Berkeley Rep Announces Full Cast and Creative Team for the World Premiere of ‘Swept Away’

The full cast and creative team have been announced for the world premiere of The Avett Brothers’ musical. The ensemble includes Wayne Duvall (O Brother, Where Art Thou?), Adrian Blake Enscoe (Apple TV+ Dickinson), Tony Award winner John Gallagher, Jr. (Spring Awakening) and Tony Award nominee Stark Sands (Kinky Boots).

The show will feature music created and inspired The Avett Brothers, a Grammy nominated folk rock band, and is written by Tony Award-winning and Academy Award nominee John Logan (Red, Broadway’s Moulin Rouge!, Skyfall, Gladiator). Logan is joined by director Michael Mayer who has a successful history of helming new musicals including Spring Awakening, for which he won the Tony Award for direction, American Idiot, and the first Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Swept Away takes place in1888, off the coast of New Bedford, MA. When a violent storm sinks their whaling ship, the four surviving souls—a young man in search of adventure, his older brother who has sworn to protect him, a captain at the end of a long career at sea, and a worldly first mate who has fallen from grace—each face a reckoning: How far will I go to stay alive? And can I live with the consequences?

COURTESY OF BERKELEY REP
Cast

Wayne Duvall (Captain) Duvall will be making his Berkeley Rep debut with Swept Away. Theatre credits include Broadway: 1984; Off-Broadway: Big River and Of Thee I Sing (Encores), The Legend of Georgia McBride (MCC Theater); Regional: The Cake (La Jolla Playhouse), Pride in the Falls of Autrey Mill (Signature Theatre), Bright Star and Working (The Old Globe), Bonnie and Clyde (Asolo Rep and La Jolla). Film credits include Richard Jewell; The Kitchen; American Animals; Wolves; Hello My Name Is Frank; Prisoners; Lincoln; Edge of Darkness; Duplicity; Leatherheads; In the Valley of Elah; Pride and Glory; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Hard Rain; The Fan; Apollo 13. Upcoming films: A Quiet Place 2, The Trial of The Chicago 7, The Hunt, and Werewolves Within. Over 100 TV guest stars, including Pearson, Suits, One Dollar, The Code, Sneaky Pete, Fargo, BrainDead, Madam Secretary, Gotham, The Leftovers, Hell on Wheels, Elementary, Person of Interest, The Good Wife, all the Law & Orders, Hawaii 5-0, Boardwalk Empire, The West Wing, The District.

Adrian Blake Enscoe (Little Brother) Since graduating from Carnegie Mellon’s undergraduate acting program, Enscoe has made a name for himself by landing roles in Carter Smith’s indie film Jamie Marks Is Dead, opposite Cameron Monaghan and Morgan Saylor, as well as HBO’s Girls, and on the hit Netflix show Orange Is the New Black. He played opposite Catherine Keener and Anton Yelchin in their indie feature The Greens Are Gone, and had a strong supporting role in Owen Long’s indie film Seeds. When not acting, Adrian moonlights as lead guitar and vocalist in the trio Bandits on the Run, with whom he recently wrapped up a local tour. Adrian can currently be seen starring opposite Hailee Steinfeld as Austin Dickinson in the Apple TV+ breakout hit Dickinson. He is based in Brooklyn, NY where he is very active in theatre.

John Gallagher, Jr. (Mate) Gallagher recently wrapped a series of high-profile film and television projects: HBO’s Westworld with Evan Rachel Wood and Jeffrey Wright; Amazon Studio’s anthology series Modern Love with Anne Hathaway, Tina Fey, and Dev Patel; The Best of Enemies with Sam Rockwell and Taraji P. Henson for STXfilms; Will Eubank’s Underwater opposite Kristen Stewart for 20th Century Fox; and Amblin Partners’ Larry, which is based on the horror short by Jacob Chase. He won a Tony Award originating the role of Moritz Stiefel in Spring Awakening (2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album); starred in the stage adaptation of punk rock band Green Day’s rock opera American Idiot (2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album); and starred as Edmund Tyrone in Long Day’s Journey Into Night alongside Michael Shannon, Jessica Lange, and Gabriel Byrne; and recently opened the American premiere of Nassim Soleimanpour’s NASSIM at New York City Center’s Stage II.

Stark Sands (Older Brother) Sands most recently appeared on Broadway in Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird opposite Jeff Daniels. Prior to that, he was nominated for a Tony Award and received a Grammy Award for originating the role of Charlie Price in the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots. Recent film credits include Steven Spielberg’s The Post opposite Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis with Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan, and Clint Eastwood’s Flags of Our Fathers opposite Ryan Phillippe and John Slattery. He was most recently seen on television as the lead of the FOX series Minority Report. He made his Broadway debut in Journey’s End, for which he received his first Tony Award nomination and won the 2007 Theatre World Award before going on to star in Green Day’s rock musical American Idiot.

Taurean Everett (Ensemble) This will mark Everett’s is Berkeley Rep debut. His Broadway credits include Mamma Mia! (Broadhurst Theatre), Miss Saigon (Broadway Theatre), and The Cher Show (Neil Simon Theatre). His national tours and regional credits and concerts include Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (first national tour); Thoroughly Modern Millie Concert (The Actors Fund/Minskoff Theatre); Guys and Dolls Concert (Carnegie Hall); Audrey 2 (in drag) in Little Shop of Horrors (Berkshire Theatre); Can Can, Damn Yankees, Curtains,and Peter Pan (Paper Mill Playhouse); Nikkos in Legally Blonde (Cape Playhouse); Steam Heat (Mason Street Warehouse); Hairspray, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Full Monty, A Chorus Line,and Plato/Macavity in Cats (Music Theatre of Wichita).

Dan Gleason (Ensemble) Gleason will be making his Berkeley Rep debut. His other credits include Wicked (Broadway/national tour), American Idiot (national tour), Miss Saigon (Kansas City Starlight/regional tour), My One and Only (Goodspeed Opera House), Baby (Pennsylvania Centre Stage), Shenandoah (Gretna Theatre), and Fantastical Family Night (Transcendence Theatre). Dan is also a singer/songwriter/guitarist for the band Sir Richard Newton along with Larkin Bogan and Rob Marnell; their debut album is expected by winter 2020.

