San Diego Repertory Theatre Announces its 2016-17 Season

Company leadership announced lineup featuring two world premiere plays with music, with books by Hershey Felder and by Todd Salovey respectively; two world premiere plays by Herbert Siguenza and Karen Zacarías respectively; the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner for drama; one of the most produced plays in America; and a newly renovated lobby and seating area of the Stage theatre

EMBARGO UNTIL 7 P.M. MONDAY, FEB. 22, 2016 - SAN DIEGO – San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse and Managing Director Larry Alldredge announced their 2016-17 season tonight. The six productions in San Diego REP’s Lyceum Stage and Lyceum Space theatres include the world premiere of Hershey Felder’s “Tchaikovsky,” a new play with music by Internationally renowned writer-actor-pianist, Hershey Felder directed by Trevor Hay; the world premiere of “Manifest Destinitis” by Herbert Siguenza (“A Weekend with Pablo Picasso,” “El Henry,” “Steal Heaven”) directed by Sam Woodhouse; the San Diego premiere of the Pulitzer Prize winning “Disgraced” by Ayad Akhtar directed by Michael Arabian (“Red”); the world premiere of “The Dybbuk for Hannah and Sam’s Wedding” written and directed by Todd Salovey (San Diego REP’s associate artistic director) featuring music by Yale Strom; “Sex with Strangers” by Laura Eason (“House of Cards”) directed by Delicia Tuner Sonnenberg (“My Mañana Comes”); andInto the Beautiful North” a National New Play Rolling World Premiere by Karen Zacarías, based on the bestselling novel by Luis Alberto Urrea, directed by Sam Woodhouse. The Lyceum Theatre renovation is also scheduled to conclude during the season. 

Explains Woodhouse: "Season 41 promises to be something very special – a lineup of dream projects featuring stellar artists offering a huge range of entertainment and provocation. Our stages will host a group of stories that offer rambunctious political satire, extraordinary original and classic music, explosive drama that jumps right off the front page of today's cultural issues and fascinating international journeys. And to make the experience all the more engaging, during Season 41 patrons will be treated to a newly renovated lobby and Lyceum Stage seating area. We are thrilled with what's ahead!"

To renew or purchase a new subscription, please call the box office at (619) 544-1000 (Tuesday-Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mondays); for more information visit www.sdrep.org

The season will open with “Manifest Destinitis”, an early California adaptation of Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid” (Sept. 15 - Oct. 9, 2016) the world premiere comedy by Herbert Siguenza. The award-winning writer of “A Weekend with Pablo Picasso,” “El Henry” and “Steal Heaven” and founding member of Culture Clash will return to The REP with this new farce directed by San Diego REP Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse. Just in time for the fall presidential campaign debates, this new comedy mixes contemporary political satire, romantic triangles and mistaken identities.

“Disgraced” (Oct. 20 - Nov. 13, 2016), the 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner for drama by Ayad Akhtar, follows next and is directed by Michael Arabian (“Red” at San Diego REP, “Waiting for Godot” at Mark Taper Forum). This play was called “Sensationally entertaining! Terrific, turbulent and dramatically electric” by The New York Times and has been one of the most popular plays in America since its premiere in 2013.

“The Dybbuk for Hannah and Sam’s Wedding” (Nov. 23 - Dec. 18, 2016) by

San Diego REP Associate Artistic Director Todd Salovey will feature Ron Campbell (“R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE”) playing 21 characters as well as a trio of musicians led by world-renowned Klezmer musician Yale Strom, who will compose and perform an original score. Salovey’s new play with music reimagines S. Ansky’s “The Dybbuk,” one of the greatest works of Jewish theatre, as an immersive theatrical experience with music being told at a wedding where the wedding guests are the audience members.

“Tchaikovsky” (Jan. 12 - Feb. 12, 2017), written and performed by Hershey Felder and directed by Trevor Hay, will be making its world premiere at San Diego REP, bringing the story of Russia’s most famous composer to The REP’s Lyceum Stage theatre. Tchaikovsky is best known for his popular and enduring “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Nutcracker,” “Swan Lake,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “The 1812 Overture,” and many more.  The composer died suddenly at the age of 53, nine days after conducting the premiere of his “Pathetique Symphony no. 6.” Of that Symphony he said, “Let them guess what it means…” and to this day, the piece and the circumstances surrounding his death remain a mystery, which will be investigated in this new time-bending work. Felder is known for his award winning productions of  “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin,” “George Gershwin Alone,” “Monsieur Chopin,” “Beethoven, As I Knew Him,” and “Franz Liszt in “Musik”, and the upcoming “MAESTRO” at San Diego REP. He both directed and adapted the San Diego REP audience favorite “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” for the stage.

