Anthony Holiday and Eddie Ray Jackson perform in "X’s and O’s (A Football Love Story)" at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. (Photo by Kevin Berne)

Center Stage Announces Season Ranging From Jane Austen to the Gridiron

On the slate are a new adaptation of ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ a staging of ‘The Secret Garden’ and the docutheatre piece ‘X’s and O’s (A Football Love Story).’

BALTIMORE: Center Stage has announces its 2015–16 season, which includes collaborations with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and a two-show temporary residency at Towson University while the company’s historic Calvert Street home gets a major renovation and revitalization starting next January.

“Center Stage’s Calvert Street home is in great need of renovations to support the future of this institution,” Managing Director Stephen Richard says. “We have an ambitious plan for the building, the details of which we will share soon.”

“I’m thrilled with our collaborations during this transformational season, especially with Towson University, with which we have had a profound, long-term relationship,” says Center Stage artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah. “Strengthening the community through partnerships is a hallmark of the Center Stage mission. We look forward to this adventure as we begin the next stage of the Center Stage journey.”

The season begins with Christopher Baker’s world-premiere adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Sept. 11–Oct. 11), immediately followed by a revival of Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon’s beloved musical The Secret Garden (Oct. 30–Nov. 29).

Next is KJ Sanchez and Jenny Mercein’s X’s and O’s (A Football Love Story), a docutheatre piece about the toll of professional football on its players and their families. Co-commissioned by Center Stage and Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it ran earlier this year, will play in Baltimore Nov. 13–Dec. 20.

The mini-season at Towson begins with a Jan. 15–Feb. 14, 2016, run of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy As You Like It, and concludes with Charlayne Woodard’s solo play The Night Watcher (Apr. 8–May 8, 2016) about her life as mentor, confidant, godmother, auntie and friend to countless children.

The shows hosted at Towson will be fully produced Center Stage stagings, with a professional company and the same level of excellence. While in residence at Towson, Center Stage staff will participate in the university community as visiting artists in selected classes and offer Towson students exposure to the world of professional theatre.

Designed by Baltimore-based architects Cho Benn Holback (Baltimore School for the Arts, Everyman Theatre) and London-based theatre designers Charcoalblue (The Young Vic Theatre, the Shed at the National Theatre of Great Britain), the renovation and revitalization project will reimagine Center Stage for both audiences and artists, expanding artistic and production capabilities while providing new amenities that will improve and enrich the audience experience.

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