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Wilbury Group Announces 2019/20 Season

Wilbury Theatre Group Artistic Director Josh Short has announced the Group's 2019/20 Season of programming. Recipient of the 2018 National Theatre Company Award from the American Theatre Wing (The Tony Awards) and one of just 4 theaters in Rhode Island operating under agreement with Actors' Equity Association, the company has put together a thrilling and diverse mix of World, Regional, and Rhode Island premieres to engage our community in the most pressing issues of today.

"Every year we look to take into account stories from the national and international stage to those that resonate most with the community we serve," says Wilbury Founder and Artistic Director Josh Short. "With a hearts-and-bones passion, biting humor, a brave experimentalism, and our signature idealism, the 2019/20 season does this and more. Between our Main Series programming and the incredibly innovative slate of new works we have lined up, 2019/20 promises to be our most eclectic and boundary-pushing season ever. We cannot wait to bring these stories to life in collaboration with our audiences."

Highlights from 2019/20 Main Series Season include Rhode Island premieres of works by David Greig, Erin McKeown and Pulitzer Prize Winner Quiara Alegr a Hudes, New England premieres of two plays in rotating rep by one of America's most exciting and celebrated young dramatists Clare Barron, the regional premiere of the musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' biting satire of consumerism American Psycho, and a highly anticipated revival of Samuel Beckett's masterpiece, Waiting for Godot.

From the Wilbury Group's thriving New Works / Studio W program comes the world premieres of new works by Resident Playwright Darcie Dennigan, performance artists Jesse Hawley & James Stanley, poet and playwright Christopher Johnson, Resident Artist Andy Russ, and a thrilling new 7-person adaptation of William Shakespeare's Hamlet written by Bill Lattanzi and directed by Don Mays.
Additionally, The Wilbury Theatre Group presents the sixth annual FRINGEPVD Providence Fringe Festival July 21-28 this year. Presented in collaboration with WaterFire Providence and dozens of community partners from throughout the city, the 2019 Festival will feature performances from scores of performers from across the country in performance venues throughout Olneyville, including The Wilbury Theatre Group, the WaterFire Arts Center, Riffraff, Sprout CoWorking space, and more, including Olneyville's Donigian Park, which will be home to The Olneyville Expo: A Chautauqua-style Celebration of Olneyville Past, Present, and Future, presented by The Wilbury Group through the Woonasquatucket River Greenway Arts Project in collaboration with the City of Providence Dept. of Arts, Culture, and Tourism, and with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. More information about the 2019 Providence Fringe Festival to-be-announced.

Memberships for the 2019/20 Season are available now. Memberships include access to the Main Series Season, new works / Studio W programming, VIP access to the Providence Fringe Festival , and more. View membership options.

The backbone of our programming since 2010, The Wilbury Theatre Group Main Series Season features provocative plays from around the world alongside innovative stagings of contemporary classics. CAN'T-MISS REVIVAL WAITING FOR GODOT by Samuel Beckett SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2019

From an inauspicious beginning at the tiny Left Bank Theatre de Babylone in 1953, followed by bewilderment among American and British audiences, Waiting for Godot has become of the most important and enigmatic plays of the past fifty years and a cornerstone of twentieth-century drama. As the New York Times wrote, Time catches up with genius Waiting for Godot is one of the masterpieces of the century. Today Samuel Beckett's play remains one of the most magical and beautiful allegories of our time, and this revival of his most acclaimed existential masterpiece promises to be the can't-miss theatrical event of the Fall season.

One of the most noble and moving plays of our generation, a threnody of hope deceived and deferred but never extinguished; a play suffused with tenderness for the whole human perplexity; with phrases that come like a sharp stab of beauty and pain. - The Times

Winner of the 2018 Philip Seymour Hoffman Relentless Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Whiting Award, and the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, with productions at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater, Woolly Mammoth in D.C., and NYC's Clubbed Thumb collective, playwright Clare Barron has established herself as one of the most groundbreaking and adventurous voices in American theatre today. You Got Older is the whimsical and heartbreaking autobiographical tale of a young woman returning home to care for her father, Dance Nation is the brave and visceral portrait of a group of 13 year old girls training for a competitive dance competition. Together these plays create two halves of a wholly beautiful and brutal portrait of American girlhood.

Take the strangest supernatural storytelling you've ever heard, add some Scottish border ballads, then mix in a few devilish encounters and you have got the inventive, rollicking tale of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart. Uptight academic Prudencia's dream-like journey of self-discovery is a Faustian tale, that unfolds among and around the audience in this music-filled romp of rhyming couplets and wild karaoke. The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart by acclaimed Scottish playwright David Greig was originally developed to tour throughout Scotland pubs and bars in a production by the National Theatre of Scotland. In 2020 it hits Olneyville in a new production at The Wilbury Theatre Group, then tours for limited number of site-specific performances to our own neighborhood "pubs" at TROOP, Riffraff, and more to-be-announced.

