Next season at Williamston Theatre!

 

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Pulp

By Joseph Zettelmaier

Directed by Tony Caselli

Los Angeles, 1933. The world of pulp fiction is turned upside down when a literary agent is gruesomely murdered. The four suspects: his remaining clients, all writers for different pulp magazines. Private Investigator Frank Ellery dives into the mystery, and his world turns upside down as life begins to imitate literature in this who-dun-it-science-fiction caper.

A National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere.

 

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The Nerd

By Larry Shue

Directed by John Lepard

Aspiring young architect Willum Cubbert has often told his friends about the debt he owes Rick Steadman, a fellow ex-GI but who saved his life in Vietnam. He has written to Rick saying as long as he is alive, “you will have somebody on Earth who will do anything for you”—so Willum is delighted when Rick shows up at his thirty-fourth birthday party. But his delight soon fades as Rick, a hopeless nerd, sticks around and causes one uproarious incident after another, building to a surprise ending.

A collaboration with the MSU Department of Theatre

 

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A Painted Window

By Christy Hall

A Painted Window catalogues the reunion of two sisters, Josephine and Sylvia, that used to giggle together late at night, yet now stand worlds apart. It’s a dissection of identity, classism, racism, and the grotesque havoc that consumerism, capitalism, and entitlement have wreaked on the American dream. But ultimately, at its center, this is a play about love.

A World Premiere!

 

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1984

By George Orwell
Adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan

Directed by Tony Caselli

Based on the iconic novel by George Orwell, 1984 brings us the story of Winston Smith, a cog in the giant machine state of Oceania. Winston has been caught struggling for scraps of love and freedom in a world awash with distrust and violence. With the brutal “help” of four Party Members, Winston is forced to confess his Thoughtcrimes before an unseen inquisitor, and the audience – which acts as a silent witness to his torture. A ferocious and provocative adaptation of one of the most prescient works of literature of the last century.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell (Copyright, 1949) by permission of Bill Hamilton as the Literary Executor of the Estate of the Late Sonia Brownell Orwell, adapted by Michael Gene Sullivan.

A Michigan Premiere!

 

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Taking Shakespeare

By John Murrell

Directed by Mary Job

When a longtime, disillusioned college professor is asked to tutor her dean’s son through his freshman Shakespeare class, she finds it to be as much a test for her as it is for him. Although they seem to have nothing in common, as they explore the Bard’s Othello together, they learn more about each other—and themselves—than either is ready to admit. While they draw strength from the play, they come to understand what it means to live up to expectations.

A Michigan Premiere!

 

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Murder for Two

Book and Music by Joe Kinosian
Book and Lyrics by Kellen Blair

Directed by Rob Roznowski

Murder For Two is the perfect blend of music, mayhem and murder!  In this hilarious 90-minute show, 2 performers play 13 roles—not to mention the piano—in a witty and winking homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries.    The New York Times calls it “Ingenious!  A snazzy double-act that spins out a comic mystery animated by funny, deftly turned songs.”  You won’t want to miss this killer musical comedy!

 

So lucky, so much goodness on the way!

I’m so excited with the upcoming slate of theatre that I get to be involved in!  Not only do we have 3 more great shows coming up at Williamston Theatre for this season, but next month we hold auditions for Season Eleven, and now we can talk about the shows we have lined up for that!   And I LOVE ALL these shows coming up!

So, we’re in rehearsals right now for The Decade Dance by Joe Zettelmaier, which is a really funny, really thoughtful exploration of life, love, politics and race in 1970’s America.  We just had the first read-through earlier this week, and I’m absolutely stoked about the show.

After that we have Chapatti, by Christian O’Reilly.  This is a beautiful, charming, intelligent and theatrical love story that delves into the question of life, and love, after people have started to give up hope on either.

Wrapping up Season 10 is a hilarious and really warm comedy by Annie Martin called Summer Retreat. The show explores the relationship between a group of women from college through middle-age and how, as we grow, so does our love for our friends – even if we’re not all headed in the same direction.

THEN comes Season Eleven at Williamston Theatre!

First: Pulp, by Joseph Zettelmaier.  I’m directing this one, and I can’t wait.  It’s a noir/genre/detective/thriller/mystery comedy, and it’s a blast!  And it’s a world premiere, and part of a Rolling World Premiere with the National New Play Network (of which Williamston Theatre is a member).

Second: The Nerd, by Larry Shue.  An absolutely hilarious show, not nearly old enough to be called a chestnut… but is it old enough to be called a classic?  Either way, it’s a popular piece that is well known for a reason: It’s hysterical.  This will be our MSU collaboration show, and it’s a perfect showcase for our excellent partnership with Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre.

Third: Another world premiere, this one by Christy Hall.  A Painted Window is a beautiful exploration of sisterhood, and aging, and wanting to be appreciated and understood and connected to the world. It asks the question “When it’s all over… when all we have left are the memories… will we want a do-over?”

In our fourth slot I’m directing a show I’ve been excited about doing for a while:  1984, by George Orwell.  This adaptation, by Michael Gene Sullivan, explores some of the most prescient aspects of Orwell’s classic story, and some of the most socially relevant, in a terrifically theatrical way. What happens to people when their humanity is forcibly stripped away, when being different is a crime, and when people are afraid to think anything but what they’ve been told to think?  Can compassion and empathy exist in that world? Can love?

Fifth is a Michigan premiere, a terrific play that was at the Stratford festival a few years ago called Taking Shakespeare by John Murrell.  A charming, funny, poignant story where what seems to be a simple clash between people from different generations turns into an exploration of life, and the power of storytelling and taking chances.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand our final slot of Season Eleven is still TBA.  We’re waiting to cross the t’s and dot the i’s on the rights, but I’ll let you know when it’s announced!

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that I’ll also be directing at the Jewish Ensemble Theatre next season!  I’m excited to be working with Kitty Dubin on the world premiere of her new play Rights Of Passage!

So, when you add all that stuff together, and throw in the exciting Dark Nights in Billtown festival coming up in May (where we’re exploring several excellent Protest Theatre pieces), I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to be a part of so many great pieces of theatre.

So – what about YOU?  What upcoming things in your life are YOU looking forward to?!