New Conservatory Theatre Center Announces 2020-21 Season, Including Two World Premieres

By: Mar. 24, 2020
New Conservatory Theatre Center Announces 2020-21 Season, Including Two World Premieres

New Conservatory Theatre Center has announced the line-up for NCTC's 2020-21 subscription season, looking beyond the current closure of local theatres and forward to a healthy future after the COVID-19 crisis.

Nationally and internationally renowned as San Francisco's Premier LGBTQ+ and Allied theatre company, NCTC's 2020-21 Season offers an array of diverse stories that will be sure to enlighten, enrich, and entertain.

"The immediacy of theatre invites us all to lean into the rich variety of experiences that make us human. Whether it be an adventure to someplace new, a walk down memory lane, travels upon the trails of love lost and won or simply a nudge towards the unexpected," says Decker, "moving our conversations and ideas for a better world into the light is essential if we are to make change. The stories we carry in our hearts and minds nourish possibilities for this advancement. As we all hunker down to help curb the spread of COVID-19, let's take some comfort in looking ahead to the stories we will share together with this crisis is behind us."

The 2020-21 Season includes two groundbreaking world premieres, a smash hit Broadway musical, a bold reimagining of an iconic piece of American theatre, and three compelling regional premieres.

Hot is everything in NCTC's season opener in September with Joshua Harmon's "heart-achingly funny" (Entertainment Weekly) comedy Skintight. Jodi's life has just imploded. After her ex-husband gets engaged to a much younger woman, Jodi retreats to her wealthy father's Manhattan townhouse. But instead of finding sympathy, Jodi finds her dad's new live-in boyfriend, 20-year-old Trey. Called a "sleekly enjoyable romp" by The New York Times, Skintight is a wickedly funny story of love, lust, and everything in between.

Joshua Harmon's plays include Bad Jews (2013 Outer Critics Circle Nomination for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play, 2014 Lucille Lortel Nomination for Best Play), Significant Other, and Admissions (winner of the 2018 Drama Desk Award for Best Play, 2018 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play). His plays have been produced across the United States at Studio Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Speakeasy, Actor's Express, The Magic and Theater Wit, among others, and internationally in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, and throughout the U.K. He is a two-time MacDowell fellow, under commission at Manhattan Theatre Club, and an Associate Artist at Roundabout Theatre Company.

October brings a story of love and redemption in a small Alaskan town with The Hour of Great Mercy by Miranda Rose Hall. Under the Northern Lights in an isolated Alaskan town, a Jesuit priest looks for closure with the family that has forsaken him. In the process, he finds a love he never expected. A "big-hearted new play" (New York Daily News), The Hour of Great Mercy blends humor, heart, and humanity to explore the power of forgiveness and the nature of faith.

Miranda Rose Hall's plays include Plot Points in Our Sexual Development (Finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award in Drama), and Bulgaria! Revolt!. She won the Craig Noel Award for Outstanding New Play for The Hour of Great Mercy. Hall is currently under commission from LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater, Yale Repertory Theater, and Trinity Repertory Company. She has developed her work with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, The Playwright's Realm, New York Theater Workshop, Baltimore Center Stage, Woolly Mammoth, NNPN, The Kennedy Center, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, EnGarde Arts, Provincetown Theater, Two River Theater, The Diversionary Theatre and the Orchard Project.

This holiday season, the cult-phenomenon rock musical that took Broadway by storm smashes onto the NCTC stage! Declared "The Best Rock Musical Ever" by Rolling Stone Magazine, Hedwig and the Angry Inch tells the story of a genderqueer East German rock goddess on her fearless search for fame. Pulsing with a gritty, glam-rock score and wicked little sense of humor, this gender bending, Tony Award-winning musical is a legendary knock-down-drag-out concert like the world has never seen before.

John Cameron Mitchell's (Book) work includes Big River, Six Degrees of Separation and The Secret Garden (Drama Desk nomination). In addition to writing the book for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, he also starred in the original 1998 Off-Broadway Obie-winning production. For his work on Hedwig, Mitchell has won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical, Obie Award for Special Citations, Drama Desk Award Nominee for Outstanding New Musical, Lambda Literary Award for Drama, Drama League Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical, and the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical.

As co-creator of Hedwig, Stephen Trask (Music and Lyrics) won an Obie Award; an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical; a New York Magazine Award; Drama Desk nominations for Outstanding Music, Lyrics and New Musical; two Grammy nominations for Best Cast Album; two GLAMA Awards; and an Entertainment Weekly Best Soundtrack Award. Stephen has recorded and performed with Stone Temple Pilots, Bob Mould, Sleater-Kinney, Yoko Ono, Debbie Harry and Lene Lovitch.

In January, NCTC is proud to present the world premiere of NCTC's New Voices/New Work commission, The Law of Attraction, a hilarious look at the pressures of perfection by local sensation Patricia Milton. America's Self-Help Sweetheart, MJ Powers, has built her brand on creating the ultimate guide to the perfect relationship. In real life, her lover Natalie is suing over the personal details in her latest book, her career is on the brink, and it looks like her "ultimate guide" is more of a jumbled roadmap. A brand-new comedy of bad manners, The Law of Attraction explores just how miserable "perfect" really can be.

