Westport Country Playhouse has announced its 2016 season, featuring two Tony Award-winning plays in repertory, an Off-Broadway hit, a new thriller by a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, a witty comedy by Joe Orton, and a reimagined musical by Lerner and Loewe. The works will be staged next year from May through October. Under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos, 2016 will mark the Connecticut professional theater’s 86th season. 2016 season subscriptions are now on sale.
“Our 2016 season is generous in variety and scale,” said Lamos, the Playhouse’s artistic director since 2009. “Instead of the usual five productions, we’ll be presenting six — two of them, for the first time since the Playhouse’s early years — in repertory. I know our community will find many things to enjoy in this lineup of theater that not only entertains, but is indeed ‘theater worth talking about’.”
The 2016 season will begin in what Lamos calls “a new way for us to launch an exciting new season.” In the first production slot, May 3 to 29, two Tony Award-winning plays will be staged in repertory, with the plays alternating daily: “Art” by Yasmin Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton; and “Red” by John Logan. Both will be directed by Lamos. Each of the plays is about art: making it, owning it, the anguish of creating it, and the ache of believing in it.
“The next four plays have surprises all their own, and as usual, they’re very different,” said Lamos.
The recent Off-Broadway comedy hit, “Buyer and Cellar” by Jonathan Tolins, is a winner of a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show. It is about a young, out-of-work actor who winds up working for a well-known star in the mall she built in her Malibu mansion. It will play June 14 – July 2.
Another recent Off-Broadway piece, “The Invisible Hand,” is a riveting and relevant new thriller by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, author of Broadway’s “Disgraced.” When an American futures trader finds himself kidnapped and held hostage in Pakistan, he knows the only way to get home is to do what he does best: play the market like his life depends on it. David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director, will direct. The play will run July 19 – August 6.
The sexy comedy, “What the Butler Saw,” offering a little blackmail, and a lot of innuendo, will play from August 23 to September 10. It is written by Joe Orton, and directed by John Tillinger, who helmed a recent, critically acclaimed production in Los Angeles.
“Camelot,” a freshly inventive take on one of the foremost musicals in the American canon, will run October 4 – 22. With book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe, and directed by Playhouse artistic director Mark Lamos, the classic love triangle of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, and Sir Lancelot will be a reimagined version with script by David Lee (TV’s “Frasier” and “Cheers”).
All play titles, artists, and dates are subject to change.
The performance schedule is Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Special series feature Taste of Tuesday, LGBT Night OUT, Opening Night, Sunday Symposium, Open Captions, Thursday TalkBack, Together at the Table Family Dinner, Playhouse Happy Hour, and Backstage Pass.
Now available are 2016 subscriptions for current and new subscribers, including online purchasing capability 24/7. Current subscribers who renew by the Early Bird Deadline of Sunday, September 13, will receive an exclusive Early Bird Subscriber Guest Pass – a free ticket to share with a friend. All subscribers receive a host of benefits not afforded to single ticket buyers, including up to 35% off single ticket prices, priority seating, free and easy ticket exchanges, the Playhouse’s monthly e-newsletter, and discounts at selected Westport restaurants. Subscribers will also be invited to a season preview event in the spring with Lamos and other artists. 4-Play and 5-Play subscriptions are available, starting at $140. 2016 Flex Passes are also currently on sale for those seeking to see any combination of shows on varying days and times. Flex Pass holders receive many subscriber-only benefits. Single tickets will go on sale in March.
For more information and to buy subscriptions, visit www.westportplayhouse.org or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).