Though Ann Arbor's professional theatre is still in the thick of its record-breaking 30th anniversary season, Performance Network has lined up seven exceptional plays and musicals for its 31st, to begin in the fall. Consisting of the most celebrated plays and playwrights in American theatre, the anticipated season runs from September 27, 2012 to September 8, 2013. Featuring works by three Pulitzer Prize-winning authors and shows that have received Tony, Grammy, Olivier, and Drama Desk awards, it is a highly decorated and diverse season, with plays ranging from a world premiere comedy about a washed up songwriter, to a classic and heart-wrenching drama by the great American author, Tennessee Williams.
"While our 30th anniversary season definitely set the bar high in terms of the quality of the shows that we've selected, I think the 31st season will provide some stiff competition. It's the perfect time to produce some scripts that I've been in love with for several years, and I'm also really excited about the different voices that we've pulled together to make a strong, wide-ranging season."
Since moving to its downtown home twelve years ago, Performance Network has dedicated itself to quality, diversity, and uncompromising artistic leadership, all of which are front and center for their 31st season. In addition to the high-pedigree of scripts that will be produced, audiences will once again see the region's top talent on stage, including PNT Associate Artists Naz Edwards, John Seibert, and Scott Crownover, who will be featured in the season's centerpiece, "A Little Night Music," and Associate Artist Phil Powers, who will be featured in the World Premiere comedy, "Brill."
PERFORMANCE NETWORK'S 2012-2013 SEASON:
"The Glass Menagerie," by Tennessee Williams
WILLIAMS' GREAT AMERICAN MASTERPIECE!
September 27, 2012 through October 28, 2012
Faded Southern Belle Amanda Wigfield will stop at nothing to find a husband for her painfully shy daughter, Laura, still living at home with her brother, Tom, a would-be writer working in a shoe factory. When Amanda enlists Tom's help in bringing home a "gentleman caller" from the factory, the family's dreams hang in the balance as they struggle to escape the hopelessness of their world. Set in 1937 St. Louis, this wistfully poetic memory play is regarded by many as Williams' most personal story, and his greatest masterpiece. Directed by Tim Rhoze ("Ain't Misbehavin'," "The Piano Lesson"), and starring Carla Milarch ("Dirty Blonde," "A Doll's House") as Amanda.
"The Glass Menagerie" was the first successful play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Tennessee Williams, whose other works include "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." "The Glass Menagerie" premiered in Chicago in 1944 before moving to New York, where it received a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. The play was based up Willliams' short story, "Portrait of a Girl in Glass" and was later adapted by the playwright into a 1950 film featuring Kirk Douglas.
"A Little Night Music," with Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and Book by Hugh Wheeler
SIX TIME TONY WINNING ROMANTIC MUSICAL!
November 15, 2012 through December 30, 2012
Sondheim's rollicking tour-de-force of love, lies, and liaisons is the winner of six Tony awards and a Grammy, featuring an amazing musical score, including "The Glamorous Life" and "Send in the Clowns." Desiree Armfeldt is an enchanting Swedish actress. While on tour in a country town, she runs into former lover Fredrik, who has brought his young wife to the theatre. Reminiscing in Desiree's dressing room, their passion rekindles. The two seek to continue their affair at a gathering for several guests at Fredrik's country home, setting in motion a hilarious and flirtatious weekend for all. Directed by Phil Simmons, and starring Naz Edwards ("The Drowsy Chaperone," "Woman Before a Glass"), John Seibert ("The Baker's Wife," "Christmas Carol'd"), Scott Crownover ("The Drowsy Chaperone," "The Fantasticks"), Eva Rosenwald ("The Drowsy Chaperone"), and Leslie Hull ("In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play").