A Simple Theatre has announced its 2014-2015 season of productions, which will be built exclusively around staged readings and collaborations with local community groups.
The theater-in-residence at Eckerd College is calling the new season “Friends and Neighbors: A series of plays about the people we work and play with.” The new season was announced during a launch party Tuesdaynight at Eckerd College.
“I’m very excited about the reinvention of A Simple Theatre as a theater company that does high-quality staged readings,’’ said Gavin Hawk, associate professor of theater and artistic director of A Simple Theatre. “This bare-bones, storytelling approach really focuses on the playwright’s words as interpreted by our talented local actors in an intimate setting, and allows to us to perform fantastic new plays that otherwise might be too costly or technically difficult for us to produce. It also opens the door for collaborations with wonderful organizations like The Dali Museum and the St. Petersburg Opera Company.”
Because of the lower price-point, staged readings also make professionally presented plays more affordable and accessible.
“Part of the mission of A Simple Theatre is to provide access to great plays to our entire community,” said A Simple Theatre Board Chairwoman Jacqueline MacNeil. “With actors as storytellers and affordable ticket prices, we hope to engage and foster a whole new group of theatregoers in the greater St. Petersburg community.”
Tickets are $15 for the general public, $13 for seniors and students.
Here is a rundown of the new season, which includes two community collaborations, one each with the Dali Museum and the St. Petersburg Opera Company:
- The Graduate An innovative retelling of the classic 1967 film about young Benjamin Braddock’s disastrous affair with the sultry Mrs. Robinson. Adapted for the stage by Terry Johnson. Based on the novel by Charles Webb and the screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. October 14, 7:30 p.m. Bininger Theater, Eckerd College.
- Picasso at the Lapin Agile A delightful absurdist comedy from the self-proclaimed “wild and crazy guy” imagines a fictional meeting between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian cafe in 1904. By Steve Martin. November 18, the Dali Museum. The event will coincide with the opening of the museum’s new Picasso exhibit
- The Farnsworth Invention Two ambitious visionaries, a ruthless media mogul and an Idaho farm boy, race against each other to invent the television in this fascinating true story from the creator of A Few Good Men and The West Wing. By Aaron Sorkin. January 21, 7:30 p.m. Bininger Theater, Eckerd College.
- Detroit When Ben and Mary invite their new neighbors Sharon and Kenny over, a friendly backyard barbecue quickly spirals into a dangerous bacchanal. By Lisa D’Amour. February 10, 7:30 p.m., Bininger Theater, Eckerd College.
- Master Class The famous opera singer Maria Callas teaches a master class at The Juilliard School, simultaneously inspiring and demeaning her young students while conjuring up memories of her tumultuous career. By Terrence McNally. March 14, 22. St. Petersburg Opera Company.
- Middleton Dubbed the Our Town for a new generation, this quirky new play is a powerful and poignant meditation on birth, death and the points in between in a small American town. By Will Eno. April 21, Bininger Theater, 7:30 p.m., Eckerd College.
- Bob: A Life in Five Acts A comedic exploration of American mythology and values and the treacherous pursuit of happiness as told through the eyes of a lovable everyman named Bob, who will be played by A Simple Theatre’s Artistic Director Gavin Hawk. By Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. May 19, 7:30 p.m., Bininger Theater, Eckerd College.