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"Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin" at the Geffen Playhouse. (Photo by Eighty Eight Entertainment)

Arizona Theatre Company Announces 2015–16 Season

Hershey Felder, Ayad Akhtar and Stephen Schwartz are some of the names on tap for the theatre’s new season.

TUCSON AND PHOENIX, ARIZ.: Arizona Theatre Company has announced its 2015–16 season, which will include the return of Hershey Felder, Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced and Steven Schwartz’s new musical Snapshots.

“These are not only entertaining works full of theatricality, but they resonate with large themes, big emotions, provocative thoughts and timely issues,” said artistic director David Ira Goldstein in a statement. “The season will bring a return of some of our favorite artistic collaborators, with some new artists who I can’t wait to share with our community in their ATC debuts.”

The season will open with Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin (Sept. 16–Oct. 25), in which Felder tells the life story of the Tin Pan Alley composer while playing the late composer’s hit songs. Trevor Hay, who directed Felder when the show ran last year at Los Angeles’s Geffen Playhouse, will helm the Arizona production. Felder was last at ATC in Hershey Felder as George Gershwin Alone in 2007.

Next will be the Pulitzer-winning play Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar (Oct. 17–Nov. 29), about a contentious dinner party hosted by a Muslim-American lawyer and his Caucasian wife.

The only musical of the season will be the musical Snapshots: A Musical Scrapbook (Nov. 29–Jan 17), a romantic musical comedy that blends songs of Stephen Schwartz’s repertoire with a new book by David Stern.

The new year will start with Fences by August Wilson (Jan. 16–Feb. 28), helmed by Lou Bellamy, the founder and artistic director of Penumbra Theatre Company in Saint Paul, Minn.

Next will be a revival of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men (March 5–April 17), directed by Mark Clements, artistic director of Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.

The season will end with the lengthily titled The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy by Scott Carter (April 9–May 22) , a play about what happens when you take the three eponymous historical figures and put them in a room together. Matt August, who directed the world premiere of the play at the Geffen last year, will return for the Arizona version. Carter is a producer of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

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