Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie has set the 2018 — 2019 seasons at both the Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatre. Together, the seasons feature new plays, classic works and the continuation of Block Party, which celebrates the rich array of theatre produced every year in Los Angeles.
“The eight shows scheduled in the 51st season at the Taper and the 15th season at the Douglas run the gamut from world premiere comedies to enduring classics,” said Ritchie. “And each offers us a unique view of humanity.”
“We have insightful works by two Pulitzer winners. Fresh off of its Broadway run, Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer-winning ‘Sweat’ explores how a failing factory can inflame racial tensions and turn a community against itself. And we are also happy to have a new play by Lynn’s fellow Pulitzer winner Tracy Letts. In ‘Linda Vista,’ Letts takes a sharp and witty look into the middle-aged male psyche and a man’s impact on the people around him.
“Eliza Clark’s ‘Quack,’ a biting comedy illuminating the addictive nature of fame and privilege, will have its world premiere at the Douglas. It is a work she developed through our L.A. Writers’ Workshop and it is particularly rewarding to see a play evolve from an idea to a fully realized production.
“Lucas Hnath is also bringing us a world premiere with his truly groundbreaking new theatrical piece, ‘From the Words and Writings of Dana H.’ It is an interview-based recount of a harrowing moment from his family’s history that we will all be talking about for a very long time.
“We will also get to see Tony-winning performer Ruben Santiago-Hudson delve into his own family history with his celebrated solo work, ‘Lackawanna Blues.’ The writer / director / performer brings the characters from his own unconventional upbringing to life in this deeply personal work.
“Legendary Chicano writer / director Luis Valdez follows up the hit revival of ‘Zoot Suit’ at the Taper with ‘Valley of the Heart,’ another play that uncovers a shameful chapter in U.S. history as only Luis can.
“Two-time Oscar-winning actress Dianne Wiest revives her acclaimed performance in Beckett’s classic ‘Happy Days,’ while Jocelyn Bioh’s “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play” takes a story we think we know and shows it to us in a very new way.
“In addition,” Ritchie said, “we have the continuation of one of my favorite traditions. Three of the remarkable works that are being produced throughout the year at local theatre companies will be remounted in the third annual Block Party.
“And finally, our subscribers will be offered two bonus options which will take them to other venues in Los Angeles – to REDCAT for the return of Gob Squad with ‘Creation (Pictures for Dorian)’ and to UCLA for Joan Didion’s ‘The White Album’ in a performance created by Lars Jan and Early Morning Opera.”
“Together we have 13 extraordinary opportunities to escape our familiar settings and peer into the lives of people in other times, places and circumstances. Led by talented theatre artists we are welcomed to consider what their stories can tell us about our own time and place, and about ourselves.”