“The overarching theme for our 2020-21 season is that of family, humanity, and community,” said Asolo Rep producing artistic director Michael Donald Edwards in a statement. “It seems to us at Asolo Rep that what we need now in these dark days is a light at the end of the tunnel, a galvanizing call to action to see our community through this incredibly difficult trial. That is what we hope to bring you with this season: human stories that inspire hope for a bright future and healing in the times to come.”
The Asolo Rep season will open with Billy Elliot: The Musical (Nov. 21-Jan.2), with music by Elton John and book and lyrics by Lee Hall. Josh Rhodes will direct and choreograph this dance-filled story of a young boy who trades in his boxing gloves for dance shoes in 1984 England.
Next up will be Ken Ludwig’s The Three Musketeers (Jan. 15-March 13, 2021), adapted from the Alexandre Dumas novel. Ludwig adds modern twists to this classic tale as d’Artagnan joins the famous defenders of King Louis XIII, the Musketeers of the Guard. Peter Amster will direct.
Following will be Grand Horizons (Jan. 22-March 15), by Bess Wohl. After 50 years of marriage, Nancy wants out of her relationship as she and her husband move into their new retirement home. Giovanna Sardelli will direct this play about a family forced to question everything they thought they knew about the people in their lives.
After that will be the Thornton Wilder classic Our Town (Feb. 12-March 27). Edwards will direct this 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about the townsfolk of Grover’s Corners.
The season will continue with Trayf (March 26-April 18), by Lindsay Joelle. Celine Rosenthal will direct this story of a budding bromance between Zalmy and Shmuel, two best friends ready to take on the world in their tricked-out Mitzvah Tank in the summer of 1991 in Manhattan.
Hood (April 16-May 1), with a book by Douglas Carter Beane and music and lyrics by Lewis Flinn, will follow. The classic tale of Robin Hood and his merry band get an 21st century twist in this musical comedy directed by Mark Brokaw.
Next up will be the world premiere of Knoxville (May 21-June 5), with a book by Frank Galati, music by Stephen Flaherty, and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. This musical, based on the James Agee novel A Death in the Family and partly based on the Ted Mosel play All the Way Home, reunites the Tony Award-winning music and lyric pair behind Ragtime as they tell a coming of age story about faith, family, and love. Galati, Tony Award-nominee for his direction of Ragtime, will direct.
The season will conclude with a yet to be announced summer family production (June 16-27).
Also included in the season offerings will be a fall 2020 educational tour for the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The production will tour Florida schools in October and November 2020.
Included in the announcements were four FSU/Asolo Conservatory productions, beginning with Greg Leaming’s Sister Carrie (Nov. 4-22). Lauren Gunderson’s Exit, Pursued by a Bear (Jan. 6-24, 2021) will follow and Christopher Durang’s Baby With the Bathwater (Feb. 17-March 7) will be next. The conservatory season will conclude with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (April 7-26).
“With the help and continued support of our incredibly loyal patrons, we are pressing onward and upward to tell the stories that we need in order to bring us back together and make our community whole again,” said Edwards in his statement. “We cannot wait to be back in the theatre with you as soon as possible, proving once again the overwhelming power of theatre to connect us all through tears of sorrow, tears of joy, and love.”