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Dianne Wiest in "Happy Days" at Yale Repertory Theatre. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Center Theatre Group Announces 2018-19 Season in 2 Venues

Next season at the Mark Taper Forum and the Kirk Douglas will feature world premieres by Lucas Hnath and Eliza Clark, plus works by Tracy Letts, Lynn Nottage, and Luis Valdez.

LOS ANGELES: Center Theatre Group has announced the season for two of its venues: The Kirk Douglas Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum.

“The eight shows scheduled in the 51st season at the Taper and the 15th season
at the Douglas run the gamut from world premiere comedies to enduring classics,” said artistic director Michael Ritchie in a statement. “And each offers us a unique view of humanity.”

The Mark Taper Forum seats 736 and the Kirk Douglas Theatre seats 317. The Mark Taper season will begin with Sweat (Aug. 29-Oct. 7) by Lynn Nottage. Lisa Peterson will direct Nottage’s Pulitzer-winning play about factory workers in Pennsylvania.

The second production will be Valley of the Heart (Oct. 30-Dec.9), written and directed by Luis Valdez, presented in association with El Teatro Campesino. It tells the story of a Mexican and a Japanese-American family living during World War II.

Next will be Linda Vista (Jan.9-Feb. 17, 2019) by Tracy Letts. The play is about a 50-year-old man who recently divorced his wife and moving out on his own. The production originally played at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. It is directed by Dexter Bullard.

The fourth production will be Lackawanna Blues (March 5-April 21, 2019) by Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who will direct and star in the play about his childhood in the ’50s, and play 20 characters.

The Taper season will close with Happy Days (May 15-June 30, 2019) by Samuel Beckett. The production originally played at Yale Rep and is directed by James Bundy. Oscar-winner Dianne Wiest will star as a woman who is abused but remains optimistic.

At the Kirk Douglas Theatre, the season will open with School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play (Sept. 2-30) by Jocelyn Bioh. The production, directed by Tony winner Rebecca Taichman, originally played at MCC Theater in New York City. It takes place at a boarding school in Ghana, where the social hierarchy is disrupted by the arrival of a new student.

Next will be the world premiere of Quack (Oct. 21-Nov. 18) by Eliza Clark. Neel Keller will direct the play, about a doctor who has a daytime talk show, and whose career becomes derailed after an incendiary piece of journalism.

The season will close with the world premiere of From the Words and Writings of Dana H. (May 26-June 23, 2019), by Lucas Hnath. The play is inspired by Hnath’s own mother, Dana Higginbotham, and how she was kidnapped by a mentally ill ex-convict. Originally commissioned by the Civilians and the Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, Hnath adapted the play from interviews conducted by documentary theatremaker Steve Cosson. Les Waters will direct.

In addition, in the spring at the Kirk Douglas, CTG will host its third annual Block Party, where it will present three productions from local small theatres (March 7-April 28, 2019). CTG is currently accepting submissions for the Block Party, and the deadline is May 11.

Center Theatre Group is Los Angeles’ leading non-profit theatre company. It programs out of three spaces, the 2000-seat Ahmanson, the Mark Taper Forum, and the Kirk Douglas Theatre. It presents and produces a broad range of theatrical work.

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