NEW ORLEANS: Southern Repertory Theatre has announced its 2017-18 season, which will feature new and classic plays as well as a Broadway musical.
“I am thrilled about this upcoming season because Southern Rep Theatre has been purposefully exploring the meaning and process of self-realization, especially in light of our imminent move to St. Rose de Lima Church on Bayou Road,” said producing artistic director Aimée Hayes in a statement. “How and when should we stand up for ourselves or for what we believe in? In love, in war, in peace…? What do we risk by making the right choice even when it is the most difficult choice?”
The season will open with Fun Home (Sept. 27-Oct. 22), based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Lisa Kron. The show explores Alison’s coming of age as she struggles to relate to her closeted father as she’s coming to terms with her own sexuality. Jefferson Turner will music direct, and Blake Coheley will direct.
Next up will be Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Nov. 29-Dec. 22), by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon. The show follows Mary Bennet, the middle child from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, as she seeks a mate over the holidays. Sean Glazebrook will star, and Hayes and Jeffrey Gunshol will co-direct.
The new year will start with All the Way (Feb. 28-March 25, 2018), by Robert Schenkkan, in a production in partnership with Loyola University department of theatre arts and music. The play follows President Lyndon B. Johnson as he passes the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Jason Kirkpatrick will star, and Hayes will direct.
Tennessee Williams’s And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens (March 21-April 1, 2018) will follow, in a production presented in partnership with the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. The play follows a successful drag queen as she navigates the heartbreak of a relationship with a sailor. Ricky Graham will direct.
The final show of the season will be Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed (May 30-June 24, 2018), about a group of five women during the Second Liberian Civil War.
The theatre also announced a new initiative called the Southern Rep Theatre Community Table, in which audience members and artists from the community are welcomed to engage with the theatre and with the work by helping program events related to the season lineup through Table Talks; acting in reading and workshops as part of Southern Rep Theatre Acting Company; performing on Fridays before a show in the Lagniappe Stage Performance Series; participating in talkbacks called Table Talks; and meeting with theatre leaders to make sure anyone who wants to engage is able to do so through PlayDates.
“This new programming is being developed with accessibility, diversity, and inclusion at its core,” said producer of artistic and community engagement Lauren E. Turner in a statement. “Southern Rep Theatre’s mission has always included producing new work that reflects the diversity of New Orleans.”
Founded in 1986, Southern Rep produces new and classic works that speaks to the New Orleans community.