Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Actors Repertory Theatre 2008-09 season

Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
Aug. 22-Sept. 6

John Patrick Shanley, Doubt
Sept. 19-Oct. 4

Alan Ayckbourn, Relatively Speaking
Dec. 5-20

Patrick Page, Swansong
Jan. 9-24, 2009

Robert Harling, Steel Magnolias
April 3-19, 2009

Five more acting roles in next year's season (26 parts in all) than this year; lots of opportunity for actresses in particular. Michael Weaver plans to hold auditions for ARt locally and in Seattle; perhaps in Portland as well.
Ticket price to be simplified for next season (with shows again at SFCC's Spartan Theatre): all seats $20 ($18 for seniors); $75-$85 for season tickets.
*Swansong* is basically a two-man show with Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare, with Jonson reflecting back on his career and Will's; there's a third, small part of the "editor" of the First Folio.
In a fortuitous turn, the playwright -- strongly recommended by the A.D. at Seattle Shakespeare Co., where *Swansong* has played, along with three Wash., D.C., theaters; this will only be the fifth or sixth production anywhere -- turns out to have been born in Spokane -- and is a Whitman graduate. Page has a long list of credits: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Theater at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Broadway, Radio City Music Hall, the San Diego production of "Dancing in the Dark," etc.

ARt also plans to hold five "Inside the Actors Studio"-style conversations at the Bing or Fox, with tix in the $30 range and well-known actors being interviewed by Weaver or Patty Duke.

June 7 will bring an ARt fund-raiser at the Fox, with a bachelor auction (!) and silent auction.

Managing Director Raymond Ochs announced that ARt will soon have a downtown office with somebody to answer the phones more promptly -- and even announced a kind of three-year plan for the organization:
1st year: Build up the administration, put org. on a solid financial footing and improve customer service.
(Ochs says that ARt cannot remain static, at the level it's at now; it has to grow, or the org. may not be able to survive.)
2nd year: Grow the artistic side: production asst. for every show, perhaps an associate artistic director, and possible co-productions (to share costs and extend runs) with regional theaters, perhaps including one in Seattle or in Montana
3rd year: Ochs says that by that point, Actors Rep "must be poised for whatever opportunities may come our way," encouraging Bobo to "read between the lines" and making no secret of the fact that ARt wants a downtown theater -- to expand its own offerings and to remove a burden from SFCC. (As gracious as Bill Marlowe has been, everyone knows that ARt cannot squeeze the SFCC theater program forever; there are constraints on both sides.)

Weaver had an interesting response to my "graying of the theater audience" question: It's been that way for the past 50 years, he says. Theater in America isn't the same as in Europe. There, people grow up going to the theater -- sort of like going to the movies here. But in the States, people sort of tend to discover the theater in their 40s. So, yes, theater audiences can seem elderly, but they're also getting replenished at the middle-aged end of the spectrum. The challenge, says Weaver, is for theater to build on top of that by finding ways to attract people in their 20s and 30s.

1 comment:

  1. Patty Duke would be wonderful as the head Nun in the play DOUBT.