The cast of Berkley Playhouse's production of Hairspray at the Julia Morgan Theater in Berkeley, Calif., through May 17. (Photo by Ben Krantz)

Berkeley Playhouse Announces 2015–16 Season

The slate includes a new musical about race by Cheryl L. Davis and Douglas J. Cohen, plus the company’s first-ever non-musical play.

BERKELEY, CALIF.: Berkeley Playhouse has announced its 2015–16 season, which will include a world-premiere musical about civil rights as well as the first non-musical in the company’s history.

“The 2015–16 season represents our biggest artistic growth as a company,” said artistic director Daren A.C. Carollo in a statement. “From our first ‘R-rated’ show in Avenue Q and our first non-musical, To Kill a Mockingbird, we are starting a journey to bring different kinds of stories to Berkeley and the East Bay.”

The season will open with Avenue Q (Sept. 17–Oct. 11), with a book by Jeff Whitty and music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. Michael Patrick will provide music direction and Danny Cozart will direct.

Next is Peter Pan (Oct. 29–Dec. 6), based on the play by Sir James M. Barrie, with music by Morris “Moose” Charlap and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and additional music by Jule Styne. Carollo will direct and Matthew McCoy will choreograph.

The new year will begin with Bridges (Feb. 11–March 6, 2016), commissioned by Berkeley Playhouse with book and lyrics by Cheryl L. Davis and music by Douglas J. Cohen. The musical is an exploration of the ongoing struggle for equality and justice in America, through the viewpoint of a multiracial family, from the years 1965 to 2008. Karen Altree Piemme will direct.

Next will be The Addams Family (March 24–April 17, 2016), with a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, based on characters created by Charles Addams. Kimberly Dooley will choreograph and direct.

Following will be To Kill A Mockingbird (April 28–May 22, 2016), adapted by Christopher Sergel from the novel by Harper Lee, about a lawyer representing an African-American man framed for a crime he did not commit. Carollo will direct.

The season concludes with the Bay Area premiere of Disney’s The Little Mermaid (June 23–July 31, 2016), with a book by Doug Wright, music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater. Rachel Robinson will provide music direction and Scottie Woodard will choreograph and direct.

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