CINCINNATI: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park has announced its 2016–17 season, which includes world premieres by Arlitia Jones and Jen Silverman, and adaptation of novels by John Irving and Charlotte Bronte.
“[This season is] chock full of familiar titles and beloved classics—but we’re still stretching ourselves and taking artistic risks,” artistic director Blake Robison said in a statement. “An ambitious new season should embrace both popular and challenging productions. This slate of plays accomplishes that, and I can’t wait to share these stories with our audience.”
The mainstage season will open with A Prayer for Owen Meany (Sept. 3–Oct. 1), Simon Bent’s adaptation of Irving’s novel about two friends living in America in the ’60s. Robison will direct.
Next will be August Wilson’s Jitney (Oct. 15–Nov. 12), about a group of African-American men who operate an unlicensed car service in Pittsburgh during the 1970s. Playhouse associate artist Timothy Douglas will direct.
For the holidays, the Playhouse will mount its 26th annual production of Howard Dallin’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (Nov. 23–Dec. 31). Bruce Cromer returns for his 12th season as Ebenezer Scrooge, while associate artist Michael Evan Haney will direct for his 24th year.
The new year will begin with Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s Little Shop of Horrors (Jan. 21–Feb. 19, 2017), about a nerd who inherits a man-eating plant. Bill Fennelly will direct.
Polly Teale’s adaptation of Brontë’s Jane Eyre (March 11–April 8, 2017) will be next. Playhouse associate artist KJ Sanchez will direct.
The mainstage season will close with Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (April 22–May 20, 2017). Brendon Fox will direct.
The season on the Playhouse’s second stage will begin with Ayad Akhtar‘s Disgraced (Sept. 24–Oct. 23), about a contentious dinner party involving a Muslim lawyer and his white wife. Lisa Portes will direct.
For the holidays, the Second City will present Holidazed & Confused Revue (Nov. 5–Dec. 31), sending up different religious and cultural holidays in a series of sketches.
Following will be the world premiere of Jones’s Summerland (Feb. 4–March 5, 2017), based on the true story of spirit photographer William H. Mumler. Haney will direct.
Next up will be the world premiere of Silverman’s All the Roads Home (March 25–April 23, 2017), which follows three generations of women. Lee Sunday Evans will direct.
Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End (May 6–June 4, 2017), by twin sisters Allison Engel and Margaret Engel, will close the season on the second stage. The play is about suburban housewives, and David Esbjornson will direct.
Founded in 1959, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is a LORT house, offering a mix of classics and new plays.