The return of Joy Zinoman directing a production of the Broadway hit 4,000 Miles will highlight a monster 12-production 2012-2013 season for Studio Theatre, the company announced this weekend.
4,000 Miles, Amy Herzog’s story of a rootless young man who crashes with his 91-year-old grandmother in Greenwich Village after a cross-country bike journey, will star Tana Hicken as the feisty grandma, a vigorous participant in leftist causes during her long life. The play, which Richard Seff praised here in its New York incarnation, will begin March 27, 2013.
The mainstage subscription season will also feature a second Broadway hit, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Motherfucker with the Hat, beginning January 13, 2013. Guirgis, who wrote the well-received Last Days of Judas Iscariot, here tells the story of a man, on parole and resolvedly sober, who is profoundly in love with a coke-addled woman and who is tormented when he notices a man’s hat in her living room. Serge Seiden directs. Seff also liked this show, which he reviewed in New York here.
The season will kick off with Oren Jacoby’s adaptation of the Ralph Ellison novel, “The Invisible Man.” The adaptation, which Classical Theatre of Harlem co-founder Christopher McElreon will direct, features Teague F. Bougere as an African-American in the immediate postwar period who travels through race-torn and class-divided America; his journey culminates in a Harlem race riot. The Invisible Man, which Studio is co-producing with Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company, begins on September 5, 2012.
Studio offers a significant change of pace with its next mainstage production, Annie Baker’s (Circle Mirror Transformation) The Aliens. This play, about the interaction between two überslackers and a nervous high schooler, doesn’t have much action but “The scenes…move at the loping pace of real life, not the choppy, artificial speed we’re used to seeing presented as entertainment. But the work of an intelligent artist is revealed in her writing’s seemingly unstudied but artful structure. Each detail is telling, even if the significance of a casual remark may not be clear until much later in the play. Ms. Baker’s humor is warm and offbeat, arising from an affection for and an understanding of her characters’ idiosyncrasies,”according to The New York Times’ Charles Isherwood. The Aliens, Lila Neugebauer directing, begins on November 14 of this year.
Studio closes its subscription series with a production of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing, in which a well-established playwright, having written a Noël Cowardesque play about relationships, discovers when he produces the play that real relationships are much more sticky and less funny. Studio Artistic Director David Muse directs this play, which will begin its run on May 22 of next year.
Muse will also direct the world premiere of Bryony Lavery’s (Frozen) Dirt, which explores a romantic triangle between a dying woman, a waitress, and the man who sleeps with each of them. The Theatre Lab production, which begins on October 17, 2012, will feature Holly Twyford.
Twyford, the multiple Helen Hayes Award laureate, will also be featured in the Studio 2nd-Stage production of Mike Bartlett’s Contractions, a black comedy about an office where even affairs are covered by the employment contract. Duncan Macmillan, the playwright who authored Lungs, will direct this production. It begins on January 2, 2013.
Studio 2nd-Stage will also feature two plays in rep from non-American artists. Skin Tight, from New Zealand’s Gary Henderson, tells the story of a man and a woman in a deep tempestuous relationship largely through physical gesture. It can probably be best represented by this YouTube Video. Johanna Gruenhut (The Big Meal) will direct. Canada’s Daniel MacIvor (You Are Here) presents a brisk comic history of the relationship from pickup to breakup – or bliss – in 2-2 Tango, which Eric Ruffin will direct. The tandem productions will begin their run on April 24 of next year.
Studio will feature the Iliad and the Odyssey in two special events this coming season. An Iliad is Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare’s adaptation of Homer’s Iliad. Muse will direct this production, which will begin on December 19 of this year. DCTS’ Richard Seff said “I was enthralled by the telling of the tale,” which he saw in New York. Muse will direct.
The Puppets are back in the apocalyptic Baby Universe: A Puppet Odyssey, a story of how Earth’s last inhabitants seek to save themselves from our ruined planet through the creation of a new universe. The play, which features a robot Stephen Hawking, will be presented by Wakka Wakka Productions and Norland Visual Theatre. It will begin on June 26, 2013 under the direction of Kirjan Waage and Gwendolyn Warnock.
Studio shoots off the last skyrocket of its 2012-2013 season on July 10,2013 when it produces Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Studio 2nd Stage. This musical, which features the seduction of the straight-laced Brad and Janet by the pansexual Dr. Frank N. Furter, will be under the direction of Keith Alan Baker and Alan Paul.
Subscriptions are available here. Studio Theatre is located at 1501 14th St. NW, Washington, DC.