Ebrin R. Stanley (Ensemble) Stanley is an actor, singer, songwriter, and producer from Houston, TX. He graduated from the University of South Dakota with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a minor in Dance. He released his debut album, For The Lovers and The Heartbreakers, on all streaming platforms last September and was most recently seen as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison in the Chicago company of Hamilton.

Jacob Keith Watson (Ensemble) Watson is returning to Berkeley Rep after appearing in the world premiere of Amélie, A New Musical. Broadway/NYC: Carousel (Enoch Snow, Imperial Theatre), Hello, Dolly! (Shubert Theatre), Violet (American Airlines Theatre), Amélie, A New Musical (u/s Nino, Walter Kerr Theatre), The Phantom of the Opera (Joseph Buquet/Monsieur Reyer, Majestic Theatre), 1776 (Robert Livingston, New York Scott Center), Mack & Mabel (Harry/Ensemble, New York City Center). National tour: Chicago (Amos Hart). Regional credits include Benny & Joon (Waldo, Paper Mill Playhouse), Shrek the Musical (Shrek, Broadway at Music Circus), Sister Act (Joey, Paper Mill Playhouse), Amélie, A New Musical (Berkeley Rep/Center Theatre Group), A Christmas Carol (Jacob Marley, Shakespeare on the Sound), Othello (u/s Iago, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre), As You Like It (Corin, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre).

Nikita Burshteyn (Swing) Berkeley Rep credits: Alexander Supertramp in Into the Wild (The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep). Off-Broadway credits: Romeo in Romeo and Bernadette (The ART/New York Theatres/Theatre Row at the Acorn Theatre). Recent regional credits: Jack Kelly in Newsies (Woodminster Summer Musicals), Gene Gorman in Saturday Night (42nd Street Moon), Jean-Michel in La Cage aux Folles (San Francisco Playhouse), Bobby Strong in Urinetown (Berkeley Playhouse).

Creative Team

John Logan (Book) Logan received the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critic Circle, and Drama League awards for his play Red. This play has had more than 400 productions across the U.S. and over 160 foreign productions in 25 languages. He is the author of more than a dozen other plays, including Peter and Alice, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, and Never the Sinner. Musical theatre work includes Moulin Rouge, The Last Ship, Superhero, and Swept Away. He is the proud recipient of the O’Neill Theater Center’s 2019 Monte Cristo Award. As a screenwriter, John has been three times nominated for the Oscar and has received Golden Globe, BAFTA, WGA, Edgar, and PEN Center awards. His film work includes Skyfall, Spectre, Hugo, The Aviator, Gladiator, Rango, Alien: Covenant, Genius, Coriolanus, Sweeney Todd, The Last Samurai, Any Given Sunday, and RKO 281. He created and produced the television series Penny Dreadful and Penny Dreadful: City of Angels for Showtime.

The Avett Brothers (Music and Lyrics) The Avett Brothers​ made mainstream waves with their 2009 major label debut, ​I and Love and You​, landing at No. 16 on the ​Billboard​ Top 200 and garnering critical acclaim. 2012 saw ​The Carpenter​ hit No. 4 on the ​Billboard ​Top 200 and was followed by ​Magpie and the Dandelion (2013) which debuted at No. 5 on ​Billboard’s ​Top 200 and saw the band appear twice on ​Jimmy Kimmel Live! True Sadness​ (2016) achieved The Avett Brothers’ highest career debut to date hitting No. 1 on ​Billboard’s​ Top Albums Chart, No. 1 Top Rock Albums Chart, No. 1 Digital Albums Chart, No. 3 on ​Billboard​ Top 200, and scoring two GRAMMY​®​nominations. In the same year, the band was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. In 2017, the band released their critically acclaimed documentary ​May It Last: A Portrait of The Avett Brothers​, which was co-directed by Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio. The film followed the band as they wrote their GRAMMY​®​ nominated album ​True Sadness​. Last year, the band released their tenth studio album ​Closer Than Together​ featuring new single “High Steppin’” which reached #1 on the Americana Radio Chart.

Michael Mayer (Director) Mayer is returning to Berkeley Rep where he created the Tony Award-winning American Idiot nearly 10 years ago. Recent credits include the new Little Shop of Horrors now playing Off-Broadway, Burn This starring Adam Driver and Keri Russell, Head Over Heels, a new production of La Traviata at the Met, and the film of The Seagull starring Annette Bening and Saoirse Ronan. Other credits include Spring Awakening (Tony Award, Best Director, Best Musical), Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Tony Award, Best Revival), Marnie (ENO and Met), and a new Rigoletto (Met), Side Man (Tony Award, Best Play), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Tony Award, Best Musical), A View from the Bridge (Tony Award, Best Revival), among others. TV: Smash (Pilot, Season One), Alpha House (Amazon). Film: A Home at the End of the World (Warner Bros.), Flicka (Fox 2000). He has won Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Jefferson, Ovation, and Carbonell awards. He serves on the boards of New York Stage and Film and The Arthur Miller Foundation.

David Neumann (Choreographer) Swept Away will be Neumann’s Berkeley Rep debut. Broadway: Hadestown (Chita Rivera Award, Tony, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel nominations). Neumann’s original work as artistic director of Advanced Beginner Group has been presented in New York at PS 122, New York Live Arts, The Kitchen, Central Park Summerstage, Symphony Space, Abrons Arts Center, The Chocolate Factory, and The Whitney. ABG has also performed at the Walker Art Center, Jacob’s Pillow, MASS MoCA, and the American Dance Institute, among others. Recent New York projects include directing Geoff Sobelle in The Object Lesson (New York Theatre Workshop, BAM), choreography for Underground Railroad Game (Ars Nova), An Octoroon (Soho Rep.), and The Antipodes (Signature Theatre). Film: I Am Legend, various Hal Hartley films, Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach). David is the recipient of three NY Dance & Performance Bessie Awards, including Best Production in 2015 for I Understand Everything Better. He is currently a professor of theatre at Sarah Lawrence College.

