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Kelly McAndrew and Tracy Middendorf in Beth Henley's "Abundance," in a New York production by The Actors Company Theater in April 2015. (Photo by Marielle Solan Photography)

South Coast Rep Season to Feature 5 World Premieres

New plays by Eliza Clark, Qui Nguyen, Sandra Tsing Loh and Bekah Brunstetter are on the slate, as is a return of Beth Henley’s Western tale ‘Abundance,’ which bowed at SCR in 1989.

COSTA MESA, CALIF: South Coast Repertory’s 2015–16 season, its 52nd, will take audiences— theatrically speaking—from Brighton, England, in the swinging ’60s to 18th-century Austria to the American Wild West, and beyond. SCR, a national leader in the commissioning and production of new plays, will also produce five world premieres in 2015–16.

“Our new season is big, bold and theatrical,” said artistic director Marc Masterson in a statement. “Audiences will find 2015–16 to be filled with incredible stories in a wide variety of styles told by SCR’s great actors, directors and designers.”

Managing Director Paula Tomei added, “The range of work we’re offering next season is both compelling and entertaining. Each production will connect with our audiences in distinct and diverse ways, engaging all of us in fresh, theatrical adventures.”

On the Segerstrom mainstage, the season opens with Richard Bean’s Goldoni-inspired farce One Man, Two Guvnors (Sept. 11–Oct. 11), in which a failed skiffle in player with an insatiable appetite finds himself in the employ of both two wildly various bosses and hilarity ensues. This is a coproduction with Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Next is Beth Henley’s Abundance (Oct. 16–Nov. 15), a tale of the Old West from the female point of view, which had its premiere at SCR 25 years ago. Martin Benson will direct.

John Logan’s popular two-man play about painter Mark Rothko, Red, kicks off the new year on the mainstage (Jan. 22–Feb. 21, 2016). David Emmes will direct.

Then, as part of next year’s Pacific Playwrights Festival, Lila Neugebauer will direct Eliza Clark’s new play Future Thinking (March 25–April 24, 2016). Clark’s play tells the story of a spoiled starlet and her obsessed, middle-aged stalker-fan, who collide at Comic Con.

Finally on the Segerstrom Stage is a revival of Peter Shaffer’s Mozart bio-play Amadeus, directed by Kent Nicholson (May 6–June 5, 2016).

Meanwhile, the season on SCR’s Julianne Argyros Stage kicks off with Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone (Oct. 4–25), directed by May Adrales. Nguyen’s semi-autobiographical play tells a version of his parents’ story, about a man from a Vietnamese refugee camp in Arkansas who falls for a fellow refugee.

Next in the Argyros is Sandra Tsing Loh’s The Madwoman in the Volvo, directed by Lisa Peterson (Jan. 3–24, 2016), based Loh’s comic memoir about her and her generational cohort not going gently into menopause.

Marc Masterson directs the next Argyros offering, Bekah Brunstetter’s Going to a Place Where You Already Are (March 6–27, 2016), an intergenerational comedy about a family divided over mortality and claims about the afterlife.

The Argyros will host another play in April as part of Pacific Playwrights Festival whose title is yet to be announced.

SCR’s Theatre for Young Audiences season includes Robert Reale and Willie Reale’s musical of A Year With Frog and Toad (Nov. 6–22), Greg Banks’s adaptation of Pinocchio (Feb. 5–21, 2016), and George MacDonald, Mike Pettry and Lila Rose Kaplan’s version of The Light Princess (May 20–June 5, 2016).

The season will also features SCR’s beloved annual production of A Christmas Carol, Nov. 27–Dec. 27, with Hal Landon Jr. returning (again!) as Scrooge and John-David Keller directing.

The 19th annual Pacific Playwrights Festival will feature seven new plays over three days, including staged readings and full productions, April 22–24, 2016. The festival attracts theatre professionals from across the nation, drawn by the chance to be the first to see some of the best new plays in the country.

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