Watertown-based New Rep Theatre announced the lineup for 2019-20, its 35th Anniversary Season, which will feature a musical, an August Wilson play and a play about President Nixon.
The following information came from New Rep Theatre:
“The theme of TRANSITION,” says New Rep Managing Director Harriet Sheets, “is perfectly fitting both for where we are as a society, and for what New Rep will experience in this coming season. Some of this season’s shows were selected by Jim Petosa, who is in his final months as New Rep’s Artistic Director, and some by our incoming Artistic Director, whom we are very excited to soon announce. This Anniversary Season is a momentous occasion for New Rep – a time for celebration, and also a time to advance the future of the theatre.”
September 14 – October 6, 2019
By Russell Lees
The night before Richard Nixon announced his resignation from the Presidency, he summoned Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to meet with him in the White House. What happened behind those closed doors will never be known, but playwright Russell Lees takes us on a journey through his own interpretation. Reflecting on political events that are strikingly similar to those faced today, Nixon’s Nixon questions whether the American Presidency is truly an office for leadership, or simply an opportunity to hold power.
October 12 – November 3, 2019
By Lindsay Joelle
Best friends Zalmy and Shmuel spend their days as the rebbe’s loyal foot soldiers, driving their “Mitzvah Tank” through 1990s Manhattan, performing good deeds. The two young men soon find themselves at odds, as a newcomer, wishing to learn more about their Chasidic ways, creates discord between them. Juxtaposing the secular and the sacred, the familiar and the unknown, the accepted and the forbidden, Zalmy and Shmuel are forced to reexamine the core of their faith and their relationship. Rich in humor, emerging playwright Lindsay Joelle’s Trayf is a moving new play that explores identity, assimilation, and friendship.
November 29 – December 22, 2019
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Lionel Bart
The cherished family musical based on Charles Dickens’ famous novel, Oliver! follows the life of a courageous orphan and a band of misfit children, fighting against seemingly hopeless circumstances. Still relevant today, this Victorian-era tale explores the contrast between the rich and poor, the struggles of the Industrial Revolution, and the results of an absent middle class and no upward mobility. Appropriate for all generations of theatre-goers, this timely story brings to light the importance of friendship and caring for one another when the world is set against you from the very beginning.
March 28 – April 19, 2020
By Pam Gems
Beloved and iconic French singer Edith Piaf lived a mysterious and complex life. Piaf’s own incredible musical gift proved insufficient to sustain her as she struggled to strike a balance between her professional success and her personal happiness. In Pam Gems’s gritty biographical drama, we follow the singer from her impoverished start on the streets of Belleville, through World War II, her skyrocketing music career, and her untimely death. Featuring such famous songs as “La Vie en Rose” and “La Belle Histoire d’Amour”, Piaf takes audiences on a musical, historic, and emotional journey.
AUGUST WILSON’S FENCES
April 25 – May 17, 2020
By August Wilson
In 1950’s Pittsburgh, Troy Maxson supports his wife Rose and their family as a garbageman after his dreams of being a baseball star in the Negro National League were derailed. When his son Cory aspires to earn a football scholarship, Troy’s bitterness about his own failure and high expectations for his son threaten to pull apart their family. In this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece, August Wilson captures a pivotal time in history with his honest portrayal of a family struggling to break racial barriers and support one another through forgiveness and compassion.
If you can’t wait for next season, NewRep’s latest production starts next week:
by Hansol Jung
Set in Northern Uganda at the turn of the millennium, this riveting drama reveals a love story set amidst an escalating civil war. A secret and improvised wedding between a local teenage girl and the daughter of American missionaries solidifies the commitment of these contemporary star crossed lovers lost inside a violent and hostile world. Cardboard Piano explores the roots of hate and the discovery of the potent power of forgiveness.