Rep Stage, the professional regional theater in residence at Howard Community College, has announced its 25th anniversary season lineup of three contemporary classics — ”The Heidi Chronicles,” “Last Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” and “True West” — and a world premiere play about Baltimore’s eccentric Cone sisters in Susan McCully’s “All She Must Possess.”
“The 25th anniversary season provides an opportunity for past Rep Stage artists and those who are new to Rep Stage to collaborate on creating the very best in regional theater,” said Joseph Ritsch, producing artistic director. “As Rep Stage celebrates its past and looks toward the future, I am committed to producing engaging and evocative American contemporary classics and new work for seasons to come.”
The season marks a transition in leadership for Rep Stage as Suzanne Beal, co-producing artistic director, will retire at the conclusion of the current season. Joseph Ritsch will remain at the helm of Rep Stage’s leadership as producing artistic director.
“The Heidi Chronicles”
By Wendy Wasserstein
Directed by Jenna Duncan
Wendy Wasserstein’s Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy traces the coming of age of Heidi Holland, a successful art historian, as she tries to find her bearings in a rapidly changing world. The play is a moving examination of the progress of a generation, from the socially and politically activist ’60s to the success-oriented ’80s. As Heidi determines her place in society and how to juggle success and failures in work, friendship and romance, the play asks the ever-present question: Can women have it all?
“Last Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill”
By Lanie Robertson
Directed by Danielle Drakes
Musical Direction by Cedric D. Lyles
The time is 1959. The place is Emerson’s Bar and Grill, a seedy little jazz club in Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie Holiday’s final performances, given four months before her death. More than a dozen musical numbers, including “God Bless the Child,” “My Man” and “Strange Fruit” are interlaced with salty, often humorous, reminiscences to project a riveting portrait of the lady and her music.
“All She Must Possess”
By Susan McCully
Directed by Joseph Ritsch
Feb. 7–25, 2018
The Baltimore Cone sisters, Dr. Claribel and Miss Etta, could have lived tranquil, appropriate lives as respected Victorian ladies. Instead, the duo voraciously collected art and curios from around the world. Unassuming Etta, often overshadowed by her sister, sits demurely among art and literary geniuses of the early 20th century while slowly amassing one of world’s greatest modern art collections. “All She Must Possess” is a highly theatrical celebration of Etta’s life. Works of art come alive, and her one-time lover, Gertrude Stein, sings her praises as she journeys from society laughingstock to doyen of modernity. This will be Rep Stage’s production in participation with the 2018 DC Women’s Voices Theater Festival.
By Sam Shepard
Directed by Vincent Lancisi
April 25–May 13, 2018
Well-educated Austin and thieving con man Lee, estranged brothers from different worlds, reunite in their mom’s California kitchen, where Austin is working on his screenplay. But when Lee comes up with his own idea and steals much more than just the neighbors’ TV, challenges are issued, many drinks are downed, and the siblings find that they might not be such opposites after all.
For more information about Rep Stage, contact 443-518-1510 or visit www.repstage.org.