Doubt and Rachel Corrie Highlight Seattle Rep Season

Artistic Director David Esbjornson has announcedSeattle Repertory Theatre's upcoming 2006-07 season , which will feature the first regional production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt and the much talked about My Name is Rachel Corrie.

Seattle Rep's 2006-2007 season includes the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning Doubt by John Patrick Shanley; the new stage version of the classic novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, adapted by Simon Levy; the long awaited revival of Edward Albee's The Lady from Dubuque; Randal Myler and Dan Wheetman's Fire on the Mountain, a new musical from the creators of It Ain't Nothin' But the Blue,; August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean, the last of August Wilson's plays to be presented at Seattle Rep; the hit of off-Broadway, Thom Pain (based on nothing) by Will Eno; two Women Playwright's Festival veteran authors, with Kathleen Tolan's Memory House and Tanya Barfield's Blue Door; and My Name is Rachel Corrie based on the life and writings of political activist Rachel Corrie, by Alan Rickman and Katherine Viner.

John Patrick Shanley's 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning Doubt (September 21st-October 21st, 2006) is a riveting exploration of paranoia and suspicion in the Catholic Church. Set in a Bronx/> parochial school in 1964—just as the Vatican II reforms begin to transfigure the Church—evidence of a priest's wrongdoing comes to light. Sister Aloysius, a strict school principal and traditionalist nun, faces the decision of a lifetime: Does she openly accuse a priest and give voice to her fear of his sinful actions, or does she bury her suspicions and leave room for doubt? This intense and personal power struggle between Sister Aloysius and Father Flynn ultimately calls into question both faith and justice in the shadows of this cloistered institution.

The hit of off-Broadway when it premiered in 2005, Thom Pain (based on nothing) (October 5th-November 5th, 2006) is one of those events in the theatre that invites a string of adjectives – funny, edgy, existential, honest, engaging, raw – and yet defies classification or description. A treatise on life and love, and the profound terror of same, Thom Pain was described in the New York Times as "one of those treasured nights in the theater - treasured nights anywhere, for that matter - that can leave you both breathless with exhilaration and, depending on your sensitivity to meditations on the bleak and beautiful mysteries of human experience, in a puddle of tears. Also in stitches." The audience is invited to join Thom in his exploration of lost love and childhood foibles, and the anxieties brought on by them. It is an odd and intoxicating affirmation of the value of being alive.

Simon Leavy's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby will play November 2nd- December 20th, 2006. A green light shines at the end of Daisy Buchanan's pier in East Egg, Long Island/>, in full view of the West Egg home of Nick Carraway across the sound. In the hot summer of 1922, Nick observes the elaborate parties of his neighbor, the infamous and illusive Jay Gatsby. In this languid atmosphere of wealth and privilege, Nick is charmed by Gatsby's power to transform his dreams into reality, and becomes his ally in rekindling a relationship with Daisy. In Fitzgerald's opulent, iconic, carefree lifestyle of The Jazz Age, there lurks a materialistic center, making The Great Gatsby's sharp depiction of the "American Dream" resonate anew for each generation. In this first authorized adaptation since 1926, Simon Levy brings the humor, irony, pathos and loveliness of this American classic to the stage.

There are times when we are called upon to define ourselves. Kathleen Tolan's Memory House (November 16th-December 17th, 2006) takes an intimate look at one of those moments, shared between a mother and a daughter. It's New Year's Eve, and Maggie, divorced and jobless, is facing the prospect having to live alone again as her adopted daughter Katia prepares to leave Maggie's home. Katia is struggling to write a personal essay required for her college application. As the clock ticks down to the postmark deadline, anxiety and emotions lurking beneath the surface begin to erupt. Memory House confronts the anguish and guilt we feel when we know our actions will hurt someone we love. Memory House was first developed at Seattle Repertory Theatre as part of the Women Playwright's Festival.

