Tickets: 651.291.7005

Press Release

Park Square’s 2016-2017 Casting Announcement

Season Features Area Premieres, New Commissions, and Old Favorites

Saint Paul, Minn., August 10, 2016 — Park Square Theatre is ramping up for its 2016-2017 theatre season, which features two world premiere adaptations, the regional premieres of critically acclaimed comedies and dramas, and the return of audience and family favorites. The season is a showcase of the Twin Cities diversity and talent.

 

The season begins on the Proscenium Stage on September 9 with David Ives’s smash hit comedy The Liar. Cliton (Zach Curtis) can’t tell a lie, but his master Dorante (Sha’ Cage) can’t tell the truth. Dorante is in hot pursuit of one woman, but thinks she is another, which leads to amazing mix-ups and breathtakingly intricate lies. Sharp and saucy modern language adds zest to this sparkling urbane romance. Doug Scholz-Carlson will direct the uproarious comedy, which will also feature India Gurley, Rex Isom Jr., JuCoby Johnson, Michael Ooms, and Sara Richardson, with music performed by Don Livingston. The production team includes Rebecca Bernstein (Costume Designer), Mike P. Kittel (Lighting Designer), Eli Schlatter (Scenic Designer), and Abbee Warmboe (Properties Designer). (Sept 9 – Oct 2, 2016)

 

The opening show on the Andy Boss Thrust Stage, scheduled to start on September 23, 2016, will be the area premiere of Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses. Meet Bob (JC Cutler) and Jennifer (Angela Timberman) and their new neighbors, John (Eric “Pogi” Sumangil) and Pony (Jane Froiland), two suburban couples who have even more in common than their identical homes and their shared last names. As their relationships begin to irrevocably intertwine, the Joneses must decide between their idyllic fantasies and their imperfect realities. Joel Sass will direct and design the set. The production team includes Cole Bylander (Costume Designer), Mike P. Kittel (Lighting Designer), C Andrew Mayer (Sound Designer), and Abbee Warmboe (Properties Designer). (Sept 23 – 0ct 16, 2016)

 

The season continues on the Boss Stage October 28 – November 20, 2016 with Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking and inspirational A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Warren C. Bowles. This fiercely moving portrait of a family living and struggling on Chicago’s South Side in the 1950s was the first play written by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway. The Washington Post hails it as “one of a handful of great American plays – it belongs in the inner circle, along with Death of a Salesman, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and The Glass Menagerie.” The play will star Greta Oglesby as the matriarch Lena and Darius Dotch as her son Walter Lee. The cast also includes Aimee K. Bryant, Robert Gardner, Neal Hazard, Theo Langason, and Am’Ber Montgomery. The production team includes Lance Brockman (Set Designer), Mike P. Kittel (Lighting Designer), and Evan Middlesworth (Sound Designer).

 

On the Proscenium Stage, the crowd-pleasing holiday slot in the line-up is the return of The Soul of Gershwin: The Musical Journey of an American Klezmer, created and written by Joseph Vass with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward. Back by popular demand, this soulful play takes you back to early 1900s New York City— a creative melding of different cultures that created our distinctive “American Songbook.” George Gershwin himself (Michael Paul Levin), joined by three stunning singers (Maud Hixson, Geoffrey Jones, and Maggie Burton) and a fantastic Klezmer band, reveals the folk songs, blues, jazz, Yiddish theatre, cantor chants, and opera woven into songs like I Got Rhythm and Embraceable You. Peter Moore will direct. The production team includes Dean Holztman (Set Designer), Jacob M. Davis (Sound Designer), Mike P. Kittel (Lighting Designer), and Jason Resler (Costume Designer). (December 2-31, 2016)

 

