San Jose Stage Company Announces 2016-2017 Season

San Jose Stage Company Announces 2016-2017 SeasonSan Jose Stage Company Artistic Director Randall King today announced the company's 34th season. Audiences will be transported around the world to Africa, Ireland, the Middle East and back to America in an emotionally-charged, outrageously funny and enlightening exploration of race, identity, politics and cultural understanding.

The season kicks off with a provocative journey into the past with New American Playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury's We Are Proud to Present. (We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915). This Obie award-winning play is presented in association with the African-American Shakespeare Company, and will be directed by the company's Artistic Director and renowned Bay Area artist L. Peter Callender. An early 20th century genocide in Namibia, Africa is at the core of this highly-innovative, theatrical work that unleashes a spiral of conflict as actors unravel the strands of history and realize the past is ever-present.

"This is a play within a play," says Randall King, Artistic Director of San Jose Stage Company. "Partnering with the African-American Shakespeare Company is extremely exciting and somewhat metaphorical as we bring our two companies together to produce this play that is about a theatre company producing a play - revealing our struggles with race, culture and sins of the past. It's the perfect show to kick off our season of bold and compelling collaborations."

Following this powerful story is one of Ireland's most celebrated playwrights, three-time Tony nominee Conor McPherson and his imaginative tale of hope and redemption - the Regional Premiere of The Night Alive. With inimitable warmth, humor and heart, the 2013 New York Critics Circle Award-Winner for "Best Play" deftly mines humanity in the most unlikely of situations.

"The Night Alive is a stunner! So fresh and full of vital poetry that you'll cling to every word," says The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times exclaims, "Extraordinary! The play can only be called transcendent. A heaven-sent vision."

Continuing the theme of the season with a laser look at individual and collective identity,The Stage presents the explosive Pulitzer Prize-winner, Disgraced, by Ayad Akhtar. Thisriveting drama delivers unflinching insight into the complexities of cultural assimilation, hidden prejudices, and the struggle to define one's identity in today's global society.Hailed as "terrific, turbulent, with fresh currents of dramatic electricity" by The New York Times, this incendiary examination of one's self and one's beliefs is breathtaking.

In Spring, the company presents its international collaboration with Dublin, Ireland and their Public Arts Programme, with the newly-commissioned World Premiere of The Memory Stick, by rising playwright Donal O'Kelly. This electrifying political and mystical thriller weaves Irish, Native American and U.S. history into a suspenseful examination of the 1916 Easter Rising.

In what has become The Stage's much-anticipated tradition, a summer hit musical will wrap the season. Stay tuned for the announcement of this show in early fall.

"This season offers a diverse line-up of powerful stories and strong characters reverberating the truth of today's world," said King. "We want our work to further tolerance, acceptance, and a greater understanding of one another. And this season strikes that chord, taking us on an incredible journey of self-reflection and exploration."

Season tickets are available from $135 - $245, offering savings of up to 30% over single tickets, free exchanges, and many more benefits. For more information, call the box office at 408.283.7142 or order online www.thestage.org. Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups.

2016-2017 Season

Presented in Association with the African-American Shakespeare Company

We Are Proud to Present

By Jackie Sibblies Drury

Directed by L. Peter Callender

September 28 - October 23, 2016

Opening Night: Saturday, October 1

In the rehearsal room, a performance piece on a little-known episode of early 20th century genocide in Namibia, Africa takes a jolting turn when the actors - three black and three white - tap into personal resentments and ingrained prejudices. Tensions mount as they expose more of themselves than they ever imagined, unleashing a spiral of conflict as actors unravel strands of history and realize the past is ever-present.

New York Drama Critics Circle Award-Winner for 2013-14 "Best Play"

Regional Premiere

The Night Alive

By Conor McPherson

November 23 - December 18, 2016

Opening Night: Saturday, November 26

Tommy's not a bad man. He's getting by renting a run-down room in his Uncle Maurice's ramshackle Dublin house and doing his best to avoid his wife and kids rolling from one get-rich-quick scheme to the other with his friend Doc. But when he rescues Aimee, a mysterious woman, escape from squalor seems possible. Together there's a glimmer of hope they could make something more of their lives. Something extraordinary, perhaps. With inimitable warmth, humor and heart, Conor McPherson's award-winning play deftly mines humanity found in the most unlikely of situations.

2013 Pulitzer Prize-Winning Drama

Disgraced

By Ayhad Akhtar

Directed by William Ontiveras

Feb. 8 - March 5, 2017

Opening Night: Saturday, February 11

Can anyone ever truly escape their past? Amir Kapoor is living the American Dream and quickly climbing the corporate ladder at his powerful Manhattan law firm. But when Amir and his wife Emily, an artist inspired by Islamic painting, host a dinner party for friends and colleagues, the pleasant evening quickly erupts into a volatile cultural debate over race, religion, and class in the modern world. This combustible drama is the "emotionally shattering" (Newsday) tale of the stories we tell our friends, the secrets we tell our lovers, and the lies we tell ourselves to find our place in the American Dream.

