The Twenty-eighth Season is a Delightful Mix
by Jim Reyland
There’s an old saying in the theatre business: “Thou shalt never be boring.” Tennessee Rep’s twenty-eighth season promises to be anything but, kicking off with one of the most anticipated new plays of the year.
Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris, September 8–22, 2012. “A buzz-saw-sharp comedy.” Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Riffing on the flip side of the story that Lorraine Hansberry told in A Raisin in the Sun, a white neighborhood in 1959 Chicago grapples with the news that a black family is about to move in.
I asked Gary Hoff, Tennessee Rep’s super set designer, to talk about what’s in store for the upcoming season: “Clybourne Park offers unique challenges like quickly, easily, and efficiently aging the set fifty years during intermission. A lot of the things they tell you in the script really aren’t possible on the stage. It’s going to be tricky.”
As we move into Tennessee Rep’s 2012–13 season, I am excited about continuing to fuel the passion Nashville has for theatre. There is truly something for everyone, and every show has its own set of artistic challenges that will highlight the talent we are lucky to have here in Middle Tennessee.
– René D. Copeland, Tennessee Rep Producing Artistic Director
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the classic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson, October 13 – November 3, 2012. Sex, drugs, violence . . . As Jekyll himself falls prey to Hyde’s control, the audience is taken along for the moral questions that arise as sympathy for Hyde and contempt for Dr. Jekyll challenge the traditional roles of good and evil.
Gary Hoff on Jekyll and Hyde: “My goal is to create a metaphor for what’s going on but in no way to create a realistic set. It’s got to be Victorian London . . . but with more of a theatrical take.”
A New Holiday Tradition – A Christmas Story by Phillip Grecian, based on the motion picture by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, and Bob Clark, December 1–22, 2012. Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the Midwest in the 1940s follows nine-year-old Ralphie Parker in his unflappable campaign to get Santa (or anyone else) to give him a “legendary official Red Ryder 200 shot carbine action range-model air rifle.” Ralphie pleads his case before his mother, his teacher, and even Santa Claus himself at Goldblatt’s Department Store. The consistent response: “You’ll shoot your eye out.”
Cabaret, book and lyrics by Joe Masteroff and Fred Ebb, music by John Kander. February 16 – March 9, 2013. Willkommen to the Kit Kat Club. Take your seat at a bar table, order a little something from your fetching cocktail waitress, and immerse yourself in the musical theatre event of a lifetime. You’re not just at the show, you’re in the show as Tennessee Rep transforms Johnson Theater into 1930s Berlin. Inside the cabaret, Sally Bowles and the beguiling Emcee live in a seedy, sexy world of delicious decadence while outside, the gathering storm of Nazi oppression grows.
Gary Hoff won’t be singing and dancing, just designing an amazing set. “Doing Cabaret in Johnson Theater is a designer’s dream. I cannot wait to turn the space into the seedy, sexy atmosphere of the Kit Kat Club!”
Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies, April 20 – May 4, 2013. An adventurous couple, Sarah and James—a photographer and a journalist—share a passion for reporting from the world’s deadliest war zone and documenting the realities of war. That is, until Sarah is seriously wounded. Her recovery thrusts her into the safe, comfortable world of New York colleagues and couples, a world that could prove more dangerous than a battlefield.
Tennessee Repertory Theatre season subscriptions are available by calling 615-782-6560 or by visiting tennesseerep.org.