TAMPA, FLA.: Jobsite Theater has announced its 2019-20 season, using a Shakespearean quote to herald the lineup. “A great reckoning in a little room,” a line from As You Like It, is a nod to the complicated themes the theatre explores in its intimate space.
“As we continue to be honored with this opportunity to serve the great community in the heart of downtown Tampa,” producing artistic director David M. Jenkins said in a statement, “I have shifted from bristling when some folks refer to our space as ‘the little one’ or say that our shows can sometimes be ‘challenging’ to embracing these notions.” Jenkins further states that the audience’s close proximity to the onstage action is one of the theatre’s strengths, as it results in a high exchange of energy between both sides of the stage. “We also want something to happen to people, for there to be a kind of reckoning amid the electricity in such a close space, when folks join us. We believe the shows in this season will be powerful experiences.”
The season will open with Meteor Shower (Sept. 6-29) by Steve Martin. Set at a dinner party during a once-in-a-lifetime meteor shower, the new play bends the fluid nature of time and reality with absurdist humor. Paul J. Potenza will direct.
Next up will be Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play (Oct. 25-Nov. 17), directed by Kari Goetz. FastHorse’s satire follows a troupe of “woke” teaching artists as they scramble to put together a pageant that celebrates both Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month.
Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Jan. 17-Feb. 9, 2020) will follow. David M. Jenkins will direct the production, which will feature aerial and circus performance elements choreographed by artistic associate Katrina Stevenson, as well as a completely original score from the Florida Bjorkestra’s Jeremy Douglass.
The season will continue with Doubt: A Parable (March 13-April 5) by John Patrick Shanley. In 1960s Bronx, a parochial school principal investigates a young and popular priest, whom she suspects of having an inappropriate relationship with one of the male students. Summer Bohnenkamp will direct.
Following will be Brecht’s Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (May 15-June 7), translated by George Tabori. Written while Brecht was in exile in 1941, the play is a satirical allegory, reimagining Hitler’s rise as a ’30s Chicago gangster’s takeover of the city’s green-grocery trade. David M. Jenkins will direct.
Rajiv Joseph‘s Animals Out of Paper (July 17-Aug. 9) will be next, closing the season. In the comedy-drama, a world-renowned origami artist going through a tough few months is introduced to a teenage origami prodigy.
Founded in 1998, Jobsite Theater is the theatre company in residence of the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Fla.