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s classic musical Flower Drum Song comes to the Proscenium Stage January 20 – February 19, 2017. Set in San Francisco’s Chinatown in the late fifties, Flower Drum Song is a funny and moving story which explores what it means to be an American and touches the history of every person whose forbearers once arrived as strangers to these shores. The new, fully revised version includes David Henry Hwang’s Tony Award-nominated text. The co-production with Mu Performing Arts celebrates Mu’s 25th season anniversary and will be directed by Mu’s Artistic Director Randy Reyes. Flower Drum Song is in auditions at this writing—watch for a special announcement! The production team includes Andrew Fleser (Music Director, Conductor, & Arrangements), Penelope Freeh (Choreographer), Mina Kinukawa (Set Designer), Andrea M. Gross (Costume Designer), Jacob M. Davis (Sound Designer), Mike Kittle (Lighting Designer), Abbee Warmboe (Prop Designer).

 

Last season’s smash hit world premiere Nina Simone: Four Women returns to the Andy Boss Thrust Stage February 7-26, 2017. Back by popular demand and with added music, Christina Ham’s play, directed again by Faye M. Price, stars Regina Marie Williams as the legendary singer. Writing Mississippi Goddam in a bombed Birmingham church, Simone meets three strong women bound by tragic circumstance. Together, they sing their truth and rise triumphant. Aimee K. Bryant and Traci Allen Shannon round out the cast. The production teams include Trevor D. Bowen (Costume Designer), Lance Brockman (Set Designer), Patricia Brown (Choreographer), Jacob Davis (Sound Designer), Sanford Moore (Musical Director), Mike Wangen (Lighting Designer), and Sadie Ward (Properties Designer).

 

The season continues on the Andy Boss Thrust Stage with a world premiere commissioned adaptation of Macbeth by Jef Hall-Flavin. Shakespeare’s great tragedy explores the darkest corners of the human heart as the ambitious Macbeth (Jason Rojas) schemes and murders his way to the throne. Filled with raw ambition and greed that seems ripped from the headlines, the cast also includes Garry Geiken and Gabriele Angieri. The casting and production team assignments continue at this writing. (March 17 – April 9, 2017)

 

The area premiere of The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence will take place on the Proscenium Stage April 7-30, 2017. Madeline George’s comic drama was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize. Four Watsons: trusty sidekick to Sherlock Holmes; loyal engineer who built Bell’s first telephone; unstoppable super-computer that became reigning “Jeopardy” champ; amiable techno-dweeb just looking for love. This brilliantly witty, time-jumping, loving tribute is dedicated to the people – and machines – upon which we depend. Leah Cooper will direct the cast which includes H. Adam Harris, Kathryn Fumie, and Paul de Cordova. The production team includes Lance Brockman (Set Designer), Kathy Kohb (Costume Designer), Katharine Horowitz (Sound Designer), and Mike Kittle (Lighting Designer).

 

David Hare’s modern classic Amy’s View continues the season on the Proscenium Stage May 12 – June 4, 2017, directed by Gary Gisselman and starring Linda Kelsey. Everyone has a different view. Amy’s view is that love conquers all. In 1979 Amy (Tracey Maloney) visits her mother, the West End actress Esme Allen, with a big favor to ask and a brash new boyfriend in tow. When the pair meet, Amy will find the views she holds so dear are painfully tested as she has to decide what’s worth fighting for. What none of them can know is that the events of that day will set in motion a chain reaction which will dramatically change their lives forever. The production team includes Joseph Stanley (Set Designer), Aaron Chvatal (Costume Designer), and Mike P. Kittel (Lighting Designer).

