HRTC Announces 2018-2019 Season: AN ACT OF GOD, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, and More

HRTC Announces 2018-2019 Season: AN ACT OF GOD, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, and More

The Human Race Theatre Company (HRTC) is proud to introduce the lineup for its 2018-2019 Eichelberger Loft Series - a five-show collection of works that examines specific moments in history-real and imaginary, corrects ancient history and revisits a part of the company's own history. The season, featuring one fierce musical and four engaging plays, begins September 6, 2018. In addition to the fully-produced works on the Loft Series, HRTC is launching a new Monday Night Playreading Series with the table readings of three diverse, crowd-pleasing scripts.

The 2018-2019 Eichelberger Loft Series opens with the world premiere about the 1989 battle of wills between Pete Rose and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti - Patricia O'Hara's Banned from Baseball (September 6 - 23, 2018); followed by an eye-opening, gut-busting visit from The Almighty Herself, An Act of God (November 1 - 18, 2018) by David Javerbaum; 2019 begins with a globetrotting adventure for the whole family in Mark Brown's adaptation of Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days (February 28 - March 17, 2019); spring sees the return of a delightful hit from The Human Race's 1996-1997 season, Sylvia (April 25 - May 12, 2019), A.R. Gurney's comedy about love and marriage...and a dog; and the season closes with a daring rock musical that tells the tale of what happened when "Lizzie Borden took an ax...," Lizzie (June 13 - 30, 2019) by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Alan Stevens Hewitt and Tim Maner.

"While looking at this season a theme became very apparent," says Human Race President and Artistic Director Kevin Moore. "Each show has a sense of history surrounding it. Whether that be history made or history being made, fictional history or even a piece of Human Race history, each fit our mission of sharing stories that show our humanity. These are stories to share with your friends, your family and loved ones. Next season, history will thrill us, puzzle us, make us laugh and maybe even cry. You don't want to miss it."

The five plays perform in the Loft Theatre, The Human Race's intimate 212-seat downtown performance space, located in the Metropolitan Arts Center at 126 North Main Street. Throughout the productions' scheduled three-week runs are a number of associated special events: a Thursday night preview performance, preceded by the "Inside Track" discussion with the director; Friday Opening Night with a free post-show party with the cast; Lite Fare at the Loft, a Tuesday night pre-show dining in the Loft Lobby, with food items provided by Citilites Restaurant; a "While We're on the Subject" talkback following a Sunday matinee; and a Saturday night signed and audio-described performance opportunity.

The 2018-2019 Eichelberger Loft Series Lineup

Banned from Baseball
by Patricia O'Hara

World Premiere

September 6 - 23, 2018

It's 1989 and a battle for the soul of Major League Baseball is brewing between Commissioner Bart Giamatti and Pete Rose, the reigning Hit King and manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Rose is accused of betting on baseball-even on his own team-an allegation he denies despite the mounting evidence. The intellectual Giamatti wants Rose's confession, while the larger-than-life Rose wants the Commissioner to believe his denials. This collision of wills comes to a head as they meet face to face. If the charge proves to be true, "Charlie Hustle" could be banned from the game-for life-leaving a black mark on the sport both men love and forever tarnishing a living legend.

An Act of God
by David Javerbaum

November 1 - 18, 2018

Thou shalt laugh! Get ready for an audience with The Almighty that will have you holy rolling in the aisles. God is here-in human-and She wants to set the record straight with a new set of Commandments. Joined by Her faithful angels, Michael and Gabriel, She's ready to clear up a few misconceptions, share a few secrets and answer the big questions that have baffled mankind since Creation itself. The comedy's divine in the hottest show since the burning bush.

Around the World in 80 Days
by Mark Brown
adapted from the novel by Jules Verne

February 28 - March 17, 2019

Jules Verne's classic tale springs to life in this clever, fast-paced comedy for the whole family. Proper gentleman Phileas Fogg strikes a wager and sets off on a race that puts his fortune and life at risk. With his faithful servant at his side, he has just 80 days to circle the globe-an inconceivable feat in the year 1872! Fierce natives, furious typhoons, runaway trains, a damsel in distress and a dogged detective threaten to delay him at every step in this delightful, whirlwind odyssey that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to unexpected end.

