PROVIDENCE, R.I.: The Wilbury Theatre Group has announced its 2019-20 season of programming, including productions in its Main Series and New Works / Studio W program.
“Every year we look to take into account stories from the national and international stage to those that resonate most with the community we serve,” said founder and artistic director Josh Short in a statement. “With a hearts-and-bones passion, biting humor, a brave experimentalism, and our signature idealism, the 2019-20 season does this and more.”
The main series season will open with Beckett’s Waiting for Godot (September-October).
Two plays by Clare Barron, Dance Nation and You Got Older (November-December) will follow, presented in rotating rep. Dance Nation follows a group of 13-year-old girls as they train for a competitive dance competition, and You Got Older is the whimsical and heartbreaking story of a young woman returning home to care for her father. The plays, both New England premieres, combine to create a portrait of American girlhood.
Next will be the Rhode Island premiere of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (January-February 2020) by David Greig. The play, originally developed to tour throughout Scotland’s pubs and bars, is a journey of self-discovery that unfolds among and around the audience in a music-filled romp of rhyming couplets and wild karaoke.
The season will continue with the Rhode Island premiere of Miss You Like Hell (March-April 2020) by Quiara Alegría Hudes, with music and lyrics by Erin McKeown. A teenager and her mother take a road trip in this new musical, which exudes the joy, love, and frustration of being a family in a changing country.
Following will be American Psycho (May-June 2020), also a New England premiere and the last production in the Main Series season. Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, the musical is a darkly satirical look at American consumerism and features book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik.
The New Works / Studio W season will open with the world premiere of resident playwright Darcy Denningan’s The Recycling Party!, or The Fish (October-November 2019). The new play peels back the collective anxiety about climate change to reveal the absurdity of the present.
Next will be a world premiere adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (February 2020) by Bill Lattanzi.
Invention of Distance (October 2019 and April 2020), a world premiere from Passive Aggressive Novelty Company, will follow. The immersive, multimedia dance piece is an exercise in sound, meaning, and storytelling.
After this will be the world premiere of Christopher Johnson’s revisited New and Dangerous Ideas (April 2020), a multimedia experience designed to challenge ideas of criminalizing race and gender through personal stories from several members of different communities, intersected with spoken word poetry, music, dance, and video.
The final installment of the New Works / Studio W season will be CVK (Clever and Vainglorious Kings) by Jesse Hawley and James Stanley. A work in development, the piece is a multifaceted performance project that consists of the manufacture of an ’80s synth pop band that never was and a staging of their triumphant reunion tour.
Founded in 2010, the Wilbury Theatre Group strives to engage the community in thought-provoking conversation through new works, reimagined classics, and adventurous playmaking.