Cutting Ball Theater Announces 2017-18 Season

Cutting Ball Theater Announces 2017-18 Season

Cutting Ball Theater, the Bay Area's number one destination for experimental theater, has announced the program for its 2017-18 Season. Affirming its commitment to avant-garde works of the past, present and future, and to re-envisioning the classics, next year's season is bookended by Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel's The Mineola Twins and Shakespeare's late tragedy, Timon of Athens. Rounding out the season is a two-week festival in February featuring three series of plays.

"Next season Cutting Ball breaks new ground with artists spanning music, dance and the visual arts, even as it welcomes back some familiar names and faces," said Cutting Ball Artistic Director Paige Rogers. "Elissa Beth Stebbins, who last performed at Cutting Ball in the role of the Chorus Lead in Antigone, returns to star alongside Sango Tajima in the fall production of The Mineola Twins, directed by Cutting Ball Associate Artistic Director Ariel Craft. And the Theater's Founding Artistic Director Rob Melrose returns in the spring to direct Timon with a crackerjack cast that includes Doug Nolan, Radhika Rao, David Sinaiko, Brennan Pickman-Thoon and Courtney Walsh."

"Our winter festival, which we've dubbed The Cutting Ball Variety Pack, will feature three components: a Directors Series, featuring four short works by four directors; a Playwrights Series, featuring staged readings of two unproduced and unpublished experimental plays; and a Reading Series, featuring readings of several works, both classical and new, canonized and lesser-known."

Among the striking collaborations in the winter festival is a partnership with cellist Leighton Fong, a founding member of Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, who is working with Rogers to create a "hybrid classical music-theater piece." On another evening, Izzie Award-winning dancer and choreographer Randee Paufve will take the stage in an interdisciplinary work directed by Daria Kaufman.

"As we approach Cutting Ball's 20th anniversary in 2018-19," continuEd Rogers, "we are as committed as ever to defying expectations and nurturing an appetite for non-traditional theater."

2017-18 Season memberships, starting at $55, are on sale now at or by phone at 415-525-1205. Individual tickets will go on sale June 23, 2017.

A chronological list of Cutting Ball's 2017-18 Season follows. For more information, visit

By Paula Vogel
Directed by Ariel Craft
September 28 - October 29, 2017
Press opening: October 2, 2017

The Mineola Twins is Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel's razor sharp and prescient satire about the women's movement and the rise of conservatism as seen through the lives of identical twins. Myrna is the "good" twin: straight-as-an arrow, traditional in her values. Myra is the "evil" twin: rebellious and unabashedly promiscuous. Spanning three decades from the Eisenhower administration through George H. W. Bush, The Mineola Twins follows the growing and eventually insurmountable chasm between the sisters, examining what happens when the person you expected to fight at your side becomes your own adversary and greatest threat.

February 2 - February 13, 2018

The Cutting Ball Variety Pack is a festival with three components: The Directors Series, The Playwrights Series, and The Reading Series.

The Directors Series features four short, interdisciplinary works dedicated to directorial exploration and experimentation, and in particular to promoting collaboration between the mediums of theater, music and movement, and crossing cultural and linguistic boundaries. Confirmed artists include Paige Rogers, Leighton Fong, Daria Kaufman and Randee Paufve.

The Playwrights Series is an incubator for experimental new works. Two unproduced and unpublished plays will be selected from a pool of 150 submissions. Selected playwrights will receive a weeklong developmental workshop in close collaboration with a director, a team of actors and designers. At the end of the week, each play will be given two public staged readings on Cutting Ball's main stage.

The Reading Series is designed to rally groups of performers and curious listeners for informal, one-time-only readings of plays that may find their way to Cutting Ball's stage in future seasons. The Reading Series invites audiences to peek into Cutting Ball's artistic hive mind to get acquainted with classical, canonized, modern and new works, and provides Cutting Ball's artists the space to explore and engage with prospective plays in depth.

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Rob Melrose
March 30 - April 29, 2018
Press opening: April 5, 2018

Timon of Athens is one of Shakespeare's neglected classics, featuring some of the bard's very best poetry and more experimental verse. The play, written in collaboration with Thomas Middleton, tracks the fortunes of two figures: Timon, a rich philanthropist, and Alcibiades, a military commander. Both men suffer betrayals. But while Timon retreats to the wilderness to live as a hermit, Alcibiades mounts a campaign to bring his former homeland to its knees. This beautiful and bitter satire inspired much of Samuel Beckett's work three and a half centuries later.

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