by A.R. Gurney

April 25 - May 12, 2019

Middle-aged Greg brings home a dog he found-or rather, one that found him-in the park. With no other identification other than "Sylvia" on her nametag, she's a street-smart mutt with a mind of her own and no shortage of opinions. Sylvia quickly becomes a major bone of contention between Greg and his wife, Kate. To him, she's a welcome escape from an unhappy job and a loss of purpose. To Kate, Sylvia's a slobbering, hairy rival for her husband's affection. This ingenious take on a twisted love triangle leads to plenty of laughs and revelations on love and marriage...and a dog.

music by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Alan Stevens Hewitt
lyrics by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and Tim Maner
book by Tim Maner

June 13 - 30, 2019

"Lizzie Borden took an ax..." And we know what happened next. Or, do we? It's a powerhouse rock-show retelling of the sensational-and bloody-double murder that shocked New England in the summer of 1892, as told through the fierce performances of four stellar actresses. What starts as the abuse and despair of a troubled woman results in a shocking act of revenge when she takes a hatchet to her oppressive father and stepmother. Charged with the killing of her parents, Lizzie becomes a media sensation even as the trial takes its toll on the relationships with those dearest to her.


Subscriptions are available in 3-, 4- and 5-show packages, as well as in Flex Pass plans. Package prices range from $108 - $220, and discounted subscriptions are available for students. Current 2017-2018 season subscribers can guarantee their same seats by renewing before May 14, and reservations for new subscriptions can be made now to be seated starting May 31. Both renewing and new subscribers may place their orders at the Loft Theatre during performances of Brighton Beach Memoirs (April 5 - 22, 2018), or with Ticket Center Stage by calling (937) 228-3630 or by visiting the Schuster Center Box Office. Productions, performance dates and ticket prices are subject to change. Single tickets to Banned from Baseball go on sale this summer, with tickets to future productions on sale later in the season.

Monday Night Playreading Series

For 2018-2019, The Human Race Theatre Company is offering a new program - the Monday Night Playreading Series. Throughout the season, the company is hosting table readings of three scripts considered to be some of the best the theatre world has to offer, all works of potential interest for future HRTC full-scale productions.

Open to the public and voiced by many of the region's top theatre performers, these readings provide another opportunity for theatre lovers to hear and enjoy scripts they may not be able to experience otherwise. Playreadings take place in the Loft Theatre on select Monday nights during the runs of Eichelberger Loft Series productions.

This season, Kevin Moore has selected three diverse play scripts to kick off the series - two contemporary hits-Lynn Nottage's working class drama, Sweat (November 12, 2018) and Robert Askins' blisteringly funny Hand to God (March 11, 2019)-and one classic English comedy that has graced stages for nearly a century-Noël Coward's Fallen Angels (May 6, 2019).

THE 2018-2019 Monday Night Playreading Series LINEUP


by Lynn Nottage

Monday, November 12, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.

Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this fiery story explores identity, racial tension and economic politics in the industrial, blue-collar world of the American labor force. Set in hard-hit Reading, Pennsylvania, much of the action unfolds in a local bar where factory coworkers congregate to laugh and commiserate as layoffs loom in the new economy that no longer values things made with human labor - with sweat.

Hand to God

by Robert Askins

Monday, March 11, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Mischief is at hand when a possessed Christian-ministry puppet named Tyrone and his awkward teen puppeteer, Jason, wreak havoc on their small Texas town. Jason's mom is preparing the church puppet club to perform after Pastor Greg's Sunday sermon, but foulmouthed Tyrone has different plans. It's a struggle between good and evil suitable for adults only that's so ridiculously raunchy, irreverent and funny, you're bound to be sore from laughing.

Fallen Angels

by Noël Coward

Monday, May 6, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

From one of England's wittiest writers comes a farcical 1920s romantic romp turned titillating treat. Best friends Julia and Jane are both in stable-but sometimes boring-marriages. Their lives are turned upside down when a past lover of both ladies plans a visit. Should they be good wives, or give over to remembered passion? Nerves, alcohol and jealousy make for a hysterical reunion reminiscent of the hijinks of "Lucy and Ethel."

Monday Night Playreading Series TICKETS

Tickets to each reading are $20, with $15 discounted tickets on sale now to Loft Series subscribers. Single tickets go on sale to the general public this summer. Seating is general admission.

More ticketing and performance information on The Human Race Theatre Company's 2018-2019 and 2017-2018 seasons are available online at or by calling Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630, and at the Schuster Center box office.

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