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PCPA's "Beauty and the Beast," at Solvang Festival Theater June 15-July 2. (Photo by Luis Escobar Reflections Photography Studio)

Pacific Conservatory Theatre Announces 2017-18 Season

The season will feature new musicals, classic plays, and outdoor performances at the Solvang Festival Theater.

SANTA MARIA and SOLVANG, CALIF.: Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA) has announced its 2017-18 season, featuring seven productions. Four will also be presented at the outdoor Solvang Festival Theater.

“We’re thrilled to be bringing a season of plays that we trust will engage our audience in new ways, through stories of genuine transformation and electrifying discovery,” said artistic director Mark Booher in a statement. “This is our time to use great theatre to reflect, connect, and illuminate the path forward. As we all encounter the unprecedented trials and possibilities of modern life, we’ll be presenting new-fashioned classics to ground us and sizzling new work to help us soar. We’re counting on the Central Coast community to rise up with us.”

The season will kick off with Freaky Friday (Nov. 9-Dec. 23), with book by Bridget Carpenter, music by Tom Kitt, and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, about a teenage daughter and her mother who switch bodies just one day before the mother’s wedding.

Next up will be Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (Feb. 15-March 4), about the Salem witch trials of 1692.

Following will be The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence (March 8-25), by Madeleine George, an exploration of four different eras of innovation with inventions ranging from the telephone to artificial intelligence.

Next will be Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (April 26-May 13, and June 14-July 8 at Solvang Festival Theater), with book by Peter Parnell, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by  Stephen Schwartz, based on Victor Hugo’s novel about a bell ringer with a hunchback who is held captive by his caretaker.

The summer season will continue with Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (June 28-July 7, and July 12-22 at Solvang Festival Theater), a comedy about three siblings who reunite in the family’s home in Bucks County, Pa.

Following will be Mamma Mia! (July 18-21, and July 26-Aug. 26 at Solvang Festival Theater), with book by  Catherine Johnson, music and lyrics by Benny Andersson
and Björn Ulvaeus, featuring songs by ABBA. The musical  is about a young woman on a quest to discover the identity of her father, who invites men from her mother’s past to a Greek island on the eve of her mother’s wedding.

The season will close out with Arcadia (Aug. 16-25, and Aug. 30-Sept. 9 at Solvang Festival Theater), by Tom Stoppard, about a group of present day scholars studying the horticulture at the Coverly estate, while a parallel plot line of the estate’s inhabitants folds out in 1809.

Founded in 1964, PCPA presents year-round programming of both musicals and plays, and offers conservatory training.

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