“Sex with Strangers” (Feb. 23 - March 19, 2017) written by Laura Eason (“House of Cards”) is a comedy that received its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and is one of the most produced plays in America. The play is about two writers from two generations who examine fame, cyber identity, sex and love in amusingly different lights. Directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg (2015 San Diego Critics Circle Director of the year), “Sex with Strangers” was called “Sexy, smart, intimate, unpretentious” by Variety.

“Into the Beautiful North” (March 30 - April 23, 2017) is a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere by Karen Zacarías, based on the bestselling novel by Luis Alberto Urrea, REP Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse will direct this final show of The REP’s 41st season. The novel from which the play is adapted was one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2015 and the 2012 selection for One Book San Diego. Seen through the eyes of a daring young woman attempting to smuggle Mexican men back to her hometown, this new comedy looks at the dreams shared on both sides of the border.

San Diego Repertory Theatre is pleased to announce that work is in progress on a $3 million renovation of The Lyceum Theatre, including the lobby, concession, restrooms and Lyceum Stage Theatre. The remodel work is occurring in phases. Estimated completion is January 2017.

During construction, San Diego REP patrons will be able to access all normal amenities of The Lyceum Theatre complex. Ample parking will still be available in the Horton Plaza parking garage and the Box Office, elevators, restrooms and concession areas will be easily accessible unless otherwise noted. San Diego REP’s House Management staff will keep patrons updated on renovation activities with signage posted in and around the facility as well as send e-mail communications to maintain the venue experience. For additional information, please contact the Box Office at 619-544-1000 or visit sdrep.org.

About San Diego Repertory Theatre

San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) produces intimate, exotic, provocative theatre. Founded in 1976, San Diego Repertory Theatre is downtown San Diego’s resident theatre, promoting a more inclusive community through work that nourishes progressive political and social values and celebrate the multiple voices of our region. The company produces and hosts over 550 events and performances year-round on its three stages at the Lyceum Theatre. Since moving to the Lyceum, The REP has produced 45 main stage productions by Latino playwrights, and more than 40 world premieres. The company has received more than 200 awards for artistic excellence from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, Patté Theatre Awards, NAACP, Backstage West, Dramalogue and StageSceneLA. In 2005, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented The REP with the Craig Noel Award “For 30 Years of Artistic Dedication to Downtown and Diversity.” San Diego Repertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. To learn more about San Diego Repertory Theatre, to purchase tickets, or make a donation, visit www.sdrep.org. Join us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/sandiegoREP) and follow us on Twitter (@SanDiegoREP). 

 

About San Diego REP’s 2016/2017 Season

“Manifest Destinitis”

An early California adaptation of Moliere’s “The Imaginary Invalid”

Sept. 15 – Oct. 9 (Opening Night, Sept. 21)

World Premiere Play

By Herbert Siguenza

Directed by Sam Woodhouse

Don Aragon is a very sick Californio. His head aches, his bowels are troubling him and he has a fear of losing everything to foreigners. He has manifest destinitis. Between the end of the Mexican-American War and the start of the Gold Rush craze, this madness is infecting all of Alta California.

When the Don’s medical bills start to pile up, he arranges to marry his daughter Angelica off to a young doctor. Of course, she has her sights set on someone else—a guapo Americano! Thank goodness for Tonia, played by Herbert Siguenza, Don Aragon’s loud mouth native India servant, who hears all, sees all and fixes all with much cunning and clowning.

From REP audience favorite Siguenza, one of the founding members of Culture Clash and the award-winning writer of “El Henry,” “A Weekend with Pablo Picasso” and “Steal Heaven,” comes this surprisingly modern adaptation of one of Moliere’s comic masterpieces.

Just in time for the fall presidential campaign debates, this hilarious mixture of contemporary political satire, romantic triangles, double entendres and mistaken identities promises to leave you in stitches.

 

“Disgraced”

Oct. 20 – Nov. 13, 2016 (Opening Night, Oct. 26)

Pulitzer Prize Winner

By Ayad Akhtar

Directed by Michael Arabian

Amir Kapoor is ignoring his Muslim heritage so he can live the American Dream – with a beautiful wife, an amazing New York apartment and a lucrative career practicing law that is headed for the stars. When Amir and his artist wife host a casual dinner party for his African-American co-worker and her Jewish husband, the things one is not supposed to talk about at dinner are suddenly at the center of the dinner conversation. The evening quickly erupts into a fiery debate over race, religion and class in the modern world. Everything that Amir has achieved - including his proudly built new identity - is suddenly turned upside down in a way no one could have imagined.

This Pulitzer Prize winner is the most produced contemporary play in American Theatre today. Fearlessly investigating the 21st century clash between American culture and the Islamic faith, this dramatic story needs to be witnessed by anyone who cares about theatre. After opening to rave reviews on Broadway and in London,Disgraced” has become a national hit that ignites audiences with an experience you will never forget.