Brian Usifer (Music Supervisor, Music Arrangements, and Orchestrations) Usifer is a New York City-based music director, pianist, orchestrator/arranger, producer, and composer and is currently the music director of Disney’s Frozen on Broadway. He is also currently the associate music supervisor of The Book of Mormon on Broadway and on tour. Prior to that he was the music director of Kinky Boots on Broadway, which won six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Orchestrations. The cast recording won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album, and the West End production won an Olivier Award for Best Musical. He was the associate music supervisor as well for Kinky Boots on tour, London, and in Toronto. Brian has played in the Broadway and off-Broadway orchestras of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Avenue Q, Altar Boyz, and The Book of Mormon. Credits also include Chess at the Kennedy Center and more than five years of regional theatre including Follies at Barrington Stage Company. Concerts include Bobby and Kristen Lopez: American Songbook at Lincoln Center and Clay Aiken “Tried and True DVD,” for PBS.

Chris Miller (Music Arrangements and Orchestrations) Berkeley Rep debut. Composer, Tuck Everlasting (Broadway 2016); The Burnt Part Boys (Playwrights Horizons/Vineyard Theatre, Lucille Lortel nominee Best Musical 2011); Fugitive Songs (Drama Desk Award nominee Outstanding Revue 2008); all have cast albums available at iTunes and Amazon. Television: Sesame Street, Elmo’s World, and The Electric Company. Incidental music: The Whipping Man (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Anna Christie (The Old Globe, San Diego); co-composer with Michael Friedman, the first New York revival of Angels in America (Signature Theatre). Upcoming: the book, music, and lyrics for Ravello (Signature Theatre (VA) American Musical Voices Project); April Twilights, a song cycle for soprano and orchestra using the poetry of Willa Cather; and a commission for producer Barbara Whitman and Grove Entertainment. With Nathan Tysen, Revival, for Playwrights Horizons and TheaterWorks Silicon Valley, and a musical for the Educational Theater Association and Concord Theatricals.

Justin Craig (Music Director) Craig is a Grammy-nominated record producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and music director based in New York City. Theatre: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Belasco Theatre/Broadway, first national tour), This Ain’t No Disco (guitarist, Atlantic Theatre/off Broadway), Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark (guitarist). TV/film (as a musician): The Magic Within (upcoming), How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2017), The Nice Guys (2016), Admission (2013), Lovelace (2013), Little Fockers (2010), Barko (Animated Short 2010), The Backup Plan (2010), Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009), Sex Drive (2008).

Rachel Hauck (Scenic Designer) Berkeley Rep credits include What the Constitution Means to Me, The Madwoman in the Volvo, Roe, It Can’t Happen Here, An Iliad, Mother Courage, Antony & Cleopatra, and Valley Song. Broadway credits include Hadestown (Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle nominations), What the Constitution Means to Me, and Latin History for Morons. Recent work includes The Wrong Man (MCC), Hadestown (National Theatre, Citadel, New York Theatre Workshop), Hurricane Diane (NYTW), Othello and Twelfth Night (Shakespeare in the Park), The Lucky Ones (Ars Nova), You’ll Still Call Me by Name (Sonya Tayeh/Jacob’s Pillow), Tiny Beautiful Things and Dry Powder (The Public Theater), Amy and the Orphans and On the Exhale (Roundabout Theatre Company), and Antlia Pneumatica and Grand Concourse (Playwrights Horizons). Rachel is honored to have received the Princess Grace Award and Lilly Award, Drama Desk and Lortel nominations, and an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence.

Susan Hilferty (Costume Designer) Berkeley Rep credits include Compulsion, Dream of a Common Language, The Illusion, Born in the RSA, Road to Mecca, Twelfth Night, Woman Warrior, Tooth of Crime,and Convict’s Return. Susan has designed sets and costumes for over 350 productions across globe. She has collaborated on 39 productions with South African playwright Athol Fugard. Broadway designs include Wicked (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics awards), Present Laughter (Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics award nominations), Spring Awakening (Tony nomination), Lestat (Tony nomination), Annie, Hands on a Hardbody, Wonderland, Assassins, Into the Woods (Tony and Drama Desk nominations, Hewes Award). Recent designs include Blood Wedding (Young Vic, London), Hamlet (St. Anne’s Warehouse), Boesman and Lena (Signature Theatre), Bright Room Called Day and The Gabriels (The Public Theater), Uncle Vanya (Old Globe), Love, Love, Love (Roundabout Theatre; Lucille Lortel Award), Buried Child and The Spoils (NY and London), Turn Me Loose (Arena Stage). Her designs for opera include La Traviata and Rigoletto (Metropolitan Opera); film (Laurie Anderson); dance (Ailey); circus (Ringling Bros.); and concerts (Taylor Swift). Her many awards include TDF/Irene Sharaff Lifetime Achievement and Obie Award for Sustained Excellence Costume Design.

Kevin Adams (Lighting Designer) Adams’ Berkeley Rep credits include American Idiot and Passing Strange. He has received four Tony Awards for his work on Broadway, which includes The Cher Show, Head Over Heels, SpongeBob The Musical, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, American Idiot, Next to Normal, Passing Strange, The 39 Steps, Spring Awakening, Hair, Take Me Out, and solo shows by Michael Moore, Eve Ensler, and John Leguizamo. Off-Broadway credits include the original productions of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Scottsboro Boys, revivals of Carrie and Rent,and new work by Edward Albee, Tony Kushner, Neil Simon, Terrence McNally, Richard Greenberg, Anna Deavere Smith, Eric Bogosian, and Christopher Durang. Other work includes numerous productions at The Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera, the Hollywood Bowl, Las Vegas, London’s West End, Disney Hall, and Sandra Bernhard’s 1990 feature film Without You I’m Nothing. Kevin has received the Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Award, Lucille Lortel Awards, Hewes Design Awards, Knights of Illumination Award, and an Obie for Sustained Excellence.