World Premiere

San Jose Stage Company and Dublin City Arts Office

International Co-commission/Co-production

The Memory Stick

By Donal O'Kelly

April 5 - April 30, 2017

Opening Night: Saturday, April 8

Cultures collide when Bridget, a young Chicagoan, meets a Lakota Sioux and a fellow American from Jersey on an army base in Kandahar, Afghanistan. But it isn't long before they discover they have more in common than expected as secrets are revealed that ultimately turns one of them into a whistleblower suspect. Mystical Native American and Irish history blends magic, politics and realism in this suspenseful examination of the 1916 Easter Rising.

Sensational Summer Musical (TBA)

May 31 - July 23, 2017

Opening Night: Saturday, June 3

Randall King (San Jose Stage Company Artistic Director) is the Artistic Director and Co-founder of San Jose Stage Company where he's played a distinguished leadership role in advancing the development and production of new work by local playwrights, while contributing to the body of new American plays through The Stage's presentation of 47 new works and 14 world premieres in 33 seasons. Under King's artistic direction the company continues to experience incredible growth and foster new creative partnerships, including the three-year relationship with El Teatro Campesino and a collaboration with Dublin's Center for Cultural Arts in Ireland, resulting in a new work that will be commissioned with Donal O'Kelly, a rising Irish playwright and an international team of artists, designers and actors. The play will make its World Premiere in Dublin and San Jose in 2017.

King has elevated The Stage's artistic excellence through his choice of programming and collaborations including the most recent with El Teatro Campesino to produce the World Premiere of Luis Valdez's Valley of the Heart. With an entirely sold out run that included two extensions, this show was one of The Stage's most successful productions. The creative partnership resulted in the second award from The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to commission another new work by Luis Valdez - Adios, Mama Carlota - Empress of Mexico at The Stage. King also brought San Diego REPertory Theatre's production of A Weekend with Pablo Picasso, written and performed by Herbert Siguenza of Culture Clash, to The Stage in 2014. In King's efforts to reach a more diverse audience, two bilingual matinees were added. In Spring 2014, The Threepenny Opera ran for an 8-week extended run and swept theOutstanding Musical Awards Categories at the First Annual Theatre Bay Area Awards (November 2014). In association with Sacramento-based Capital Stage Company, The Stage produced Kristoffer Diaz's 2010 Pulitzer Prize Finalist, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety in 2013. The production received the Silicon Valley Theatre Awards for Standout Contemporary and Technical Standout Production for Set, Video and Fight Choreography. Under King's artistic leadership, The Stage collaborated with local playwright Jennifer LeBlanc, in the commission and production of Jane Austen'sPersuasion in 2013, and commissioned and produced the World Premiere Buffalo'ed in 2012. This bold new theatrical work by Bay Area playwright Jeannie Barroga, with nationally recognized choreographer Alleluia Paris, was supported by the Gerbode-Hewlett Foundation 2-Year Collaborative Initiative.

King's notable directing credits include The Stage's 2015-16 season opener, RFK. He received the Bay Area Critics Circle Award for Best New Musical Production forCumberland Blues, featuring the music of the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter. He initiated the development of the project and commissioned the musical score and also directed the unprecedented three-month run of Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile at The Stage.

In addition to his artistic leadership and directing credits, King has an award-winning acting career. He was last seen on stage as the iconic Willy Loman in The Stage's critically-acclaimed, Death of a Salesman (Outstanding Production, 2015-16 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and Standout Classical Production, Silicon Valley Theatre Awardsin 2015), as H. C. Curry in The Rainmaker, Frank Hamer and Judge in Bonnie & Clyde (Theatre Bay Area Award nominated), EKO in The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Mark Rothko in Red, Jack Lawson in Race (2013 Standout Contemporary Production, Silicon Valley Awards), Dodge in Buried Child (2012 Standout Drama Production, Silicon Valley Theatre Awards), Sharky in The Seafarer (named Top Ten in Theatre in 2009 by the Bay Area News Group), Ariel in The Pillowman (2010 Standout Dramatic Production Award by Wave Magazine and Artsopolis-sponsored Silicon Valley Theatre Awards), and many others. He has performed in leading roles at many theaters and has been seen in films directed by Francis Ford Coppola (The Rainmaker), Lawrence Kasdan (Mumford),and Michael Bay (The Rock) and others, and has also appeared in numerous television productions.

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