Saturday, March 14, 2015

TCR Announces 2015-16 Season

Cedar Rapids - Theatre Cedar Rapids announced their 2015-16 season and there is something for everyone. Audiences will experience classics like Hamlet to modern musicals like American Idiot. Plenty of family entertainment is planned as well, including A Christmas Story and Disney's Little Mermaid. Learn about the shows by reading the synopses below, all written by TCR Artistic Director, Leslie Charipar.

The Last Five Years
(Grandon Studio)
Opens August 28

This show is a two-person musical about falling in love and getting married and all the ups and downs of a relationship. The music is wonderful and the story is engaging and told in a truly unique and interesting way. I’m very much looking forward to seeing another musical in the intimate Grandon Studio setting. This show is perfect for that space.

Calendar Girls
Opens September 11

This play was adapted from the 2003 film starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walker which was based on a true story about a group of “mature” women who decide to create a calendar with tasteful nude photos of themselves to raise money for leukemia research. One of the reasons I’m so pumped about this show is that it has several roles for strong female actors of a certain age. That doesn’t happen very often in theatre, and I’m excited to see TCR’s wildly talented gaggle of women vie for these magnificent roles in this heartwarming story.

The Weir
(Grandon Studio)
Opens October 16

Just in time for Halloween, Conor McPherson’s play, set in an Irish pub, is a night of ghost stories and plot twists. It’s a quiet but enthralling conversation among pub patrons about the past and the supernatural and the things that haunt us. The language is gorgeous and the play will be a terrific challenge for TCR’s actors. As a result, audiences will be treated to an intimate night of riveting theatre.

A Christmas Story
Opens November 20

I grew up with this movie and watch it every year, often more than once, so I’m truly looking forward to presenting this show about Ralphie, Randy, the imfamous leg lamp, fudge, dial soap, and... you know the story! It’s near and dear to my heart and I’m guessing to yours as well. Pending availability.

Avenue Q
Opens January 15

This show is unique and deceivingly difficult. I mean, the actors have to play their characters as well as their puppet characters. It’s irreverent and politically incorrect and honest and really, really funny. And I can’t wait to play with puppets and present this delightfully adult comedy about trying to survive in the real world. Did I mention PUPPETS?!

Underground New Play Festival
(Grandon Studio)
Opens January 22

As you all probably know already, I love this Festival! It’s one of my favorite things we do at TCR. A bunch of playwrights and aspiring playwrights get together with a bunch of directors and actors and aspiring directors and actors, and they make original theatre. Then we get to watch it and talk about it. What could possibly be better than that?!

Next to Normal
Opens February 26

I never knew about this show until some of the younger staff and volunteers started coming to me to ask if we’d ever do it. Now that I’ve read the script and listened to the music, I couldn’t be more excited to put this show on the TCR stage. It deals with real issues in a moving and beautiful way, and I think that if audiences give it a chance (even if they’re not familiar with the show), they will fall in love with this show just like I have.

Opens April 1

I love Shakespeare! It has been 30 years since TCR has done Shakespeare. Next season, we’re going to do some Shakespeare!! This is one of my favorite plays of the Bard’s. It still speaks to me and feels truly relevant as we ask young people to take on more responsibilities and process more and more information. I’m looking forward to working with actors and designers to present this show. And I’m looking forward to audiences seeing this show.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
(Grandon Studio)
Opens April 8

This is one of those times where we get to pair a show in the auditorium with a play in the Grandon Studio. While we’re doing Hamlet upstairs, the Grandon Studio will be home to Tom Stoppard’s exploration of Hamlet’s two college friends and how they see Hamlet’s plight. The play is funny and smart and sharp and difficult and hailed as a classic piece of theatre literature, and I’m excited to be sharing this show with TCR’s audiences.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid
Opens May 13

Some of my favorite shows to do are the ones that are for kids... there’s no more honest or enthusiastic an audience. The plan is to create an exciting, Disney-inspired world on our stage that will be as much fun as the movie. Sure, we’re doing theatre and it will be different than an animated feature, but the story will be there...the music will be there...and the energy and joy will most definitely be there.

Now. Here. This.
(Grandon Studio)
Opens May 20

I am so excited about this show created by the team that brought you [title of show]. Now. Here. This. is a new musical tackling life’s big questions with humor and humanity. Itfollows the evolution and adventures of four friends in a natural history museum as they journey through time. Inspired by various exhibits (bees, reptiles, early man, ancient civilizations, and outer space), the foursome shares their stories about friendship, hoarding, hiding, laughing, living, dying, and middle school in an attempt to step directly into that elusive present moment...into the Now. Here. This.

American Idiot
Opens July 1

A musical based on Green Day’s album of the same name? What’s not to be pumped about? Lots of us have been gunning for this show since it came to Broadway, and now we finally get to do it. I can’t wait!!

Studio Cabaret Series
Sept 25-27, Feb 12-14

Ever since we started Cabaret classes here at TCR, it’s been abundantly clear that there are TCR volunteers and Cabaret students who are ripe to perform, so we’re giving them an opportunity to do just that. Under the capable direction of Lynne Rothrock, a handful of aspiring singers and storytellers will get a chance to show us what they’ve got. This is a fun new addition to our season lineup that I’m really excited about.

Studio Improv Series
Nov 13-15, Apr 29 - May 1

Another exciting addition to our season will be the Improv shows. Zach Parker, our Education Director and Improv expert, will be putting together a troupe of performers who will improvise their brains out for our entertainment. I don’t know about you, but I’ll be there front and center to check out the fun!

Source: TCR website.

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