Rep Stage Announces 2019-2020 Season Productions

World Premiere, Regional Premiere, and Two Contemporary Classics Planned

Rep Stage has announced its 2019-2020 Season:

Souvenir
By Stephen Temperley
Directed by Joseph W. Ritsch
September 5-22, 2019

E2
By Bob Bartlett
WORLD PREMIERE
Directed by Joseph W. Ritsch
October 31–November 17, 2019

Kill Move Paradise
By James Ijames
REGIONAL PREMIERE
Directed by Danielle Drakes
February 20–March 8, 2020

Dames at Sea
Book and Lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller
Music by Jim Wise
Directed by Michael Bobbitt
April 30–May 17, 2020

Rep Stage, the professional regional theatre in residence at Howard Community College, will launch its 2019–2020 season with Souvenir by Stephen Temperley, followed by a world premiere by local playwright Bob Bartlett and a regional premiere by Philadelphia playwright James Ijames, and then conclude with the timeless musical Dames at Sea.

Bob Bartlett. Photo courtesy of Rep Stage.
Bob Bartlett. Photo courtesy of Rep Stage.

“This season celebrates the power of theatre and how we can create empathy through its storytelling,” said Rep Stage Producing Artistic Director Joseph W. Ritsch. “All four productions in the season also examine power in its many forms, whether it is the power of positive thinking, the abuse of power, or the power of pure entertainment.”

 “As always, the 2019–2020 Rep Stage season will inspire conversation and ignite imagination. I continue to try and bring stories to our audiences that have a vision for a theatre that fosters radical hospitality; where everyone is welcome, and where we can all see ourselves in the stories we tell.”

Souvenir
By Stephen Temperley
Directed by Joseph W. Ritsch
September 5-22, 2019

Florence Foster Jenkins, one of the world’s most famous society eccentrics, suffered under the delusion that she was a great coloratura soprano when she was, in fact, incapable of producing two consecutive notes in tune. Nevertheless, her annual recitals in the ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton hotel, where she resided, brought her extraordinary fame. As news of her terrible singing spread, so did her celebrity. The climax of her career was a single concert at Carnegie Hall in 1944. Famously, it sold out in two hours. Souvenir, by turn hilarious and poignant, tells her story through the eyes of her accompanist, Cosme McMoon. A talented musician, he regards her at first as little more than an easy way to pay the rent, but, as he gets to know her, his initial contempt gives way to reluctant admiration, then friendship and affection.

E2
By Bob Bartlett
WORLD PREMIERE
Directed by Joseph W. Ritsch
October 31–November 17, 2019

Power, gender and sexuality collide in Bob Bartlett’s contemporary reimagining of Christopher Marlowe’s tale of England’s infamous ineffectual king. Affairs of state that shocked Renaissance audiences are as close to this moment as they were in their own. Edward alienates his queen and court when he elevates his “favourite” to the level of consort. As we witness the newly crowned monarch navigate a love affair that could be the downfall of his monarchy, we are asked what price do we pay when we make the personal political?

Kill Move Paradise
By James Ijames
REGIONAL PREMIERE
Directed by Danielle Drakes
February 20–March 8, 2020

James Ijames. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.
James Ijames. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.

Kill Move Paradise takes the Elysium of Greek antiquity and flips the script. Set in a cosmic waiting room in the afterlife prepared for its newly deceased inhabitants, we follow Isa, Daz, Grif, and Tiny as they try to make sense of the world they have been untimely ripped from. Inspired by the ever-growing list of slain unarmed black men and women, Kill Move Paradise is an expressionistic buzz saw through the contemporary myth that “all lives matter” and a portrait of the slain, not as degenerates who deserved death but as heroes who demand that we see them for the splendid beings they are.

Dames at Sea
Book and Lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller
Music by Jim Wise
Directed by Michael Bobbitt
April 30–May 17, 2020

An Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical of the Year, this long-running off-Broadway hit is based on the nostalgia of Hollywood musicals of the 1930s. It’s big-time New York, into which sweet little Ruby from faraway Hometown, U.S.A. has come to make it big on Broadway. Who should she chance to meet but another boy from Hometown, U.S.A.: Dick, a sailor, who also has ambitions as a songwriter. Ruby begins in the chorus, and by the end of the day, in true Hollywood fashion, Dick saves her doomed Broadway show with a smash tune, as Ruby becomes a star on the deck of a battleship, which just happens to be passing by.

For more information about the upcoming season, call 443-518-1510 or visit www.repstage.org.

ABOUT REP STAGE
Rep Stage, the professional regional theatre in residence at Howard Community College, produces engaging and evocative contemporary American classics and new works. Led by Producing Artistic Director Joseph W. Ritsch, Rep Stage is dedicated to collaborating with regional artists in its commitment to bringing richly diverse work to audiences. Recognized as a professional Washington, DC metropolitan area Theatre Company by Theatre Washington, Rep Stage has a proud history of Helen Hayes Award-winning productions and nominations over its 25 years. The theatre is a member of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance and Theatre Communications Group. Performances are made possible by Howard Arts Council, Maryland State Arts Council, Howard County and Maryland state governments, and generous individual donors.