 

Park Square’s 42nd season concludes on the Proscenium Stage with Might As Well Be Dead: A Nero Wolfe Mystery by Joseph Goodrich, who penned Park Square’s 2011 Hitchcockian thriller Panic and record-setting The Red Box. Peter Moore will direct the adaptation of the novel by Rex Stout. Eleven years ago, wealthy Nebraska businessman James Herrold unjustly threw his only son, Paul, out of the family business. Now he wants Nero Wolfe to find Paul so he can make amends. But what if the young man doesn’t want to be found? And what if he’s the same Paul Herrold on trial for murder? This case draws the great detective (E.J. Subkoviak) and his devoted sidekick (Sam Pearson) into a web of deceit, one that even the master sleuth may regret taking on. Michael Paul Levin will reprise his characterization of Inspector Cramer. The production team includes Elena Giannetti (Assistant Director), Rick Polenek (Set Designer), Mike P. Kittel (Lighting Designer), A. Emily Heaney (Costume Desigenr), Anita Kelling (Sound Designer), and Abbee Warmboe (Prop Designer). Might As Well Be Dead is a world premiere commission by our Mystery Writers Producers’ Club. (June 16 – July 30, 2017)

 

The full calendar of sixteen projects includes the returns of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The House on Mango Street, expected to play to more than 30,000 students. Signe V. Harriday will be making her Park Square Theatre directing debut with The House on Mango Street, which will offer two public performances October 21 and 22, 2016. The cast includes Atquetzali Quiroz and Hope Cervantes as younger and older Esperanza, respectively, as well as Paulino Brener, Charisma Pruitt, Guillermo Rodriguez, and Pedro R. Bayon. The production team includes Annie Cady (Costume Designer), Christopher Kit Mayer (Set Designer), and Mike P. Kittel (Lighting Designer).

 

All shows will be in Park Square’s two theatre performance spaces in the Historic Hamm Building, 408 St. Peter Street, downtown Saint Paul. Shows, dates and artists are subject to change.

Season tickets are on sale now and available at 651.291.7005 or online at www.parksquaretheatre.org. Packages begin at $99 and can be expanded to include all 15 shows in the season, including productions by our partners Sandbox Theater, Theatre Pro Rata, and Girl Friday Productions, plus the three productions in the education series. Single tickets are on sale now.

 

THE 2016-17 SEASON

The Liar by David Ives (Comedy, Area Premiere), directed by Doug Scholz-Carlson. Sparkling urbane romance with sharp and saucy modern language. (Proscenium Stage, Sep 9 – Oct 2, 2016)

The Realistic Joneses by Will Eno (Comedy/Drama, Area Premiere), directed by Joel Sass. Two suburban couples between idyllic fantasies and imperfect realities. (Andy Boss Thrust Stage, Sept 23 – Oct 16, 2016)

The House on Mango Street (drama) by Sandra Cisneros, adapted by Amy Ludwig, directed by Signe V. Harriday who will be making her Park Square Theatre directing debut. This series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – reveal a young Latina growing up in Chicago. (Proscenium Stage, public dates Oct 21 – 22, full run Oct 11 – Nov 4, 2016)

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (Drama), directed by Warren C. Bowles. America’s landmark drama about hope, change, and the future. (Andy Boss Thrust Stage, Oct 28 – Nov 20, 2016)

The Soul of Gershwin: The Musical Journey of an American Klezmer, created and written by Joseph Vass. Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin with additional Lyrics from Porgy and Bess by DuBose Heyward, (Musical) directed by Peter Moore. A creative melding of different cultures that created our distinctive “American Songbook.” (Proscenium Stage, Dec 2 – 31, 2016)

Big Money
Produced by Sandbox Theatre
World Premiere Created by the Sandbox Theatre Ensemble; Led by Derek Lee Miller

The ever-innovative ensemble will devise another world premiere story told with imagination and plenty of movement, this time based on the life of Michael Larson, who cracked the code of the 1980s game show “Press Your Luck.” (Andy Boss Thrust Stage, Jan 12 – 28, 2017)

Flower Drum Song, with music by Richard Rodgers; lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, revised book by David Henry Hwang (Comedy Musical), directed by Randy Reyes, co-produced with Mu Performing Arts.

