoga giant Jojomon is at the pinnacle of its game when a scandal sends the company into freefall. Joan, the newly hired CEO, risks everything on a wild plan to recover the company's earnings and reputation. Yoga Play is a provocative new comedy about confronting cultural appropriation and searching for authenticity in a world determined to sell enlightenment.

Fielding Studio Series


A story about the real James Bond - Porfirio Rubirosa

Created by Christopher Rivas

Directed by Daniel Banks

January 27 - February 14, 2021

"A medium dry Vodka Martini, with a slice of lemon peel ... Shake it, do not stir it."

A charming true story - but not one you've seen - about Porfirio Rubirosa, international playboy, man of mystery, and the inspiration behind Ian Fleming's iconic James Bond character.

Eight-year-old Christopher Rivas, a Dominican boy from Queens, is obsessed with James Bond. When he finds out the inspiration behind his hero was also Dominican, his world is rocked to the core.

Written and performed by Christopher Rivas, The Real James Bond ... is an enthralling and highly personal story of one young man's guide to love, success, and re-claiming your identity.

Wilson Stage Series


Book and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens

Music by Stephen Flaherty

Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III

A Co-production with Syracuse Stage

February 23 - March 28, 2021

"Once on this island, the Gods sent a storm. But out of that terrible storm, came a story ..."

This rousing, timeless story of love tells the tale of Ti Moune, a gutsy peasant girl searching for her purpose in the world. After a chance encounter with a wealthy boy, Daniel, Ti Moune becomes certain that he is her destiny. Encouraged by the mighty island gods, Ti Moune must overcome the dangers of the island as she sets out to break down the walls that separate her from love. Filled with vibrant song and dance, Once on This Island earned eight Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Book and Score for its original 1990 production, and won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 2018.

Wilson Stage Series


By Sylvia Khoury

April 6 - May 2, 2021

"My stupid brother. If you step outside that door, you murder your child. You murder your wife. You murder my husband. You murder me."

In this thriller set in 2013, we meet Taroon, who once served as an interpreter for the American military in exchange for a promise of safety. Now, he spends his days hiding in his sister's Kabul apartment, targeted by the Taliban. As he anxiously awaits news from the hospital on the eve of his first child's birth, his family works to protect him from the dangers lurking just outside their apartment walls.

Fielding Studio Series


By Mona Monsour

Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh

April 21 - May 9, 2021

In the choppy waters of the Pacific Ocean, an Arab-American woman and her nephew navigate what it means to love your family, even when your politics and priorities threaten to get in the way. At once playful and thought-provoking, We Swim ... is an exhilarating theatrical exploration of identity and storytelling.

Wilson Stage Series


The Music of Johnny Cash

Created by Richard Maltby, Jr.

Conceived by William Meade

Directed by

May 12 - June 13, 2021

"I fell in to a burning ring of fire

I went down, down, down

And the flames went higher"

Take a crowd-pleasing ride through Johnny Cash's gritty life story with this rowdy jukebox musical. A multi-talented cast pays homage to the legendary Man in Black with more than two-dozen Cash classics, including "I Walk the Line," "Folsom Prison Blues," "I've Been Everywhere," and, of course, "Ring of Fire."

Special Productions and Events


In the Fielding Stage

September 15-26, 2020

The Fielding Stage will once again be a venue for the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, hosting a wide variety of performances.


In the Fielding Stage

October 2020

A two-week showcase of new plays and projects that are currently in Geva's developmental process. More than 330 full-length or short works have received readings and/or workshops as part of Geva's new play development programs, and more than 65 have had subsequent productions around the country and the globe.

Rochester's Holiday Tradition

The KeyBank production of


By Charles Dickens

Adapted by Mark Cuddy

Music and Lyrics by Gregg Coffin

Directed by Mark Cuddy

In the Wilson Stage

November 25 - December 27, 2020

On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by a series of ghosts who remind him who he was and what he might yet become. He learns the true meaning of the season and that it's never too late to make a new start. The famous tale of redemption for the most despised man in London will awaken your heart and rekindle your spirit in this critically acclaimed adaptation. Recommended for the entire family! (Please remember that children under five are not permitted in the theatre.) *Note: Not a part of the ESL Wilson Stage subscription series.

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