Round House Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Ryan Rilette has unveiled the lineup of plays for the Bethesda company’s 2014/15 season. During the new season, Round House will produce a modern American classic, a new musical, two contemporary comedies, a potent new drama, and a compelling new version of a classic. One production is an American premiere and four productions are D.C. area premieres.
Round House Theatre offers 5 subscription series, all of which are available online or by calling the box office 240-644-1100
The 2014/2015 Round House Theatre Season
FOOL FOR LOVE
By Sam Shepard
Directed by Ryan Rilette
September 3 – 27, 2014
– From one of America’s most renowned playwrights comes this explosive tale of love, hate, and the dying myths of the Old West. May’s hiding out at a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert when Eddie, her longtime on-again/off-again lover, shows up. Dark secrets are revealed during a night of gripping jealousy, brutal betrayal, and the deepest kind of love. Producing Artistic Director Ryan Rilette directs this revival of one of the great American plays of the 20th century. “Shepard’s purest and most beautiful play.” — New York Daily News
FETCH CLAY, MAKE MAN
Co-production with Marin Theatre Company
By Will Power
Directed by Derrick Sanders
October 8 – November 2, 2014
– In the days before one of the most anticipated fights in boxing history, heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali forms an unlikely friendship with controversial Hollywood star Stepin Fetchit. This true story explores the improbable bond that forms between these drastically different, influential cultural icons – one a vibrant and audacious youth, the other a resentful, almost forgotten relic – as they fight to shape their legacies amidst the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Derrick Sanders (The Raisin Cycle at CenterStage) directs Will Power’s absorbing, poetic, and humorous exploration of the true meaning of strength, resilience, and pride. Delivers “a potent and satisfying wallop” – New York Daily News
Created by Tommy Rapley, Jake Minton, Phillip Klapperich, and Kevin O’Donnell
Book by Jake Minton and Phillip Klapperich
Music by Kevin O’Donnell, Lyrics by Jake Minton
Based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffman
Directed by Joe Calarco
November 26 – December 28, 2014
– This captivating new musical reinvents E.T.A. Hoffman’s original tale, turning it into a brand new seasonal classic. Weaving together spellbinding spectacle, riveting dialogue, astonishing puppetry, and a delightful original score, Clara’s crusade to save her family (with the assistance of a remarkable nutcracker) comes alive with dazzling theatricality. This contemporary retelling is a heartwarming, hilarious story of magic and hope that’s as poignant and touching as it is hilarious, tuneful, and fun. Joe Calarco (Signature’s Gypsy) directs the D.C. area premiere of a Chicago holiday favorite hailed as “moving, inclusive, and wholly original” by the Chicago Tribune.
RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN
By Gina Gionfriddo
Directed by Shirley Serotsky
January 28 – February 22, 2015
– In a comedy hailed by The New York Times as “intensely smart and immensely funny,” Gina Gionfriddo (Becky Shaw) takes a sharp, unflinching look at 21st century gender politics. After grad school, Catherine built a career as a rock-star academic while Gwen built a home with a husband and children. Decades later, unfulfilled in opposite ways, each woman covets the other’s life, and a dangerous game begins as each tries to claim the other’s territory. With searing insight and trademark wit, this 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist, directed by Shirley Serotsky (Associate Artistic Director of Theater J), looks at family, career, romance, middle-aged meltdowns, and the decisions that define a life.
By Anton Chekhov, new version by Annie Baker
Directed by John Vreeke
April 8 – May 3, 2015
– This new version of Chekhov’s classic by Annie Baker (Circle Mirror Transformation, The Aliens) is a revelation, bringing modern language to this timeless story of relationships and yearning. Written to create “a version that sounds to our contemporary American ears the way the play sounded to Russian ears during the play’s first productions,” Baker’s award-winning Uncle Vanya reintroduces audiences to Chekhov’s enduring wit, insight, and emotional depth. It was hailed as one of the top 10 shows of 2012 by both The New York Times and New York Magazine. John Vreeke (The Lyons) directs a production that re-envisions our performance space and features Mitchell Hébert as Vanya and Producing Artistic Director Ryan Rilette as Astrov.
By Lucy Kirkwood (winner of this year’s Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play Chimerica.
Directed by Meredith McDonough
May 27 – June 21, 2015
– Money, sex, and Photoshop! NSFW (Not Safe for Work) is a hilarious, biting comedy about power games and privacy in the media and, in particular, how magazines objectify women. When Aiden, editor of “Doghouse” men’s magazine, charges his team of journalists with finding an amateur model for a racy photo spread, he can’t foresee the trouble it will bring. In the aftermath, feature writer and prime casualty, Sam, seeks a lifeline at “Electra,” a stylish women’s magazine that surely can’t be anywhere as bad as his last job…or can it? Meredith McDonough (Associate Artistic Director of Actor’s Theatre of Louisville) directs a sharp, funny, and timely new play by one of Britain’s most exciting playwrights. “Provocative… outrageous humor” – Evening Standard
THE SARAH METZGER MEMORIAL PLAY
In addition to the six-show subscription season, Round House will bring its annual Sarah Metzger Memorial Play to Bethesda for the 2014/15 season. The Sarah Play provides high school students from across the D.C. metro area the guidance and resources to mount a production under the mentorship of professional theater artists. It’s the country’s only theatrical production, offered as part of a regional theater’s regular programming, that is directed, designed, stage managed, and performed entirely by high school students. The 13th annual Sarah Play will be onstage March 13 – 15, 2015, with the play title to be announced.