Kai Harada (Sound Designer) Berkeley Rep: Amélie. Broadway: Head Over Heels, The Band’s Visit (Tony Award and Drama Desk Award), Amélie, Sunday in the Park with George, Allegiance, Gigi, Fun Home, On the Town, First Date, Follies (Tony and Drama Desk nominations), and Million Dollar Quartet. Other credits include Hercules (The Public Theater at the Delacorte); Soft Power (The Public Theater); A Legendary Romance and Poster Boy (Williamstown Theatre Festival); The Light in the Piazza and Candide (L.A. Opera); We Live in Cairo and The Black Clown (American Repertory Theater); Brooklynite (Vineyard Theatre); The Music Man, Little Shop of Horrors, Chess, Little Dancer,and First You Dream (Kennedy Center); Silent Night (Washington National Opera); Zorro (Moscow; Atlanta); Hinterm Horizont (Berlin); Sweeney Todd and Man of La Mancha (Portland Opera); and She Loves Me (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Audio consultant for the revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Education: Yale University.


Swept Away will end Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s 2019-20 season and play from June 14 to July 26. Tickets are available online.

A.C.T. Announces ‘The Lehman Trilogy’ as 2020-21 Season Opener

American Conservatory Theater has announced that they will open their 2020-21 season with The Lehman Trilogy, directed by Academy Award, Tony Award, and Golden Globe winner Sam Mendes.

A co-production between the National Theatre and Neal Street Productions, The Lehman Trilogy will play for a limited four-week run from September 11 through October 11 at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater. The production will come to San Francisco after sold-out runs in London, and an engagement on Broadway this March.  

The play follows the prominent Lehman family through several generations—a story told in three parts in a single evening. Beginning with the Lehman brothers at a New York dockside in 1844 and following their sons and grandsons to the family’s eventual financial ruin in 2008, The Lehman Trilogy is an American epic.


2020–21 season subscriptions begin on March 16 and a priority list for the season opener is available for sign-up now.

‘Hamilton’ and 10-Time Tony Award Winner Among Broadway at The Paramount’s 2020-21 Season

Broadway at The Paramount announces their 2020-21 season. Among the eight shows stopping in Seattle on their Broadway National tours is a fair balance of familiar favorites and new delights.  

Kicking off the 2020-21 season will be Seattle’s first taste of the 2018 Tony Award Winner for Best Musical, The Band’s Visit. Next is the season package option: Blue Man Group. And just in time for the holidays is the stage version of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. On its first National tour, the Tony Award Winner for Best Choreography, Ain’t Too Proud,will arrive in January, followed by a short run of the classic My Fair Lady. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, a new production of Jesus Christ Superstar comes through Seattle in April and back by popular demand, next spring will see the return of Hamilton for an extended six-week run. Finally, closing the season will be the new romantic comedy musical sensation, Pretty Woman: The Musical.  

The Band’s Visit

October 6–11, 2020

The critically acclaimed smash-hit Broadway musical The Band’s Visit is the winner of 10 Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, making it one of the most Tony-winning musicals in history.  It is also a Grammy Award® winner for Best Musical Theater Album.

In this joyously offbeat story, set in a town that’s way off the beaten path, a band of musicians arrive lost, out of the blue.  Under the spell of the desert sky, and with beautiful music perfuming the air, the band brings the town to life in unexpected and tantalizing ways.  Even the briefest visit can stay with you forever.

The cast of world-class performers is led by award-winning Israeli actor Sasson Gabay, star of the original film and the Broadway production. With a Tony- and Grammy-winning score that seduces your soul and sweeps you off your feet, and featuring thrillingly talented onstage musicians, The Band’s Visit rejoices in the way music makes us laugh, makes us cry, and ultimately, brings us together.  

Blue Man Group

November 6–8, 2020

More than 35 million people around the world have experienced the smash hit phenomenon that is Blue Man Group. Blue Man Group returns to Seattle for a limited engagement on their new North American tour. It’s everything you know and love about Blue Man Group—signature drumming, colorful moments of creativity and quirky comedy—the men are still blue but the rest is all new! Featuring pulsing, original music, custom-made instruments, surprise audience interaction and hilarious absurdity, join the Blue Men in a joyful experience that unites audiences of all ages.

National tour company of 'Irving Berlin's White Christmas.'
National tour company of ‘Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.’ Photo by Jeremy Daniel Photography
Irving Berlin’s White Christmas

December 8–20, 2020

This holiday season discover the perfect gift for everyone on your list!  Start with a timeless tale of joy and goodwill, fill it with classic Irving Berlin songs, top it off with glorious dancing and lots of snow and head on over to the Paramount Theatre to see Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Performances begin December 8 for this must-see classic in a lavish new production that The New York Times says to “put on your wish list. Irving Berlin’s White Christmas tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and falling for a stunning sister act in the process. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written! Give everyone the gift they’re dreaming of with this merry and bright holiday musical.

Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations

January 13–24, 2021

Ain’t Too Proud is the electrifying, new smash-hit Broadway musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and silky-smooth harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. 

Nominated for 12 Tony Awards®, Ain’t Too Proud tells the thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal, as the group’s personal and political conflicts threatened to tear them apart during a decade of civil unrest in America. 

The unforgettable story of this legendary quintet is set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Get Ready,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and so many more.

Written by three-time Obie Award® winner Dominique Morisseau, directed by two-time Tony Award® winner Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys) and featuring the Tony-winning choreography of Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, On Your Feet!), Ain’t Too Proud launches their first national tour to more than 50 cities across America.

Shereen Ahmed and company in The Lincoln Center Theater Production of ‘My Fair Lady.’ Photo by Joan Marcus
My Fair Lady

March 3–7, 2021

From Lincoln Center Theater that brought you The King & I and South Pacific, comes “a sumptuous new production of the most perfect musical of all time” (Entertainment Weekly), Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady. Director Bartlett Sher’s glowing production is “thrilling, glorious and better than it ever was” (New York Times).  “Every so often a revival comes along that reminds you how indispensable great theater can be” (NY1).

