Kitchen Theatre Announces 2018-2019 Season

Kitchen Theatre Company, Central New York's Off Broadway theatre, announces its 2018-19 season: seven exciting productions that fit perfectly with the Kitchen's mission to create bold theatre in our intimate space that engages community and sparks important conversations. Beginning with an indie rock musical and ending with a story about a deaf man's struggle to find his place in his family and the world, the season includes comedies, dramas with timely and historical themes, and even a thriller. The season runs from September 9th to June 23rd. Single tickets and subscriptions are on sale now!

"This is a year of transformation for the Kitchen," says Kitchen Theatre Company's Producing Artistic Director M. Bevin O'Gara, "and I couldn't be prouder of the season we've put together. Not only do we have an incredible roster of plays that asks questions about the world and ourselves, allowing us to see what's possible, but there will be many opportunities for community engagement, including the Press Play partnership with Cinemapolis, actors' forums, and more."

THE COMPLETE 2018-19 SEASON LINEUP

Girlfriend book by Todd Almond music & lyrics by Matthew Sweet directed by M. Bevin O'Gara Sep 9 - Sep 30, 2018

Summer, 1993; small town Nebraska. College-bound, football playing Mike has everything figured out. At least until he meets Will, a quiet boy from his graduating class. This indie-pop musical based on the album "Girlfriend" by Matthew Sweet captures the thrill of first love-and how we discover each other and ourselves through the mixtapes we make.

"Girlfriend allows you to feel the exhilaration of falling in love for the first time all over again," says Producing Artistic Director, M. Bevin O'Gara. "You'll fall in love with the two young men at the heart of this story-I already have-and you'll be humming along to the music they connect through for weeks after. I'm so looking forward to kicking off our season with this charming and sweet musical."

The Piano Teacher by Julia Cho directed by Diego Arciniegas Oct 21 - Nov 4, 2018

Mrs. K has recently retired after teaching piano in her living room for 30 years. Alone and curious about what became of the children she once saw weekly, Mrs. K picks up the phone, calling former students in the hopes they'll come for a visit and a cookie. When a former prodigy arrives at her doorstep, the memories of happy afternoons by the piano quickly unravel in the face of a truth darker than anything she could have imagined.

"Julia Cho never lets you sit back and complete the story you think she's telling," says director Diego Arciniegas. "She teaches you a thing or two about yourself and your expectations in the process. She challenges the conclusions to which you are willing to jump, and surprises you with things on which-perhaps-you aren't too comfortable to dwell. I can't wait to bring this story into the context of Central New York in time for Halloween. It will send shivers down your spine, just not the trick or treat kind."

Grounded by George Brant directed by M. Bevin O'Gara Nov 25 - Dec 9, 2018

An unexpected pregnancy ends an ace fighter pilot's career in the sky. Reassigned to operate military drones from a windowless trailer outside Las Vegas, she hunts terrorists by day and returns to her family each night. As the pressure to track a high-profile target mounts, the boundaries begin to blur between the desert in which she lives and the one she patrols half a world away.

Kate MacCluggage, seen last season in Ironbound, returns to the Kitchen for this gripping play. "I can't wait to get into the rehearsal room with Bevin and dive into this Homeric war poem of a one-woman show," she says. "The Pilot is such a rare treat for an actor-she's funny, complicated, and charismatic. I'm so honored to work with Bevin and the rest of the Kitchen's team and bring her story to Ithaca."

The Roommate by Jen Silverman directed by Caitlin Lowans Jan 27 - Feb 17, 2019

Meet Sharon, a fifty-something recent divorcee, and Robyn, her mysterious new roommate from the Bronx. As the two learn to live with each other-and their baggage-in Sharon's Iowa City home, they start to see what's missing in their lives. A laugh-out-loud comedy of moving boxes, new beginnings, questionable business ventures, and a little bit of marijuana.

Director Caitlin Lowans says, "Jen Silverman wrote the play in response to not seeing strong roles for women in their 50's, roles that allowed them to harness all of their power. I'm excited about showcasing two fantastic women and also exploring this story about the deep connections forged when you stop accepting the narrative you've been fed and start seeking an accomplice to just burn it all down."

