Photo Flash: Arena Stage 2019-2020 Season Preview
Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith and Executive Producer Edgar Dobie announce the 2019/20 lineup for the company's 70th season. The season reflects Arena Stage's commitment to championing diverse voices. Arena is committed to leading the way in gender equity and racial diversity by reflecting those values both on and off the stage. This season over half of our playwrights and directors are represented as women and people of color. The 70th anniversary also celebrates Arena's vision to produce new work with three world premieres, including the seventh Power Play, a decade-long initiative focused on stories of politics and power from 1776 to present day. As part of Arena's mission to serve artists on a national, regional and local scale, three exciting collaborations will take place with the Dallas Theater Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and American Conservatory Theater.
"If I were to think of two words for Arena in her 70th season it would be resiliency and fighting spirit," shares Smith. "It's a season of revolution and uprisings of leaders, laborers, of battles in the courts, on the street, on a road, in a field. A season of people fighting for what matters to them."
The season kicks off with Ann, based on the life of legendary Texas Governor, Ann Richards. Written by Emmy Award-winning actress, Holland Taylor (The Practice, Two and a Half Men), this one-woman portrait chronicles an intimate look into Richards' colorful and complex life. Jayne Atkinson (House of Cards, Criminal Minds) reprises her role as the woman who changed the face of Texas politics.
The season continues with Arena Stage's August Wilson Festival, celebrating the Pulitzer Prize-winning giant, August Wilson, with the time-honored American classic, Jitney. Ruben Santiago-Hudson directs the 2017 Broadway production - recipient of the 2017 Tony Award for Best Play Revival. This kicks off the national tour of one of Wilson's great masterpieces. The heartfelt classic, Seven Guitars, is the second production in the festival, which focuses around seven lives who reconnect because of the untimely death of a gifted blues guitarist. In conjunction with the Festival, several events centering around the life and legacy of Wilson are planned, including a Women of Wilson panel featuring actresses who have played Wilson's pivotal female characters.
Sharyn Rothstein's (By The Water, USA Network's Suits), world-premiere drama, Right to be Forgotten, shines a light on social media, big business and one man's attempt to remove his past indiscretion from the Internet forever. Directed by Arena Stage Deputy Artistic Director Seema Sueko, this daring new play explores the drastic effects of social media and how one mistake can haunt your life decades later.
Photo Credit: Ryan Maxwell Photography
Lydia R. Diamond
Shubhangi Kuchibhotla and John Austin