MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.: The Guthrie Theater has announced the 11 productions that will comprise its 2020–21 mainstage season, including a Shakespeare history cycle, the directorial return of previous artistic director Joe Dowling, the Guthrie debut of Kathleen Turner, and revivals of In the Heights and Les Blancs.
“We’ve curated a slate of titles that span many genres, themes, and experiences,” said artistic director Joseph Haj in a statement. “No two plays cover the same territory, yet they all illuminate our common humanity in beautifully unique ways. Throughout the season planning process, we ponder which plays will be the most entertaining, inspiring and provocative while amplifying as many voices as possible on our stages. It’s a responsibility we take seriously, which is why announcing a season is one of my favorite moments as an artistic director.”
The season begins with Noël Coward’s vintage comedy Private Lives (Sept. 12-Oct. 24). Two newly married couples get tangled up in this 1930 classic, to be directed by Joe Dowling.
Next is Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins (Sept. 26-Nov. 8), a solo play by Margaret Engel and Allison Engel based on the writing of the late journalist from Texas, who got her start at the Minneapolis Tribune. Kathleen Turner stars.
For the holidays, the Guthrie will bring back a 2005 holiday favorite: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s whimsical fairy tale The Little Prince (Nov. 21–Jan. 3, 2021), in an adaptation by Rick Cummins and John Scoullar, directed by Dominique Serrand. Serrand is best known for his work with Theatre de la Jeune Lune and the Moving Company.
The new year begins with Ken Ludwig‘s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s iconic whodunit Murder on the Orient Express (Jan. 16-March 7, 2021), directed by Marti Lyons.
Next is Tiny Beautiful Things (Feb. 13-March 21, 2021), adapted by Nia Vardalos from a memoir by author/advice columnist Cheryl Strayed.
Following will be a three-part theatrical event titled “A Brittle Glory,” which fuses Shakespeare’s Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V (March 27-May 29, 2021) into a three-play epic. It will be directed by Haj with Lavina Jadhwani serving as associate director. It’s a return of sorts for Haj, who appeared as part of the Guthrie’s acting company in a similar rotating repertory 30 years ago.
Lorraine Hansberry’s story of race and revolution, Les Blancs (May 8-June 6, 2021) is next, with direction by Yaël Farber. The play, partly set in Africa, makes a good fit for Farber, who was born in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The theatre’s summer musical is In the Heights (June 26-Aug. 29, 2021), Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’s ebullient Tony winner, set in New York City’s Washington Heights. It will be helmed by director and choreographer Maija García, the Guthrie’s director of professional training and choreographer of the Guthrie’s popular production of West Side Story in 2018.
The season closes with Larissa FastHorse’s wicked satire of political correctness, The Thanksgiving Play (July 24-Aug. 22, 2021), directed by Jeffrey Meanza, the Guthrie’s associate artistic director.
In addition to the mainstage subscription season, the Guthrie will present Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol (Nov. 8-Dec. 27) for the 46th consecutive year, making it the longest run in regional theatre history. Adapted by Crispin Whittell and directed by Lauren Keating with associate director H. Adam Harris, this Twin Cities holiday tradition is for families, friends, and champions of good cheer.
The Guthrie Theater was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theatre performance, production, education, and professional training, dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature and cultivating the next generation of theatre artists.