ANNOUNCING THE 2017/18 LINEUP
“Unmissable” six-play season features regional and world premieres
Six-play packages start at $89
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS — March 17, 2017 — TheatreSquared (T2) Artistic Director Robert Ford and Executive Director Martin Miller today announced TheatreSquared Season 12, a year-long lineup of world and regional premieres and acclaimed new plays. Season packages are on sale today, with six-play packages starting at $89, by phone at (479) 571-2785 or online at theatre2.org/subscribe.
“Season 12 — unmissable,” said Ford. “That’s the best word we can use to describe it. We’ve secured the rights to both the 2015 Tony Award Winner for Best Musical and the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play, immediately after their Broadway runs. We’ll launch the world premiere of a gripping new play based on untold events in the life of Nina Simone. We’ll bring home an Arkansas playwright’s acclaimed new play—told partly in rap, with comic verve—of how his parents first met as refugees in south Arkansas. And we’ll reimagine two classics with abundant theatrical invention.”
The 2017/18 Season launches in August with the 2015 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical, Fun Home. When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison Bechdel dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing make-believe at the family business — the Bechdel Funeral Home. Fun Home is a refreshingly honest, cathartic, and wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes. Performances are August 23 – September 17, 2017.
Fun Home, with book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori, is one of the most critically acclaimed musicals in recent memory. T2’s production will be directed by associate artistic director Amy Herzberg and will feature Broadway veterans Rita Harvey and Rob Sutton (Next to Normal) as well as Fayetteville native Halley Mayo (Sundown Town).
In October, TheatreSquared will stage the world premiere of The Champion, by Amy Evans, inspired by untold, true events in the life of R&B legend Nina Simone. It’s 1962 and Nina and her band are holed up from a snowstorm in a greasy spoon somewhere in North Carolina. As tempers flare and secrets surface, it seems the waitress at this small-town diner may soon be the only witness to the end of a musical era. Suddenly, the door swings open, and the famous outsiders discover they’re truly in unfriendly territory. This sharply drawn, exciting new play portrays a cultural icon and the turbulent era when she rose to fame. Reginald Douglas, artistic producer of City Theatre, returns to direct The Champion after developing it at T2’s 2016 Arkansas New Play Festival. The production will feature Joy Jones as Nina Simone. Performances are October 11 – November 5, 2017.
For the holiday season, TheatreSquared will offer an inventive twist on Frank Capra’s classic film with It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, by Joe Landry, bringing the classic story to life on stage before the audience’s eyes and ears. It’s Christmas Eve, 1946, and five actors have gathered in WFMK Studio A for a live radio broadcast, ready to take on dozens of characters and recreate Bedford Falls with live foley sound effects as George Bailey, standing on the brink of despair, famously learns that "no man is a failure who has friends.” Performances are November 29 – December 31, 2017.
In the new year, T2 will transition from George Bailey’s family home in Bedford Falls to a considerably less functional family sharing Thanksgiving in a ramshackle pre-war basement apartment in New York City’s Chinatown. The Humans, by Stephen Karam, is the most acclaimed and awarded American play in recent memory, and winner of the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play. As darkness falls, a Pennsylvania family’s holiday dinner transitions to drinks and perhaps a bit too much honesty. As mysterious things start to go bump in the night, family tensions reach a boiling point. This existential, funny, scathing, and smartly written new comic drama was named “best play of the year” by the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, NPR, Forbes, Time Out, Newsday, New York Magazine, and others. Performances are January 24 – February 18, 2018.
In March, TheatreSquared will stage Vietgone, by Arkansas native Qui Nguyen. A modern twist on the All-American love story, this recent off-Broadway hit pulses with contemporary energy. It’s the classic boy meets girl—except this boy and girl are refugees from the Vietnam War newly settled in a relocation camp in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas. Vietgone ranges from hilarity to heart-wrenching drama, skipping through time and around the globe, using pop culture and the pacing of an action movie to reimagine the playwright’s own parents’ meeting. Fresh from its acclaimed 2017 New York debut, Vietgone presents a fresh theatrical take on one Arkansas family’s unique history. T2 artist in residence Kholoud Sawaf, who served as assistant director for the production at Manhattan Theatre Club and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, will direct. Performances are March 14 – April 8, 2018.
In the final production of Season 12, T2 will offer The Hound of the Baskervilles, as freely adapted by Steven Canny and John Nicholson and directed by Mark Shanahan (Peter and the Starcatcher, Around the World in 80 Days). Packed with verbal and visual ingenuity, this sublimely funny reimagining of the most celebrated Sherlock Holmes mystery is a hyper-theatrical tour de force. Sir Charles Baskerville has been found dead on the moors with a look of terror still etched on his face, and the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes is summoned from Baker Street to unravel the mysteries surrounding his death and investigate an ancient curse. A hit in London’s West End called “gut-bustingly funny” by The Times, this clever adaptation brings the silly-yet-dignified tone of British sketch comedy to a classic Holmesian whodunnit. Performances are April 25 – May 20, 2018.
Subscribers may also add discounted passes to TheatreSquared’s 2018 Arkansas New Play Festival, the state's flagship celebration of bold new plays, in June 2018. The festival will feature two weekends of performances at TheatreSquared and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, paired with local craft beers and a host of exclusive behind-the-scenes events from June 8-17, 2018.
Subscription packages for TheatreSquared's 2017/18 Season are on sale now; single tickets will go on sale in summer 2016. Subscription options include six-play packages starting at $89, five-play packages starting at $79, and four-play packages starting at $67. Series options include Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30pm, as well as Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Limited tickets are also available to T2’s Opening Night Series on the first Friday of each production, which includes a catered reception and a champagne toast, as well as the Preview Saver Series on the first Wednesday and Thursday of each production. Add-on options available for T2 subscribers include discounted reserved parking at the Deck at the Dickson ($3.75/show) and Kids’ Club passes, allowing children (5+) to enjoy theatre classes at Nadine Baum Studios while their parents enjoy the show ($15 per child per performance).
T2 subscriptions include membership in the National Stages, offering subscriber ticket pricing at 20 theatres ranging from the Public in New York, to the Rep in Little Rock, to Steppenwolf in Chicago (see the full list at nationalstages.org). Benefits for season ticket holders also include savings of up to 20%, prime seating reserved before single tickets go on sale, free unlimited exchanges, and same-day discounts at T2 Partners. Partners include Arsaga's at the Depot, offering 20% off entrees; Bordinos, offering a $20 three-course meal with wine pairing; Fresco Restaurant, with a 20% discount; Greenhouse Grille, offering 25% off; and Cork and Keg, offering 20% off beverages. Subscribers also receive special rates at the Chancellor Hotel.
Subscriptions are on sale now at the Walton Arts Center Box Office, and can be reserved by calling (479) 571-2785 or by visiting theatre2.org/subscribe.
The theatre will also tour more than 70 Arkansas schools in the 2017/18 Season with the improbable and irreverent original comedy, The Math Show. Arkansas teachers who are interested to have this free performance visit their junior high or high school should contact Morgan Hicks, director of education and program development, at (479) 445-6333.
TheatreSquared is Northwest Arkansas’ professional regional theatre, offering an intimate live theatre experience for 40,000 patrons each year in its 175-seat space and in schools throughout the state. TheatreSquared was recognized by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards, as one of the nation’s ten most promising emerging theatres. TheatreSquared has experienced remarkable growth in recent seasons, expanding its audience tenfold in the past five years. The theatre is currently in the final design phase for a new 50,000 square-foot facility to be completed in 2019. For further information or press tickets, contact TheatreSquared at (479) 445-6333 or visit theatre2.org.