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Custom Made Theatre Co. Announces 2022 Season

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Opening the season will be Jeffrey Lo's world premiere play, Zac & Siah, or Jesus in a Body Bag  (Feb 4 - Feb 27, 2022).

Custom Made Theatre has announced its 23rd season and first year of residency at the historic Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason St (@ Geary) in the Union Square neighborhood.

Executive Artistic Director and co-founder Brian Katz is "thrilled to welcome back fully vaccinated audiences to our 2022 season, and our new home, the intimate Phoenix Theatre, a 49-seat thrust stage only three blocks from the Powell Street BART. We cannot wait to be back presenting live work in front of patrons and are exceptionally excited about our ambitious line-up." The company will be moving to a calendar year season for the first time and expect this to be their presenting schedule for the foreseeable future.

Custom Made will present three new, local works, one regional premiere, and two revivals.

World Premieres from Bay Area Artists

Opening the season will be Jeffrey Lo's world premiere play, Zac & Siah, or Jesus in a Body Bag (Feb 4 - Feb 27, 2022), which was postponed multiple times due to Covid-19. Katz says, "we have wanted to work with Jeffrey forever, so it has been especially heartbreaking to have had Zac & Siah canceled again and again. We are so thrilled to have this funny and moving play welcome back our audience. Zac & Siah is a perfect story to open our season, as it feels like a consummate Custom Made play. It challenges our notions of modernity and faith, and alternates between the poignant and the silly with equal abandon." Adam L. Sussman directs, who helmed the company's 2020 hit production of Sarah Ruhl's How to Transcend a Happy Marriage.

The second world premiere is Tiny Fires by Aimee Suzara (Sept 23 - Oct 16.) Tiny Fires was developed in Custom Made's Undiscovered Works series last summer along with three other new plays. Each had a public presentation on Zoom and was received with aplomb by viewers. "UDW was a treasure-trove of new work, and we wish we could have produced all these new plays," said Katz. "Aimee's touching and challenging play about Filipina scavengers stayed with us long after its reading, and we knew it needed to be on our stage. We are honored to present this world premiere." Former Custom Made Associate Artistic Director Nikki Meñez will direct, returning to the company after helming the hit production of In the Heights.

Shoshana in December: A New Musical by Rose Oser, Weston Scott, and Matt Grandy is the final new work in the season (Nov 18 - Dec 18.) This "in-development musical" reunites much of the team behind Tinderella, which had a sold-out run for Custom Made and FaultLine Theater in 2018. Shoshana centers around a young Jewish woman who investigates her feelings about commitment and queerness when she is invited to a winter rendezvous by Cecily, a Christian friend she most definitely has a crush on, despite being in a relationship with her boyfriend Danny.

Regional Premiere of Dominique Morisseau Ensemble Drama

In May, Custom Made is honored to present the regional premiere of Blood at the Root by Dominique Morriseau (May 13 - Jun 5), the acclaimed author of Skeleton Crew, Detroit '67, and the book writer of Ain't Too Proud. Blood at the Root will be helmed by director Darryl V. Jones, who is currently staging The Great Khan at SF Playhouse and has directed Ms. Morriseau's work at several theatres, including Detroit '67 at Aurora Theatre. Blood at the Root is inspired by the Jena 6 case, where Black high school students were charged with attempted murder after responding to racist provocations by their white peers.

Revivals of Pulitzer Prize and Obie Award-winning Playwrights

March brings a revival of Pulitzer Prize-winning Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation (Mar 25 - Apr 16), directed by Ciera Eis, who revitalized the company's Undiscovered Works development series last season. This Obie Award-winning play centers on a motley crew of community members taking an acting class. However, like all of Baker's work, Circle Mirror Transformation is more than it appears as tensions, loves, and fears lie deep within its silences, theater exercises, and a sense of everyday normalcy.

Finally, Katja Rivera returns to Custom Made to direct the magical realism of José Rivera's References to Salvador Dalí Make Me Hot (Jul 1 - Jul 24.) No relation to the playwright, Rivera staged many Custom Made audience-favorite productions, including Eurydice, A Delicate Balance, and The Effect of Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds... Dalí is a surreal and magical play that centers on the wife of a career soldier who, in her loneliness, imagines other worlds, including that of the sex lives of coyotes and cats that make up the deserts around Barstow, California.

Subscriptions are available for the six-play season at www.custommade.org/subscribe and start as low as $60. Previews for each show are the first Friday and Saturday at 8 pm. Opening celebrations are the first Sunday matinee, 2 pm. Press openings are the first Monday, 7 pm, and are by invitation only. Single tickets will be on sale in November 2021.


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