The Jungle Theater’s new artistic director, Sarah Rasmussen, has announced her first season at the south Minneapolis playhouse. Five shows begin in February with two premieres, including a play developed at the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, and an all-woman Shakespeare work.
Rasmussen will direct “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” (Feb. 12-March 27). Using a single-gender cast is well known in Shakespeare, although casting all women is less common. (Locally, Ten Thousand Things and Theatre Unbound have done so.) Rasmussen’s cast includes Shá Cage, Maggie Chestovich, Christiana Clark, George Keller, Barbara Kingsley, Wendy Lehr and Mo Perry.
Gary Gisselman, one of Rasmussen’s mentors from St. Olaf College, will direct the regional premiere of “Constellations” by British playwright Nick Payne (April 15-May 29). It’s a romantic two-hander that dabbles in questions of choice and destiny. Casting wasn’t announced.
“Le Switch” will have its world premiere June 17-July 31. Philip Dawkins developed this work at the Playwrights’ Center’s PlayLabs in 2014. Jeremy Cohen, producing artistic director at the Playwrights’ Center, will direct the story of a commitment-averse gay man in an age of marriage equality.
Prominent Twin Cities director Marion McClinton will stage the regional premiere of “Bars and Measures” by Idris Goodwin (Aug. 26-Oct. 9). Goodwin writes in many forms — spoken word, hip-hop, traditional plays — and here he explores two brothers who are studies in contrast in music (classical/ jazz), religion (Christian/Muslim) and social status (free/jailed). Ansa Akyea and Namir Smallwood are slated to perform.
The season concludes with Sarah Ruhl’s “The Oldest Boy” (Nov. 4-Dec. 18). Rasmussen will direct. She was also at the wheel when the Jungle staged Ruhl’s “In the Next Room” in 2012. Ruhl’s play centers on a mother whose son is thought to be the reincarnation of a Buddhist lama. The cast includes Christina Baldwin, who was in “In the Next Room,” and Masanari Kawahara, a puppeteer and performance artist who has worked at Heart of the Beast.
For more information, call 612-822-7063 or go to jungletheater.com.