History Theatre’s 2019-20 season is highlighted by three remarkable women and one suspicious rock.
The first woman is Gloria Steinem, the title character in “Gloria! A Life,” the Emily Mann play that kicks off the season in September. Its just-closed off-Broadway premiere featured an all-female cast, portraying the men and women in Steinem’s storied life.
History Theatre stays closer to home with “Beyond the Rainbow: Garland at Carnegie Hall,” the theater’s third staging of the musical tribute to Grand Rapids native Judy Garland. Jody Briskey returns as the “Wizard of Oz” star.
“Superman Becoming Lois Lane” is the story of trailblazing Susan Kimberly. Prior to her gender transition, she had been president of St. Paul’s city council and she went on to become the nation’s first female, transgender deputy mayor. Now, Kimberly has transitioned to playwriting with a comedy that will be directed by trans theater artist Jay Owen Eisenberg.
Two plays will be paired to tell the story of the discriminatory housing project known as redlining. “Not in Our Neighborhood” is based on a shocking tale of bigotry in Minneapolis in the 1920s and “Not for Sale” reveals that the practice remained common in the 1950s.
The season concludes with “Runestone! A Rock Musical” and yes, that’s a pun. Directed by Tyler Michaels King, “Runestone” is a comic look at the Kensington Runestone, supposedly a Viking relic that has its own museum in Alexandria, Minn.
The theater will also host its annual festival of new works (at which three of this season’s works originated) in January 2020. Subscriptions go on sale Saturday, May 4 at 651-292-4323 or historytheatre.com.