It's the most wonderful time of the year - when theatre companies announce their new season.
First up is the Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket, which I think has a very promising 2010-2011 planned.
There's a North American premiere, a couple of plays I missed in New York that were fairly well-received, a classic of 19th century drama and a 20th-century play that seems all-too suited to our current economic woes.
The theatre is an intimate space, only 137 seats, and it's one I should get to more often. I saw a terrific production of The Elephant Man there in 2007.
Here's the schedule:
Glengarry Glen Ross
Sept. 2 - Oct. 3
Oct. 21 - Nov. 21
A Doll's House
Jan. 20 - Feb. 20, 2011
March 17 - April 17, 2011
Why Torture is Wrong and the People Who Love Them
May 5 - June 5, 2011
Even though I was disappointed by the two David Mamet plays I've seen on Broadway, Speed-the-Plow and Race, I do like the film version of Glengarry Glen Ross and I'm eager to see it on stage. Be aware that there's plenty of Mamet's trademark profanity in this 1982 play about small-time real-estate agents desperate to make a sale.
Theresa Rebeck's play is about half-sisters battling over the family inheritance - a rare stamp collection - premiered on Broadway in 2007 and drew some comparison to Mamet's work. So it'll be an interesting follow-up. Steve on Broadway called Mauritius "surprisingly thrilling and highly entertaining" in his review.
Christopher Durang's play premiered off-Broadway in 2009 at the Public Theater. It has an intriguing, convoluted plot about a woman who wakes up after a hangover and finds herself married to man who may be a terrorist. The New York Times review called Why Torture is Wrong a "hilarious and disturbing new comedy about all-American violence."
A Doll's House, a domestic drama written in the 19th century by Norwegian Henrik Ibsen, is considered a seminal work because of its focus on the lives of the middle class and on the position of women in society. The protagonist, Nora, is an intense, physically demanding role, one of the most challenging dramatic parts for an actress.
Paul, by British playwright Howard Brenton, is about St. Paul's conversion to Christianity. The play caused some controversy at London's National Theatre in 2005. But it also won praise as "a compelling study of faith and of the human need for stories that explain the world and inspire action." The Gamm production will be its North American premiere.