Theatre KAPOW's Season 11 Will 'Explore'

Theatre KAPOW's Season 11 Will 'Explore'

theatre KAPOW has announced its eleventh season of programming for 2018-2019. tKAPOW places great importance on the selection of a season of shows that complement each other. Previous seasons have focused on such themes as dream, see, breathe, and last season's faith & story. Now, for its eleventh season, theatre KAPOW's theme will be "explore." All of tKAPOW's fully staged productions this year will be at the Derry Opera House.

The plays in this season have all been selected around the unifying theme "explore." The concept of exploration is a foundation of all of theatre KAPOW's work, but this year the idea is brought into tight focus with shows that tell the stories of explorers of different kinds. Whether they are exploring Ireland, the Pacific Ocean, or the depths of outer space, the shows all take the audience on journeys beyond the known world. Along with any exploration comes a search for truth and all of season 11's plays examine the lines between fact and fiction and what happens when that line is blurred. "As we explore our surroundings, we learn more about the world and the people with whom we share it," says Artistic Director, Matt Cahoon. "Ultimately, I believe that the more we learn about each other, the closer we become and the better equipped we are to deal with all the other unknowns."

Season 11 opens in late September with Translations by Brian Friel. It is 1833, and change is coming to rural County Donegal, Ireland. A tight-knit group of neighbors gathers regularly at an Irish-language hedge school to study classics of Greek and Latin literature. A prodigal son of their own returns from Dublin with two British army engineers who have been tasked with mapping the country, drawing new borders, and translating local place names into the King's English. Languages and histories collide, kindling romance and inciting violence. A modern classic from an Irish master, Translations explores the relationship between how we speak, who we are, and whom we love.

"I'm about to tell you a story. A fantastic and amazing story! A story all the more remarkable because every word of it is true." So says Louis de Rougemont. His brave and amazing adventures left nineteenth-century England spellbound. In March of 2019, prepare to be swept away in a high seas adventure, populated by a monstrous man-eating octopus, flying wombats, giant sea turtles, cannibals, and buried treasure! Inspired by a true story, Donald Margulies' epic Shipwrecked: An Entertainment-The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself) examines how far we're willing to blur the line between fact and fiction in order to leave our mark on the world. This is the second time tKAPOW will produce a play by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Donald Margulies.

In April 2019, tKAPOW will present the New Hampshire premiere of Silent Sky by 2017's most produced living American playwright, Lauren Gunderson. At Harvard Observatory at the turn of the 20th century, Henrietta Leavitt joins a group of women tasked with charting the heavens without being allowed to touch a telescope. Despite restrictions placed on her because of her sex, Henri devotes her life to the study of celestial bodies just out of reach, while balancing her certainty that she will find answers to complex questions with the desires of her heart and the needs family. Inspired by the real-life woman whose work allowed astronomers to measure the distance of faraway galaxies, Lauren Gunderson's witty and evocative Silent Sky challenges how we explore our universe by revealing the music of the stars.

theatre KAPOW is also pleased to continue its ARTiculate Playreading Series at the Currier Museum of Art. The sixth season of reading of new or rarely produced plays that relate to special exhibitions at the Currier Museum of Art or the larger art world includes three plays from around the world. On the Ceiling by English playwright Nigel Planer tells the story of two fresco artists working on the Sistine Chapel and will be read in conjunction with the special exhibition John the Baptist in Renaissance Florence: Sculptures by Montorsoli and Michelangelo's Circle. The Bakelite Masterpiece by Canadian writer Kate Cayley is a compelling look at truth in art as at the end of World War II, artist Han van Meegeren sits in a prison cell accused of selling a long-lost Vermeer to the Nazis. The third play of the series, The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek by South African playwright Athol Fugard is a touching portrayal of compassion passed down through two generations in a racially-torn continent.

Continuing its commitment to the development of new work, over the next two years, theatre KAPOW will develop an original exploration of Norway's most performed play, Henrik Ibsen's 1867 verse drama Peer Gynt. The reckless and egotistical Peer seeks a life full of adventure and success, so embarks on an epic journey, to find what he is looking for? Our exploration will begin in 1941 in a small cell at the Grini Prison Camp just outside Baerum Norway where one of Norway's most prominent painters, Per Krohg, along with many notable artists of the day, was captured by the Nazis during the German occupation of Norway. His means of expression and survival was to sketch, draw, and paint to cover the walls of his cell with images from his favorite folktale. Krohg's images of Peer Gynt were published in a 1955 edition of Ibsen's play. tKAPOW's Peer/Per: The Peer Gynt Project will look at the already woven stories of Per Krohg and Peer Gynt to explore their longing for freedom and undeniable air of resistance.

Early work on Peer Gynt, and on the entire season, will begin at tKAPOW's Artists Retreat in Dunbarton August 5 - 11. The company will spend a week training together in voice, movement, improvisation and acting. Guest artists will lead workshops in Feldenkreis, modern dance, voice, movement, Tai Chi, and more. The retreat is open to any participant 16 or older, everyone has something to bring to the conversation.

For more information and a complete schedule of performances and programs, visit

theatre KAPOW ( develops ensemble productions of great dramatic literature to explore the human experience and inspire and challenge both artist and audience. tKAPOW places emphasis on the importance of rigorous formal training to develop an ensemble of skilled and dedicated theatre artists.

Now in its eleventh season, tKAPOW has established a reputation for presenting important dramatic literature including productions by August Strindberg, Henrik Ibsen, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Sarah Ruhl, and Tony Kushner. In 2017, tKAPOW won the NH Theatre Award for Best Production of a Play for Eugene Ionesco's Exit the King. In 2014 and 2015, tKAPOW won Best Production of a Play for Penelope by Enda Walsh and Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies. tKAPOW also devises and creates new works of theatre such as Raining Aluminum and A Story that Cuts Like a Knife. The editors of New Hampshire Magazine named theatre KAPOW the Best Contemporary Theatre in New Hampshire for 2013.

theatre KAPOW is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization.

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Photo Credit: Matthew Lomanno.

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