The history of every person whose forbearers once arrived as strangers to these shores. (Proscenium Stage, Jan 20 – Feb 19, 2017)

Nina Simone: Four Women written by Christina Ham (Play with Music), directed by Faye M. Price. Regina Marie Williams returns as the one and only Nina Simone who broke barriers and rules in this honest and heart-filled exploration of life, music and beauty. (Andy Boss Thrust Stage, Feb 7 – 26, 2017)

Macbeth by William Shakespeare (Drama) adapted and directed by Jef Hall-Flavin. The great tragedy explores the darkest corners of the human heart as the ambitious Macbeth schemes and murders his way to the throne. (Andy Boss Thrust Stage, Mar 17 – Apr 9, 2017)

The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence by Madeleine George (Comedy/Drama, Area Premiere), directed by Leah Cooper. Brilliantly witty, time-jumping tribute dedicated to the people – and machines – upon which we depend. (Proscenium Stage, Apr 7 – 30, 2017)

Amy’s View by David Hare (Drama, Regional Premiere) directed by Gary Gisselman. The smallest events can set in motion a chain reaction that can dramatically change lives forever. (Proscenium Stage, May 12 – Jun 4, 2017)

Up: The Man in the Flying Chair
Produced by Theatre Pro Rata

By Bridget Carpenter; Directed by Carin Bratlie Wethern20 years ago Walter Griffin attached 45 helium-filled weather balloons to a lawn chair and found himself 16,000 feet above the world. Today he’s furiously holding onto his dreams and the faded memory of that glorious day, doing everything he can to keep his feet from touching the ground. (Andy Boss Thrust Stage, May 24 – Jun 11, 2017)

Might As Well Be Dead: A Nero Wolfe Mystery by Joseph Goodrich, adapted from the Novel by Rex Stout (Mystery, World Premiere Commission by our Mystery Writers Producers’ Club), directed by Peter Moore. The great detective and his devoted sidekick are drawn into a dangerous web of deceit. (Proscenium Stage, Jun 16 – Jul 30, 2017)

Idiot’s Delight
Produced by Girl Friday Productions
By Robert E. Sherwood; Directed by Craig Johnson

Winner of the 1936 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Idiot’s Delight is a romantic commentary on greed, idealism, love, and the grim realities of war. An eccentric assortment of characters are stranded together in a European mountaintop resort at the outbreak of war, including a munitions magnate, his mysterious Russian mistress, and an American song and dance man with his chorine companions “Les Blondes.” Girl Friday Productions brings its signature large ensemble cast to this dramatic comedy with musical accents, set in a world on the brink. (Andy Boss Thrust Stage, Jun 29 – Jul 23, 2017)

 

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Six Characters in Search of an Author – Adapted and directed by Alan Berks

On the Andy Boss Thrust Stage April 19 – May 8


Media Contacts:

Connie Shaver, 612.308.5785
connieshaver@charter.net

Deborah Ervin, 651.214.9354
deb@wlproductions.org


St. Paul, Minn., March 28, 2016 –Park Square presents Wonderlust Production’s Six Characters In Search Of An Author: an engagement of Pirandello’s 94 year old, world-rocking, classic through the lens of social media, celebrity, and unscripted TV in an original reality television show, The Maze. Audiences aren’t just coming to a play; they’ll be the live, in-studio guests during filming for a reality show, and live-tweeting throughout.

Wonderlust Production’s Co-Founding Artistic Director, Alan Berks, penned the play and is also directing the piece which he first conceived of and produced in 2013. Fans of the first production said, “Putting it in the setting of a reality TV show was genius” and “The play generated a few hours of conversation with others who attended. . . I’d like to see it again in a different venue just to enjoy it a second time.”

The cast features T. Michael Brown, Rachel Finch, Kiara Jackson, Paul LaNave, Sam Landman, Gabriel Murphy, Sandra Struthers*, Dana Lee Thompson, Adam Whisner, Joe Wiener.

