Performance Network Theatre Announces 2012 - 2013 Season
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by BWW News Desk
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
"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
This classic musical, which was inspired by the Ingmar Bergman film, "Smiles of a Summer Night," opened on Broadway in 1973. The production was the recipient of six Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Book of a Musical. Stephen Sondheim, who is regarded as one of the greatest composers of the 20th Century, holds eight Tony Awards, as well as Grammys, an Oscar, a Pulitzer Prize, and a Laurence Olivier Award. He has scored other Broadway favorites including "Sweeney Todd," "Into the Woods" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum."
"Brill," by David Wells, music by Frank Allison
"Brill" was first workshopped during Performance Network's 2012 winter Fireside Festival of New Works where it received raves from audience members. The workshop featured Mr. Powers and Ms. Leahy, who will be returning for the full production. Playwright David Wells is a member of the Writers' Guild and has been produced in Los Angeles and San Diego. This is his first production at Performance Network. The original music featured in the show was scored by Frank Allison, of "Frank Allison and the Odd Sox," a Michigan-based band.
"Good People," by David Lindsay-Abaire
"Good People" was first produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club in February of 2011 and went on to earn a Tony nomination for Best Play, and win the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play of the 2010-2011 season. The leading role of Margie was played by Frances McDormand, who received four major awards for her performance, including the Tony. Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for his drama, "Rabbit Hole."
"The Mountaintop," by Katori Hall
"The Mountaintop" premiered in 2009 at London's Theatre 503, before transferring to the West End where it won the Olivier Award for Best New Play. The play premiered on Broadway in September 2011, and starred Angela Bassett and Samuel L. Jackson, in his Broadway debut. Katori Hall graduated from theatre and creative writing programs at Columbia University, Harvard University, and Julliard. She has received the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, two Lecompte du Nouy Prizes from Lincoln Center, and an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award.
"Becky Shaw," by Gina Gionfriddo
The life of "Becky Shaw" began in 2008 at Louisville's Humana Festival, after which it moved to the Second Stage Theatre in New York, where it was extended due to popularity. The play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in drama. Gina Gionfriddo studied playwrighting at Brown University and has received an Obie Award and a Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She also writes for television.
"My Name is Asher Lev," by Aaron Posner, adapted from the novel by Chaim Potok
Chaim Potok, author of the novel upon which the play was based, was a New York Times Best Selling author and a Rabbi. His other books include "The Chosen" as well as "The Gift of Asher Lev," a follow up novel. Aaron Posner's adaptation premiered in Philadelphia in 2009.
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND TICKETS:
Performance Network also offers discounted Flex Tickets, available in packages of six or ten.
Season Subscriptions and Flex Packages are available online at www.performancenetwork.org, where order forms can be downloaded, or by calling 734-663-0681 during box office hours, 10am-6pm, Monday through Thursday.
Single tickets for all seven shows in the season will be available August 1, 2012 for the general public. Tickets will be available online, over the phone or in person at 120 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor.
Performance Network members may purchase single tickets beginning July 15, two weeks in advance of the single ticket release date.
Founded in 1981, Performance Network Theatre has grown from a fledgling company to Ann Arbor's only resident, professional theatre. The Network reaches 40,000 theatre patrons and children each year through the year-round Professional Series and the Children's Theatre Network. Performance Network also presents the Fireside Festival of New Works and a series of classes on theatre-related topics. The Network provides uncompromising artistic leadership in the region and produces works that engage, challenge and inspire audiences and artists.