 

“The Dybbuk for Hannah and Sam’s Wedding”

Nov. 23 – Dec. 18, 2016 (Opening Night, Nov. 29)

World Premiere Play

Written and Directed by Todd Salovey

Based on the play by S. Ansky

Original Music Written and Performed by Yale Strom

Starring Ron Campbell

Hannah and Sam are getting married and you are invited! As Klezmer legend Yale Strom and friends play live original music, Uncle Jerry stands to offer a very special toast for the bride and groom. Moved by the spirit of the moment, and the spirits he has consumed, Jerry’s toast is a tour de force one man performance of the most celebrated play in Yiddish literature, S. Ansky’s “The Dybbuk.

Nationally renowned master actor and clown Ron Campbell (“R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE”) plays all 21 characters in this “Dybbuk.” The mystical story centers on a broken vow that results in a wandering spirit taking possession of a bride on her wedding day. Boundaries between the natural and supernatural worlds dissolve in this tale of powerful young love and spiritual possession.

You will find yourself in the spell of a Yiddish classic that is a humorous and horrific folk tale of wondrous meaning.

 

“Tchaikovsky”

Jan. 12 – Feb. 12, 2017 (Opening Night, Jan. 18)

World Premiere Play with Music

Written and Performed by Hershey Felder

Directed by Trevor Hay

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is Russia’s most famous composer and one of the greatest composers of all time. From his beautiful lilting melodies for the ballets “Romeo and Juliet,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Swan Lake” and “The Nutcracker”; to his magnificent instrumental craftsmanship of the Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto no. 1, and “Rococo Variations for Cello”; to the eternally popular and celebratory “1812 Overture” and “Marche Slav”; to the intensely revelatory opera “Eugene Onegin”; to the ferociously brilliant expression of his symphonic works; to the question of his final enigma, the Symphony no. 6, “Pathétique.” “Let them guess what it means…” he said. Nine days after he conducted that symphony's premiere in St. Petersburg as a healthy man, at the age of 53, the great composer was dead, and to this day, how and why, is still a mystery. 

The extraordinary musical talent Hershey Felder will take us on a brand new journey from present day Putin’s Russia—where Tchaikovsky is a hero—back in time to Czarist Russia, where that was not entirely the case. “Tchaikovsky” is a world premiere time-bending story of culture and politics that explores the mystery around some of the greatest music ever composed.

 

“Sex with Strangers”

Feb. 23 – March 19, 2017 (Opening Night, March 1)

The Highly Acclaimed Play

By Laura Eason

Directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg

Olivia is an attractive, talented and under-appreciated mid-career writer just one big step away from success. Ethan is a hot young writer whose online journals about his "sexcapades" with strangers have become the buzz of the blogosphere. When these two are unexpectedly trapped in a secluded cabin during a winter storm, opposites attract. The chemistry is hot and the sex electric. A one-night-stand turns into dating and dating into something much more complicated. As their literary futures become intimately intertwined, both writers confront who they are, what they really want and how much they are willing to change to get it.                                  

Playwright Laura Eason is a staff writer for the Netflix series “House of Cards.” Her sensuous and provocative comedy about fame, cyber identity, and the desire for intimacy and respect is a break-out hit that has gotten rave reviews all over the country. Eason seductively explores the timely question: what transpires when our online and offline identities intersect and our private lives become public domain?

Advisory: “Sex with Strangers” contains strong adult language and two characters with intense physical chemistry.

 

“Into the Beautiful North”

March 30 – April 23, 2017 (Opening Night, April 5)

National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere

By Karen Zacarías

Based on the novel by Luis Alberto Urrea

Directed by Sam Woodhouse

All the men of the sleepy Mexican village of Tres Camarones have left town in search of fortune in the USA. Bandidos are threatening to take over the defenseless town. One night, 19 year old Nayeli watchesThe Magnificent Seven” at the local cinema and has a flash of inspiration. She grabs her goth best friend Vampi and her gay confidant Tacho, and sets out on a quest of epic proportions – to find men in the U.S.A. and smuggle them back across the border to repopulate and protect her beloved town! And so begins a 1,000 mile road trip from the Pacific Coast of Mexico through the colorful streets of Tijuana to the climactic scene at the Bahia Hotel in Mission Bay, San Diego.

Playwright Karen Zacarías—who herself was born in Mexico and immigrated north as a young girl—has crafted this national bestselling novel into a fast-paced comical tale full of colorful characters that surprise and delight. Seen through the eyes of a daring young woman, “Into the Beautiful North” is a funny and heartwarming look at the dreams shared on both sides of the border.

 

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