Adapted and Directed by Alan Berks
Costume Design by Andrea Gross
Puppets by Christopher Lutter-Gardella
Scenic Design by Zep Hults
Sound Design by Katharine Horowitz
Lighting Design by Jesse Cogswell
Video Design by Paul Moehring
Stage Manager Jacob Miller/Assistant Stage Manager Tracy Swenson

*Member Actors Equity Association

#WLreality #WLsix 

 

Six Characters In Search Of An Author. A reality TV show-within-a-play adaptation of a 94-year-old classic.

 

Previews are Tuesday-Thursday, April 19-21. Opening is Friday, April 22. Six Characters runs through Sunday, May 8. The show plays Tuesday through Sunday opening week, April 19-24, and then Wednesday through Sunday the following two weeks, April 27-May 8. Sunday shows are 2pm matinees. All others are at 7:30pm. Post-show discussions immediately follow the performances on Wednesday April 27, and Sundays May 1 and 8.

 

Tickets Prices: Previews are $27-$37. Regular shows are $40-$60. Students $15 with discount code COL. Tickets are available for purchase at www.parksquaretheatre.org and by phone: 651.291.7005.

More about Wonderlust Productions and Six Characters: Alan Berks first adapted Six Characters in 2013, and produced it under Alan Berks & Co. at the Gremlin Theatre. Since then, Alan Berks and Co. merged with Footprints Collective to form Wonderlust Productions in 2014. The company is led by Co-Founders Alan Berks and Leah Cooper. This is the company’s first production, although members of the Wonderlust team have extensive histories together; each is a seasoned veteran of the Twin Cities theater and arts community. Read more about them at: http://wonderlustproductions.org/people/

Last fall, Wonderlust held a residency at the University of St. Thomas, facilitated by Professor Amy Muse. Over the course of four weeks, the company worked with nine classes and nearly 200 students to learn how this young, media savvy/saturated age group felt about representation and identity – themes key to Pirandello’s play – via ways they experience today, such as social media, the internet, and reality TV. Their fascinating and intelligent input helped push the current production’s ideas farther to include social media in ways that are sure to delight. Audiences will be asked to participate in the role of a real live studio audience, on set for a reality show, and expected to actively engage throughout.

Calendar Information

Previews: April 19-21
Regular Run: April 22 – May 8

Tickets

Previews: $27/$37; 2 Sugars Tuesday, April 19, all tickets are $20
Regular Run: $40/$60 with discounts for college students, those under 30 and seniors.

http://parksquaretheatre.org/box-office/shows/2015-16/six-characters-in-search-of-an-author/

PARK SQUARE THEATRE, Andy Boss Thrust Stage, 408 Saint Peter Street, Saint PaulTicket office: 651-291-7005 or www.parksquaretheatre.org

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Next on the Proscenium Stage:

Calendar Girls

By TIM FIRTH

Directed by MARY M. FINNERTY

Previews: June 17 – 23, 2016

Opening Night: June 24, 2016

Regular Run: June 25 – July 24, 2016

Proscenium Stage

 

When Annie’s husband dies of leukemia, she and her friends set out to raise funds for a local charity — by posing for a calendar completely in the buff. Positioned behind strategically placed flower arrangements, cakes, and knitting projects, the women discover the beauty within themselves and one another. When news of the women’s hilarious venture spreads like wildfire, the women find themselves exposed in ways they hadn’t anticipated, and they reach for a new level of understanding and friendship that will carry them through all the days to come. “…in the great good cause of cheering us up in hard times, Calendar Girls is just the ticket.” — Telegraph

http://parksquaretheatre.org/box-office/shows/2015-16/calendar-girls/

 

# # #

 

PARK SQUARE THEATRE. 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. Ticket office: 651.291.7005. www.parksquaretheatre.org

Nina Simone: Four Women

The life, times, passion, and politics of America’s iconic singer come to Park Square Theatre, March 8-26

Saint Paul, Minn., Feb. 17, 2016 – Park Square Theatre continues its 41st season next month with the world premiere of Nina Simone: Four Women by Minneapolis playwright Christina Ham. Commissioned by Park Square Theatre with support from VSA Minnesota, Nina Simone: Four Women celebrates the life and music of one of America’s most iconic singers and traces Simone’s pioneering involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Faye Price directs Regina Marie Williams* as the woman who raised her voice on behalf of all women made silent.

