NewRep Theatre Announces 2020-21 Season Featuring Five Plays

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The 2020-21 season at New Repertory Theatre features five shows, including four Tony-Award-winning plays and two musicals.

New Repertory Theatre proudly announces their 2020-2021 season.

Featuring five productions in the MainStage Theater at the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown, the company’s 36th season includes ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES, the groundbreaking drama by Tony Kushner; THE 25 TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, the uproarious family-friendly musical comedy; STUPID F##KING BIRD, Aaron Posner’s modern-day adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull; the Tony Award-winning great jazz musical JELLY’S LAST JAM; and John Patrick Shanley’s resonant drama DOUBT, A PARABLE.

The season includes 4 Tony Award-winning plays and musicals and one of the most produced titles in American Theatre over the last few years.

“I am so thrilled to announce this season” shares New Rep Artistic Director Michael J. Bobbitt. “This is the first season that I was able to plan in its entirety, and these selections are the result of a lengthy process between the staff, season selection committee, and myself. I’m very proud of the season we’ve assembled, and I believe the theatre-going community in Boston and beyond will greatly enjoy it.”

“Our upcoming season,” he continues, “reflects a dedication to diversity in the stories on stage, and the artists we will hire. The season offers something for everybody, with major dramas, quirky comedies, and fantastic musicals. We’ve also re-visited our pricing policies for this season, and will offer $25 general admission seating to all preview performances. Everyone will have a chance to sit where they want for affordable prices. We’re really focused on welcoming as many people through our doors as possible and, as always, producing some truly excellent theatre. This is a very exciting time for us.”

Tickets

Subscriptions: Exclusive renewal period for current subscribers: March 16–March 22. On sale to the public: March 23, 2020 Available online at www.newrep.org, or call the box office at 617-923-8487. Single Tickets: Non-subscription tickets go on sale June 1, 2020

The 2020-21 Season

Angels in America: Millennium Approaches
September 13 – October 18, 2020

By Tony Kushner
Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian◊

The turning point in the history of gay and American drama, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches is set in New York during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. The story follows Prior and Louis, whose relationship is tested when one is diagnosed with the disease; Joe, a Mormon who struggles with his sexual identity; and Roy Cohn, the inimitable Jewish lawyer’s involvement in the McCarthy Trials. This Tony Award-winning masterpiece beautifully addresses questions of identity, trust, justice, and judgement.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
November 29, 2020 – January 3, 2021

Conceived by Rebecca Feldman
Additional Material by Jay Weiss
Music and Lyrics by William Finn
Book by Rachel Sheinkin
Directed by Michael J. Bobbitt
Music Directed by Sariva Goetz

How much pressure do we put on our children to succeed? What is the price? Does this ever happen in Boston? Follow six quirky competitors of the Putnam Valley Middle School Spelling Bee as they explore the pressures and expectations set by their parents and themselves. The Tony Award-winning Spelling Bee is uproarious fun for the whole family, complete with audience participation. Dust off your dictionary, it’s time to spell!

Stupid F##king Bird
January 31 – February 28, 2021

Sort of adapted from The Seagull by Anton Chekhov
By Aaron Posner
Directed by Dmitry Troyanovsky◊

How can the pursuit of love and happiness drive one to madness? Emotions run high in this comedic, contemporary adaption of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. An aspiring young director invites his close family and friends to a showing of his performance art, which fights against traditional theatre. Things quickly become complicated as his mother, a traditional actress, takes great offense to his work, and his girlfriend begins to flirt with his mother’s lover. As the refreshingly honest characters struggle with the disappointments of love, art, and aging, playwright Aaron Posner
explores the true meaning of love and life.

