ATLANTA: Theatrical Outfit has announced its 2019-20 season, the last season selected by artistic director Tom Key, who will retire in 2020.
“After almost 24 years of creating theatre that I love, with people who I love, in the center of the city I love, there came a day when my final season was chosen and it was ready to announce,” said artistic director Tom Key in a statement. “When I looked at the lineup in print—from classic to contemporary, dramatic to comedic, full of meaning, rich in promise, pointing us toward a vision of what it is to be human—I thought, ‘This is the Wow Season.’ What a wonder that at this stage of my life, in anticipation of what is next at Theatrical Outfit, I feel like a child again, who watching for the first time the finale of the fireworks on the 4th of July understands, just when you think it can’t get better, it actually does.”
The season will open with Thornton Wilder’s Our Town (Aug. 27-Sept. 29), about the families in a small community experiencing life’s challenges together. Artistic associate director David Crowe will direct.
Performed in repertory with Our Town will be The Laramie Project, by Moisés Kauffman and the Tectonic Theater Project. The documentary drama is a collage of stories from the residents of Laramie, Wyo., after the tragic death of Matthew Shepard, a university student targeted for being gay. The same cast will perform both repertory shows, and associate artistic director Clifton Guterman will direct.
Next up will be Daryl Lisa Fazio’s Safety Net (Oct. 16-Nov. 10), about the first female fire captain in an Alabama town and how her relationship with her mother is challenged when a childhood friend drifts into their lives. Karen Robinson will direct.
Following will be The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley (Nov. 27-Dec. 29), by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon. Inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the play is about the servants at the Pemberley estate who find themselves in a holiday scandal as the Bennets and Darcys celebrate upstairs. Artistic associate Carolyn Cook will direct.
The season will continue with Slow Food (Jan. 22-Feb. 16, 2020), by Wendy MacLeod, about couple’s attempt at celebrating their anniversary with a nice meal, which is complicated by an absurd server who examines their menu choices and their future together. Ryan Oliveti will direct.
Next will be Indecent (March 4-29, 2020), by Paula Vogel, a play-within-a-play chronicling an acting troupe’s controversial staging of Sholem Asch’s God of Vengeance in 1923. Mira Hirsch, Theatrical Outfit’s director of education, will direct.
Following will be Cotton Patch Gospel (April 22-May 17, 2020), with book by Tom Key and Russell Treyz, and music and lyrics by Harry Chapin. The musical, inspired by Clarence Jordan’s The Cotton Patch Version of Matthew and John, sets the story of Jesus in the American South. Key will star, artistic associate S. Renee Clark will provide musical direction, and artistic associate Patdro Harris will choreograph and direct.
Next will be The Unexpected Play Festival (Feb. 3-4, 2020), featuring new works by Atlanta artists.
The programming will also include the Joe Gransden Jazz Series (Oct. 27, Dec. 22, March 15, May 10), featuring performances by George-based performer with his four-piece band.
The Theatrical Outfit, founded in 1976, programs classics, contemporary dramas, and stages world premiere productions, often featuring writers from the South.
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