The Madison Repertory Theatre released the titles and dates for its 39th season late Thursday afternoon. There are five subscription and three special productions slated for The Playhouse at the Overture Center its 2007-08 run. The subscription series includes Arthur Miller's original classic and a drama about the intersection of art and race, while the special events feature a returning favorite from 2006.
"Its our largest, most ambitious season yet," proclaims the Rep's artistic director Richard Corley in a press release announcing the season. Next year's productions, he continues, "reflects not only our ambitions and the wishes of our audience, but our successful 'settling-in' to our home" at the Overture.
Perhaps the biggest news is the world premiere of a production originally conceived in the Madison New Play Festival. This is Lombardi / The Only Thing, a portrait of the Green Bay Packers' legendary coach Vince Lombardi. Written by Academy Award winner and Stepenwolf Theatre member Eric Simonson, the work was inspired by David Maraniss' book When Pride Still Mattered.
Here are the productions scheduled for next season:
- Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Directed by Richard Corley, this American masterpiece will be running Sep. 21 through Oct. 14.
- Lombardi / The Only Thing by Eric Simonson
Commissioned by the Rep, this world premiere is directed by Corley and will run from Nov. 9 through Dec. 12.
- The Diary of Anne Frank by Francis Goodrich and Albert Hackett
A newly revised edition of this classic play, based upon the unedited edition of Frank's original writings, is being staged in honor of the 60th anniversary of the diary's original publishing. It is directed by Jennifer Uphoff Gray, and will run from Jan. 11 through Feb. 3, 2008.
- Permanent Collection by Thomas Gibbons
This work examines the culture clash that arises when the new director of an art gallery uncovers a collection of African art hidden in storage. The production is directed by Richard Corley, and will run from Mar. 7 through Mar. 30, 2008.
- The Nerd by Larry Shue
Directed by Tony Simotes, this follows the missteps of an archetypical 'nerd' as he makes himself at home with an old friend. It will run from May 2 through May 25, 2008.
The Madison Rep is also presenting three special events as part of its season next year. These productions follow:
- Carousel by Rogers and Hammerstein
Featuring a large cast drawn from Madison and Chicago complete with an elaborate set, costumes, and an orchestra, this early classic by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II will be directed by Corley and runs from Jul. 13 through Jul. 29.
- Madison New Play Festival
The Playhouse will host this fifth annual set of workshops and readings devoted to the development and presentation of new work. It runs over the weekends of Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 27-28 this autumn.
- Muskie Love by Dave Hudson and Paul Libman
This comedy set in Green Bay and inspired by Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is back by popular demand at the Rep following its hit presentation in 2006. It will be directed by Pam Krieger, and will be staged from Jan. 18 through Jan. 27, 2008 at the Barrymore Theatre.
Subscription, ticket sales, and show time information can be found in the press release available in the related downloads at right.
The Madison Rep's leadership is optimistic as the theatre wraps up its fourth decade of productions. As stated by managing director Julie Jensen in the announcement about their 2007-08 season: "Our thirty ninth year is a testament not only to the exceptional artists who grace our stage, but also the financial health of Madison Repertory Theatre, which is stronger than ever, with audiences growing at a record pace."