Even as construction continues on schedule for the opening of their newly renovated theatre, Keegan Theatre staff have been working out details on their upcoming season, with more announcements yet to come.
The Andrew Keegan Theatre will open with Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the first play produced by the company 18 years ago. “The symmetry is beautiful,” Mark A. Rhea, Keegan’s producing artistic director explains in the press release. “To produce in the place where it all began, the show that started it all, but now it’s a theater we own! To come full circle in our newly purchased and newly renovated home with the show that put Keegan on the map in 1997 – it’s a pretty incredible thing.” The company is working with a June 28 date for the opening.
Rhea, who played Brick in that original production – as well as in the company’s 2001 remount with his wife, Susan, in the role of Maggie – will direct the show (“another symbolic passing of the torch,” Rhea says).
Also announced: the musical Dogfight. “We’re excited to showcase the hottest new songwriting team to hit Broadway, Pasek and Paul,” says Rhea. “If you don’t know their names yet, you will soon.” Based on the 1991 Warner Brothers film and written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Smash, Edges, James and the Giant Peach, A Christmas Story) and Peter Duchan, Dogfight was praised by countless critics and won the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical and the Richard Rogers Award for Musical Theatre.
“This premiere also provides the opportunity to feature the outstanding talent of young musical theater actors in our community,” Rhea continues. “Finding and nurturing fresh talent is an area in which we feel Keegan has a strong track record.”
As part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival next fall, Keegan will produce the US premiere of The Magic Tree by Ursula Rani Sarma, a Canadian-Irish playwright, and the world premiere of The Dealer of Ballynafeigh by Irish playwright and longtime Keegan collaborator Rosemary Jenkinson, both running in rep, beginning in mid-October.
Returning for the fifth year, Keegan will again present An Irish Carol for the holidays.
And in Spring, 2016, the press release announces that Keegan will present “the mother of all modern rock musicals: Green Day’s American Idiot. Green Day’s powerhouse album is brought to life in this electric-rock musical of youthful disillusion. The two-time Tony Award-winning musical is based on Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum album. Boldly taking the American musical where it’s never gone before, this high-octane hit show includes every song from Green Day’s album American Idiot, as well as several songs from follow-up release, 21st Century Breakdown.”
“The 2015-2016 season is shaping up to be truly inspiring – and our most ambitious yet,” hints Rhea. “We are hitting on all cylinders when we reopen, and we can’t wait to share what’s in store. We intend to give our audiences the season they deserve; their support of Keegan has gotten us this far, and we are eager to give our wonderful audiences what they’ve come to expect at Keegan: extraordinary artists telling powerful stories in an intimate — and now newly renovated — space.”