Boasting such classic songs as “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” and “On the Street Where You Live,” My Fair Lady tells the story of Eliza Doolittle, a young Cockney flower seller, and Henry Higgins, a linguistics professor who is determined to transform her into his idea of a “proper lady.”  But who is really being transformed?

Jesus Christ Superstar

April 13–18, 2021

Jesus Christ Superstar is an iconic musical phenomenon with a world-wide fan base. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, a new mesmerizing production comes to North America. Originally staged by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and helmed by the acclaimed director Timothy Sheader (Crazy for You, Into the Woods) and award-winning choreographer Drew McOnie (King Kong, Strictly Ballroom), this production won the 2017 Olivier Award® for Best Musical Revival garnering unprecedented reviews and accolades. Appealing to both theatre audiences and concert music fans, this production pays tribute to the historic 1971 Billboard Album of the Year while creating a modern, theatrical world that is uniquely fresh and inspiring.

Featuring award-winning music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Gethsemane” and “Superstar.”

National tour cast of 'Hamilton.'
National tour cast of ‘Hamilton.’ Photo by Joan Marcus
Hamilton

May 11–June 20, 2021

Hamilton is the story of America then, told by America now.  Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, Hamilton has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education. 

With book, music, and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, and musical supervision and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton is based on Ron Chernow’s acclaimed biography. It has won Tony®, Grammy®, and Olivier Awards, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and an unprecedented special citation from the Kennedy Center Honors.

Pretty Woman: The Musical

August 3–8, 2021

After an incredible run on Broadway, Audience Choice Award-winner Pretty Woman: The Musical is coming to Seattle! One of Hollywood’s most beloved stories of all time, Pretty Woman: The Musical is brought to life by a powerhouse creative team representing the best of music, Hollywood, and Broadway. Featuring direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award® winner Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde), an original score by Grammy® winner Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance (“Summer of ’69,” “Heaven”), and a book by the movie’s legendary director Garry Marshall and screenwriter J.F. Lawton, Pretty Woman: The Musical will lift your spirits and light up your heart. “If you love the movie, you’ll love the musical!” (BuzzFeed News).

Featured in the musical is Roy Orbison and Bill Dee’s international smash hit song “Oh, Pretty Woman,” which inspired one of the most beloved romantic comedy films of all time. Pretty Woman the film was an international smash hit when it was released in 1990. Now, 30 years later, Pretty Woman: The Musical still “Dazzles!” (Deadline) and is “Big romance and big fun!” (Broadway.com). “Irresistible! A romantic fantasy. A contemporary fairy tale,” says The Hollywood ReporterPretty Woman: The Musical delivers on all the iconic moments you remember. Get ready to experience this dazzling theatrical take on a love story for the ages. 


Subscriptions for Broadway at The Paramount’s 2020-21 season will become available on their website at a later date.

Pacific Northwest Ballet Names Alejandro Cerrudo as Company’s First Resident Choreographer

Pacific Northwest Ballet Artistic Director Peter Boal announced Alejandro Cerrudo as the first resident choreographer in the company’s 47-year history. Cerrudo’s One Thousand Pieces will have its PNB premiere this March.

Seattle audiences have grown more and more enthusiastic about Cerrudo’s work over the past five years as he has introduced three pieces into PNB’s repertory; One Thousand Pieces will be his fourth. His previous pieces include Memory Glow, which had its world premiere at PNB in 2014; Little mortal jump, which had its PNB premiere in 2016 and returned again in 2018; and Silent Ghost, which premiered to PNB audiences in 2018.

Cerrudo’s residency will last three years, during which time he will choreograph two world premieres, restage two repertory works for the company, and one for the school. The residency will also give Cerrudo the opportunity to mentor fellow choreographers within PNB. This will not be Cerrudo’s first experience in this position; in 2008 he became Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s first resident choreographer, a position he held for ten years.

Artistic Director Peter Boal expanded on his decision to name a resident choreographer for the first time in company history, stating, “Each time Alejandro has come to PNB, the connection between choreographer and dancers deepens. Inspiration fills the room. With this appointment, we can channel this inspiration into new creations, repertory additions, and multiple opportunities to collaborate with and get to know one of the great creative forces working in dance today.”


One Thousand Pieces will run March 13–22 at McCaw Hall. The mixed-bill includes Cerrudo’s One Thousand Pieces and David Dawson’s Empire Noir. Tickets are available on Pacific Northwest Ballet’s website.

New Productions and a West Coast Premiere Highlight San Francisco Opera’s 2020-21 Season

San Francisco Opera General Director Matthew Shilvock has announced the opera’s 98th season, which includes several new productions of classic favorites, the West Coast premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale, and the rarely performed Der Zwerg by Alexander Zemlinsky.

In addition to the seven operas in the 2020-21 season (down from the usual eight), SF Opera will present the sopranos Lianna Haroutounian and Iréne Theorin in concert with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra where they will sing Puccini, Verdi, Strauss and Wagner. Opera in the Park will be returning on October 18 with a concert headlined by Sondra Radvanovsky at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

In light of the recently announced renovations to the War Memorial Opera House, the final two operas in the season will take place in April and May, rather than the usual schedule of June and July.  

In addition to a jam-packed season with many productions new to SF Opera, as well as the renovations of the opera’s residence, Eun Sun Kim will be assuming the role of music director beginning in August and will be directing the first show of the season, Fidelio.

Fidelio

September 12–October 1, 2020

San Francisco Opera joins the global celebrations of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with a new production of the composer’s only opera, Fidelio. Last presented by the Company in 2005, this monumental work of love and liberty triumphing over corruption returns in an insightful new staging by Matthew Ozawa.

