A new season at Open Stage of Harrisburg

HARRISBURG – Founded in 1983, Open Stage of Harrisburg “presents plays that appeal to audiences who enjoy challenges beyond mainstream theatre.” The regional professional theater uses two downtown Harrisburg venues: The Angino Family Theatre, located in the Walnut Street Garage, 223 Walnut St., for its Subscription Series, and the Sunoco Performance Theatre in the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, 222 Market St., for its annual production.

Co-founder and longtime Executive Artistic Director Donald Alsedek announced the Season 28 Subscription Series of four thought-provoking plays:

GIDION’S KNOT (Oct. 4 to 26) – Over the course of a 90-minute parent-teacher conference, a grieving mother and an emotionally overwhelmed primary school teacher have a fraught conversation about the mother’s son and the teacher’s student, Gideon. As his story is slowly uncovered – was Gideon severely bullied or was he an abuser? — the women try to reconstruct a satisfying explanation for Gideon’s act and come to terms with excruciating feelings of culpability. Johnna Adams’s sensitive drama is recommended for Mature Audiences.

A CHRISTMAS MEMORY (Nov. 29 to Dec. 29) – Based upon the short story of Truman Capote, this “evocative musical” is set in rural Alabama, 1933. Young Buddy (Capote as a child) is raised by three eccentric cousins. Closest to his cousin Snook, still a child herself in many ways, Buddy bakes holiday gifts with her for those who’ve had a memorable impact on their lives in the past year as Christmas nears. Their comic misadventure celebrate the simple pleasures of life and the joy of giving.

FENCES (Feb. 7 to Mar. 1) August Wilson’s Pulitzer-Prize winning drama is set in 1957 Pittsburgh. A former star of the Negro baseball league, who was excluded as a black man from the majors during his prime, has built a fence to protect what’s his and to hold off what threatens. His bitterness takes its toll on his relationship with his wife and son, who now wants his own chance to play ball.

CLYBOURNE PARK (Apr. 11 to May 3) – On two afternoons 50 years apart, a modest bungalow in Chicago’s northwest side becomes a contested site in the politics of race. In September 1959, a couple moving to the suburbs inadvertently sell their house to the neighborhood’s first black family, igniting a community showdown. In September 2009, the house is changing hands again, but this time to a white couple with plans for demolition and a knack to say the wrong things at the wrong time. These hilarious and horrifying neighbors pitch a battle over territory and legacy that reveals how far ideas about race and gentrification have evolved – or have they?

THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK – After student matinee performances at 9:45 a.m. March 4 through 7, the 15th annual production of this tender, inspiring drama will have a public performance in the Sunoco Performance theatre on at 2 p.m. March 8. Set during one of history’s most brutal periods, the Holocaust, Wendy Kesselman’s Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning drama is based upon the actual diary of young Anne Frank. Hiding from the Nazis in a crowded attic with her family for over two years, her story is a timeless reminder that the spirit of a child is impossible to deny.

For subscription tickets, call 717-232-OPEN, ext. 7636, or visit www .openstagehbg.com.