New Conservatory Theatre Center Announces 2018-2019 Season

New Conservatory Theatre Center Founder & Artistic Director Ed Decker announced the line-up for NCTC's 2018-19 subscription season last night at NCTC's annual Season Announcement Party for subscribers, donors and artists.

Regarded nationally and internationally as San Francisco's Premier LGBTQI and Allied Theatre Company, NCTC's 2018-19 Season offers powerful, personal, and profound stories that span the globe, the decades, and a range of human experience.

"The theatre is one of the few remaining places where we can gather together to find a collective heartbeat. A chance to witness, question, muse, and reflect in a space that welcomes all who cross its threshold. In this often confusing and digitally dehumanizing world it is comforting to find cathartic respite in art" says Decker. "This season, NCTC once again serves up a smorgasbord of enticing offerings for our LGBT and Allied audiences- musicals and plays with both historical relevance and contemporary urgency. Whether you're looking for escape from the daily slog, a challenge to the status quo or simply for a deeper understanding of our shared humanity you are sure to find it here."

Featured in the 2018-19 Season are seven exceptional stories, including five groundbreaking plays and two hit musicals, which speak to joyfulness, dignity, compassion, and unity.

NCTC opens its 2018-19 season in September, with the San Francisco premiere of Charles Busch's Red Scare on Sunset. It's 1950s Hollywood and the Cold War is about to come knocking on silver-screen star Mary Dale's palatial front door: her husband's Method acting class is a front for the Communist party and threatens to destroy everything she holds dear. Mary must rally to defend her marriage, Hollywood and the American way in this outrageously funny and ironically timely parody that "seduces with the shameless allure of an old movie trailer" (New York Newsday). NCTC is thrilled to welcome back the award-winning master of camp, Charles Busch, after critically acclaimed productions of his other plays, Die Mommie, Die! (2014), The Divine Sister (2013), and You Should Be So Lucky (2003).

Next, NCTC looks at global LGBTQI human rights with Cardboard Piano by South Korean playwright Hansol Jung, winner of the 2018 Whiting Award. 16-year-old Chris just wants to find a safe place to live with the girl she loves - not an easy task in 1999 Uganda. Determined to be together, Chris, the daughter of American missionaries and Adiel, a local girl, meet in the village church to marry in secret. When the war outside the church walls breaks its way into their sanctuary in the form of a wounded child-soldier, all three lives become tied together forever. Cardboard Piano is "a story with a resonant and rewarding ring of truth" (Twin Cities Pioneer Press) about the power of the past to shape the future, and the bonds of love, family, and forgiveness.

Just in time for the holidays, December brings back a "bona fide tradition" (Theatrius). Everyone's favorite foul mouthed puppets are back at NCTC for the sixth anniversary of the Tony Award-winning Avenue Q. This "smash hit" (Bay Area Reporter) won over critics and audiences alike in its previous engagements at NCTC, being declared "a local tradition" by San Francisco Travel and pronounced a "funny, sweet and profane puppet-filled musical...only the Grinch could prevent the laughter-filled show from selling out night after night" by the San Francisco Examiner.

In January, NCTC is proud to present Jordan Tannahill's Late Company, an "utterly transfixing" (The Telegraph) family drama which examines the consequences of bullying in the digital age. In an attempt to find closure after a family tragedy, Debora and Michael invite their son's bully and his family over for a dinner party. As the night progresses, pain, loss and rage all come to a head, and there's enough blame for everybody to have a share. At turns both beautiful and brutal, Late Company is a hotbed of visceral tension as questions are raised that no one is prepared to answer.

Jordan Tannahill is widely celebrated as one of Canada's most accomplished young playwrights, filmmakers and all-round multidisciplinary artists. Jordan has received various prizes including the 2014 Governor Generals Award for Drama for Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays, the 2014 John Hirsch Prize for directing, and multiple Dora Awards.

NCTC presents the regional premiere of "the sad and hilarious - sadlarious? - new play" (Vulture) Steve by Mark Gerrard in March. Named one of Ben Brantley's Top Ten in 2015 in The New York Times, Steve asks what happens after "happily ever after"? Steve got his happy ending, but years later, his Prince Charming is sexting another man, his best friend is ill, and he's hitting the expiration date on his desirability. Chock full of acidic wit, musical theatre references, and plenty of heart, Steve is "the ultimate theatre geek's tragicomedy" (Newsday).

In April, Philip Dawkins, one of "Chicago theater's brightest young writing talents" (Chicago Tribue) delivers the regional premiere of The Gentleman Caller. Dawkins returns to NCTC after acclaimed productions of Le Switch (2017) and The Homosexuals (2014), with a story about the secrets waiting behind closed doors. Two legends. One interview. Plenty of secrets. Before becoming icons of American theatre, Tennessee Williams and William Inge were just two aspiring playwrights sharing a night together, shut away from the world's judgement. As the liquor flows and confessions begin to spill out, these men reveal sides of themselves the public never saw, in all their vulnerabilities, flaws, and triumphs.

Glam-rock, gospel and modern pop collide at NCTC in May with the smash Off-Broadway hit musical The View UpStairs by Max Vernon. When impulsive entrepreneur Wes buys a dilapidated building in the French Quarter of New Orleans, he's phantasmically transported to its glory days: the UpStairs Lounge in 1973. Serving as a home, a church, and a gay dive-bar, the UpStairs was its own kind of paradise. As Wes meets the larger than life lounge regulars, he learns what has been gained and lost in the fight for equality, and how the past can help guide all of us through an uncertain future.

Described by The New Yorker as "equal parts bohemia and Broadway", Max Vernon's work has been performed and developed at Ars Nova, Berkeley Rep, Disney Creative Entertainment, Goodspeed Opera House, and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, among others. He is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Grant, New York Stage and Film's Founders Award, New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, and the JFund Award from the Jerome Foundation.

Subscribers get the best seats at the best prices for every show in the season. Seven show full-season subscriptions are available now, as well as a six show package (without Avenue Q) and a four show sampler, with a choice of any four shows in the season. In addition, we offer a special three show flex pass to guests 35 years and under for just $60 - $20 a play! Subscriber benefits include 30% off single ticket prices, access to the best seats, free and easy ticket exchanges, first access to Avenue Q tickets, 50% off guest tickets, savings on non-subscription shows and much more. Subscriptions are now available at nctcsf.org/subscribe or by calling the Box Office at 415.861.8972.

New Conservatory Theatre Center has been San Francisco's premier LGBTQIA and allied performing arts institution and progressive arts education conservatory since 1981. NCTC is renowned for its diverse range of innovative, high-quality productions, touring productions and shows for young audiences; its foundational anti-bullying work with youth and educators through YouthAware; and its commitment to developing new plays to continue expanding the canon of queer and allied dramatic work.



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