Even as we continue rehearsing Betrayal for the May 7th opening, we’re looking ahead to our next — fifth — season. We think that’s a significant milestone, and to mark it, we’re focusing on one of our core missions: the presentation of American classics, old and new. So, for Season Five, we’ve taken American Visions as our theme — and each of the plays represents one of the many visions that make up the American Theatre.
In Season 5, we’re looking forward to continuing the relationships we started this year with the Tampa Preparatory School and the University of South Florida. We’ll be doing two productions in each venue (yes, we’re going to offer four main stage shows next season). Four plays, two by women, two by men. Four plays, two classics, two classics-in-the-making. Four plays, each in its own way innovative, provocative, and classic.
Banned in Boston and London, despite its critical and commercial success on Broadway, Lillian Hellman’s 1934 “drama about the emotional costs of prejudice” continues to raise pertinent questions in our day. Written long before Facebook and other social media made cyberbullying a word of the day, The Children’s Hour shows how gossip and lies can go “viral” within any community. And when a young girl seeks revenge on her teachers, her whispered words shatter lives. Set in a small boarding school in New England run by long-time friends Karen and Martha, the two, along with Karen’s fiancé, find themselves having to remake their lives as a consequence of their own — and others’ — actions. The Children’s Hour will open on Sept. 17th in the Smith Black Box Theatre at Tampa Preparatory School, directed by Emilia Sargent. An experienced director, we’re excited that Emilia will be making her TampaRep directing debut with A Children’s Hour (and don’t forget you can see her onstage this season in Betrayal).
We’re also excited that Megan Lamasney will return to the TampaRep main stage with a production of Sam Shepard’s True West, “one of his sharpest, funniest examinations of his favorite theme, the divided nature of the American soul.” Megan directed TampaRep’s first production, Alcestis, and, most recently, staged Romeo and Juliet for the Tampa Shakespeare Festival. Now she’s taking on Shepard’s tale of two brothers who struggle to find their own kind of success in consumption- and celebrity-swamped American culture. This production features Jack Holloway and Dan Granke as the modern-day Cain and Abel. You’ll never think of beer, typewriters, or toast in the same way after seeing True West, opening on January 7th, 2016 in Studio 120 at the University of South Florida.
TampaRep is proud to present the Florida premiere of Lauren Gunderson’s magical play, Silent Sky. Gunderson focuses on Henrietta Leavitt, a young woman who yearns to be an astronomer but can find work only as a “computer,” counting the stars in the photographic plates taken at the Harvard Observatory. Henrietta, though, is not one to let convention stand in her way, and she eventually makes it clear to all around her that she – and the other “computers” – have more to contribute to science and to life than numbers. By turns funny, exhilarating, and thoughtful, the play brings these almost forgotten women to life in theatrical style. Connie LaMarca-Frankel (Cold Storage, Phoenix, I Do! I Do!) directs at Tampa Prep, opening on May 5th, 2016.
The Iceman Cometh
An acknowledged masterpiece of the American theatre, Eugene O’Neil’s The Iceman Cometh garnered renewed respect with Goodman Theater production starring Brian Dennehy and Nathan Lane. That production eventually moved to New York and only recently closed. Now, you can see this quintessential American work in the intimate surroundings of Studio 120 at USF – starring Ned Averill-Snell as Hickey, the traveling salesman who brings unlooked for advice to the denizens of Harry Hope’s saloon and rooming house. O’Neill’s “searing epic drama about existential alienation” “flies by like a rollercoaster ride of thrilling comedic highs and stomach-churning lows.” TampaRep’s artistic director C. David Frankel will guide the large cast of this extraordinary play starting on June 16, 2016
Buy a FlexPass now and get Betrayal FREE!
We hope you’re excited about our coming season — and also about our final production of the 2014-15 season: Betrayal. Right now is the best time to get tickets, because if you buy a FlexPass for 2015-16 (still only $99), we’ll through in an extra “punch” for the first weekend of Betrayal. That’s right — buy a FlexPass (or FlexPass mini) before May 6th, and you will also get one extra punch good for the first weekend of Betrayal. Seats are going fast, though, so make sure you email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know when you’d like to use your FlexPass.
We started off 2015 with a bang, with Imagining Madoff breaking TampaRep box office records — you can help us do it again with Betrayal, and beyond. Let’s make American Visions our best season yet (until the next one, that is).
Theatre that’s innovative, provocative, classic: TampaRep.