Baltimore Center Stage Announces 2019-2020 Season

Baltimore Center Stage's upcoming season will mark the debut programming by Artistic Director Stephanie Ybarra.

Baltimore Center Stage today announce its upcoming season of mainstage plays to mark the debut programming under Artistic Director Stephanie Ybarra:

Miss You Like Hell
Book and lyrics by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Music and lyrics by Erin McKeown Directed by Rebecca Martínez
Sep 12–Oct 13, 2019
Everyone has baggage in this timely mother-daughter musical about escaping and belonging from the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who wrote the book for the Tony Award-winning production of In the Heights. Join Olivia and her mother on their cross-country road trip. Mothers may teach you where you come from—but they can be the trickiest things.

Thoughts of a Colored Man 
By Keenan Scott II
Directed by Taye Diggs
Co-production with Syracuse Stage In association with Brian Moreland and Ron Simons
Oct 10–Nov 10, 2019
Directed by renowned artist Taye Diggs, and written by Keenan Scott II, one of today’s boldest new voices, Thoughts of a Colored Man blends language, music, and dance. Welcome to the vibrant inner life of being Black, proud, and thriving in the 21st Century. Set over a single day, this richly theatrical mosaic goes beyond the rhythms of the basketball court and the boisterousness of the barbershop to shed brilliant light into the hearts and minds of a community of men searching for their most triumphant selves.

Men on Boats
By Jaclyn Backhaus
Directed by Jenny Koons
Nov 29–Dec 22, 2019
This off-Broadway hit tells a hilarious, true(ish) history of the Grand Canyon. We invite you along on a journey that throws the history book—and all the men inside it—out the window in this subversive retelling of the one-armed explorer John Powell and his exploration of the American West. Strap in for this uncharted, uproarious journey.

Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally
By Noah Diaz
Jan 23–Feb 16, 2020
See Richard go. See Spot bark. See Dick cry. See Sally sign. See Jane struggle after a lifetime in her brother’s shadow. The classic world of “Dick and Jane” is beginning to fracture in this witty and raw look into one dysfunctional and dissembling family.

Where We Stand
By Donnetta Lavinia Grays
Directed by Tamilla Woodard
Mar 19–Apr 12, 2020 (Mainstage)
April 14-26, 2020 (Mobile Unit Tour)
This brand-new fable of penance is filled with humor, heart, and music. When a town is running low on compassion and a man is stripped of companionship, just one kind stranger can tip the scales. Join in community as one passionate storyteller spins a supernatural tale of loneliness seduced by kindness and asks us “what do we owe each other?”

The Bacchae
By Euripides
Directed by Mike Donahue
Apr 30–May 24, 2020
This is not your English teacher’s Greek tragedy. Dionysus is totally over your drama, and he’s going to incite the women of the land to raise some hell in the greatest party in recorded history. Closing the season with a political exclamation point from the birthplace of Democracy, The Bacchae hits the Mainstage at the same moment our nation surges into its primary elections.

According to Baltimore Center Stage: “this season of storytelling continues the Center Stage tradition of curating works from a wide array of voices, while also turning corners and pushing open doors to present these works in new and exciting ways.”

“In curating my first season at Baltimore Center Stage, I sought out joyfully subversive pieces told by a constellation of artists with an unapologetically theatrical style,” said Ybarra. “These stories and the people who tell them represent my hope that theater can create the space for every one of us to conjure a world of our own imagining.”

The 58th Season includes the directorial debut of Broadway and screen star Taye Diggs with Thoughts of a Colored Man by Keenan Scott II; a fresh take on the immortal play The Bacchae by Euripides; topical themes in a contemporary musical by Quiara Alegría Hudes and Erin McKeown’s Miss You Like Hell; a dramatic comedy about the dynamics of family in Richard & Jane & Dick & Sally by Noah Diaz; hilarity through a retelling of the exploration of the Grand Canyon in Men on Boats by Jacklyn Backhaus; and a play that tackles a community’s complicity in its own struggles in Donnetta Lavinia Grays’ Where We Stand.

Alongside Mainstage programming, Baltimore Center Stage’s 2019/20 Season will feature a robust slate of civic engagement activities designed with the core belief that art is essential to a healthy society. Kicking off this programming, Baltimore Center Stage and Olney Theatre Center will use their productions of Miss You Like Hell in service of a season-long partnership building awareness around immigration issues throughout the state of Maryland. Throughout the run of Thoughts of a Colored Man, Center Stage will host community conversations centered on cultural identity and personal storytelling. Center Stage’s capstone engagement program, the Mobile Unit, will tour Donnetta Lavinia Grays’ new play Where We Stand to communities throughout Greater Baltimore during the anniversary of Freddie Gray’s death and the subsequent uprising.

“Stephanie’s first season is going to be chock-full of exciting and vital voices, all telling stories that will spark conversations and ignite imaginations,” said Michael Ross, Baltimore Center Stage Executive Director. “This impressive lineup of theater is curated with our patrons in mind and shows off the joy and theatricality that Stephanie embraces.”

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About Baltimore Center Stage
Designated the State Theater of Maryland in 1978, Baltimore Center Stage provides the highest quality theater and programming for all members of our communities, including youth and families, under the leadership of Artistic Director Stephanie Ybarra and Executive Director Michael Ross. Baltimore Center Stage ignites conversations and imaginations by producing an eclectic season of professional productions across two mainstages and an intimate 99-seat theater, through engaging community programs, and with inspiring education programs. Everything we do at Center Stage is led by our core values—chief among them being Access For All. Our mission is heavily rooted in providing active and open accessibility for everyone, regardless of any and all barriers, to our Mainstage performances, education initiatives, and community programming.