Arrested. Tortured. Presumed dead. Two years ago, Leonora’s husband disappeared into the depths of a detention facility run by his political enemy. Now, the only way to discover if he’s alive is for Leonora to infiltrate the prison disguised as a man. Elza van den Heever stars as Leonora.

Music Director Designate Eun Sun Kim conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

Rigoletto

September 13–October 4, 2020

Sir Mark Elder conducts this Italian classic of seduction, betrayal and vengeance in his first engagement with San Francisco Opera since making a triumphant 2015 Company debut leading Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

As the court jester, Rigoletto’s job is to entertain the Duke of Mantua, usually at the expense of powerful members of the court. When he is cursed for a taunt that cuts too deep, a terrible sequence of events is set in motion, threatening his only treasure in life: his daughter. Sir Mark Elder conducts George Gagnidze in the role of Rigoletto, Pene Pati as the Duke of Mantua, and Nina Minasyan as Gilda.

The set design for the new production of ‘Così fan tutte.’ Photo courtesy of San Francisco Opera
Così fan tutte

October 6–28, 2020

San Francisco Opera’s new production by director Michael Cavanagh is the second installment in the Company’s trilogy set in the “Great American House of Mozart and Da Ponte.” 

A couple of club members engage in a playful bet about the fidelity of their partners. Testing the limits of loyalty and forgiveness, Così fan tutte puts love on trial in this bittersweet comedy where affections become entangled and confused. From the creative team behind the 2019 smash hit The Marriage of Figaro.

The Handmaid’s Tale

October 29–November 22, 2020

Grammy-nominated Danish composer Poul Ruders’ powerful adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s landmark literary work The Handmaid’s Tale receives its West Coast premiere in a new co-production with the Royal Danish Opera.

In a dystopian future, fertile women deemed sinful are forced into child-bearing servitude by an extremist theocratic regime. Resistance is nearly impossible—but necessary. Based on the landmark literary work by Margaret Atwood and starring Sasha Cooke as Offred.

Michael Fabiano (left) reprises the role of Rodolfo in La ‘Bohème.’ Photo by Cory Weaver
La Bohème

November 15–December 6, 2020

Puccini’s popular work of love and loss among a group of bohemian artists in mid-19th-century Paris will be presented in director John Caird and designers David Farley and Michael James Clark’s beloved 2014 production. 

Infused with melodies of unforgettable intimacy, buoyancy and pathos, this masterpiece remains one of the most heart-wrenching emotional experiences on the opera stage. Conducted by former Music Director Nicola Luisotti.

The Barber of Seville

April 25–May 16, 2021

Rossini’s timeless lyric comedy returns to the War Memorial Opera House stage in Emilio Sagi’s buoyant, Spanish-themed production which was first unveiled here in 2013. The sparkling coloratura, hilarious comedy and exuberant action of this bel canto classic will be helmed by conductor Roderick Cox in his Company debut.

Count Almaviva must rely on the talents of the quick-witted Figaro if he is to win the beautiful Rosina from her lecherous guardian.

Performance of ‘Der Zwerg.’ Photo by Robert Millard
Der Zwerg

April 27–May 15, 2021

Alexander Zemlinsky’s rarely performed operatic adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s “The Birthday of the Infanta” follows an outsider whose earnest affection for a princess leads to a heartbreaking rejection. Featuring a brilliant score that shimmers with sensuous and poignant musical textures and harmonies, an all-female chorus and a small cast of soloists, Der Zwerg is one of the Austrian composer’s most extraordinary works. Premiered in 1922 in Cologne, the one-act opera was suppressed by German authorities before World War II and rescued from obscurity in recent times by musicians who believed in its beauty and powerful story.

For the Company premiere of this compelling work, Serbian American director Darko Tresnjak makes his Company debut directing his opulent production inspired by the paintings of Diego Velázquez. First unveiled at LA Opera in 2008 as part of the “Recovered Voices” initiative to reintroduce works by Jewish composers that were silenced by the Nazis.


Subscriptions for San Francisco Opera’s 2020-21 season are available on their website.

Renovations Will Allow for Better Views at War Memorial Opera House

Seat replacements in the War Memorial Opera House will provide audience members with better views and comfort. The renovations will begin in the spring of 2021.

The historic opera house, which is home to both San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet, will undergo its final stage in seat renovations in the spring and summer of 2021 to replace the building’s original seats from 1932 in the Orchestra, Grand Tier and Dress Circle sections.

The new seating will be wider with more leg room, and will be better improved in ergonomic support, creating an overall more comfortable experience for the audience. Not only will the audience have better back support, but they will also have a better view of the stage. In the Orchestra section, the renovations will include staggering the seats to improve sightlines. In addition, the War Memorial Opera House will have new accessible seating areas created for those with disabilities and patrons using wheelchairs.

The renovations are managed by the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center, San Francisco Ballet and San Francisco Opera, along with The Shalleck Collaborative and the City’s Department of Public Works. This is the third and final phase of the seat replacement project which began in 2013.

As the seat installations will take place May–August, 2021, during both resident organization’s seasons, SF Ballet and SF Opera will both be changing their schedules in the 2021 and 2020-21 season, respectively. San Francisco Ballet is looking to perform their last two programs at the Orpheum Theatre, managed by BroadwaySF and San Francisco Opera will move their summer shows to mid-spring.  


A full list of Frequently Asked Questions about the renovation can be found on San Francisco Ballet’s website.

Seattle Opera Reveals 2020-21 Season

While everyone else was busy celebrating the New Year, Seattle Opera was looking further ahead to their next season. The opera company has just announced their 2020-21 season which promises audiences passion, laughter, tragedy and discovery. Their exciting season will include new productions of classics, an opera entirely new to Seattle, and an old favorite returning to the stage.

Season ticket packages are available for purchase now, while single opera tickets will become available later in the year.

Pagliacci & Cavalleria Rusticana

August 8-22, 2020

Experience twice the drama and twice the thrill with an earthy new production of opera’s classic double bill. Small-town lives are turned upside down when a returning soldier and a vengeful clown upset provincial norms, resulting in shocking crimes of passion. In a single performance, two distinct yet complementary tales of adultery, jealousy, and revenge explore elemental emotions in true verismo style.

