COSTA MESA, CA.: Artistic director David Ivers and managing director Paula Tomei announced South Coast Repertory’s 13-play 2019-20 season, the theatre’s 56th. The offerings range from a two-person show to a large-cast musical and represent a variety of classics and popular hits, along with four world premieres, three shows for young audiences and families, and the theatre’s annual Pacific Playwrights Festival.
“We’re excited to announce our upcoming season, which is built on the solid legacy of South Coast Repertory’s more than five decades of artistic excellence,” said Ivers, in his first year as artistic director, in a statement. “Overall, the season offers gigantic yet intimate stories about love in all its forms—love that draws us together, that pulls us apart, family love, love of food, surprising love, love of country and unspoken desires.”
The season begins with American Mariachi (Sept. 7-Oct. 5), by José Cruz González. In this comedy with live music, Lucha spends her days caring for her mother and yearning for more. But it’s the 1970s and women can’t be mariachis…or can they?
Next is the world premiere of Adam Bock’s The Canadians (Sept. 29-Oct. 20). It follows a man from Port Alison, Manitoba, who explores new possibilities on his first cruise.
Julia Cho’s Aubergine follows (Oct. 19-Nov. 16). In this tale of love, loss, and healing, a meal can be more than just food, as a Korean American son cooks soup for his ailing father to say what words cannot.
The season’s first Theatre for Young Audiences offering is next. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (Nov. 8-24) has book and lyrics by Judith Viorst and music by Shelly Markham.
Rounding out the year is the venerable SCR tradition, Jerry Patch’s adaptation of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, directed by John David Keller (Nov. 30-Dec. 24). Now in its 40th year, this year’s mounting will mark the final somersault of the production’s original Scrooge, Hal Landon Jr.
The new year kicks off with Fireflies (Jan. 5-26, 2020), by Donja R. Love, about a minister in the Civil Rights-era South with a supportive wife and secrets they both must confront.
Following is a revival of the musical She Loves Me (Jan. 25-Feb. 22, 2020), with book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock, and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. David Ivers will direct this charming chestnut about star-crossed romance in a small Hungarian perfume shop.
Another TYA offering follows with Where the Mountain Meets the Moon: A Musical Adaptation (Feb. 7-23, 2020), with book, music, and lyrics by Min Kahng, based on the novel by Grace Lin, itself inspired by Chinese folklore. The tale follows Young Minli, who sets out on an eventful quest to help her small village by finding the Old Man in the Moon, who holds all the answers to life’s questions.
Next is John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar (March 8-29, 2020), a romantic comedy set in Killucan, Ireland, in which a farmer schemes disinherit his son, but romantic complications—and a long-standing neighborly grudge—stand in his way.
Adapter extraordinaire Kate Hamill‘s new stage version of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter follows (March 28-April 25, 2020). This world premiere adaptation, part of SCR’s Pacific Playwrights Festival, follows intelligent, strong-willed Hester Prynne, who has a child out of wedlock and is branded an adulteress.
Another world premiere follows, with I Get Restless (April 12-May 3, 2020), by Caroline V. McGraw, also as part of the Pacific Playwrights Festival. It follows a successful married lawyer named Hazel, who has amnesia after an accident on her honeymoon.
Rounding out the mainstage season is Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia (May 9-June 6, 2020), set on an English estate in 1809 and in academia 200 years later, with the links between them being a battle of wits, an unlikely scientific theory, and some complicated emotions.
The final offering is a TYA world premiere, Dory Fantasmagory (May 22-June 7, 2020), by John Glore, adapted from the book by Abby Hanlon, about a girl with a big personality and an imagination to match.
South Coast Repertory was founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, and is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. Its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, but SCR is perhaps best known for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers.