SARASOTA, FLA.: Asolo Repertory Theatre and the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training have announced their 2018-19 seasons.
“From a community invigorated by love and music in The Music Man, to a 17th-century Massachusetts village torn apart by fear and sexual repression in The Crucible, to the hilarious camaraderie and dysfunction central to Noises Off, our 2018-19 season is a vibrant look at how communities evolve and band together in times of great turmoil, joy, and change,” said producing artistic director Michael Donald Edwards in a statement. “I urge you to join us for a season that promises thrilling stories about communities in the exciting thrall of change and discovery.”
The Asolo Rep season begins with The Music Man (Nov. 13-Dec. 29), Meredith Willson’s musical about fast-talking traveling salesman Harold Hill, who brings trouble to a Middle American town. It will be directed by Jeff Calhoun (Newsies) and will star Noah Racey.
The winter rep season opens with Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (Jan. 9-March 10, 2019), about the Salem witch trials and their overt parallels to McCarthy-era America. It will be directed by Asolo Rep’s producing artistic director, Michael Donald Edwards.
Opening next will be Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Jan. 16-March 31, 2019), in which he imagines the heroine of Ibsen’s drama 15 years later. It will be directed by Asolo Rep favorite Peter Amster.
The season continues with Lynn Nottage’s Sweat (Feb. 6-April 13, 2019), directed by Nicole A. Watson. Sweat tells the story of two working-class coworkers, friends trying to make ends meet despite the domino effect of factory closures.
Then the Rep presents Michael Frayn’s backstage farce Noises Off (March 20-April 20, 2019).
Next is Bekah Brunstetter’s The Cake (April 3-28, 2019), a new play about a conservative baker asked to make a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. It will be directed by Lavina Jadhwani.
For a spring musical, the Rep promises is a freshly reimagined production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd (May 1-26, 2019), the dark and twisted tale of a wronged barber and his quest for revenge in 19th-century London. It will be directed by Peter Rothstein.
The last offering of the season proper is a production of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days (June 6-23, 2019), featuring 8 actors, 109 characters, 6 trains, 6 boats, 4 flights, 1 storm, a circus act, and an elephant. It will be directed by Theresa Heskins.
Asolo Rep will also present its annual fall educational tour, an FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, directed by Asolo Rep Artistic Associate Celine Rosenthal. The tour presents reimagined 45-minute adaptations of classic literature to schools and community venues throughout the state of Florida.
The FSU/Asolo conservatory also announced the second season of its annual summer Dog Days Theatre lineup, featuring Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw (July 10-29, 2019) and The Turn of the Screw (Aug. 7-26, 2019), in Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation of the story by Henry James.
The conservatory’s full season begins in the fall, and includes Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia (Oct. 30-Nov. 18), Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts (Jan. 1-20, 2019), Craig Lucas’s Reckless (Feb. 19-March 10, 2019), and Shakespeare’s As You Like It (April 9-27, 2019), staged in Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.
Founded in 1960, Asolo Repertory Theatre brings current and challenging topics to the Sarasota community. The theatre’s conservatory program is a three-year MFA program, offering students the opportunity to perform in professional productions while training.