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Regional Theater of the Week: Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN, the largest theatre site on the Internet, is excited to announce a new feature to its comprehensive regional coverage - the Featured Regional Theater of the Week! Each week, BWW will introduce its readers to a regional theater located in one of our (over 130!) coverage cities. By exploring these different venues, their history and showcasing the production seasons, BWW continues its commitment to expand our presence in communities and cities across the United States.

This Week's Featured Regional Theater: Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN

With a burst of pride and a burst of gratitude, Circuit Playhouse Inc., which includes Playhouse on the Square and The Circuit Playhouse, observed the 40th anniversary of its founding in 2009. More than 6,000 people have acted, staffed, ushered, handled tech jobs, and struggled to bring forth the 744 shows produced at our theatres since 1969. The celebration of this occasion was in their honor, for without their talent and dedication, Memphis' professional theatre company could not have reached this landmark event.

The mission of Playhouse on the Square is:

- To produce a challenging and diverse repertoire of theatrical work that speaks to the intelligence, the soul, and the imagination of the Memphis community;
- To provide a nurturing artistic home for actors, directors, designers, and staff in which they can practice their craft and share their talent; and
- To make all of our productions available through access, outreach, and educational activities to everyone in the community regardless of financial circumstances.

The remaining 2013 season includes:

MISS SAIGON, May 10 - June 2, 2013. Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr. and Alain Boublil.

Both a classic love story and a daring pop opera,Miss Saigon is the story of Chris and Kim, an American soldier and a Vietnamese girl who fall in love during the Vietnam War only to be separated during the fall of Saigon. Years later, Chris returns to Asia and discovers that Kim is alive and raising their son, and he must choose between Kim and the life he has built in America.

THE COLOR PURPLE, June 21 - July 14, 2013. Adapted for the stage by Marsha Norman, Music and Lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray

This musical adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is the story of Celie, a downtrodden young woman who, through love, finds strength and her own unique voice despite a lifetime of abuse and adversity. With a score filled with jazz, ragtime, blues and gospel, The Color Purple is a celebration of the healing power of love and the human will to persevere. Nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2006 including Best Musical and Best Original Score.

The 2013-14 Season Includes:

August 16 - September 15

We proudly present the musical epic that has thrilled audiences around the world. In a nation in the grip of revolution, convict Jean Valjean is on the run. Hunted relentlessly by the policeman Javert for breaking his parole, he must leave his past behind and keep his vow to raise the young orphaned Cosette. But with revolution in the air and Javert closing in, Jean Valjean has no choice but to fight for his life and sacrifice everything to protect the people he loves. With legendary songs like "I Dreamed a Dream," and "One Day More," LES MISERABLES is the ultimate musical theatre experience.

Clybourne Park
September 27 - October 13

An off-shoot of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, this wickedly funny and frank play about territory won both the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play and the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Clybourne Park's two acts are set 50 years apart. Act One takes place in 1959, as nervous community leaders try to stop the sale of a home to a black family. Act Two is set in the same house in the present day, as the now predominantly African-American neighborhood battles to hold its ground in the face of gentrification. "Vital, sharp-witted and ferociously smart!" - The New York Times

Peter Pan
November 22, 2013 - January 5, 2014

After several years away, the boy who won't grow up is flying back to the Memphis stage! Wendy, John, and Michael Darling's world is turned upside down when Peter Pan swoops into their nursery. He leads them to Neverland where they encounter the cunning and evil Captain Hook, villainous pirates, a crafty crocodile, and the sprightly fairy Tinker Bell. Featuring classic songs such as "I Gotta Crow," "Neverland," and "I'm Flying," Peter Pan promises to touch, inspire, dazzle, and charm all generations.

Monty Python's SPAMALOT
January 24 - February 16, 2014

This winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Musical and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Musical is a musical comedy "lovingly ripped off from" the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. King Arthur, so dubbed when the Lady of the Lake gave him Excalibur, travels England in search of Knights for his round table who go on a search for the Holy Grail. With musical numbers like "He Is Not Dead Yet" and "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life," Spamalot "raises silliness to an art form!" - The Sunday Times

The Diary of Anne Frank
March 14 - 30, 2014

During World War II, the gifted young Jewish girl chronicles her rapidly changing life as she and 7 others hide in an attic to avoid the terrors of Nazi rule. This transcendently powerful adaptation by Wendy Kesselman tells a deeper story by incorporating Holocaust survivor accounts and newly discovered writings from Anne Frank's diary. "An extraordinary theatrical adventure! Go and remember." - The New York Post

May 9 - June 1, 2014

Based on the memoirs of burlesque sensation Gypsy Rose Lee, Gypsy is a classic story about one of the most frightening aspects of show business. Convinced her daughter June can strike it big, Rose, the ultimate stage mother, builds a show around her and takes the family on the road in the last days of Vaudeville. They live hand-to-mouth, taking the act from city to city until her daughters begin to grow up and bristle under her control. As her children find their own paths away from her, Rose must confront her own unfulfilled potential.

