New season at Penn State Centre Stage
UNIVERSITY PARK – Dan Carter, producing artistic director of Penn State Centre Stage, announced the theater’s 2013-14 season.
The professional arm of the Penn State School of Theatre will utilize three venues: the Pavilion Theatre and The Playhouse on campus and the Downtown Theatre Center in State College for the six-production season.
GOOD PEOPLE (June 12 to 22 at the Downtown Theater Center) – A humorous drama by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay -Abaire is set in South Boston. A sharp-tongued single mom has just been let go of her latest job and, scrambling to make ends meet, seeks out an old flame hoping he’ll help her make a fresh start. But as “Good People” often discover, “the only thing more fearful than your future is your past”.
DOUBT: A PARABLE (July 24 to Aug. 3 at the Downtown Theater Center) – John Patrick Shanley’s taut drama is set in the Bronx in 1964. A rigid conservative nun suspects that the affable parish pastor may be abusing boys in the elementary school of which she is principal.
The cast of four includes a young enthusiastic nun who doesn’t know who to believe and the mother of boy with whom the priest is suspected of having sexual misconduct. Confrontations with the nun leave her – and the audience – having “Doubt” as to the priest’s guilt.
NO PLACE TO BE SOMEBODY (Oct. 1 to 10 at the Pavilion Theater) – Another Pulitzer Prize-winner by Charles Gordone explores racial tensions in the Civil Rights era. The focus is on a young black bartender and his efforts to outsmart a white mobster with unexpected results.
GUYS AND DOLLS (Nov. 5 to 20 at The Playhouse) – Based upon the short stories of Damon Runyon, this classic musical features a bevy of colorful characters, from the gamblers at floating crap games to the good-hearted churchgoers at the Save-A-Soul Mission. Frank Loesser’s robust score has plenty of humorous songs for fun-loving guys and their long-waiting dolls to belt out.
INTO THE WOODS (Feb. 18 to March 1 at the Pavilion Theater) – Premiering on Broadway in 1987, and a Tony Award-winner, this modern fairy tale asks the musical question, “What happens after happily ever after?” Stephen Sondheim’s complex score is sung by familiar characters Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack (as in “Jack and the Beanstalk”) whose lives are intertwined with original characters: a baker, his wife and a witch with a nasty curse.
BLOOD AT THE ROOT (April 8 to 19 at the Downtown Theater Center) – A new drama by Dominique Morisseau is inspired by the conviction of six black teenagers for attempted murder. The beating of a white youngster after a noose is found hanging from a tree near the high school in Jena, La., sets out an explosion of emotions. The bold play examines the miscarriage of justice and the racial double standards in the deep South.
Each production is produced from conception to completion at Penn State, utilizing skills taught by theater faculty and other industry professionals, including members of Actors Equity Association. The PSCS artistic director emphasizes that this year-round operation also serves as the mentoring program for students ready to embark in the theatre business.
For ticket information, call 814-863-0255; 800-ARTS-TIX; or visit pacen trestage.psu.edu.