When a whip-smart, deeply imaginative teenager agrees to take a road trip with her free-spirited Latina mother, neither can imagine where it will take them. Chance encounters with a medley of characters along the way brings them closer to understanding what sets them apart and what connects them forever. Featuring compelling original songs that are every bit as diverse and eclectic as America, Miss You Like Hell is a new musical that exudes the joy, love and frustration of being a family in a changing country written by Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegr a Hudes and acclaimed, genre-defying singer/songwriter and former resident artist at Providence's AS220 Erin McKeown.

America, at this whiplash turn in its history, has to sort out what kind of country it wants to be. Miss You Like Hell makes a tender pitch for the endangered values of understanding and inclusiveness By the end, it's hard not to be touched. - The Los Angeles Times

Miss You Like Hell has a timely political edge, an ethnically diverse cast and a score by a singer-songwriter who knows how to rock. What's more, it's good really good Ms. McKeown's score heightens every emotion so skillfully that you'd think this was her third or fourth show instead of her theatrical debut She's the real thing. -The Wall Street Journal NEW ENGLAND PREMIERE AMERICAN PSYCHO Book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis

Based on the electrifying novel by Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho is the fierce satire of American consumerism from acclaimed playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Tony-award winning composer Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening). Living the high life in 1980s Manhattan, Patrick Bateman has it all looks, money, style and status. He and his entourage buy the most expensive designer clothes, eat at the most exclusive restaurants and party at the hottest clubs. But privately, Patrick indulges in another kind of transgression. And people - including those closest to him - keep disappearing. Taking us to a head-on collision with America's greatest dream and its worst nightmare American Psycho is the controversial biting black comedy about a world we all recognize but do not wish to confront.

The only new work development program of its kind in Rhode Island, Studio W is home for the deliberately eclectic, especially immersive, and world premiere productions.


It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world and so is The Recycling Party!, or The Fish. Written for the Wilbury Theatre Group's Resident Artists, this wild new play from the imagination of Resident Playwright Darcie Dennigan (The Pleiades) peels back the collective anxiety about climate change to reveal the absurdity of the present.

WORLD PREMIERE HAMLET by William Shakespeare, adapted by Bill Lattanzi FEBRUARY 2020

Generations collide, rules get broken, everybody's in show biz and everything you know is wrong in this rollicking and revamped version of one of the greatest plays ever written, adapted by playwright Bill Lattanzi and directed by Don Mays (Hype Man: a break-beat play). Shakespeare, sex, lies, video, asides, power chords, go-go boots and the country blues. WORLD PREMIERE INVENTION OF DISTANCE by Passive Aggressive Novelty Company OCTOBER 2019 (workshop) / APRIL 2020 (production)

Invention of Distance is the newest multimedia dance theatre piece from Passive Aggressive Novelty Company a.k.a Wilbury Artist and designer Andy Russ (Vessel). Wearing headphones, the audience is invited to share a spare, intimate space ( a table, a mirror, a box full of old cassette tapes ) with two individuals who may or may not know that they may or may not be present. An electrifying exercise in sound, meaning, and storytelling, Invention of Distance is a unique immersive theatre experience unlike anything audiences have experienced.


Winner of the 2018 Playwriting Fellowship from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, New and Dangerous Ideas is a multi media experience, challenging ideas of criminalizing race and sex, expatriating police while humanizing statistics by using personal stories of several members of different communities intersected with spoken word poetry, framed in music, dance and video. Originally presented in an earlier form in the Wilbury Theatre Group's 2017/18 Season, this new work by Providence's unofficial poet laurerette Christopher Johnson takes a revised and updated look at race in America.


CVK is a multi-faceted performance project that consists of a.) the manufacture of an 80s synth pop band that never was; and, b.) a staging of their triumphant reunion tour. Fully inhabiting their post-punk alter egos in CVK, performance artists Jesse Hawley and James Stanley (2017/18's House Warming at The Wilbury Theatre Group) will create a hybrid theatrical retrospective of CVK's work, a show that combines musical performance, video, dance, storytelling and various forms of immersive theatrical hi-jinx. They offer a danceable meditation on the circularity of history, and a how-to guide in the subversion of tribal conservatism

Memberships for the 2019/20 Season are available now and include access to the Main Series Season, new works / Studio W programming, VIP access to the Providence Fringe Festival , and more. View membership options.

An award-winning*, not-for-profit professional theatre company, The Wilbury Theatre Group engages our community in thought-provoking conversation through new works, reimagined classics and adventurous playmaking. We are idealistic, ambitious, and stubborn in our resolve to create theatre that entertains, enlightens, and inspires.

As an important member of the Providence arts community, and as Olneyville's performing arts center, The Wilbury Theatre Group is committed to providing our diverse and evolving community with affordable access to the performing arts through our Education program, public outreach programs, and professional productions of cutting-edge theatre from around the world.

The Wilbury Theatre Group's 2019/20 programming is supported in part by The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, The Rhode Island Foundation, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the City of Providence Dept. of Art, Culture, & Tourism.

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