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South Coast Repertory Presents VOICES OF AMERICA This Month

Performances run January 28 - February 26.

South Coast Repertory Presents VOICES OF AMERICA This Month

The centerpiece of SCR's 2022-23 season, "Voices of America," runs Jan. 28-Feb. 26 on the Segerstrom Stage. It encompasses both plays. Each play will take the stage four times a week, alternating performances. On Saturdays and Sundays, both plays will run-one in the afternoon, the other in the evening. That means theatregoers can see both in the same day. Tickets are available at scr.org.

Six of the 12 actors cast in the two productions will appear in both plays and the productions share a single set, which will be modified for each play.

"This is the theatrical event of the season," Ivers said. "A rotating repertory of two very different plays that speak to similar themes is a new experience for us and there's never been a better time for innovation. I believe it is key to continuing a theatrical experience that keeps you on your toes and keeps you engaged not only with our past, but with our future."

The two plays were written nearly 80 years apart by two celebrated artists of their times. Hellman is considered one of the 20th century's most accomplished women of letters. Jacobs-Jenkins is considered one of the most visionary playwrights of the 21st century. Both plays are set in the South and both speak to themes familiar to Americans of any generation-family, money, power, status, race and the roles women are relegated to in society, all of which led Ivers to program them together.

"SCR has a legacy of old plays meeting new. That's been in inception from the beginning," he said. "We have constantly developed a breadth and scale of plays that speak to each other and I want to draw that parallel and make it explicit. How does our new work speak to extant work and how are they in conversation with each other?

"One reason why we're doing this is, to our knowledge, these two shows have never been done together before. And there are reasons why these two plays work together. First, there is no better way to provide an example of how new works speak to classic works than by putting them in conversation with each other. The second is at the center of these two plays, there is a beautiful opportunity for artists, actors, designers and directors to be challenged artistically."

"This season, we asked our loyal audience members to embark on a new adventure with us-one where they can see these two extraordinary works in relation to each other and see them in the same month, week or even on the same day if they choose," Tomei said. "This is truly a unique theatrical experience that we can't wait to share with our community."

Hellman (1905-1984) was known for her forceful dramas that cast a critical eye on exploitation, injustice, the abuse of power and greed. Written in 1939, The Little Foxes uses a multi-layered lens to skillfully chronicle how naked capitalism affects individuals not only financially, but emotionally. It ran for 410 performances on Broadway and was not only Hellman's most successful play, but her favorite. Two years later, it became an Academy Award-nominated film starring Bette Davis.

The Little Foxes is set in 1900 Alabama, where Ben and Oscar Hubbard stand to earn millions by funding an industrialized cotton mill. But first they'll need their calculating sister, Regina, to secure the seed money from her dying husband. When he refuses, the siblings stop at nothing to satisfy their own ambitions and keep the wealth in the family. It is Regina, however, with razor-sharp intellect and diabolical gentility, who is the most ruthless. Ferocious and funny, this celebrated classic takes an absorbing look at all sides of the American Dream.

Ivers called Jacobs-Jenkins "one of the most important playwrights currently writing in America." Known for his artful and acerbic takes on how race and class manifest themselves in both public and private settings, Jacobs-Jenkins won the 2014 Obie Award for Best New American Play for both Appropriate and An Octoroon. His other works include Gloria, Neighbors, War and Everybody.

Appropriate is set in present-day Arkansas, where the estranged members of the Lafayette family gather at their late father's crumbling plantation to prepare for the estate sale. But decades of resentment have a way of bubbling to the surface, and a shocking discovery in the piles of clutter sends them spiraling as they confront repressed histories, regrets and each other.

"Voices of America" showcases two acclaimed directors. Lisa Peterson, who directed SCR's productions of Collected Stories (1996), The Madwoman in the Volvo (2016), Culture Clash (Still) in America (2018-19) and Aubergine (2019), returns to direct The Little Foxes. Peterson will make her Broadway directing debut next spring with Good Night, Oscar.

Delicia Turner Sonnenberg makes her SCR directorial debut helming Appropriate. Turner Sonnenberg is a major presence in the San Diego theatre scene, quickly becoming one of the most exciting directors in the country. Her directing credits include productions at The Old Globe, San Diego Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, the Cygnet Theatre and Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival, among others.

The Little Foxes features Shannon Cochran (Regina), Bill Geisslinger (Horace), Jamison Jones (Oscar), Hunter Spangler (Leo), Jess Andrews (Alexandra), Tessa Auberjonois (Birdie), Marco Barricelli (Ben), Lea Coco (Marshall), Safiya Fredericks (Addie) and Victor A. Morris (Cal).

Appropriate features Cochran (Toni), Andrews (River), Auberjonois (Rachael), Coco (Franz), Jones (Bo) and Spangler (Rhys). Joining them are two alums from the SCR Youth Conservatory-Natalie Bright (Cassidy) and Isaac Person (Ainsley).

The design and creative team includes Lawrence Moten, set design; Tom Ontiveros, lighting design; Melanie Chen Cole, sound design; Dominique Fawn Hill, costume design, Daniel Allen, assistant set design; Nathan Crocker, voice/dialect coach; Michael Polak, fight choreographer, and Joanne DeNaut, CSA, casting director. Maisie Chan is the production manager, Sarah Goshman is the production stage manager, Kathryn Davies is Appropriate's assistant stage manager and Lydia Runge is The Little Foxes assistant stage manager.

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"Voices of America" received generous support from Lead Honorary Producers Lisa and Richard de Lorimier.

Tickets are now on sale and range in price from $27 to $98, with additional discounts available for educators, seniors and theatregoers ages 25 and under. Tickets may be purchased online at www.scr.org or by phone at (714) 708-5555. More information is available at www.scr.org.



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