Guy Montavon’s highly theatrical new production transforms the public squares of southern Italy into a revolving mask-filled arena, with eye-catching commedia dell’arte costumes for Leoncavallo’s clowns. As the chorus watches like spectators at a coliseum, the characters cannot escape their tragic fates.

Pagliacci: Music and Libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Cavalleria rusticana: Music by Pietro Mascagni; Libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci

The Elixir of Love

October 17-31, 2020

Utterly enjoyable from first sip to last, this fizzy concoction is opera’s most winning comedy. A lovestruck bumpkin is about to lose the company of a rich and independent landowner. Crossing paths with a quack doctor, he soon gets duped in more ways than one. Wine, a windfall, and a fateful “furtive tear” eventually reveal happy truths as sincerity triumphs amid much rejoicing.

Not seen in Seattle since 1998, the colorful comedy returns with a “well-staged and heartfelt” (Santa Fe Reporter) production that has everything: winking humor, relatable human characters, and a charming love story—all set to masterful bel canto music that makes the soul sing.

Music by Gaetano Donizetti; Libretto by Felice Romani

Cast in Opera Philadelphia production of 'Elixir of Love.'
Cast in Opera Philadelphia production of ‘Elixir of Love.’ Photo by Kelly & Massa
Don Giovanni

January 16-30, 2021

What goes around comes around on Mozart’s carousel of karma. Legendary libertine Don Giovanni is skilled in seduction yet lacks a moral compass, thoughtlessly moving from conquest to conquest, even murdering without remorse. But a dark fate will bring his joyride to a shocking conclusion, leaving the survivors who knew him forever changed. Filled with varied and evocative music of perfect elegance, Mozart’s complex creation stands apart as his boldest masterpiece.

Staged and conducted by female artists, an all-new production brings unique insight to a timeless portrait of the ultimate predator. Glamorous costumes combine period silhouettes with modern sensibility. The action plays out on a multifaceted carnival ride whose chic exterior promises pleasure and abundance while concealing a rotten core.

Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte

Flight

February 27-March 13, 2021

What would you do if you were stranded indefinitely? Based on actual events—stateless refugee Mehran Karimi Nasseri’s 18-year forced residency at Charles de Gaulle airport—this ensemble dramedy “soars high” (Opera Today), with “a colorful, energetic, tonally accessible score and a relatable, witty libretto” (OPERA NEWS). An omniscient air traffic controller watches over a departure lounge bustling with cynical flight attendants, an excitable couple on vacation, a mysterious older woman, and an Eastern European diplomat and his expectant wife, all of whom must wait out a storm. Meanwhile, the hapless refugee plays cat and mouse with an immigration officer as the story darts deftly between humor and moving meditations on love, identity, and human connection.

Set in the everyday world of an airport terminal, the Seattle premiere of this “uniquely satisfying” (Guardian UK) production surprises with vibrant theatrical touches and energetic ensemble movement. The opera’s vignettes are presented with winning humor, but without easy resolutions. In the end we discover that it is compassion (both for ourselves and for one another) that will see us through to fly another day.

Music by Jonathan Dove; Libretto by April De Angelis

Ausrine Stundyte and Stefano Secco in Seattle Opera's 2015 production of 'Tosca'.
Ausrine Stundyte and Stefano Secco in Seattle Opera’s 2015 production of ‘Tosca’. Photo by Elise Bakketun
Tosca

May 8-23, 2021

Don’t mess with the diva! A fiery prima donna struggles to free her true love from the clutches of a ruthless police chief in Puccini’s surefire favorite. Filled with iconic arias and impressive musical moments, the rousing score brings Tosca’s emotional extremes into sharp relief as the story rushes towards its thrilling conclusion. The crackling melodrama grabs hold from the get-go, making Tosca ideal for anyone who loves drama and music.

Two international headliners alternate in the title role. The “superb” (Sidney Morning Herald) Saioa Hernández “won La Scala hearts [in] an instant love affair between soprano and audience” (Bachtrack). And the “splendid” (Das Opernglas) Armenian soprano Karine Babajanyan, whose “voice is strong and appealingly colored, sings with confidence and intelligence” (OPERA).

Music by Giacomo Puccini; Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa & Luigi Illica


Season tickets for Seattle Opera’s 2020-21 season are available online. All performances will take place at McCaw Hall.

Bay Area’s Best New Year’s Eve Performances

If you want to avoid the crazy crowds this New Year’s Eve, we’ve made a list of ways to ring in 2020 with help from some of the best performing arts groups in the area. Spend this New Year’s Eve in the company of jazz legends, Broadway stars and celebrity comedians.

Whether you are looking for something fun to do during the day or looking for an evening party to ring in 2020, we’ve got the perfect selection to help make your choice. We’ve scoured San Francisco for the best ways to spend December 31, ensuring your New Year will start the right way with music, dancing, friends and fun.

Shen Yun Performing Arts

Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Its stunning beauty and tremendous energy leave audiences uplifted and inspired.

A Shen Yun performance features the world’s foremost classically trained dancers, a unique orchestra blending East and West, and dazzling animated backdrops—together creating one spectacular performance.

December 31 at 2 p.m. at War Memorial Opera House. Tickets are available online.

A Baroque New Year’s Eve at the Opera

At the end of last season’s enormously successful New Year’s Eve concert, American Bach Soloists Music Director Jeffrey Thomas announced that they’d be back at the end of 2019 for a reprise of the event. Make your reservations for a delightful program of arias and instrumental music from opera and concert. 

This early night on the town in San Francisco’s beautiful Herbst Theatre—a cornerstone and jewel among the city’s most prestigious venues—will joyfully ring in the New Year in elegant style. 

Bring your friends and celebrate a New Year full of wonderful music!

December 31 at 4 p.m. at Herbst Theatre. Tickets are available online.

