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Nabil Elouahabi and Heather Raffo in "Noura" at Shakespeare Theatre Company in 2018. (Photo by Scott Suchman)

Guthrie Theater’s 2019-20 Season a Cross Section of Old and New

The lineup features plays by Heather Raffo, Lynn Nottage, Tennessee Williams, Karen Zacarías, and Robert Harling, among others.

MINNEAPOLIS: The Guthrie Theater has announced the lineup for its 2019-20 season, which will take place in the Wurtele Thrust Stage and the McGuire Proscenium Stage.

“Building the 2019-20 season was thrilling,” artistic director Joseph Haj said in a statement. “As play titles emerged and the pieces came together, an exciting cross section of classics and new works came into focus. We are committed to using theatre to illuminate our world and each other through the power of storytelling.”

The season will open with Tennessee William’s poetic memory play The Glass Menagerie (Sept. 14-Oct. 26), directed by Haj.

Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias (Oct. 26-Dec. 15) will follow. Inspired by the lives of Harling’s mother and sister, it tells the story of the regular clients of a salon in a small town who form friendships as strong as steel, which they are forced to lean on when tragedy strikes.

After this will be the Guthrie’s 45th annual production of A Christmas Carol (Nov. 12-Dec. 29), adapted by Crispin Whittell and directed by Lauren Keating.

Next will be the regional premiere of Noura (Jan. 11-Feb. 16, 2020) by Heather Raffo. Set in New York City on Christmas Eve, Noura‘s titular character feels homesick, restless, and displaced as she prepares to host an Iraqi meal. This story of identity and belonging is inspired by Ibsen’s A Doll’s House.

The season will continue with Shakespeare’s boisterous comedy Twelfth Night (Feb. 8-March 22).

After this will be Euripides’s The Bacchae (Feb. 29-April 5), directed by Anne Bogart.

An adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma (April 11-May 31) will follow, chronicling the schemes of the titular matchmaker.

Next up will be Destiny of Desire (May 30-July 11) by Karen Zacarías. The plays draws on soap opera tropes and theatrical devices in a switched-at-birth comedy inspired by telenovelas. José Luis Valenzuela
 will direct.

The Tony Award-winning Cabaret (June 20-August 23) will follow. Joseph Haj will direct the musical, set in an underground club in Nazi-controlled Berlin.

The season will close with Lynn Nottage’s Sweat (July 25-Aug. 29). Set in a blue-collar town in Pennsylvania, Sweat confronts issues of race, immigration, globalization, and the ever-slipping grip on middle-class life.

Founded in 1963, the Guthrie Theater is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theatre artists.

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