ATLANTA: Theatrical Outfit has announced its 2017-18 season, featuring seven productions and a reading series with the theme of “Character.”
“Why ‘Character’? Character matters,” said artistic director Tom Key in a statement. “The character of an individual matters. The character of a nation matters. And, if the human story is ultimately a cruel tragedy or a glorious comedy, the character of the human species will matter the most. In these times of division, I know of no better place than the theatre to understand how our common human character can create and sustain a global community—compassionate, joyful, and just.”
The season will open with The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Sept. 7-17), a coproduction with Aurora Theatre, with book by Peter Parnell, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz. The musical, based on Victor Hugo’s novel, follows a deformed bell ringer in a cathedral tower in Paris in 1482. Ann-Carol Pence will provide musical direction, Ricardo Aponte will choreograph, and Justin Anderson will direct.
Next up will be Boy (Sept. 28-Oct. 22), by Anna Ziegler, inspired by a true story about a renowned doctor who convinces the parents of a male infant to raise their son as a girl after a horrible accident. The cast will feature associate artistic director Clifton Guterman. Melissa Foulger will direct.
Just in time for the holidays will be Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Nov. 30-Dec. 24), by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, a comedic sequel to Pride and Prejudice that takes place at the grand estate of newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. Darcy during the holidays. Carolyn Cook will direct.
Following will be Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Jan. 11-Feb. 4, 2018), about one of Billie Holiday’s final performances which took place at a bar in Philadelphia. S. Renee Clark will provide musical direction, and Eric J. Little will direct.
The season will continue with Perfect Arrangement (Feb. 22-March 18, 2018), by Topher Payne, about two secretly gay coworkers who are married to each other’s partners and are threatened to be outed during the Red Scare in 1950. The cast will include Guterman, and Adam Koplan will direct.
Next will be the world premiere of Out of Darkness: Two Remain (April 5-15, 2018), with music by Jake Heggie and libretto by Gene Scheer, based on a true story about two Holocaust survivors who are visited by ghosts of their past. Tomer Zvulun will direct.
Following will be 110 in the Shade (May 31-June 24, 2018), with book by N. Richard Nash, music by Nash, lyrics by Tom Jones, and orchestration by Jonathan Tunick, about a charismatic rainmaker who sweeps into the town of Three Points, Texas, during a heat wave. Clark will provide musical direction, Aponte will choreograph, and Key will direct.
Also part of the programming will be “The Unexpected Play Readings,” a series of play readings that will be spread throughout the season with one reading happening quarterly.
The Theatrical Outfit, founded in 1976, programs classics, contemporary dramas, and stages world premiere productions, often featuring writers from the South.