In an article on D.C. theaters’ new season announcements earlier this spring, Peter Marks, theater critic for The Washington Post noted a theme emerging for the offerings of 2013-14, “as robust and optimistic a stream as any I have encountered. In company after company, the emphasis is on broadening audiences’ horizons, presenting theatergoers with galleries of voices and projects they may have not heard or seen before...a bonanza of daring.”
Well, what do you know?! Colonial Players is doing the same thing and we didn’t even get the memo! There must be something in the water – or the air anyway – robust and optimistic!
For our 65th season we're asking our audiences to embark on the adventure of coming to CP when you may not know the plays or musicals, and risk making wonderful new theater memories of what you see there. We’re asking you to take a chance with us for a season of new discoveries!
Download a copy of our 64th Season brochure from our Downloads page to share with your friends and family!
Written by Alan Ayckbourn
Directed by Michelle Harmon Bruno
Performance dates: September 20 - October 12, 2013
CP opens its 65th season with an intriguing comic mys- tery by Britain’s master of farce, Alan Ayckbourn. The action takes place in the same suite of hotel rooms in 2014, 1994 and 1974. A young woman, a timid profes- sional dominatrix, inadvertently redirects her fate when an old man begs her to be a witness and courier. She must sign and deliver his confession of terrible past deeds - the murders of his first and second wives among them - to his lawyers before he dies. Attacked by his menacing partner, she escapes into a hidden room in the suite and amazingly emerges into the same rooms 20 years before. There she meets the second wife, Ruella. As the women struggle to understand what has happened and what will happen if they cannot stop the events of the confession, Ruella abruptly time-travels back to the suite 20 years before, accidentally interrupting the first wife, Jessica, on her honeymoon. Sound confusing? In Ayckbourn’s hands, the twisting plot is spiced with comedy and at the end, a heart-warming turn that will leave you smiling, wondering and happy.
Book by Thomas Meehan
Music by Charles Strouse
Lyrics by Martin Charnin
Directed by Joe Thompson
Performance dates: November 8 - December 7, 2013
Fun for the whole family, performing or watching, this musical is a favorite of audiences of all ages. The tale of the plucky, optimistic orphan pitted against her nemesis, Miss Hannigan, the warden of the Municipal Orphanage, is illuminated by unforgettable songs which capture the essence of the Great Depression, New York City and the American dream, all through the eyes of a little girl, dreaming of the return of her loving parents.
Written by Bruce Graham
Directed by Edd Miller
Performance dates: January 10 - 25, 2014
Coyote On A Fence is our first ARC offering of the season. ARC shows are plays or musicals, which CP has chosen because their content or presentation is different or more challenging than our usual offerings. Because of that, they may appeal to a smaller arc of the circle of subscribers and patrons we attract. We do these plays because they stretch the scope of our audiences' experiences in theater and they challenge us as actors, directors, and designers to create theater that is compelling in different ways.
Coyote On A Fence is a play about men on death row in a maximum security prison. Young Robert Alvin (Bobby) Reyburn, resigned to his execution for a hate crime, occupies a cell next to John Brennan, a seasoned veteran of many appeals, who writes and edits the prison newspaper, The Death Row Advocate. John writes obituaries of the executed. In the stories and exchanges between these distinct personalities, as well as their sardonic female guard, we are introduced to a world and people we may never have visited before.
Written by Tracy Letts
Directed by Kristofer Kauff
Performance dates: February 14 - March 8, 2014
In the Uptown section of Chicago, the scruffy side, Ar- thur Przybyszewski still runs the donut shop his father founded before he was born. Arthur is besieged by a new Starbucks across the street, his aged hippie sensibilities, and the recent death of his ex-wife. His store reflects the state of his mind, ill-tended, marred by the vandalism of a disgruntled ex-employee and slipping into bankruptcy. A new employee, Franco Wicks, urges him to revitalize the store by opening evening hours, encouraging po- etry readings, cultivating a writers’ enclave. Franco is a young, enterprising writer whose intelligence and energy nudges Arthur’s torpid spirit into new life, especially when Franco is nearly killed by thugs seeking to collect his gambling debts. You’ll find this lively play uplifting and deeply funny as you meet Arthur, Franco and the people around them struggling to make something good of their lives.
Written by Keythe Farley & Brian Flemming
Music and Lyrics by Laurence O'Keefe
Directed by Beverly van Joolen
Performance dates: March 28 - April 19, 2014
This off beat musical is a gleeful mix of gothic horror and big-hearted satire of small town personalities set to a peppy melodic pop rock score. Captured in a cave near Hope Falls, West Virginia, Bat Boy, a terrifying half human, half bat mutant, is taken into town and put in the care of the family of Dr. Parker, the town veterinarian. Even though Bat Boy becomes eminently civilized, the townspeople cannot overcome their revulsion and suspicions, and ultimately tragic mayhem ensures. The musical is a hilarious send-up of traditional musicals and all the love-overcomes-all themes you've ever witnessed in theater or the movies. As the New York Times said, "Big laughs... It's remarkable what intelligent wit can accomplish-- a jaggedly imaginative mix of skewering humor and energetic glee.
Written by Melanie Marnich
Directed by Craig Mummey
Performance dates: May 9 - 31, 2014
This poetic play tells the true story of four young women who began working in the Westclox Radium Dial Company in Ottawa, Illinois near Chicago in 1922, at the time when women had just won the right to vote and the license to smoke and to work outside the home almost without scandal. The company employed over 1000 women for 11 years to paint the numbers in the radium powder on the faces of their clocks and watches. Catherine Donohue and her co-workers develop deep, supportive friendships as the years go on. Finally they must confront two truths that both they and the company have been evading for years. They are developing serious illnesses and their work with radium is the cause. The decisions that the four women, particularly Catherine, make in response to these facts ultimately resulted in a 1938 landmark Supremem Court case that changed Illinois law to make companies responsible for the safety of their workers. Melanie Marnich's play illuminates the lives and spirits of these ordinary women, shedding light that flares into incandescence as their story ends.
Written by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Tom Newbrough
Performance dates: June 13 - 28, 2014
Our second ARC offering is an odd comedy about human isolation, especially in this world full of more tightly connective devices than ever before. Jean, a young woman eating a bowl of lobster bisque in a cafe, picks up the ringing cell phone of a man who has just died at the next table. Stunned by the happening, she allows herself to be drawn into the lives of his family and others who call him while hte phone is in her possession, seeking to make them feel better and to express the unspoken thoughts of the dead man. Not quite absurdist, unsentimental and quirky, the play takes us into a swirling exploration of our inability to really know others, even those we work near, live with, or marry.
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