Whitney Brianna Thomas, Laurence Brown and Steven Lone in "The Motherfucker With the Hat" at Cygnet Theatre in 2014. (Photo by Ken Jacques)

Cygnet Theatre to Mount ‘Dogfight,’ ‘Stupid F***ing Bird,’ Two Cowards and More

The San Diego theatre’s 2015-16 season has West Coast premieres and a rotating rep. Also this season: a new associate artistic director, Rob Lutfy.

SAN DIEGO, CALIF.: For its lucky 13th season, Cygnet Theatre has announced a lineup of seven productions and added a new creative staffer, Rob Lutfy, who has been appointed as associate artistic director and will start in the summer.

The season kicks off in July with the West Coast premiere of the musical Dogfight, adapted from the 1991 movie by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul into an acclaimed Off-Broadway show in 2013. Cygnet artistic director Sean Murray will direct, and Dave Thomas Brown  will return to the Cygnet stage after his Off-Broadway premiere in Heathers.

In the fall, Cygnet’s tradition of shows performed in rotating rep continues with two by Noël Coward: Hay Fever, directed by incoming associate Lutfy, and The Vortex, directed by Murray. These two contrasting plays—one light and madcap, the other dark and shocking—turned Coward into an overnight sensation. San Diego favorite Rosina Reynolds will take on the strong female roles in both productions.

Yet another Cygnet tradition returns for the holidays with the musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

Starting off 2016 will be Lutfy’s production of Andrew Bovell’s searching drama When the Rain Stops Falling. For a complete change of pace, Murray will next direct Richard O’Brien’s campy sci-fi/horror spoof The Rocky Horror Show.

The season closes with Aaron Posner’s popular Chekhov riff Stupid F**king Bird, to be directed by Lutfy. The play has been a hit everywhere from Washington, D.C.’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre to Pasadena’s Theatre @ Boston Court.

Lutfy previous directed The Motherfucker With the Hat at Cygnet and worked as the 2014-2015 National New Play Network producer-in-residence at Marin Theatre Company. He is currently in rehearsal for Sons of the Prophet, which opens at Cygnet Theatre on Jan. 24. Of his hiring, Murray said in a statement, “I was looking for someone to bounce ideas around with and who will help us grow the theatre,” explained Murray who, along with partner Bill Schmidt, founded and has run Cygnet since 2003. “It doesn’t hurt that he is from my beloved North Carolina School of the Arts.”

Lutfy will share directing duties with Murray and focus on new-play development.

“I hope to bring my knowledge and the relationships I have forged to the table at my new position,” said Lutfy in a statement. “Cygnet is known for challenging, well-crafted storytelling, and I look forward to contributing my skills as a director and an administrator.”

All seven productions in Cygnet’s 13th season will be performed at their theatre in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.

  • Rachel

    I’m so excited to see Cygnet moving forward with a commitment to new plays and making bold choices with the work that they’re choosing to produce. I look forward to seeing the path this company is going to take. This new season is diverse and provocative, good on you Cygnet!

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