Actor Susannah Berryman adds, "I have always been fascinated by the idea that when we choose our friends, spouses, roommates (!), etc., we are not only choosing whom we want to be with but in some very real ways whom we want to become. Sometimes we make these choices deliberately and sometimes by the luck of the draw. I love this play's examination of the need for deep connection and the ambivalence that seems almost inevitably to arise in the quest for intimacy of different sorts."

The Royale by Marco Ramirez directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh Mar 10 - Mar 31, 2019
"A stylized, blazingly theatrical triumph that keeps audience members on the edge of their seats (metaphorically and sometimes actually) for virtually all of its 70-minute running time." - Miami Herald

It's the height of the Jim Crow era, and Jay "The Sport" Jackson is fighting to be the first African American heavyweight world champion. Join the crowd ringside as he bobs and weaves his way through a segregated country, trying to stay on his feet. Inspired by the story of ground-breaking boxer Jack Johnson, The Royale examines what it takes to gain a place in history.

"I'm very excited to be directing at Kitchen Theatre Company for the first time," says director Pirronne Yousefzadeh, "and especially thrilled that it is a play I am so deeply drawn to, both for its theatrical form and its political relevance. The Royale unapologetically demands utmost rigor and virtuosity from its performers, and in this sociopolitical moment, it is crucial to tell a story that reminds us of our history, and of the trailblazers along the way who challenged the status quo, fought for equality, and had to make the impossible decision of choosing between personal wellbeing and sacrifice for the greater good." "Though it takes place in the world of boxing, this play has never really been about sports, says playwright Marco Ramirez. "Without giving too much away, what sits at the center of The Royale are issues of representation - issues we're still seeing play out every day - on photoshopped magazine covers, in tiki torch-led marches, in the stunning box office success of Black Panther and Wonder Woman."

2.5 Minute Ride by Lisa Kron directed by Zoë Golub-Sass Apr 21 - May 5, 2019

Flip through the Kron family archives-from the annual Ohio amusement park vacation to the father-daughter journey to Auschwitz to see where his parents were killed-as one woman takes on the big things, the little things, and the unexpected ironies that tie them all together. From playwright Lisa Kron (Fun Home) comes an unexpected tragicomedy about coming to terms with where-and who-you come from.

"2.5 Minute Ride is a play that's interested in the composite identity," says director Zoë Golub-Sass. "It takes on how we construct ideas of self-how we find reason and meaning for why we are the way we are-by recalling the people we love, the places we've been, the memories we cling to, and the stories we've been told. It's funny, it's unexpected, it's charming, and it's extraordinarily honest. I'm thrilled to be making my KTC directing debut with Lisa Kron's dynamic play."

Tribes by Nina Raine directed by M. Bevin O'Gara June 2 - June 23, 2019

Billy, born deaf into a fast-talking, academic family, was never taught sign language. Pushed by his parents to assimilate into the hearing world by reading lips, he has spent most of his life flying under the radar. But when a young woman introduces him to the Deaf community, Billy decides it is time his family learns to communicate with him on his terms. Told in spoken English and sign language, Tribes explores the danger of not listening-and what it means to be truly heard.

KTC favorite Karl Gregory will be back at the Kitchen in the role of Billy's brother Daniel. "Bevin has made a brilliant decision to bring Tribes to KTC audiences," he says. "When I saw it in NYC years ago, I thought 'This is it. This the power of theater.' Tribes is able to do that thing that all plays aspire to-ask the question and have characters passionately fight for what they believe is right, only to find out, 'right' is elusive when applied to other people's experiences. I know I'm coming off as a tad vague, but when you see the show, you'll get it. I don't want to give too much away. It's an extremely poignant work, and will surely start an important conversation for you and your family. I can't wait to share this experience with Bevin, the rest of the team and, of course, you the audience."

"Directing this dynamic play about identity, family, communication, and heart back in 2013 was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in my career," says O'Gara. "And I'm so excited to explore it anew here in Ithaca and bring together old and new friends."



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