ROCHESTER, N.Y.: Geva Theatre Center has announced its reimagined 2020-21 season, featuring five live productions. Due to the pandemic, Geva will only produce on its larger Wilson Stage, canceling the smaller Fielding Stage’s season, and it will not produce its annual A Christmas Carol this year.
“The pandemic forced us to close our doors in mid-March, of course, and we thank our audiences for their understanding and flexibility in waiting for us to announce how we can continue to produce professional theatre,” stated artistic director Mark Cuddy in a statement. “These past months have not only shut down our industry because of COVID-19, but have brought about a national uprising calling on us all to finally and fully address the human rights and social justice issues of our country. Shutting our doors has granted us a rare gift of extra time to reimagine our role as a theatre and a non-profit, public service organization, and to re-envision our 2020-21 season in a way that accounts for the evolving circumstances of the pandemic and centers anti-racism in our plays and programming.”
The season will open this fall with Geva presenting Recognition Radio: An Audio Play Festival Celebrating Black Voices (Oct.-Dec.), featuring four plays adapted for an intimate and immersive listening experience. The play titles will be announced at a later date.
Beginning in January and running through July, Geva intends to produce five live productions, with exact dates to be announced at a later date. Geva also plans to offer on-demand video alternatives to in-person attendance.
First up will be Where Did We Sit On the Bus (Jan./Feb. 2021), by Brian Quijada. Chay Yew will direct this one-man show inspired by a question a Latino boy during a lesson on Rosa Parks and told through a mix of rap, hip-hop, spoken word, and live looping.
Next up will be The Real James Bond…Was Dominican (Feb./March 2021), written and performed by Christopher Rivas. Daniel Banks will direct this true story about eight-year-old Rivas finding out that Porfirio Rubirosa was the international man of mystery who inspired Ian Fleming’s iconic Bond character.
The season will continue with Wine in the Wilderness (April 2021), by Alice Childress, which examines the intersection of race, gender, and class through the story of artist Bill Jameson who is looking for his final model for a painting in Harlem in 1964.
Following will be Dipika Guha’s Yoga Play (May/June 2021), about the CEO of yoga giant Jojomon who risks everything to recover the company’s reputation following accusations that the company uses child labor. Pirronne Yousefzadeh will direct.
Closing out the season will be Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash (June/July 2021), conceived by William Meade and created by Richard Maltby Jr., a jukebox musical paying homage to Johnny Cash and his life story. Mark Cuddy will direct.
Founded in 1972, Geva Theatre Center is dedicated to creating and producing new and classic works.
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