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San Francisco Playhouse Announces 2021/22 Season


First full in-person season since COVID-19 pandemic to feature THE GREAT KHAN, TWELFTH NIGHT, HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING and more.

San Francisco Playhouse Announces 2021/22 Season

San Francisco Playhouse announced today the six plays that will comprise its 2021/22 Season. In announcing their first full in-person season since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down production in March 2020, the company reasserted its commitment to producing bold, challenging, and uplifting plays and musicals for the Bay Area community.

"We feel passionately that coming at this moment in American history, our 19th Season may well be our most important," said Bill English, Artistic Director. "We will joyfully collaborate with artists who speak from widely unique perspectives on universal themes that generate greater empathy and compassion. It is in this spirit that we present our 2021/22 Season, which spans from a world premiere to the San Francisco professional premiere of a Sondheim classic. This season focuses on plays that show us the light at the end of the tunnel, that help us believe that hope and redemption are within our reach."


The San Francisco Playhouse 2021/22 Season will begin with the World Premiere of The Great Khan by veteran Bay Area playwright and actor Michael Gene Sullivan, followed by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub's musical adaptation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The new year will begin with Heroes of the Fourth Turning, Will Arbery's critically acclaimed red-state rumination, followed by Jessica Huang's The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin, based on the true story of an immigrant who skirted the Chinese Exclusion Act, and Quira Alegría Hudes's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Water by the Spoonful. The season will close with Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's legendary musical Follies, which was originally planned for the Playhouse's pandemic-shortened 2019/20 Season.


World Premiere
By Michael Gene Sullivan
Directed by Darryl V. Jones
Co-produced with the San Francisco Mime Troupe

October 13 - November 13, 2021
Press Opening: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Jayden, an African American teenager, just wants to be his game-playing, nerdy self. But after he saves a girl, Ant, from a sexual assault, he and his mother are forced to move to keep him safe from the boys who attacked her. While Jayden debates with himself if he should toughen up, Ant tries to reject the tough Black girl persona she has adopted. Both are trying to figure out how to define themselves in a culture that insists on seeing them as forever dangerous. Oh, and then Genghis Khan shows up.


A musical adaptation of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night
Conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub
Music and lyrics by Shaina Taub
Directed by Susi Damilano
Music Direction by Dave Dobrusky
Choreography by Nicole Helfer

November 24, 2021 - January 15, 2022
Press Opening: Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Named one of the best theatrical productions of 2018 by Time, The Hollywood Reporter and The Washington Post, Twelfth Night is a rousing contemporary musical adaptation of Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy about mistaken identity and self-discovery. On the twelfth day of Christmas, shipwrecked Viola washes up on the shores of Illyria, disguises herself as a man, is sent to court a countess and falls hard for a Duke. As she navigates the gender confusion in all her roles, she finds her true self and true love in the process. Featuring an original jazz-funk score by Shaina Taub, Twelfth Night is a soulful shake-up of a Shakespearean classic.


By Will Arbery
Directed by Bill English

January 26 - March 5, 2022
Press Opening: Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Seven years ago, Teresa, Kevin, Justin, and Emily graduated from a Catholic college in Wyoming. Now, they're back for a backyard reunion to toast their mentor, Gina. As the four friends catch up, their celebration spirals into spiritual chaos, clashing politics, and furious debate. Called "a red-state unicorn" by The New York Times and a Pulitzer finalist, Heroes of the Fourth Turning speaks to the heart of a country at war with itself.


By Jessica Huang

March 16 - April 23, 2022
Press Opening: Wednesday, March 23, 2022

During the Chinese Exclusion Act, Harry Chin, a Chinese national, entered the U.S. by buying forged documentation. Like other "Paper Sons," Harry lived the rest of his life keeping secrets - even from his daughter. Told through the eyes of a middle-aged Chin, The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin reveals the complicated loves and regrets of this Chinese immigrant. Through dreamlike leaps of time and space and with the powerful assistance of ghosts, the story of the Chin family reveals the personal and political repercussions of making group of people "illegal."


By Quiara Alegría Hudes

May 4 - June 18, 2022
Press Opening: Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Somewhere in Philadelphia, Elliot has returned from Iraq and is working at Subway while trying to jump-start his acting career. Scattered throughout the world in chat rooms, recovering addicts keep each other alive, hour by hour, day by day. In this surging drama by Quiara Alegría Hudes (In the Heights), the boundaries of family and community are stretched across continents and cyberspace as birth families splinter and online families collide. Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Water by the Spoonful is a heartfelt meditation on lives on the brink of redemption.


Musical Revival

Book by James Goldman; Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Produced Originally on Broadway by Harold Prince
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Directed by Bill English
Music Direction by Dave Dobrusky
Choreography by Nicole Helfer

June 29 - September 10, 2022
Press Opening: Wednesday, July 6, 2022

It's 1971, and theatrical impresario Dimitri Weissmann is hosting a reunion of ex-Follies performers in his crumbling theatre, about to be demolished to make room for a parking lot. The artists gather for one last time, reminiscing about the past and contemplating their future, before the theater dims its lights for good. This legendary masterpiece creates a half dozen great roles for middle-aged women, whose fabulous talents have outlasted the industry's interest in them. Surreal, sophisticated, compelling, heart wrenching and epic in scope, Follies uses the musical theatre as a metaphor for the collapse of American innocence and naiveté.


Season Subscriptions are available immediately online at, or by calling the box office at 415-677-9596. Packages range from $175 to $450 for Premium Orchestra seating, with savings averaging over 40% off single ticket rates. Single Tickets will go on sale to the public on August 1, 2021.

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