Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Studio Theatre's New Season


For her company's 30th-anniversary season, Studio Theatre's Joy Zinoman has bagged "The History Boys," Alan Bennett's West End and Broadway success (and also a recent film). And the company's smaller, risk-taking wing, Studio Secondstage, will do the London hit "Jerry Springer: The Opera."

- A revival of South African playwright Athol Fugard's "My Children! My Africa!" (Sept. 5-Oct. 14), about an interracial friendship between two teenagers during apartheid, will be staged by Associate Artistic Director Serge Seiden.

- Conor McPherson's Irish drama "Shining City" (Nov. 7-Dec. 16), about a widower (played by Edward Gero) who seeks counseling after he starts seeing his dead wife, will be directed by Zinoman, who calls it another example of "that two-person, high-acting stuff" she did with Gero in "Skylight" and "Afterplay."

- "The Brothers Size" (Jan. 2-Feb. 10, 2008) by Tarell Alvin McCraney, an MFA candidate in Yale's playwriting program, includes elements of West African myth and culture in a drama about two brothers in the Louisiana bayou country. Tea Alagic directs the New York Public Theater production coming to Studio.

- "The History Boys" (March 2-May 4, 2008) takes place in the 1980s at a working-class British boys' school, where two teachers with opposite philosophies vie for the hearts and minds of the brightest boys. "The conflicts in it about how to teach and what to teach were so brilliantly revealed, and then just the pure theatricality of those eight boys -- who they are," says Zinoman, who fell in love with the show in London and will direct.

- The mainstage season will close with "The Internationalist" (May 14-June 22, 2008), about a businessman abroad who, as Studio's press blurb says, gets "lost in translation." Anne Washburn's play was developed by the 13P company in New York, where she is a resident playwright.


-In Kia Corthron's "Breath, Boom" (Dec. 12, 2007-Jan. 6, 2008), a girl grows into and out of the gang life.

-"All That I Will Ever Be" (Feb. 13-March 9, 2008), by Alan Ball (TV's "Six Feet Under," the film "American Beauty") is about a sexually charged relationship between two men in Los Angeles, one American, the other from the Middle East.

- A television talk show turns violent -- and goes operatic -- in "Jerry Springer: The Opera" (July 16-Aug. 10, 2008), by Stewart Lee and Richard Thomas. Secondstage Artistic Director Keith Alan Baker will direct.

With two special events featuring experimental troupes at Secondstage, "We're really going to use the space as it was intended," Zinoman says, "letting these really hot national companies into the Studio to rehearse and develop the work, and then we'll do the premieres. That's something that we've never, ever done before."

- Rainpan performers Trey Lyford and Geoff Sobelle will present three works during the Rainpan 43 Festival (March 18-April 6, 2008): their off-Broadway hit "All Wear Bowlers," the newer "Amnesia Curiosa" and the premiere of work-in-progress "machines machines machines machines machines machines."

- The Civilians' premiere work, tentatively titled "This Beautiful City" (June 11-July 6, 2008), uses interviews and other elements to explore the evangelical movement in Colorado Springs.