2010/2011 Inaugural Season

Event Calendar

“What a perfect time for a theater to hit its stride” The Washington Post

Continuing the success of our record-setting inaugural season, I am thrilled to present Arena Stage’s 2011/12 season at the Mead Center for American Theater. True to our mission, the coming season delves into all that is passionate, exuberant, profound, deep and dangerous in the American spirit.

Together, we will explore the rich legacy of American theater, past, present and future. Amidst compelling modern works and simmering world premieres, we pay tribute to the first true American giant, Eugene O’Neill, with a festival of his iconic works.

Expanding to eight productions, with three available add-on plays, the 2011/12 season presents a diversity of styles and voices that are uniquely American.

Subscribe today and be a part of an Arena Stage season that will entertain, challenge and reward you. We’re going to have a marvelous time.

All best,

Molly Smith

Subscription Season

Trouble in MindSEP 9 – OCT 23, 2011

by Alice Childress
directed by Irene Lewis
in the Kreeger Theater

Broadway, 1957. Battle lines are drawn within a newly integrated theater company preparing to open a misguided race play on the Great White Way. As personalities and prejudices collide, lead actress Wiletta Mayer has the chance to achieve her most glorious dream, but at what cost? E. Faye Butler (Oklahoma! Crowns) leads an ensemble cast in "a fresh, lively and cutting satire" (New York Times) that will make you laugh and make you think. View details

Oregon Shakespeare Festival's production ofEquivocation NOV 18, 2011 – JAN 1, 2012

by Bill Cain
directed by Bill Rauch
in the Kreeger Theater

In dark times, the most treacherous weapon is the truth. London, 1606: The worlds of King James and the Gunpowder Plot collide with William Shakespeare and his renowned theatrical troupe in a startling cat-and-mouse game of politics and art. Commissioned by the throne to create a calculated piece of propaganda, the Bard and his actors must find a way to please the king while avoiding both the gallows and eternal damnation. Bill Cain’s high-stakes political thriller reveals the complexities of the truth, the perils of compromise, and the terrible consequences of equivocation in “one of the most bracingly intelligent, sizzlingly theatrical American plays in a decade” (Variety). View details

You, NeroNOV 25, 2011 – JAN 1, 2012

by resident playwright Amy Freed
in the Fichandler

As Rome collapses beneath Nero’s outrageous narcissism, a forgotten playwright tries to restore order through the art of theater in this “gloriously funny” (New York Times) farce. Amid the chaos of crime, lust and politics, convincing the world’s most famous debaucher to choose virtue over vice proves to be a Herculean task. Pulitzer Prize finalist Amy Freed’s wild romp questions whether well-crafted drama and intellect are any match for decadence and good old-fashioned bloodshed. View details

Goodman Theatre's production ofRedJAN 20 – MAR 11, 2012

Produced in association with
Goodman Theatre
by John Logan
directed by Tony Award winner Robert Falls
starring 4 time Helen Hayes award winner Edward Gero
in the Kreeger Theater

Winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Play, Red depicts the brilliant and passionate painter Mark Rothko facing the biggest challenge of his career. Hailed as "smart and scintillating" by the New Yorker, Red is an "electrifying play of ideas" (Variety).
View details

Ah, Wilderness!MAR 9 – APR 8, 2012

by Eugene O'Neill
directed by Kyle Donnelly
in the Fichandler
part of the Eugene O'Neill Festival

Return to an idyllic age of Americana in Eugene O’Neill’s unabashedly romantic and sweetly funny Ah, Wilderness! As the Connecticut-based Miller clan plans their traditional Fourth of July festivities, their dreamy-eyed middle child Richard is wrestling with cultural conventions, political uncertainty, the power of literature, and the exquisite pain of love. The memories of family life were never so delicately portrayed as in O’Neill’s only comedy, his coming-of-age love letter to a simpler time, that finds the master playwright “at his most wistful and serene.” (New York Times).  View details

Long Day's Journey
into NightMAR 30 – MAY 6, 2012

by Eugene O'Neill
directed by Robin Phillips
in the Kreeger Theater
part of the Eugene O'Neill Festival

Delusion and disenchantment have pitted the Tyrone family members against one another for decades. One fateful day, as their increasingly drunken hours slip by, they must either confront their defeated dreams or else be forever doomed to a cycle of guilt and resentment. Eugene O’Neill’s autobiographical masterwork exposes the lies we tell, the deceptions we craft, and the undercurrent of compassion that, if uncovered, can redeem us in the end. This Pulitzer Prize-winning American treasure “restores the drama to literature and the theater to art” (New York Times).  View details

Meredith Willson'sThe Music ManMAY 11 – JUL 22, 2012

book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson
story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey
directed by Molly Smith
choreography by Parker Esse
starring Tony Award nominee Kate Baldwin
in the Fichandler

Having exhausted all 102 counties in Illinois, “Professor” Harold Hill gives Iowa a try and soon enough convinces River City of its trouble with the “sin and corruption” of the pool hall, trouble that can only be stopped by forming a boys’ band. Marian the librarian suspects he’s a con man, but she begins to trust him after seeing how he’s given confidence to her shy younger brother. Soon, this “Music Man” has transformed the entire town, not only turning the bickering school board into a barbershop quartet, but himself into an honest man. When the stage erupts with “76 Trombones,” you’ll be cheering along with River City for Harold Hill! View details

The Normal HeartJUN 8 – JUL 29, 2012

By Larry Kramer
Directed by George C. Wolfe
By special arrangement with Daryl Roth

Tony winner George C. Wolfe, (Angels in America) directs Larry Kramer’s Tony Award-winning Broadway production of The Normal Heart. Fueled by love, anger, hope and pride, a circle of friends struggle to contain the mysterious disease ravaging New York's gay community. Dismissed by politicians, frustrated by doctors and fighting with each other, their differences could tear them apart - or change the world. Hailed by critics as “riveting” (Newsday) and “a great night at the theater” (New York Times), Kramer's masterwork is an outrageous and totally unforgettable look at sexual politics during the AIDS crisis and remains one of the theater’s most powerful evenings ever. View details

Kogod Cradle Add-ons

The Book Club PlayOCT 7 – NOV 6, 2011

by resident playwright Karen Zacarías
directed by Molly Smith
in the Kogod Cradle

Ana is a Type A personality living in a letter-perfect world: a husband who adores her, the perfect job, and her greatest passion, Book Club. But when bizarre circumstances put her ideal book club under a magnifying glass, things begin to heat up and more truths are told than anyone bargained for. Resident playwright Karen Zacarías (Legacy of Light) brings Arena Stage the latest chapter of her “delightful, fresh comedy” (TalkinBroadway.com) about life, love, literature and the side-splitting results when friends start reading between the lines. View details

Elephant Room JAN 20 – FEB 26, 2012

directed by Paul Lazar
by Steve Cuiffo, Trey Lyford and Geoff Sobelle
in the Kogod Cradle

Combine the glory of a Styx reunion tour, with the transcendental power of a 200-year-old Zuni shaman and add a dash of trailer park ennui and you come close to describing the mystical pull of a trip to the Elephant Room. From the uninhibited, "engaging" (Washington Post) absurdist performance duo Rainpan 43 and actor-magician Steve Cuiffo comes a new theatrical event. Filled with off-the-wall magic and sublime comedy, Elephant Room examines the childlike wonder of three deluded illusionists who choose to live their off-center lives by sleight of hand.View details

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