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Brooke Parks, Scott Ripley and Wayne T. Carr in "Pericles" at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. (Photo by Jenny Graham)

New Guthrie Season Includes Mix of Comedy, Tragedy and Musicals

The season, partly selected by incoming artistic director Joseph Haj, is big on revivals, as well as area premieres of David Greig’s ‘The Events’ and Ayad Akhtar’s ‘Disgraced.’

MINNEAPOLIS: Guthrie Theater has announced its 2015–16 subscription season, its first under the leadership of incoming artistic director Joseph Haj, who had a hand in selecting some of the 9 productions, and will direct two of them. Haj takes the reins from longtime a.d. Joe Dowling on July 1.

“The coming season will offer our patrons an exceptionally rich variety of theatregoing experiences, and I can’t wait to get to know our Guthrie community this fall,” Haj said in a statement.

The season begins on the Guthrie’s large thrust stage with To Kill a Mockingbird (Sept. 12–Oct. 18), directed byJohn Miller-Stephany.

That’s followed on the theatre’s smaller proscenium stage with David Greig’s The Events (Sept. 30–Nov. 1), about a community searching for peace in the aftermath of a mass shooting. A production by Actors Touring Company, it will include a soundscape sung by choirs drawn from the Upper Midwest.

David Ivers will next stage the old Marx Brothers vehicle The Cocoanuts in the proscenium (Nov. 14–Jan. 3), with songs by Irving Berlin and a George S. Kaufman script, adapted by Mark Bedard.

After the annual holiday staging of A Christmas Carol, the new years opens on the thrust stage with a production of Shakespeare’s Pericles (Jan. 16–Feb. 21, 2016), in the same staging Haj did at Oregon Shakespeare Festival earlier this year, with Wayne Carr in the lead.

A unique program of two one-act plays follows in the proscenium, in a coproduction with Washington, D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company: Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound is paired with Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Critic, in an adaptation by Jeffrey Hatcher. Directed by Shakespeare Theatre’s a.d., Michael Kahn, they run Feb. 23–March 27, 2016.

The crowd-pleasing vintage comedy Harvey by Mary Chase is next on the thrust stage (April 9–May 15, 2016).

Another vintage comedy opens next in the proscenium: Alice Childress’s Trouble in Mind (May 7–June 5, 2016), a backstager about a racially integrated though less than enlightened production hoping to be a Broadway hit.

Next on the thrust stage will be Haj’s other directing effort for the season, a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific (June 18–Aug. 28, 2016).

The proscenium season concludes with Ayad Akhtar’s oft-produced Disgraced, a drama about a Pakistani-American lawyer, his Caucasian wife and a disastrous dinner party.

Programming for the ninth-floor studio theatre has yet to be announced.

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