Edward Albee's rarely produced The Lady from Dubuque will run January 11-February 10, 2007. Jo and Sam are having a party. As the evening wears and guests and hosts alike become less congenial, it becomes clear that the thrust and parry of chatter at this gathering isn't completely frivolous. Something dark is at rest behind Jo's biting humor. As the party breaks up and everyone seeks their own solace, an unexpected guest and her mysterious companion arrive. Will she bring Jo comfort? And are Jo and Sam ready to accept what this lady has to offer? Seattle Repertory Theatre mounts this long-awaited revival of this rarely produced stunner by the author of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and reunites the recent Broadway team (of The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?) of playwright laureate Edward Albee and director David Esbjornson.

Tanya Barfield's Blue Door will play February 1st-March 4th, 2007. Lewis is a sleepless mathematics professor, restless during a night of personal and professional crisis. He has inadvertently conjured his ancestors. As four generations prod him with their disquieting stories of slavery, Black Power and academia, he begins to understand what it means to be black, both then and now. Tanya Barfield's play is sparked by abundant humor and woven through with original songs, in a poetic depiction of one man's exploration of his personal and cultural history. Winner of the 2003 Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, Tanya Barfield was named by Ms. Magazine "One of the 21 Young Women to Watch for in the 21st Century."

From the creators of It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues comes a new musical about the lives of coal miners in the Appalachian Mountains/>. Alternately exuberant and mournful, joyous and gripping, Fire on the Mountain (February 22-March 24, 2007) is nothing short of a spiritual triumph. The stories of the people of this extraordinary culture are told in the bluegrass rhythms of a uniquely American art form. Beloved from its birth in Appalachia/>, it gained widespread popularity following the release of O Brother, Where Art Thou? With Mississippi Charles Bevel (Jeff Award-winner for Blues) and Dan Wheetman (former fiddle player for John Denver) this celebration of culture, lifestyle, hardships and heroics is sure to set spirits soaring.

23 year old Evergreen/> College/> graduate (and Olympia/>, Washington/> native) Rachel Corrie went to the Gaza Strip to aid Palestinians whose homes were being destroyed in the conflict with Israel/>/>. In March of 2003, she was killed by an Israeli bulldozer. Combining an activist's passion with an artist's sensibilities, Rachel Corrie was a determined and caring young woman, trying to find a sense of truth and understanding in a very complex situation. This compelling story of a personal political journey is told through Corrie's own words from her journals, as assembled by actor/director Alan Rickman and journalist Katharine Viner. My Name is Rachel Corrie (March 15th-April 22nd, 2007) was the winner of the Theatergoer's Choice Award in London/>/>, where The Guardian wrote "Theatre can't change the world. But what it can do, when it's as good as this, is to send us out enriched by other people's passionate feel you have not just had a night at the theatre: you have encountered an extraordinary woman."

Closing Seattle Rep's season is August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean (April 5th-May 6th, 2007). Aunt Ester is 287 years old in 1907, and a survivor of the first slave ships to come to America/>/>. As a revered elder in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, she is also regarded as a washer of souls. When Citizen Barlow comes seeking sanctuary for a recent crime, Aunt Ester knows that the cleansing of his troubled soul will require a connection to his ancestors and to his history. So as the sound of the voices of men and women long dead transforms her parlor into a slave ship, she guides Citizen to experience, and understand, the sacrifices of his predecessors. Playwright August Wilson shows us that through poetry, rich character, and stage magic that history can act as a compass – and that to be without it is to be lost.

Seattle Repertory Theatre, founded in 1963, is led by Artistic Director David Esbjornson and Managing Director Benjamin Moore. One of America/>/>'s premier non-profit resident theatres, Seattle Rep has achieved international renown for its consistently high production and artistic standards, and was awarded the 1990 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. With an emphasis on entertaining plays of true dramatic and literary worth, Seattle Rep produces a season of nine plays on its two stages along with educational programs and new play workshops.

For more information call Seatte Rep's box office at (206) 443-2222, or visit

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From This Author Robbie Wachs

Robbie is a California native, and has lived in Seattle for the past four years. His love for theatre began after seeing his High School's (read more...)

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