Contemporary plays mix with Shakespeare and Chekhov in 51st season at the Guthrie Theater.
The Guthrie Theater unveiled a 51st season with more than a dozen plays on its two main stages and a partial list of offerings in its studio theater.
Announced Monday, the 2013-14 lineup includes contemporary hits by playwrights Christopher Durang, Katori Hall and Nina Raine as well as some classics.
Tony nominee Marion McClinton will make his mainstage directing debut, and notable female directors Marcela Lorca and Wendy Goldberg will make return appearances. The season also marks the return of director Max Stafford-Clark, whose 2005 promenade-style “Macbeth” at the Guthrie Lab ranks as one of the most searing Twin Cities productions in the past 15 years.
“We found a good balance between classical and contemporary plays, between different genres and styles,” said Guthrie director Dowling. “I’m happy that we’re able to mount such a good season, given the constraints of finances and schedules.”
Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” which opened on Broadway last month with stars Sigourney Weaver and David Hyde Pierce, is among the hottest of the new plays. This send-up of Anton Chekhov will close the season, in a staging by Joel Sass (July 19-Aug. 31, 2014). Dowling’s revival of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,” in a version by Brian Friel, opens the season (Sept. 14-Oct. 27).
Goldberg will direct “Tribes,” Raine’s Drama Desk-winning play about a young, deaf Jewish man who falls for a woman who is losing her hearing (Oct. 5-Nov. 10).
Lorca, whose credits include a landmark production of “Caroline, or Change” and Seamus Heaney’s “The Burial at Thebes,” will do her first high-profile comedy: Beth Henley’s 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Crimes of the Heart” (May 3-June 15, 2014).
Hall’s “The Mountaintop,” a fictional piece about Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night before his assassination, will be directed by Lou Bellamy as the fifth Penumbra Theatre production presented at the Guthrie under Dowling (March 22-April 19, 2014).
Dowling will stage David Goldstein’s “Skiing on Broken Glass,” about a writer and his young lover, in the theater’s studio space (Oct. 29–Nov. 17). Stafford-Clark will direct Timberlake Wertenbaker’s “Our Country’s Good,” a play based on Thomas Keneally’s “The Playmaker” (May 22-June 29, 2014). It is one of two WorldStage shows. The other, by Kneehigh Theatre, is Emma Rice’s adaptation and staging of “Tristan and Yseult” (Feb. 13-March 23, 2014).
Dowling will direct the Guthrie’s big summer musical, “My Fair Lady.” The popular Lerner and Loewe show is based on George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion.” (June 28-Aug. 31, 2014). John Miller-Stephany will stage Garson Kanin’s 1946 play, “Born Yesterday” (Nov. 23-Jan. 5, 2014).
McClinton, who has distinguished himself with a slew of excellent recent shows that include “Buzzer” and “Jackie and Me,” will direct “Othello, the Moor of Venice” (March 8-April 20, 2014). “Othello” is one of three Shakespeare-related shows. A production of “Hamlet,” directed by Ian Belknap, will alternate performances with Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead,” which will be directed by John Rando in a Guthrie co-production with the Acting Company (April 22-May 4, 2014).
Joe Chvala will return to direct the Guthrie’s annual holiday show, “A Christmas Carol” (Nov. 14-Dec. 29).
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