Gamm Announces Change To 2019-2020 Season Lineup
The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre (The Gamm), under the leadership of Artistic Director Tony Estrella, today announced the addition of Aaron Posner's new play JQA in the second slot of the 2019-2020 lineup. Estrella will direct the New England premiere of JQA, in which a diverse cast of four actors share the role of one-term American President John Quincy Adams. Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' An Octoroon, previously announced as the season's second play, will open The Gamm's 2020-2021 season instead. Joe Wilson, Jr., Coordinator of Activism through Performance and Resident Acting Company Member at Trinity Repertory Company, will direct Jacobs-Jenkins' Obie Award-winning play that explodes ideas about race and American identity.
JQA runs from October 24-November 17 at The Gamm Theatre, 1245 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick, RI. Season subscriptions for Season 35 are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale in early August. Information at gammtheatre.org.
Estrella called JQA a natural fit for the season.
"Next year's plays were chosen to focus on specifically American themes, with a variety of contemporary works examining how we are living right now. Like An Octoroon, JQA does just that. It asks us to look at the formative years of our democracy and take responsibility for its health and vibrancy. It's a great reminder that we are the government. We are very lucky to land only the second production of Posner's acclaimed play, which premiered last spring at Arena Stage in Washington D.C.," Estrella said. "By rescheduling An Octoroon, we ensure a terrific opener for the following season, most importantly with Joe Wilson, Jr. at the helm. Joe is a first class theater maker and a committed, passionate advocate for theater's role in shaping community. I couldn't think of a better artist for the job."
Wilson said he is already looking forward to directing An Octoroon.
"I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with Tony and the entire Gamm family on this extraordinary play by one of the most important writers of our time," Wilson said. "This work is raw, thrilling, humorous and provocative. I hope that our journey in exploring and producing this work will be transformative for both The Gamm Theatre as an institution and the community at large. I could not feel more honored, humbled, and grateful to be able to help unlock the power of this play and experience this profound story alongside every member our beloved community."
Complicated, passionate and difficult, John Quincy Adams was a brilliant diplomat, ineffectual one-term president, and congressman known for his eloquence, arrogance, and integrity. This unique, highly-theatrical play by award-winning playwright Aaron Posner (Stupid F**king Bird) imagines key confrontations between JQA and some of America's most dynamic figures: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, his own father John Adams, and more. At once provocative, haunting and hilarious, this power play challenges the way we think of our country, our government and ourselves.
ABOUT AN OCTOROON
Judge Peyton is dead and his plantation, Terrebonne, is in financial ruins. Peyton's handsome nephew George arrives as heir apparent and quickly falls in love with Zoe, a beautiful, one-eighth black "octoroon." But the evil overseer, M'Closky, has other plans for both Terrebonne and Zoe. From the author of Gloria (Gamm 2018) and Appropriate, this raucous, irreverent retelling of a hit 19th-century melodrama.
Founded in 1984, the non-profit Gamm Theatre creates the finest of live theater, engaging the audience intensely in the most salient issues of our time and all time. The Gamm further serves the public with educational outreach programming designed to support the theatrical experience, and help sustain and enhance the intellectual and cultural life of its community. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Tony Estrella, The Gamm is a regionally recognized, award-winning theater and a proud member of New England Area Theatre (NEAT), a bargaining unit of the Actors' Equity Association.