Patricia Milton's full-length plays have been produced by Central Works, Wily West Productions, Curan Repertory Company (New York), Theatre Esprit Asia (Denver), Paper Wing Theatre (Monterey), Lavanta Productions (Istanbul), Theatre Out (Santa Ana), Fritz Theatre (San Diego), and Desert Rose Theatre (Palm Springs, CA). Milton has had more than one hundred productions and readings of short plays internationally, including at the San Francisco Exploratorium, PlayGround SF, Woman's Will, Women's Theatre Project, Bay Area One Acts, and City Lights Theatre.

Next up, NCTC presents a bold re-imagining of the iconic American classic, The Glass Menagerie, starring NCTC veteran actress Cheryl Smith. An achingly beautiful portrait of a young man on the brink of self-discovery, and the family he must leave behind, this masterpiece from Tennessee Williams "has a poetry and compassion about it that rings constantly true, with passages that cut at the heart like a knife" (The Telegraph).

Tennessee Williams' prodigious output includes Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (NY Drama Critics Award, Pulitzer Prize), A Streetcar Named Desire (NY Drama Critics Award, Pulitzer Prize), Not About Nightingales, Summer and Smoke, Camino Real, Orpheus Descending, Garden District, Sweet Bird of Youth, Night of the Iguana, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, Out Cry, Vieux Carre, A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, and Something Cloudy Something Clear.

In April, NCTC is thrilled to welcome the world premiere of a touching and captivating story about finding home, I Am Another You, written by NCTC Founder & Artistic Director Ed Decker with Robert Leone. How far would you go to find home? In Athens, two young gay Syrian refugees risk everything to find a safe place to be together. On the other side of the world, a genderfluid parent defends the family they've built in an unwelcoming Nevada town. As each fights for the people they love and a place to belong, their stories intertwine into a gripping and heartfelt tale of connection beyond borders, and the universal need to find home.

Ed Decker is the Artistic Director of New Conservatory Theatre Center, which he founded in 1981. A passionate advocate of bringing new works to the stage, Ed started the New Voices/New Works Play Development program, commissioning an average of two world premieres for the NCTC stage every season. His critically acclaimed play, Rights of Passage, on which he collaborated with his husband and partner Robert Leone, received its world premiere on the NCTC stage in 2012. Ed is a recent recipient of the STOP AIDS award for the groundbreaking NCTC YouthAware HIV education programs, was celebrated as part of Theatre Bay Area's 40@40 Arts Leaders, and is a two time winner of the SF Chamber of Commerce Arts Excellence Award. I Am Another You is a NCTC New Voices/New Work Commission and a Eugene O'Neill Center National Playwrights Conference Semi-Finalist.

NCTC finishes this dynamic season with a rags to riches romp on the old Barbary Coast in The Confession of Lily Dare, written by comedy legend Charles Busch and starring Bay Area favorite, J. Conrad Frank. Convent girl. Cabaret star. Infamous madame. Call her what you want, but Lily Dare is determinedly devoted to the child she was forced to abandon. Hailed as "camp heaven" by The New York Times, this play follows one woman's road to hell - paved with good intentions.

Charles Busch is the author and star of such plays as The Divine Sister, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, one of the longest-running plays in the history of off-Broadway. His play The Tale of the Allergist's Wife ran for 777 performances on Broadway, won the Outer Critics Circle's John L. Gassner Award for playwriting and received a Tony nomination for Best Play. He wrote and starred in the film versions of his plays Psycho Beach Party and Die, Mommie, Die!, the latter of which won him the Best Performance Award at the Sundance Film Festival. He is the author of the autobiographical novel Whores of Lost Atlantis. In 2003, Busch received a special Drama Desk Award for career achievement as both performer and playwright and was given a star on the Playwrights' Sidewalk outside the Lucille Lortel Theatre. He is also the subject of the acclaimed documentary film The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch.

We are thrilled to welcome audiences into an updated space in the 20-21 Season as well. The Walker theatre will be renovated this summer to provide an improved seating experience for all of our guests.

As always, subscribers get the best seats at the best prices. There are four ways to join as a subscriber including the full-season subscription package, four-show sampler, and the brand new six-ticket flex pass- offering all the benefits of a season subscription with the flexibility to pick any dates (excluding opening nights) and any production for just $40 a play. Also, NCTC will continue to offer a special three-show flex pass to guests 35 years and under for just $60 - $20 a play! Subscriber benefits include huge savings on ticket prices, access to the best seats, free and easy ticket exchanges, 50% off guest tickets, savings on non-subscription shows and much more. Subscriptions are now available at or by calling the Box Office at 415.861.8972.

New Conservatory Theatre Center has been San Francisco's premier LGBTQ+ 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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