Jelly’s Last Jam
March 28 – April 25, 2021

Book by George C. Wolfe
Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
Music by Jelly Roll Morton and Luther Henderson
Directed by Dawn M. Simmons

This toe-tapping show will send you home swinging. The life of Jelly Roll Morton comes to the New Rep stage in this winner of multiple Tony Awards. Considered a primary driving force in bringing jazz to the American public, Jelly struggled to accept his racial identity in the spotlight of the white American gaze. This journey to the 1920s blends history and social commentary with fantastic and revolutionary music of the time. Featuring explosive dance numbers, and such famous songs as “Lonely Boy Blues” and “Chicago Stomp.” Oo Oo Oo, that’s how you jazz!

Doubt: A Parable
May 2 – June 6, 2021

By John Patrick Shanley
Directed by Adam Kassim

Misconduct. Catholic Church. Doubts. In 1964, 12-year-old Donald Muller is the first boy of color to enter a Catholic school in the Bronx. Under the guise of protecting the boy from potential bullying, Father Flynn offers him friendship and protection. When Donald returns from a private visit with the Father with alcohol on his breath, principal Sister Aloysius becomes suspicious that these visits are not as innocent as they seem. John Patrick Shanley’s 2004 play-turned-movie examines the difficulty of bringing to judgement those in power, and the doubt in which we often find within our faith and ourselves.

  • Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association (AEA)
    ◊ Denotes member of Stage Directors & Choreographers Society
    ° Denotes member of USA/IATSE

About New Repertory Theatre

New Repertory Theatre is the award-winning, professional theatre company in residence at the Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA. For 35 years, New Rep has been a leader of self-produced theatre in greater Boston, producing contemporary and classic dramas, comedies, and musicals in the 340-seat MainStage Theater.

New Rep’s Mission

New Repertory Theatre produces plays that speak powerfully to the vital ideas of our time. What we do:
 Through the passion and electricity of live theater performed to the highest standards of excellence, New Rep seeks to spark community conversations on crucial contemporary issues.
 Our work expands and challenges the human spirit of both artists and audiences. We present world premieres, contemporary plays, and classic works in several intimate settings. Our productions are designed to be accessible to all.We are committed to education and enrichment for learners of all ages, with a special dedication to the creation of innovative in-school programming and outreach to underserved audiences. We embrace theater as the basis for enduring connections with our community and as a springboard for meaningful civic engagement.
 New Rep is an active advocate for the arts and a major voice in the national dialogue defining the role of theater in our culture.

About New Rep Artistic Director Michael J. Bobbitt

Michael J. Bobbitt is an arts leader, director, choreographer, and playwright and has served as Artistic Director for Adventure Theatre-MTC in Maryland since 2007, where he led the organization to be a respected theatre/training company in the DC region, as well as a nationally influential professional Theatre for Young Audiences. He led a merger with Musical Theater Center, increased the organizational budget and audience, commissioned new works by noted playwrights, transferred two shows to Off-Broadway, built an academy, and earned dozens of Helen Hayes Award Nominations including eight wins.

Bobbitt has directed/choreographed at Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Center Stage, Roundhouse Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and the Washington National Opera. His national and international credits include the NY Musical Theatre Festival, Mel Tillis 2001, La Jolla Playhouse, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Jefferson Performing Arts Center, and the Olympics.

As a writer, his work was chosen for the NYC International Fringe Festival and The New York and Musical Theatre Festival. He has two plays published by Rogers and Hammerstein Theatricals. He trained at Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, The National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, and other top leadership programs. He earned the Excel Leadership Award (Center for Nonprofit Advancement) the Emerging Leader Award (County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities), and Person of the Year Award (Maryland Theatre Guide), among others. Currently, he serves on the Board of ArtsBoston.

2020-2021 SEASON FACTS AT A GLANCE

Company: New Repertory Theatre
Artistic Director: Michael J. Bobbitt

Parking: Free parking at The Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown

Public Transportation: 70/70A Bus from Red Line Central Square to School Street, Watertown

Accessibility: The Mosesian Center for the Arts is fully wheelchair accessible, and wired for the T-Coil/Hearing LOOP system. Both large-print and Braille programs are available.

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