June 20 - July 13, 2014

It's 1962, the '50s are out, and change is in the air. Baltimore's Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, has only one passion - to dance. She wins a spot on the local TV dance program, "The Corny Collins Show," and overnight, is transformed from outsider to irrepressible teen celebrity. But can a trendsetter in dance and fashion vanquish the program's reigning princess, win the heart of heartthrob Link Larkin, and integrate a television show without denting her 'do? Only in Hairspray! "Irresistible! If life were everything it should be, it would be more like Hairspray!" - The New York Times

Performances at THE CIRCUIT PLAYHOUSE, 51 S. Cooper St. are as follows:

August 23 - September 15

In this 2010 Tony Award-winning drama set in the late 1950s, abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko is commissioned to create a series of murals for New York's luxurious Four Seasons restaurant. The project ignites an emotional inferno as he struggles with his success and the legacy he wants to leave behind. He works feverishly under the watchful eye of his bright, young assistant, Ken. But when Ken gains the confidence to challenge his teacher on some of his misguided ideals, Rothko faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing.

Reefer Madness
October 11 - 27

This raucous musical comedy inspired by the 1936 film of the same name is a tongue-in-cheek look at the horrors of marijuana. Clean-cut kids Jimmy and Mary are lured to the Reefer Den, given pot, and become fiends who descend into a world filled with evil jazz music, sex, and violence. Can anything rescue them from the insidious spell of The Green Misery?! Their fates unfold in a variety of musical styles in the show Entertainment Weekly called "aggressively silly" and "a great deal of fun."

A Tuna Christmas
November 15 - December 29

The colorful residents of Tuna, Texas' third-smallest town, are competing in the annual Christmas lawn display contest when a mysterious Christmas Phantom wreaks havoc on the elaborate decorations. Meanwhile, Tuna's embattled theatre director tries to get a troubled production of A Christmas Carol on its feet. Two actors play more than 20 characters, and multiple costume quick-changes help to put the riotous fun in holiday dysfunction in this audience-favorite.

Other Desert Cities
January 17 - February 9, 2014

In this funny and searing family drama, Brooke Wyeth, a once promising novelist, returns home after a six - year absence to celebrate Christmas in Palm Springs with her parents, former members of the Reagan inner circle, her brother, and her aunt. When Brooke announces she is about to publish a memoir focusing on an explosive chapter in the family's history, the holiday reunion is thrown into turmoil as the Wyeths struggle to come to terms with their past. A 2012 Tony Award nominee for Best Play.

The Great American Trailer Park Musical
February 28 - March 23, 2014

Sparkling like aluminum siding, this campy, caustic musical fable is ripe with adultery, strippers, murderous ex-boyfriends, Costco, and the Ice Capades. Complete with a trashy Greek chorus of trailer park divas, Armadillo Acres is Florida's most exclusive mobile home community. But when a stripper on the run comes between an agoraphobic housewife and her tollbooth collector husband, the hurricane of laughter begins to brew. Revel in all things trashy with a musical that's, "undeniable fun!" - The New York Post

April 11 - May 4, 2014

Steve and Sara, a devout young couple, move to Florida with a dream to start a chain of Gospel-themed motels. They're waiting for a crucial loan to arrive, and though it's been several months, Steve has faith that it will work out. In the meantime, Sara strikes up an unlikely friendship with their reclusive scientist neighbor. As Steve's plans go awry and his beliefs are challenged by an opinionated exterminator, he must decide if faith is truly enough or if he must take more drastic measures. "Cool, haunting, and achingly human." - The New York Times

The Lyons
May 30 - June 22, 2014

In this dark comedy, Rita Lyons is the matriarch of a family facing a major crossroads. Her husband, Ben, is dying and her grown children - a pathological liar and a recovering alcoholic, respectively, are stumbling. As the family gathers in Ben's hospital room to say goodbye, attempts at sentimentality soon give way to attempts to emotionally annihilate one another. Terrible secrets are revealed, and they discover that they're as terrified of being together as they are of being alone. "A terrific gem. You can't stop laughing." - The Associated Press

Almost, Maine
January 3 - January 26, 2014

On a cold, moonless winter's night in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine, it seems everyone is busy falling in and out of love. The mysteries of the human heart are explored in vignettes where the characters respond to the joys and woes of romance in unexpected ways. Four actors play multiple characters in this charming play The New York Daily News proclaimed, "Sweet, poignant, and witty. Nearly perfect."

4000 Miles
July 11 - August 3, 2014

Leo biked for a month from Seattle to New York, but it's a small Greenwich Village apartment where his real journey begins. Reeling from a tragedy, the rudderless twenty-something arrives at the doorstep of his 91 year-old grandmother Vera, an old lefty navigating the rough waters of aging. Together, these two outsiders find their way in one of 2012's most touching and acclaimed new plays. Winner of the 2012 Obie Ward for Best New Play, The New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award, and Time Magazine's #1 Play of 2012.

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