Groundhog Day: The Musical

It’s February 2nd in Punxsutawney, PA, and a storm is coming. Phil Connors, a big-city weatherman, couldn’t be more frustrated to be to reporting on the small-town Groundhog Day Ceremony—until he finds himself reliving the same day over and over again. Stuck in an endless loop of arrogance and cynicism amongst the cheery townsfolk, Phil must learn to take advantage of his second, third, and fourth chances and break the cycle.

December 31 @ 7 p.m. at San Francisco Playhouse. Tickets are available online.

New Year’s Eve with Seth MacFarlane and the SF Symphony

Celebrate in style with Grammy Award-nominated singer, actor, and director Seth MacFarlane, who brings a winning combination of rich crooning and cool pizazz that would do Frank and Dino proud. Watch him light up the stage with the SF Symphony in a performance of jazz standards and holiday favorites conducted by Edwin Outwater.

December 31 at 8 p.m. at Davies Symphony Hall. Tickets are available online.

New Year’s Eve Funk Party with Maceo Parker

Ring in the New Year with the king of the funky saxophone and one of the primary architects of modern R&B, Maceo Parker along with a special guest, saxophonist Candy Dulfer. Parker spent the first half of his career in the service of funk’s founding fathers, and in his second act as a bandleader, the unrelentingly soulful saxophonist/vocalist has ascended into the funk firmament in his own right, leading a righteously grooving outfit that plays with ecstatic precision and ferocious drive.

December 31 at 8 p.m. in the Miner Auditorium at SFJAZZ center. Tickets are available online.

An Evening with Sutton Foster

A special New Year’s Eve concert with Tony Award-winner Sutton Foster. In this one-night-only, tour-de-force performance, triple threat Sutton Foster takes audiences on a musical journey, performing songs and sharing stories from her extensive Broadway career, including Anything Goes, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and the upcoming Broadway revival of The Music Man starring Hugh Jackman.

Don’t miss this special New Year’s Eve event with one of Broadway’s most celebrated performers.  

December 31 at 9 p.m. at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater. Tickets are available online.

The Art of Gifting

It’s just about time for the true panic of holiday shopping to set in. If you haven’t finished checking everyone off your list, or if you’ve been invited last minute to a holiday party and need a gift for the host, we’ve got you covered.

In a world of instantly delivered Amazon presents and high-tech gifts, give your friends and family something different—give the gift of an experience.

We’ve put together a list of some Bay Area organizations that offer the gift of art and, you got it, experience. Plus, all these options are available online, so you can still have the convenience of online shopping while giving something much more meaningful.

American Conservatory Theater

A.C.T. offers gift certificates that can be redeemed for a myriad of items and services including tickets to performances, season packages, A.C.T. merchandise, costume rentals, and even acting classes. Talk about a versatile gift!

Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Berkeley Rep offers gift certificates that can be used to purchase performance tickets or used for class registration fees. Give the gift of theatre and theatre-making!

California Shakespeare Theater

The Cal Shakes 2020 season doesn’t start until May, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan ahead for springtime. Give the gift of an outdoor theatre subscription to someone who loves the classics—the perfect cure for those winter blues.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

TheatreWorks is offering specially priced subscription packages for the holidays. You can save 50% off single ticket prices and purchase either three shows for $120 or four shows for $160.  

San Francisco Ballet

SF Ballet also offers gift certificates which can be used on ticket purchases. SF Ballet’s full 2020 season begins in January. Make sure the dance enthusiast on your list is ready!

San Francisco Opera

SF Opera’s gift shop offers branded keepsakes, as well as an entire collection of Wagner’s Ring cycle merchandise for the most die-hard fan. Or, if you’re not quite sure what they want, SF Opera also offers gift certificates that can be used for performance tickets and subscriptions for mainstage shows.

San Francisco Symphony

San Francisco Symphony offers the ability to customize a gift certificate with design options and box for your personal message. They can be redeemed for concerts at Davies Symphony Hall.

SFJAZZ

Not only does SFJAZZ offer customizable gift certificates, but they also have a well-stocked online shop with CDs and DVDs, apparel, posters, totes and much more.

Book-It Names First New Artistic Director in 30-Year History

The announcement of naming Gus Menary as the new artistic director comes after a four month national search.

The announcement marks a momentous occasion for the theatre, as Gus Menary will be the first male Artistic Director for Book-It Repertory Theatre and only the second in its 30-year history. Co-Founding Artistic Directors Jane Jones and Myra Platt incorporated Book-It in 1990 with the vision of adapting literature into theatre. But while many theatres around the world adapt other works into plays, Book-It continues to have one rule that makes a piece Book-It Style™: it must be literature and there can be no editing or playwriting added.

Gus Menary will be coming to Book-It from his position as the Artistic Director of Jackalope Theatre Company in Chicago, which Menary was a founding company member. Jackalope Theatre’s focus on developing new works was a determining factor for the hiring committee, with Menary facilitating in the development of over 40 new plays during his tenure. Stuart Frank, Book-It board president and hiring committee chairman stated, “He has proven experience in building and running a theatre company dedicated to new work development. The rigorous curiosity required to undertake and nurture this work will be an incredible asset to the community, and his infectious enthusiasm will be a guiding light for Book-It’s journey into the future.”

Menary will begin preparing for his new position full-time on January 2, 2020 and will work closely with Jane Jones and Myra Platt over the next eight months. He will take over leadership in August 2020. Jones and Platt intend on introducing Menary to the Seattle and Book-It communities while he participates in season planning for the 2020-21 season and familiarizes himself with the staff, board and Book-It Style.

Menary comes to Book-It with a true appreciation of literature in addition to his love of theatre, stating, “Book-It’s focus on adaptation is, in some ways, brand new to me, but as someone who reads voraciously, it’s a facet of theatremaking that has always greatly interested me…In a very real way, this opportunity feels like fate. It’s my hope that I’m able to continue Book-It’s streak of artistic excellence and captivating, diverse work that includes and uplifts the voices and stories of many people. I’m extremely excited, and I’m extremely honored that they would place their trust in me.”