BALTIMORE, MD.: Baltimore Center Stage has announced a shortened four-play mainstage season for 2020-21, with the first production opening in January 2021. The season will also include a variety of both virtual and in-person programming
“Throughout history, artists have made their home at the epicenter of change, shaping and reshaping our society by challenging norms, reflecting on the best and worst of humanity, and daring to imagine our future,” said artistic director Stephanie Ybarra in a statement. “I’m confident that through our 2020-21 artistic programming and organizational practices, Baltimore Center Stage will serve that legacy well. It is a gift to navigate the next 12 months with the BCS staff, board, and audiences alongside our 2020-21 artists.”
The season will open in a reconfigured Head Theater, adjusted to support social distancing, with The Swindlers: A True-ish Tall Tale (Jan. 28-Feb. 28, 2021), by Noah Diaz. Will Davis will direct this BCS commission about Marie, who tracks down her con man father and blackmails him into a cross-country road trip to keep her house from being foreclosed on.
Next up will be the world premiere of Miranda Rose Hall’s A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction (March 25-April 25, 2021). This interactive experience follows as stage manager, light board operator, and dramaturg Naomi tried to find a new way of telling a story of climate change to an audience that won’t wake up. Taibi Magar will direct.
After that will be Thornton Wilder’s Our Town (April 29-May 23, 2021). Directed by Stevie Walker-Webb, this production of the Pulitzer-winning play will pull inspiration from Baltimore to tell Wilder’s story of the beauty of ordinary human life.
The season will close with the world premiere of The Garden (May 27-June 20, 2021), written by and starring Tony nominee Charlayne Woodard. This co-production with La Jolla Playhouse, to directed by Patricia McGregor, will explore the complex relationship between an elderly Black woman and her middle-aged daughter, who haven’t spoken in three years when the daughter, Cassandra, shows up unexpectedly at her mother’s garden gate.
In addition to the season, BCS is developing two new works centering on the city of Baltimore with Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi and R. Eric Thomas. Baltimore Center Stage has also commissioned local visual artist Suzanne Coley to create original artwork for the mainstage series.
“The compounding effects of a global pandemic and ongoing racial injustice have forced a long-overdue reckoning, inspiring a renewed commitment to what we say we value,” said Ybarra in a statement. “And in order to move toward our highest ideals, come what may, we can never go back.”
Baltimore Center Stage was designated the state theatre of Maryland in 1978.