“The play looks at female solidarity through the lens of Nina Simone’s music,” says playwright Christina Ham. “While it celebrates the life and music of this artist, it also looks at how her music helped to transform the Civil Rights Movement. Her importance has been blotted out of the history books.”

Nina Simone’s velvet voice was unafraid to sing lyrics that cut right to the truth: “My skin is brown, my manner is tough…” From “I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl” to “Sinnerman,” and the “Four Women” of the title, her music explores the personal and political in context of the fight for civil rights. Simone’s lyrics weave together a story of four women left “feeling alienated and really low” due to the color of their skin. But through it all, they remain triumphant – four women proud “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” and sometimes even “Feelin’ Good.”

Against the explosive backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement, Nina Simone: Four Women examines the sustained violence against African-American women that has contributed to feelings of marginalization and self-loathing, behavioral problems, and mental illness—issues that have never been easy to discuss within any community. Compounded by shame, embarrassment, and disenfranchisement, these issues have too often been passed on from one generation to the next. Ms. Simone’s music, rooted in social activism, gives voice to these issues that have roiled African-American and minority communities.

Nina Simone: Four Women features Aimee K. Bryant*, Thomasina Petrus*, Traci Allen Shannon*, and Regina Marie Williams*.

The production team for Nina Simone: Four Women includes Faye M. Price (Director), Sanford Moore (Musical Director), Lance Brockman (Scenic Designer), Trevor D. Bowen (Costume Designer), Mike Wangen (Lighting Designer), Abbee Warmboe (Properties Designer) Gina Musto (Dramaturg) and Elizabeth MacNally* (Stage Manager).

*Member, Actors Equity Association

Performance Schedule: Previews begin Tuesday, March 8, and continue through Thursday, March 10. March 11 is Opening Night, and the run continues through March 26. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. All performances are in the company’s Andy Boss Thrust Stage in Saint Paul’s historic Hamm Building, 408 St. Peter Street

Ticket Prices: Previews: $27 and $37. Regular Run: $40 and $60. Discounts are available for seniors, college students, those under age 30, and groups. Tickets are on sale at the Park Square ticket office, or by phone: 651.291.7005, (12 noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday), or online at www.parksquaretheatre.org.

CALENDAR INFORMATION
Previews: March 8-10
Regular Run: March 11-26

Tickets: Previews: $27/$37; Pay What You Will March 9; Regular Run: $40/$60
PARK SQUARE THEATRE, 20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul
Box office: 651-291-7005 or parksquaretheatre.org

New! Pay What You Will Wednesday (calendar code = $)

A price for you (yes you). Pay a sliding scale of $15, $25 or $35 for general admission seating. Reserve the seats you prefer for $40 (which includes a drink voucher).


 

LOVE PERSON
Written and directed by ADITA BRENNAN KAPIL
Previews: March 18-24, 2016
Opening Night: March 25, 2016
Regular Run: March 26 – April 10, 2016
Proscenium Stage

Free should be devoted to Maggie, but she may be falling in love with Ram – accidentally. Free is deaf, and Ram teaches Sanskrit, but in their late-night internet exchanges they discover a deep connection based on the mystical affinity between their languages. Four people struggle to communicate in ways they can all understand in this confirming multilingual tribute to the power of love. Even if you don’t look, speak or love like these characters, they will take you into your own heart’s journey.  “…a fascinating brew of emotion, wit and intellect that challenges its audience to reassess how the form of communication shapes understanding.” —Star-Tribune


 

PARK SQUARE THEATRE.  20 W. Seventh Place, Saint Paul. Box office: 651.291.7005. parksquaretheatre.org

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