WATERTOWN, MASS.: New Repertory Theatre has released its programming for the 2015–16 season, its 30th, under the collective title of “Identity.” The programming includes a National New Play Network “rolling world premiere” by Steven Yockey, a world premiere play by Kirsten Greenidge and—taking a page from Disney’s Frozen?—a new pop/rock adaptation of The Snow Queen.
“Each play strives to illuminate fundamental elements of human nature, exploring themes that resonate across time, gender, race and religion,” said artistic director Jim Petosa in a statement. He also noted the return of former artistic director Rick Lombardo, who will direct and adapt The Snow Queen.”
The season opens with Arthur Miller’s Broken Glass (Sept. 5–27), featuring veteran Boston-based actor Jeremiah Kissel in the main role of Phillip Gellburg, a New York doctor seeking a cure for his wife’s apparently psychosomatic paralysis upon her reading the news about Kristallnacht. Petosa will direct.
Next will be Caryl Churchill’s A Number (Oct. 10–Nov. 1), about a son and his father, plus or minus a few clones. The holiday slot will be the new musical of The Snow Queen (Nov. 28–Dec. 20) by Kirsten Brandt, Haddon Kime and Lombardo.
New Rep will then host Yockey’s Blackberry Winter (March 26–April 17, 2016), about a daughter witnessing her mother’s decline from Alzheimer’s. That follows an NNPN production next fall at Out of Hand Theater in Atlanta.
The final production of the season will be Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germain (April 30–May 22), about an imagined meeting between C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud. Petosa will direct.
In addition to the mainstage season, New Rep will also host three productions in its black box space for its third annual Next Rep Black Box Festival. The festival will start with Via Dolorosa by playwright David Hare (Jan. 2–31), based on his travels to Israel and Palestine. Next, Boston actress Paula Langton will play the Virgin Mary in Colm Tóibín’s one-woman-show The Testament of Mary (Jan. 31–Feb. 28), under Petosa’s direction.
The final production in the festival will be the world premiere of Kirsten Greenidge’s newest play Baltimore, in a co-presentation with Boston Center for American Performance. The play promises an exploration of racism from the perspective of eight college students. Boston University professor Elaine Vaan Hogue will direct the show. Baltimore was commissioned as part of the Big Ten Theatre Consortium’s New Play Initiative, dedicated to developing work by female playwrights at Big Ten universities. Run dates for the play will be announced later.
In addition, the festival will host three staged readings, as part of its NEXT VOICES play-development program. The plays will be announced at a later date.