LOS ANGELES: The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television’s department of theatre has announced its 2018-19 mainstage season. The lineup will feature two works by Paula Vogel, the school’s inaugural Hearst Theater Lab Initiative Distinguished Playwright-in-Residence for the 2018-19 academic year.
“We are thinking about our season as more than simply a pedagogical space for our students to practice their work,” said Brian Kite, department of theatre chair, in a statement. “We are moving to be a part of the larger field and theatrical fabric of Los Angeles as we develop new projects and fulfill our mission as a research institution. We want to be at the forefront of figuring out what’s next for theater, in content, style and form.”
The season will start with Vogel’s The Long Christmas Ride Home (Nov. 14-18), about how a sudden act of violence shatters the lives of three siblings. Dominic Taylor will direct.
Next up will be William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure (Nov. 29-30), about a young novice who must choose between her brother and her own virtue when he is found guilty of fornication. Tom O’Connor will direct.
Following will be Vogel’s The Mineola Twins (Dec. 4-8), a satire of the women’s movement during the Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan/Bush years, told through a set of identical twins. Judith Moreland will direct.
Next will be Euripides’ Medea (Feb. 1-2, 5-9), translated by Michael Collier and Georgia Machemer, about a wife’s pursuit of revenge against her unfaithful husband. Sylvia Bush will direct.
The season will continue with The Kitchen (March 1-2, 5-9), by Arnold Wesker, about a week in the life of kitchen staff and servers at a chaotic London restaurant. Michael Hackett will direct.
Following will be the world premiere of Rebel Genius (March 8-9, 12-16), a musical with book, music, and lyrics by Matthew Puckett. The musical follows the young and ambitious Albert Einstein. Dana Solimando will choreograph, Dan Belzer and Jeremy Mann will music direct, and Kite will direct.
The season will continue with the world premiere of Lose Childhood (May 17, 19, 21, 23), an opera based on the memoir The Lost Childhood by Yehuda Nir, with music by Janice Hamer and a libretto by Mary Azrael. The opera follows a Jewish psychiatrist who eluded death as a boy in Poland during the war, and his German colleague born into a family of Nazi sympathizers. The production will feature the work of UCLA TFT’s scenic and lighting designers, and performers from the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. The show will be presented in collaboration with Opera UCLA, UCLA Philharmonia, and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. Peter Kazaras will direct.
Next up will be the New Play Festival, featuring Jeffrey Limoncelli’s The Answer to Your Prayers (May 23-25), about a boy working to raise funds to save his Catholic school who grapples with accepting a million-dollar donation from a satanic magician.
Also part of the New Play Festival will be Cary J. Simonwitz’s All the Oxytocin in Your Fingertips, or “What’s Your Favorite Band”? (June 6-8, 2019), a coming-of-age story about a Deaf person raised in a household where American Sign Language is forbidden, in a play which sets out to explore communities united by the belief that communication and love can come alive from the sparks in your fingertips.
The season will conclude with Wajdi Mouawad’s Scorched (May 31-June 8, 2019), translated by Linda Gaboriau, about twins tasked with delivering letters in the Middle East to a father they thought was dead and a brother they didn’t know existed. Aya Saleh will direct.