Theater is getting bigger and better in the ‘Burg as evidenced by the coming 2014-15 season. There’s nothing quite like the live experience of watching a story unfold, characters coming to life, along with a surprise or two. Here’s just a taste of what’s in store.
Gamut Theatre Group
In what it hopes will be its final full season inside Strawberry Square before it moves into a renovated church on N. 4th Street, the players at Gamut Theatre Group will be offering an exciting mix of classic productions that will delight audiences…and challenge its actors.
“It’s going to be a season that’s going to rely heavily on the range of our actors,” says J. Clark Nicholson, Gamut’s artistic director and co-founder. “It’s a fun and exciting challenge.”
A good example is Gamut’s production of Oscar Wilde’s “An Ideal Husband,” first up for the mainstage season in November. Four actors will play 13 different roles—and one role will be played by those four different actors.
Another example of actors taking on multiple characters is “Women Playing Hamlet,” an original production that will be staged in March. Gamut was chosen as one of three theaters to produce this play by William Missouri Downs as part of the National New Plays Network’s “Rolling World Premiere.” Patrick Flick, executive director of the Shakespeare Theater Association, is slated to guest-direct four local female actors playing 20 different characters.
But you don’t need to wait until November to see a Gamut show. The Stage Door Series, an extended arm of Gamut, will present “The Girlhood of Shakespeare’s Heroines” by Don Nigro in September. Looking ahead, Gamut will mount “Troilus and Cressida” for its 22nd Annual Free Shakespeare in the Park next year. And, all year long, don’t forget about Popcorn Hat for the kids.
Log onto www.gamutplays.org or phone 717-238-4111 for details and reservation information.
Open Stage of Harrisburg
Familiar titles, tradition and family dreams are the mantras this season at Open Stage of Harrisburg. The iconic “Driving Miss Daisy,” which has succeeded both on screen and on stage, will springboard the theater’s 2014-15 season of shows in October. “Bill W. and Dr. Bob” will follow in November, a story of two men who pioneered Alcoholics Anonymous and their wives who founded Al Anon.
For the holiday season, Open Stage has heeded audiences’ demands as Stuart Landon, the theater’s marketing and sales operations manager, dons his knickers once again to portray Crumpet in David Sedaris’ “The Santaland Diaries.”
“After a one year hiatus, and many patrons asking if Crumpet was coming back, I think the time is right to bring back this hilarious show,” Landon says. “Get ready to laugh!”
Also for the holiday season, there will be a special, one-night-only reading on Dec. 7 of the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol.”
Rounding out the Open Stage season will be Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin In The Sun,” a play about a family’s hopes for the future, which will be staged in February, followed by Lanford Wilson’s “Talley’s Folly” in April.
Log onto www.openstagehbg.com or phone 717-232-OPEN for details and reservation information.
2014-15 marks Theatre Harrisburg’s 89th season, which will expand its repertoire from five to six shows: four presented Uptown at the Jay and Nancy Krevsky Production Center on Hurlock and two staged downtown at Whitaker Center’s Sunoco Performance Theater.
Intimacy is what the Production Center space affords both the actors and audience. Case in point will be the theater’s presentation of its September opener “The Philadelphia Story,” a play that later became a film classic. Another example is the two-person musical in January and February of “I Do! I Do!” about a 50-year marriage written by the same team who created “The Fantasticks.” Another play about another marriage is Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”—considered one of America’s finest plays and one given screen time starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
“Through the use of a flexible seating arrangement, the audience will feel as though they are actually in the room with George and Martha, which should make for a very intense, provocative evening of theater,” says Samuel Kuba, executive director.
Rounding out the Production Center’s shows in June is another two-person tour de force comedy, “Greater Tuna.”
Theatre Harrisburg moves to downtown’s Whitaker Center in November with the holiday favorite “A Christmas Story,” complete with Red Ryder BB gun and leg lamp, and, in May, with the creepy and kooky and spooky musical, “The Addams Family.”
Log onto www.theatreharrisburg.com or phone 717-232-5501 for details and reservation information.