ROCHESTER, N.Y.: Geva Theatre Center has announced its 2019-20 season, featuring 9 productions, a holiday classic, and 2 festivals.
“We continue our commitment to producing the newest stories for Rochester—all but one show was written in the 21st century,” said artistic director Mark Cuddy in a statement. “Rochester deserves the very best, and our playwrights, directors, actors, and designers will represent the diverse talent of the American Theatre. With a world premiere set in Kodak Park, our Rochester Stories project in 2020 follows the premieres of The Agitators and Revival: The Resurrection of Son House.”
The season will kick off with La Cage Aux Folles (Sept. 3-Oct. 6), with book by Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Based on the play by Jean Poiret, the musical follows Georges and Albin, who run a glamourous nightclub with drag performers in St. Tropez. Their world is turned upside down when Georges’ son announces that he is marrying a conservative politician’s daughter. Don Kot will serve as musical director, Sam Hay will choreograph, and Melissa Rain Anderson will direct.
Next up will be The Niceties (Oct. 22-Nov. 17), by Eleanor Burgess, a two-hander about a young Black student and her esteemed white professor, who meet to discuss their differing views on the college junior’s paper about slavery and the American Revolution. Nicole A. Watson will direct.
Following will be Queen (Nov. 7-Nov. 24), by Madhuri Shekar, about two Ph.D. candidates who find an error in their research about vanishing bee populations across the globe and must make a decision that could change their careers. Pirronne Yousefzadeh will direct.
The season will continue with Wendy MacLeod’s Slow Food (Jan. 14-Feb. 9, 2020), a comedy about a couple celebrating their anniversary, and waiting for their food as a perfectionist waiter questions them about their meal choices and their lives. Skip Greer will direct.
Next will be Once (Feb. 19-March 22, 2020), with book by Enda Walsh and music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová. Based on the film by John Carney, the musical is about a musician in Ireland whose passion for music is reignited when he falls in love. Kot will provide music direction, and Cuddy will direct this co-production with Syracuse Stage.
Following will be Molly Smith Metzler’s Cry it Out (March 5-22, 2020), produced by Kitchen Theatre, about the challenges of becoming a new mom. M. Bevin O’Gara will direct.
Next up will be the world premiere of Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder’s Looks Like Pretty (March 31-April 26, 2020), co-commissioned by Geva Theatre Center and the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project, about the development of color film technology at Kodak Park in 1963. Valerie Curtis-Newton will direct.
Where Did We Sit on the Bus? (April 23-May 10, 2020), written and performed by Brian Quijada, a one-man show set to a live soundtrack that explores the Latinx experience. Chay Yew will direct.
The season will close out with Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone (May 5-31, 2020), the playwright’s attempt to tell his parents’ love story through hip-hop music, comedy, and memory in order to find his own origin and identity. The show features original music by Shane Rettig, and Yousefzadeh will direct.
The programming will also include the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival (Sept. 10-21), featuring a variety of performances.
The theatre will also present the Festival of New Theatre (Oct. 7-20), a showcase of new plays and projects that are currently in development at Geva Theatre Center.
Just in time for the holidays will be A Christmas Carol (Nov. 27-Dec. 29), adapted and directed by Cuddy. This holiday favorite will feature music and lyrics by Gregg Coffin.
Founded in 1972, Geva Theatre Center is dedicated to creating and producing new and classic works.