Theater Notebook: Cygnet Theatre’s 19th season to include three women playwrights and two world premieres
Artistic director Sean Murray will take over the lead role in ‘A Christmas Carol’ after the retirement of Cygnet’s longtime Scrooge star Tom Stephenson
San Diego’s Cygnet Theatre announced its 19th season on Monday, a six-show lineup that will include three women playwrights, two world premieres and three classics.
The season will begin in September and continues through August 2023. The lineup includes a sexy comedy-drama, a hurricane-themed play about Latinas, a Noël Coward farce, the musical “Evita” and the eighth annual production of “A Christmas Carol,” this time starring Cygnet artistic director Sean Murray.
“Finally returning to live theatre, where we can all collectively gather to experience joy, curiosity and exploration, has been reinvigorating,” Murray said in a statement. “Our programming for Season 19 continues Cygnet’s tradition of providing a wide menu of adventurous and thought-provoking shows that both entertain and encourage new perspectives. The season is designed to do what theatre does best, inspire reflection, stir debate and move the soul.”
Current subscribers will be notified by mail for renewals. New subscription sales will begin in late June. For details, calls (6190 337-1525 or visit cygnettheatre.com.
Here’s the new season lineup:
“The Little Fellow (Or — The Queen of Tarts Tells All)”: Kate Hamill — whose clever stage adaptations of Jane Austen novels have made her one of the most-produced new playwrights in America — will co-star with her real-life husband, actor Jason O’Connell, in the world premiere of her new play. It’s a risqué comedy drama based on the memoirs of real-life 19th-century British courtesan Harriette Wilson. Hamill will play Wilson as she’s preparing to write her tell-all autobiography. Cygnet associate artistic director Rob Lutfy will direct. Sept. 28 through Oct. 23.
“A Christmas Carol”: Artistic director Sean Murray and composer Billy Thompson’s stage adaptation of the Charles Dickens holiday novella returns for its eighth season. Murray will step into the shoes of misery Ebenezer Scrooge, following the retirement of the company’s longtime Scrooge, Tom Stephenson, last winter. Nov. 22 through Dec. 24.
“El Huracán”: Cygnet presents the second-ever production of this play about three generations of Latina women facing an epic hurricane that threatens their family home in Miami. Written by Charise Castro Smith — co-director and co-screenwriter of Disney’s smash animated film “Encanto” — the play made its world premiere at Yale Repertory Theatre in 2018. It will be directed by TuYo Theatre co-founder Daniel Jáquez, who directed “The Winter’s Tale” for the Old Globe’s Globe for All production in 2019. Jan. 25 through Feb. 19.
“Present Laughter”: Cygnet’s Murray will star in this 1939 Noël Coward farce as Garry Essendine, a popular famous British stage actor too popular for his own good. Essendine, modeled after Coward himself, is struggling to go on tour and avoid a nervous breakdown while he struggles to avoid a lovesick woman, unhinged playwright, a friend’s seductress wife and more. The play will be directed by Rosina Reynolds, a specialist in the works of English playwrights and farce. March 29 through April 30.
“Sharon”: This mystery absurdist comedy by UC San Diego MFA playwriting student Keiko Green will make its world premiere in a production directed by Rob Lutfy. Sharon and Jakey are a loving mother and son running a crumbling apartment building in Everett, Wash., where the tenants keep disappearing. Green co-starred in Lauren Yee’s “The Great Leap” at Cygnet in 2020. June 7 through July 2, 2023.
“Evita”: This Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical, winner of seven Tony Awards in 1980, is the story of Argentinian first lady Eva Peron and her rise from poverty to power to near-sainthood after her untimely death at age 33. Murray will direct the production, with choreography by Carlos Mendoza. Aug. 9 through Sept. 17, 2023.
Kragen writes about theater for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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