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GREY GARDENS, SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE & More Set for Custom Made Theatre's 2014-15 Season


Custom Made Theatre announces its 2014-2015 season. The award-winning company will stage six exciting works, opening with the Bay Area premiere of Eric Simonson's adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse- Five, or The Children's Crusade and closing the season with Grey Gardens: The Musical. Two of the shows are Bay Area Premieres and one, Plautus's The Braggart Soldier, or Major Blowhard, adapted and directed by Evren Odcikin, is a World Premiere.

In a departure from recent seasons, two of the six shows are part of the "select season", and will have Saturday night openings, while the other four open on CMTC's customary Tuesday night.

Custom Made Theatre performs at the Gough Street Playhouse, 1620 Gough Street (at Bush) in San Francisco. (415) 798-CMTC,

Sept 12 - Oct 12: Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, adapted by Eric Simonson. Directed by Custom Made Artistic Director, Brian Katz (Next to Normal, The Play About the Baby). Bay Area Premiere! (Opens Tuesday, September 16th.)

Kurt Vonnegut's absurdist classic, adapted by the Tony-nominated and Oscar-winning Eric Simonson, Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who says he has become 'unstuck in time.' In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden. With this significant event as the climax of this satirical and horrifying anti-war story, Slaughterhouse-Five carries a unique poignancy - and humor. A best-seller when released, the novel brought Vonnegut to prominence as a major voice in American fiction, and was recently listed as one of's Top 100 novels.

Nov 7- Dec 7: Three Tall Women by Edward Albee. Directed by Katja Rivera (Eurydice). (Opens Tuesday, November 11th.)

Winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize, this will be the fourth Edward Albee play Custom Made has presented, most recently with The Play About the Baby. It is one of Albee's most personal plays; he continues to explore themes of mortality, the elasticity of personality, and the ways we deceive ourselves through the character of a 92-year old woman on the verge of death, engaging with herself as a knowing 56-year old and a contemptuous 26-year old. Three Tall Women challenges audiences, asking us to be as honest, fierce and unblinking as Mr. Albee in looking at how we live, and how we die.

Jan 8 - Feb 7, 2015:Late: A Cowboy Song by Sarah Ruhl. Directed by Ariel Craft (Tis Pity She's a Whore) (Opens Saturday, January 10th, 2015.)

Mary, always late and always married, meets a lady cowboy (she's a cowboy, not a cowgirl!) outside the city limits of Pittsburgh who teaches her how to ride a horse. Mary's husband, Crick, buys a painting with the last of their savings. Mary and Crick have a baby, but they can't decide on the baby's name, or the baby's gender. So begins Sarah Ruhl's poetic, subtle and fantastical portrait of three souls in collision. Custom Made audiences loved Ruhl's Eurydice, and Late once again proves she is the poet laureate of the new American theatre.

Feb 12 - March 14: How the World Began by Catherine Trieschmann. Directed by Executive Director Leah S. Abrams (The Diary of Anne Frank). Bay Area Premiere! (Opens Saturday, February 14th, 2015.)

Religion and science collide in a visceral examination of the way in which we navigate interpersonal relationships involving seemingly irreconcilable beliefs-and just how hard it is to truly listen to one another in an increasingly polarized world. Looking to rebuild her fractured life, high school biology teacher Susan relocates from New York City to a small Kansas town reeling in the aftermath of a devastating tornado. Ready for more than a little culture shock, Susan finds herself unprepared for the firestorm that engulfs the town after she makes an off-hand comment about the origin of the universe.

March 27 - April 26: The Braggart Soldier, or Major Blowhard by Plautus, adapted and directed by Evren Odcikin (Mut, 410[Gone]) World Premiere! (Opens Tuesday, March 31st, 2015.)

Director Odcikin's fast and furious mash-up of Plautus, translated by Deena Berg, proves (as if we didn't know it) that Roman comedies never get old, they just get funnier! If you've seen Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, you already know that Plautus was a major influence for every possible style of comedy through the ages, as there's still nothing more hysterical than the pompous and mighty taking it on chin. The Braggart Soldier features the hijinks you'd expect and, in true Custom Made fashion, without a safety net!

May 14 - Jun 14: Grey Gardens, the Musical. Book by Doug Wright, Music by Scott Frankel, and Lyrics by Michael Korie. Directed by Stuart Bousel.(The Crucible) Musical Direction by David Brown. (Opens Tuesday, May 26th, 2015.) San Francisco Premiere!

Based on the cult documentary, Grey Gardens, the Musical is a musical exploration of the American dream gone wrong and what it means to become a social pariah. It's also an exploration of women, the relationship between mothers and daughters, how love can turn into dependency and how in a society where women's roles and options are limited, particularly in the aristocratic class, the very things that make one exceptional could ultimately be what damns them to a life of decay and shadows. Featuring an intimate, musical score that borrows as much from Stephen Sondheim as the eras in which it is, Grey Gardens is the perfect chamber musical that will use the intimacy of Gough Street Playhouse to haunt as well as delight.

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